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Old 18th November 2005, 19:05   #1
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Default Toyota Innova 1000km report.

I know it's been a long time overdue...so here goes.

After a frantic hunt, to find a suitable family vehicle within 25 days, we finally zeroed in on the Toyota Innova G3 Petrol.

Why a petrol you might think! We'll discuss that later but first, see who else was competing for a place in our garage.

1. Honda CR-V 2.4 M/T
This was probably the one car all of us wanted to go in for but, there were a few issues that made us change our decission. Even though the CR-V is physically bigger than the Innova, it lacks the kind of interior space and seating capacity offered in the Toyota. It's got a 45 day waiting period which meant that we couldn't get it before the 25 day deadline.

2. Tata Safari Dicor
There were many reason why we didn't go in for it. It didn't feel like a car worth 13 lakhs. The build quality was nowhere close to what the CR-V or the Innova had to offer. The driving experience was less than perfect for me and my dad who, for the first time in his life experienced car sickness. We found the engine to be a bit too harsh for our liking.

The steering had play in it, which meant that slight steering changes did nothing to where the car was heading.

3. Hyundai Tuscon
Frankly speaking, i was impressed with the driveablity and the handling on this vehicle. With 314 nm of torque on tap, it felt very light footed even in higher gears. But like the CR-V, lack of space and seating capacity forced us to look else where. In this case we would have even overlooked the diesel engine, had it been an 8 seater.

4. Honda Accord 2.4 M/T
Yup, it was the most impractical car off the lot but, my mom kinda took a liking to it and did consider it for a brief period, until we were reminded of it's waiting period.

5. Toyota Innova 2.5 DIESEL
The toughest competitor to the Petrol Innova. Sales specs show that only 3% of the total number of Innovas sold are Petrols. So the Innova 2.0 stepped inside the ring with a huge disadvantage to begin with. But, as we worked things out, the petrol version began to make more sense by the min. For starters, the price diff between the Innova 2.0 G3 and the Innova 2.5 G3 is around Rs. 65,000, then there's the engine refinement of the VVT-i which the diesel crdi just wasn't able to match. FE wasn't such a big issue as the car wouldn't be doing more than 4kms per day (on an average).

The diesel Innova fails to impress me. How is it that Hyundai are able to extract 314nm and 112bhp from a 2ltr Crdi engine while Toyota could manage just 200nm and 102 bhp from it's much bigger 2.5 ltr Crdi engine? That's one question Toyota still haven't been able to answer.

All said n done, the Innova 2.0 proved to be the better buy off the 2 versions.

LIVING WITH THE INNOVA :
We took delivery of the vehicle on the 25th of September 2005. The vehicle did take some time getting used to (especially in narrow lanes and tight parking spaces). Even though the Innova is just a few inches longer than the Vtec, the visibility is anything but driver friendly. Interestingly, i haven't faced any probems with the turning radius. Th car has made every "U" turn in one go. The steering feels light but has a very good feel at high speeds.

Unlike the Vtec, the Innova performs a lot better at low rpms. The gearing is a little shorter than expected so, the car picks up speed effortlessly (irrespective of what gear you're in).

The ride quality is amazing and the car glides over slightly broken surfaces. The suspension has been tuned for better handling which means that on heavily potholed roads, the limited give in the suspension equates to you being thrown around in the cabin.

But, the best feeling of owning a petrol Innova has to be the kind of response you get, every time you hit the gas station. Off the 200 vehicles the Hubli dealer has sold, only 6 have been petrol versions and off the 35 units sold in Hubli, our's is the only petrol. So, the first time i went and parked the vehicle next to the 91 Octane counter, the pump attendants flocked around the vehicle trying to make sense of the situation. Many off them didn't even know the Innova had a petrol version.

The Innova seems to have impressed my dad a lot. He prefers driving it over the Wagon R, even within city limits. He says he enjoys the feeling of being given the right of way every time he comes face to face with another vehicle on a narrow street (With the Wagon R, every one takes you for granted and you end up spending 40% of your drive in reverse).

The interiors are something you look forward to every time you enter the vehicle. It's so pleasing that even traffic jams don't irritate me anymore.

It's not the most appealing vehicle as far as exterior design goes. I don't like the headlighs they've used on the indian version. That black patch really spoils the look of it.

I'd have preffered lights like these, anyday!



ON THE HIGHWAY :
If you think the innova is good in the city, wait till you take it on the open roads. On our recent trip to M'lore, i got the chance to test the car on all sorts of roads. From the silky smooth sections of the NH63 to the horrible ghat sections that resemble the surface of the moon.

While the car gets a little jittery on bad roads (which can be irritating at times), it comes into it's own on the silky smooth sections. I was able to take turns at 120kmph with ease. The steering is precise and the car responds well to slight changes in steering angle.

I wasn't very happy with the road holding of the stock 205mm Bridgestone tyres. A 225mm upgrade is something i'm looking forward to.

A stiffer suspension setup makes sure the body doesn't roll to an extent where you might start complaining about it. The shorter ratios again, are a great help when one needs to overtake in higher gears.

On the down side, the engine revvs at 3000 rpm at 105 kmph in 5th which isn't what i'd call a comfortable cruising rpm. It could have done with a slightly taller final drive or maybe have a 6th cog, designed specifically for cruising.

I feel the gearbox could have been a little more slick. I don't really fancy changing gears in this car. The ideal way to drive it is to shift into 5th asap and stay there for as long as the engine allows you to.

Inspite of all that, with 3 people onboard, A/C, luggage and crusing speeds hovering between 80 and 120kmph, we got 12.3 kmpl. As the engine runs in, i'm sure i can get that figure upto 13 kmpl. Good enuf to challenge some of the lighter cars, what say?

