There are cars and then there are cars that don’t need any introduction. The Toyota Innova happens to be the car model that has been around for some time now and has become a benchmark of sorts in the MPV segment. Because of ride, comfort and reliability, it has found loyal customers who have used their Innovas for more than two lakh kilometers without a single glitch. Many of current Innova owners swear that they would upgrade to only an Innova… so strong and loyal is its brand following and presence here in India.
Food For Thought:
Toyota got the Innova into the Indonesian market first in 2004 where it replaced the Kijang. Here in India, the Innova entered the scene in 2005 when it replaced the Qualis (Indian version of the Kijang). The Innova has since received facelifts and updates regularly down the years until the 2016 Auto Expo, where the All New Innova Crysta was unveiled to the media. Since it’s unveiling, the Innova Crysta has managed to gather a lot of attention from the media and public alike.
We had an exclusive invitation from Toyota to test drive the All New Innova Crysta in and around some mesmerizing Goan roads. Read our full road test review of the bestselling Toyota, where we try to find out if this is the best Innova ever…
Having taken a period of nearly five years in getting the Innova Crysta ready, Toyota has not left any stone unturned. The first look at the Innova Crysta does not remind you of the old Innova that we are now used to seeing over the years. This vehicle looks extremely fresh and trendy. It seems like one of those vans those are imported from overseas. Dimensions have changed too. The Crysta has grown in size and proportions over the outgoing one. It stands at 4,735mm in length while the older one had a length of 4,585mm. It has an overall width of 1,830mm as compared to 1,760mm on the old one and an overall height of 1,795mm as compared to 1,760mm on the old model. The wheelbase now is 2,750mm, same as the old one. The Innova now gets longer, wider and taller in proportions.
The face gets a hexagonally-styled center grill with slats running horizontally. The four lower slats are in glossy black finish, while the topmost slats are the thickest ones and come in a neat, shiny metal finish. The headlights get a slim and flushed-back design to them. These come with a projector beam and two separate beams for Hi and Low.
The innermost corner gets a neatly styled day time running light (DRL). This is a four LED white glow that adds a lot of style to the face of the Crysta. The thick metal-finished slats on the center grill mate with the two metal lines that are detailed on the top and bottom of the headlights and flow back, mating on the fenders.
The front bumper gets precise design lines and a pair of round fog lamps neatly placed on them. The turn lights are placed next to these fog lamps and not in the headlamps, which makes for some clever detailing. The bonnet gets two thick body lines that sculpt softly and mate on the center grill just beside the headlamps. On the inward, these body lines mate with the A Pillar.
The side profile gets a large glass area with a largish third row glass that gets an angular design on it, giving the sides a unique look. The door handles come in chrome finish and the front ones gets keyless entry sensors.
Wing mirrors get the chrome metal housing on the top and black finish on the lower part with LED turn indicators on them. To keep the Innova Crysta aerodynamic, the designers from Toyota have added a small air fin on the plastic body just beside the wing mirror and also two fins on the tail lamps that should help cut wind flow when in motion.
The Crysta runs on 215/55 R17 spec Bridgestone tubeless tyres mounted on 5 multi-spoke silver alloys. Noteworthy here is the big tyre size upgrade over the older Innova that came with 15 inchers.
Coming to the rear, this is where the Crysta’s styling stands out. The tail lamp gets a `7’shape design with part of it being fixed on the boot opener. The rear also gets a largish body-colored spoiler with stop lamp. The rear bumper is flattish in design and the loading area is wide and low. The rear bumper also gets a set of stop reflectors and reverse sensors while the reverse camera is placed around the rear number plate. The rear windshield comes with a wash-wipe and defogger. A body-colored fish tail radio antenna is placed on the rear side of the roof area.
Overall, the Innova Crysta stands out in all departments of exterior styling. The fit and finish is extremely good and as compared to the older Innova, is a lot better. The Crysta looks very stylish and sporty from all angles, being a very good looker.
Step inside the Innova Crysta and you instantly notice the all-new cabin styling and detailing. The dash board is very nicely designed using a mix of black plastic, wood insert and metal inserts running across.
The instrument cluster get 3D design round dials on either sides or a 4.2-inch MFD screen in the middle that reads all the needed drive control displays. This screen also displays GPS navigation when toggled to the correct mode. The driver does not have to shift his vision on the center screen on the dash.
The steering is a 3 dash design and comes with leather wrap and wood inserts on it. You also get a bit of metal inserts on the spokes along with the cleanly-laid out steering control buttons. This steering can be manually adjusted for height and reach. The steering size is now smaller and very much like a sedan, as compared to the older ones, the angle is also now very much like a car’s steering. You also get the cruise control mounted on the steering.
The center dash gets an all color 7-inch TFT multi-function touch screen display screen. This is more like a Touchscreen Tablet that controls all the Radio, CD audio video functions, Bluetooth connectivity and also acts as the GPS display, along with reverse camera screen when in the mode and drive information display. Just below this screen is the climate control unit with individual control for the middle row too. Below this you have the control buttons to activate the Eco mode and the Power mode (more of this in the drive section later on), next to this you also have the traction On/Off button.
The Crysta will also be having an automatic variant and we have also driven that. The automatic version gets a pattern-type shifter, while the manual shifter comes with a 5-speed shift stick. The automatic variant we drove came with dual tone leather seats in black and dark brown, while there was a hint of the brown upholstery also on the door pads. The manual version came with an all-black leather upholstery. Both the versions get an 8-way full electrically adjustable driver’s seat while the front passenger seat is manually adjustable.