On the whole, it's been an interesting and rewarding experience. Many suggested that we go in for the diesel option but, we know we've made the right choice as the diesel wouldn't have impressed us as much as this one has.

PS: Getting back to the Vtec after a week with the Innova was similar to how one would feel.............. if he was to drive a Porsche Cayenne for a week and then jump into an F40. LOL

INNOVA 2.0 G3
Price - 9.37 lakhs (OTR)


Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 19th November 2005 at 13:36.
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Old 18th November 2005, 20:24   #2
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Hey Shan2nu good report
Good choice on going for petrol as 4km/day won't make much sence going for Diesel
It also kinda gives an "exculsive" feel being very few to own petrol version
just be careful thoguh when giving car to driver for filling fuel, he might end up filling diesel

Just a question

Any specific reason for going for SUV/MUV category for family vechical?
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Old 18th November 2005, 20:26   #3
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good review...i was waiting for something like this...my running is a lot...so i would have the diesel which isnt too bad, yeah the looks are a bit bland...but still looks the best among competing MUVs. BTW thats pretty good FE for a petrol especially considering the bulk.

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Old 18th November 2005, 20:33   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu
Inspite of all that, with 3 people onboard, A/C, luggage and crusing speeds hovering between 80 and 120kmph, we got 12.3 kmpl. As the engine runs in, i'm sure i can get that figure upto 13 kmpl.
Nicely written Shan2nu. How much did you get in the city ?
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Old 18th November 2005, 20:43   #5
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Quote:
Any specific reason for going for SUV/MUV category for family vechical?
Luggage space and seating capacity.

Quote:
How much did you get in the city ?
Havn't checked yet.

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Old 18th November 2005, 22:11   #6
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That's a good review and after reading it i started realizing how practical the petrol Innova is and it is surprising to see that it gives so good FE.
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Old 18th November 2005, 22:20   #7
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Great review Shan2nu...Every detail well expressed.

Those mileage figures are astounding!!!

I had heard that the ride quality was a bit stiff but you have attended that issue befittingly. Im sure after one get used to the size and balance of the car they will love it,,,its a Toyota Goddamn it!!!
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Old 18th November 2005, 22:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu
The diesel Innova fails to impress me. How is it that Hyundai are able to extract 314nm and 112bhp from a 2ltr Crdi engine while Toyota could manage just 200nm and 102 bhp from it's much bigger 2.5 ltr Crdi engine
Indeed its baffling....I didn't think it would be such a big diff. Does the Innova have 16V or an intercooler?
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Old 18th November 2005, 23:59   #9
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Good review Shan2nu.
I like the innova quite a bit except these 3 things -
The blackened indicators in the head lamps. The Malaysian version looks way better.
The bumpers have a matt finish while the body a metallic finish which makes the car look like it has had an accident and a cheap repair job has been carried out.
The black, top layer of the Interior. The plastic quality is horrible for such an expensive car. Also the a.c. rotary dials don't do justcie to thecar the way a climate control would.
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Old 19th November 2005, 00:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
Indeed its baffling....I didn't think it would be such a big diff. Does the Innova have 16V or an intercooler?
Maybe Toyota just detuned the engine for the sake of reliability and NVH. BTW, what colour is your car?
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Old 19th November 2005, 00:33   #11
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Quote:
BTW, what colour is your car?
It's Metallic Silver.
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Old 19th November 2005, 10:54   #12
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Shantanu,

I have said this before : You are a lucky man since you now have two Vtecs!! And variable timing is the ONLY thing in your garage.

Well, Good choice buttttttttttttttt I honestly feel that you should have gone with the diesel :

1. Diesels have more torque lower down. And that helps when chugging along highways with 7 people on board.

2. Depreciation. Whatever petrol Qualis' are there sell for about 50% of the price of Diesel Qualis' in the used car market.

3. MUV = Highway touring. The diesel powerplant will be better adapted to highway fuel adulteration than the petrol Vvti.

4. MUV = Diesel = Character.

Thats just my opinion. If you are happy with the petrol option, thats what counts.

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Old 19th November 2005, 12:52   #13
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Quote:
1. Diesels have more torque lower down. And that helps when chugging along highways with 7 people on board.
With a diff of just 18nm between the diesel and the petrol, it really isn't worth paying the extra 65K, sacrificing refinement and top end performance.

Like i've said, had the Tucson come with a 8 seater variant, we'd have picked it up. 314nm is what i call "Lugging Power".

U should know better, you've got 340nm at your service. hehe

Quote:
3. MUV = Highway touring. The diesel powerplant will be better adapted to highway fuel adulteration than the petrol Vvti.
With a highway average of 12.3 kmpl the Innova 2.0 has a range of 676.5 kms. I can't think of any place in this part of the country where you maynot find 2 reliable pumps within that range.

Quote:
4. MUV = Diesel = Character.
In today's world, when poeple are thinking of electric sports cars and hybrid supercars. A petrol MUV shouldn't be much of a problem.

The main problem is that the Innova 2.5 doesn't do justice to the diesel tag on it.

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Old 19th January 2006, 12:16   #14
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Default Got my Innova petrol too

Shantanu

I got delivery of my Innova G3 VVTI petrol last week and joined your gang. Enjoying it every bit and very happy I did not go for the hype and settled for a petrol that fits MY requirements better.

Quick question: when you switch on the engine from idle, the engine makes a roaring noise before settling down. Is that normal?

Regards
Manish
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Old 7th February 2006, 13:46   #15
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hey, I need to ask what would be mileage for diesel. I am planning to sell my NHC gxi and take the innova diesel. I generally tour a lot. So, I need a diesel car. just wanted to know mileage part of it and highway handling.
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