You also have foldable tray holders placed behind the front seats that can be used to place your laptops and tabs while on the move. Front seats are large in size and offer excellent comfort level. Good amount of back support and a lot of under thigh support… is what these seats offer. The front passenger seat also has a knob placed on the top right corner that when pulled can help you slide the seat ahead or pull back as needed while seated on the middle row seat. The dash gets a twin opening glove box with the top one getting cooled access and the lower one getting a lockable feature too.
The middle row seats on the top end Crysta are the two captain type ones with foldable arm rests on them. These seats can be adjusted for reach and back incline as per your comfort and need as come with height adjustable headrests. You also get a neat styled foldable can holder between these seats. These middle row seats get a one touch tumble feature where you just need to use the lever provided on the sides of the seats and the seat tumbles down and folds ahead, allowing access to the third row seats.
The third row seats are now meant for three passengers as Toyota is offering three adjustable headrests on them. This is a 50-50 split seat that also can be folded with real ease when needed. You also can remove the center head rest on this third row seat and place it on the side of the boot area in a specially designated place when not needed.
The roof gets a special blue strip LED glow light that runs around the front reading light and also above the middle row seats on the roof. This mood lighting glow intensity can be increased or reduced as you want it to be. You get tons of storage space spread all around the cabin area and perfectly sized bottle holders on the door pads. You get innovative foldable can holders just in front of the AC vents. This can holder folds back into the dash when not in use and becomes a part of the dashboard.
The Crysta comes with a boot area measuring 300 liters with all the three rows in action. This can be extended upto 900 liters with the 3rd row seats folded and further extended to a mammoth 1800 liters with the middle row also folded up, if and when needed. The boot lid opens wide and the loading/unloading height is not much.
The Innova Crysta gets a very innovative and modern cabin with all the latest gadgets and goodies loaded on it. The quality of the components is good and everything has a nice touch and feel to it. Space is its key USP and the Crysta feels a lot more spacious and comfortable than the older one.
Engine – Transmissions – Suspension – Drive:
While the outgoing Innova was powered by a 2.5-liter 102 PS Diesel engine (2GD-FTV), Toyota has decided to offer not one, but two engine options on the Innova Crysta, along with two transmissions. The Crystas come with a 2.4-liter and a 2.8-liter diesel engines to choose from.
The 2393cc 4-cylinder CRDI Diesel engine makes 150PS at 3,400 RPM and belts out 343 Nm of peak torque between 1,400 – 2,800 RPM. This engine gets mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The top of the line Innova Crysta comes powered by 2755cc 4-cylinder CRDI Diesel engine (1GD-FTV), this engine makes 174 PS at 3,400 RPM and generates 360 Nm of torque between the 1,200 – 3,400rpm and gets mated to an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift. This is for the first time that the Innova gets an automatic transmission option and a 2.8-litre larger capacity engine.
The Innova has always been a bench mark in terms of ride quality and in cabin refinement. The Innova Crysta takes this level further higher. The 2.4L variant feels more fun to drive as you are in control of the shifting, you have a lot of power and torque to play with. The vehicle moves ahead in robust style and confidence. Ride quality is unmatched, you are doing high speeds in excess of 100 kmph, and you don’t realize it till you see the speedometer! The vehicle feels firmly planted at all times. Steering feedback is tuned to the heavier side and rightly so, it now feels a lot more right in size. The drive feel is more inclined like that of a sedan’s.
Clutch feels just rightly weighted and so is its travel. Addition of the push button start/stop ignition adds to the convenience. The gear shifting is precise and good, the long throw shifter feels sturdy and agile to grip and shift with. Gear ratios are nicely spaced out with the 3rd and 4th having the longest ratios. The addition of traction control feature is a welcome one and goes a long way in improving and enhancing the stability and ride on the Innova Crysta. Body roll is a lesser than the older Innova, with this one being more fun to drive and a lot more involving too.
The bigger-engined Innova Crysta, true to its capacity,feels a lot more powerful and has a different engine note as compared to the other one. The pattern shifter feels nice to grip. Shift to the Drive (D) mode and see this beast move ahead calmly. The power buildup is quick and you can instantly make out that this is the bigger-engined version. The gear shifts are a bit slow as compared to maybe a dual clutch auto transmission but the clutchless driving convenience is high.
In traffic conditions driving the automatic version would be a dream come true. The 6-speed transmission shifts smoothly and you can feel the ratios change when you drive in Normal, Eco or Power modes. Power is abundant and tons of torque is at hand. The 2.8L engine does its job in style and smiles all the way through. Handling and drive quality is a lot better than the older Innova. A double wishbone with torsion bar along with 4 link with coil spring does a wonderful job in the suspension department, taking the Innova’s drive quality to the next level.
The Toyota Innova Crysta that we test drove, both in Manual and Automatic, was top of the line `Z’ trim level that comes fully loaded with gadgets and safety equipment. This includes 7 SRS airbags (driver, front passenger, driver knee, front side, curtain shield), height adjustable 3 point ELR seatbelts with pretensioners and force limiters. ABS with EBD & Brake assist, Vehicle stability control, Hill assist, reverse camera with sensors to name a few.
The Innova was easily the game changer for Toyota and become the benchmark for the entire MPV segment when it was launched and even till date no competition has caught up with it. Now with the all new Innova Crysta, Toyota has taken it a level or two higher. They have taken 5 long years in developing this all new MPV, and from what we have seen they used the time perfectly because this is an excellent product from the Japanese car maker. The Innova now gets a lot of style, feels premium, is now a lot more involving and fun to drive! Not forgetting two engine options now made available along with a much needed inclusion of an automatic transmission. This feels like the Rebirth of the Innova that now will become the benchmark for its segment. We hope and know that Toyota will price the Innova Crysta intelligently.
Toyota Innova Crysta Photo Gallery: