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Old 17th June 2016, 11:55   #1
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Default Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

The Toyota Innova Crysta has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 13.84 - 20.78 lakhs (ex-Mumbai).

What you'll like:

• Indestructible build & durability. The Innova is known for its bullet-proof reliability
• Spacious, flexible & practical cabin. An extremely comfortable long distance commuter
• Upmarket interiors. The ZX AT variant is very plush
• Powerful diesel engines with user-selectable driving modes
• Balanced suspension & road manners. High speed stability is rock solid
• Top-notch safety kit. 7 airbags, ABS, ESP, TC, Isofix & 3-point seatbelts for all
• Feature packed! Leather seats, LED headlamps, mood lighting, cruise control & lots more
• Toyota's excellent after-sales service and fuss-free ownership experiences

What you won't:

• Hefty price tag! 2 - 3 lakhs higher than the already expensive ol' Innova
• Top ZX variant is unavailable with a middle-row bench seat (8 seater)
• Lower variant's interior looks too basic. GX doesn't even get a stereo!
• 2.8's single-digit urban fuel economy due to the hefty kerb weight, engine size and AT
• 2.4's NVH package still has holes to fill (engine clatter, dancing gear lever)
• Heavy steering at parking / low speeds. Can get cumbersome in the city
• Poor sound quality from the ICE. Cheap speakers beg for an upgrade
• Short service interval of merely 5,000 km. Inconvenient for those with high usage

This review has been jointly compiled with Rehaan. Thanks to him for the expert observations & photography!

Last edited by GTO : 17th June 2016 at 13:05.
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Old 17th June 2016, 11:59   #3
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Exterior



How many times in the Indian market have you seen a car being discontinued, while it is still:

• The benchmark ride of the segment
• Garnering healthy sales numbers
• Hugely profitable (old model + steep price tag)

Not too often. Yet, Toyota has done this not once, but twice. The first instance was with the Qualis being discontinued a decade ago, and now it's the Innova's turn. Frankly, it just makes a whole lot of business sense to sell the old Innova as a cab (e.g. Dzire Tour) and position the new Innova Crysta for the private sector. Nope, Toyota's global policies won't allow it. Some of Toyota's Indian managers mustn't be happy with that decision.

The outgoing Innova sure had a long run...of 11 years no less! But that's typical of this segment. Body-on-frame UVs enjoy a long shelf life in India. The 15 & 20 year old Scorpio & Safari are still on sale, as is the decades-old Bolero. Although all of them have been heavily updated over the years, there's no denying their age. Even higher up the segment, 20+ lakh SUVs like the Endeavour & Fortuner have 10 year long shelf lives. Ironically, this isn't the case with cheaper hatchbacks and sedans which see all-new generations every 5 -6 years. Case in point = Toyota's own Corolla. In the time that the Innova has been on sale since 2005, we've seen THREE different Corolla generations.

The nicest version of the ol' Innova:


And the worst! Toyota shouldn't try their hand at flamboyance as their design teams don't have the 'taste':


Make no mistake, this is Toyota's bread and butter model. The Innova has gotten increasingly expensive over the years and the top-variants cost almost 2 million rupees on the road in Mumbai. Still, it had no effect on sales. In 2015, the last full year of production, the outgoing Innova sold 60,529 units! What makes the country swear by the Innova? Surely the all-rounded nature of the product, including the space, sorted road manners and quality. Then, there's also the sheer durability. We have seen innumerable examples running reliably with 3 - 4 lakh km on the odometer. Moderator Rehaan's Innova has covered 1.7 lakh km and is still a daily driver! His father is only willing to replace it with - you guessed it - another Innova. That's the kind of brand value we are talking about; owners swear by the car.

Obviously, a key market for the Innova Crysta will be the existing pool of Innova owners. After all, there's no other MPV they can 'upgrade' to, irrespective of whether it's a private owner or commercial. With over 5 lakh copies sold, it's a good base for the Innova Crysta to start on.

The 2016 Innova Crysta is the 6th-generation Kijang, as it is called in other parts of Asia (view all 6 generations here). BHPian Tharian was the first to spot the Innova Crysta being tested in India back in July 2014 (link to thread). BHPian rajeshsundaram then traced out sketches which look a lot like the final product (link to post).

The name Crysta is derived from crystal. Calling it the 'Innova Crysta' is an effective way of differentiating the new car from the outgoing one; however, a downside is that the suffix becomes a sticky! See how the 11th-gen Corolla also carried forward the Altis suffix that was brought on to separate the 10th gen from the 9th. Trivia: The name 'Innova Crysta' was used earlier for a limited edition in 2011 (link to post).

With the higher variants (not the lower trims) of the 6th-generation, Toyota has taken the Innova upmarket & how! The MPV definitely looks premium now and even makes the Fortuner appear outdated (which it is). The styling is new and the engines are more powerful, but it's really the interiors that take the biggest leap ahead. The first time I sat inside the car, I told Toyota 'it's the interiors that will sell your car". An Innova with all this equipment, kit and automatic gearbox has a wider appeal. Premium customers love their ATs - the Fortuner offered it, but the older Innova didn't. Not the case anymore. Without doubt, the new Innova will cannibalise Fortuner sales in a way not seen before (including the next-gen Fortuner). And the segment expansion isn't limited to just premium SUVs. The basic & spartan nature of the old Innova meant no one would cross-shop it with D1 & D2 segment sedans. I can guarantee you that the Innova Crysta & cars like the Jetta / Octavia / Superb will be on the consideration list of the same customer. Fact is, the 2.8L ZX AT variant is a proper luxury car. A relative has booked the ZX AT as a replacement for his 5 year old Skoda Superb - you'd never see this with the older Innova.

The 2.4L by itself is a powerful engine, yet giving a bigger 2.8L diesel to the AT is a welcome way of differentiating the slushbox variant. It'll make the private AT buyer feel like he's got the more premium product than the taxi next to him. This is also why only the ZX AT gets those awesome brown + black interiors (even ZX MT gets an all-black cabin). No taxi chap would buy an AT, especially not with that price tag & lower fuel efficiency. Cabbies can stick to their 2.4L MT, while the premium customer will be happy with his 2.8L AT. Just as well, because the price difference between the base G MT & ZX AT is a whopping 7 lakhs!

Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-toyota-innova-crysta-price-specifications.png

Speaking of engines, I must say that Toyota's turtle-slow response times are deplorable. As of date, the Innova Crysta isn't on sale in the Delhi NCR region as 2.0+ liter engines are banned (related thread). Matters have gotten so bad that up to 40% of their dealer network's sales staff has quit (related news). This ban has been in place since December, giving Toyota 5 full months to prepare! But the Japanese giant has nothing to show for it. Forget preparing a sub-2 liter diesel, why is the petrol engine not offered yet? It's a simple plug & play for Toyota India as the engine is ready for use (it's already on sale in other countries). Compare that to Mahindra which downsized the Scorpio & XUV500 engines to a sub-2 liter size and launched them with lightning speed. This is simply not done. Toyota showrooms in the Delhi NCR region can't expect to showcase an Innova Crysta until later in 2016 when the petrol arrives. Lest we forget, the last-gen Innova was once available with a petrol motor. It was a market dud, yet the few people who bought an Innova petrol were satisfied with it (unlike say, the Scorpio petrol which left a lot of customers in misery). Search through Team-BHP and you'll see some old ownership reports of the petrol.

The Innova Crysta continues with the tough body-on-frame construction that its predecessor also used. As we know, body-on-frame UVs are generally more robust, albeit they come with the penalty of weight & driving experience. The Innova Crysta's wheelbase of 2,750 mm is identical to that of the previous Innova and Fortuner. Toyota insists that it's an all-new chassis underneath. However, I don't think so; rather, this might be a heavily reworked version of the old chassis. Leaving aside the fact that the wheelbase is the same, look at the vehicle from the side. The silhouette, positioning of the pillars, boot space (even with seats folded) etc. are all the same. This is definitely NOT an all-new platform.



Walk up to the Innova and the first thing you'll notice is its sheer presence. The Innova Crysta looks a lot more substantial than the outgoing car. While the size gives it street cred, the new styling is also a contributor. The face does look imposing and is very similar to the Toyota Highlander SUV (related link). It is surely sharp & contemporary, although unappealing to my conservative tastes. I prefer cleaner designs. The 'bearded look' from the lower grille is what takes it away. Nevertheless, the design is a blockbuster hit with the masses. Most people who encountered the Innova Crysta during our review drive loved it. Those big headlamps (with projectors & LEDs), dual-chrome grille & massive lower air-dam grab eyeballs. Move over to the side and there's no escaping the MPV body style. It may be bigger, contemporary and more dressed up, but it is still a van and looks just like one. The front overhang is quite ungainly when you view the vehicle from the side. Take your eyes to the sharply cut rear quarter glass and you'll witness a rare moment when Toyota prioritised form over function. The Innova Crysta's rear is clean, with the only unique detailing being the vertical turn indicators. After seeing them in person, I actually loved them and think that the vertical blinkers are a sweet design touch.

The panel gaps are tight and pretty much uniform all through. If you go hunting for it, you might find a small discrepancy, but nothing that would stand out as such. The build quality feels extremely robust - the Innova feels solidly put together, even when you're driving it. Lift the bonnet and it's so heavy that you'll curse Toyota for not giving gas struts on it. With a starting kerb weight of 1,805 kg (1,870 for ZX AT), the Innova Crysta is ~130 kilos heftier than its predecessor and certainly feels it. On the flip side, the sheet metal of the doors is too thin. Press it lightly with your thumb and you'll see the metal flex!!! Remember how owners of the previous-gen Innova complained about the car getting dinged easily? It'll be the same case with the Innova Crysta. Lastly, while the paint is very lustrous & shiny, the orange peel effect is way too evident (especially on the dark maroon shade). I've illustrated this problem in a picture below.

In terms of safety, the Innova is perhaps among the safest ways to travel for 2 million rupees. Toyota is a manufacturer that takes safety seriously (evidenced here). I give Toyota a pat on the back for the driver knee airbag that is standard across the range, along with dual front airbags, ABS and EBD. So many Mercedes, BMW & Audi models don't offer a knee airbag! All variants get rear parking sensors, 3-point seatbelts for everyone onboard and 2 ISOFIX-ready seats for the little ones. The ZX variant takes safety up another level with 7 airbags, VSC / ESP & hill start assist. In the ASEAN NCAP, the Indonesia-built Innova Crysta with ESP scored a full 5 stars on safety (variants without ESP got 4 stars). Just the kind of 'tank' you want to be driving on our merciless highways. This level of safety kit is also an indicator of how market dynamics & customer preferences are changing. Don't forget, the same Toyota had launched the Camry with merely 2 airbags in 2012.

What gets my goat though are the cheaper drum brakes at the rear. In a car as safe & expensive, why hasn't Toyota given disc brakes at the back? Considering how much time Innovas spend on the highway, all-wheel disc brakes would have been much preferred. Note: as mentioned later in the engine post, the brakes still work competently.

The variants are spread out wide with a whopping 7 lakh rupee difference (enough to buy an Ertiga LXi) between the base MT & top-of-the-line AT. That the base variant gets a rear air-con & captain seat variant should keep cabbies happy. On the other hand, the GX variant (which costs 17 lakhs on the road) has awfully basic interiors. Take a look at its pictures in this post. Certainly not a cabin befitting a 17 lakh price tag! Further, I do feel that Toyota should have offered the AT in the VX variant. The VX is so much superior to the GX! Hope this is corrected sooner rather than later.

Sharp & contemporary face is the design's highlight. Looks very imposing in person. Doesn't appeal to my conservative tastes though. Will surely divide opinion:


Clean rear with big tail-lamps. I love those vertical indicators and think they are a sweet styling touch. I also like how the bumper's height - in the middle area - is short (vis a vis the bulky ones we see these days). With the enhanced power on tap, other MPVs will be seeing its rear more often than the front:


Might be longer, might be modern, might be all dressed up, but she's still a van. No escaping that fact. Mercedes Ponton-like rear quarter panel (image link) - was there on the old Innova too:


Tough, precise build means a l-o-n-g life. Toyota body-on-frame diesels are known to outlast their owners. The brand equity enjoyed by this car is phenomenal:


Rear 3-quarter view. Don't miss that sharp cut on the quarter glass. Looks stylish, but it reduces the glass area for 3rd-row occupants (compare to old Innova). Relatively flat wheel arches - Toyota has saved the flared effect for its macho Fortuner:


Massive headlamps with LED projectors for the low beam and halogens for high beam. See how the radiator grille's chrome slats continue inside the headlamp. When you operate the flasher, the low + high beam (both) fire up. It's BRIGHT & intimidating. Use the flasher from the driver's seat and you'll see the white projector lighting up a brief moment before the yellow halogen:


Beautiful jewel-like LED arrangement functions as the pilot lamp (not DRL). There is a problem though - these are on the inside. Many fools drive with just the pilot lamps at night. To oncoming traffic, that'll give the wrong impression about the car's width. Remember, always drive with your low beams on, no matter what car you're in :


A top view of how the headlamps curve out of the bonnet, but are in line with the bumper:


Turn indicators are neatly integrated into the foglamp's housing, with the latter getting a chrome surround:


Lateral view of how they jut out:


Twin-slat chrome look with a massive air-dam below in shiny black plastic. I don't like how the air-dam tapers out and becomes so wide! Number plate housing is integrated on it:


Big T at the front. Check out the smart detailing on the black background:


A light crease on the bonnet. The wipers are extremely sculpted and the one on the driver's side is a lot longer. Both of them are split into 3 pieces to allow the blade to flex more (superior sweep). Washers are...


...hidden underneath. A washer on both sides and 3 water jets from each. The jets aren't very powerful and don't go as high as expected, but they get the job done:


Two solar / sunlight sensors on the dashboard. One is used by the climate control system, the other by the 'auto headlamps':


Uniform panel gaps for the most part:


Front quarter glass at the A-pillar's base, just like the ol' Innova. LHS one aids driver visibility:


Aero flaps at the front only. Cars like the Hyundai Creta use them at the rear too:


Very ugly. Naked wheel wells don't have the kind of insulation you'd expect at this price point. Drive over a gravelly road and you'll hear stones & pebbles hitting against the bare metal:


Rear wheel well is also naked. To make matters worse...


...the white / ivory colour contrasts with dark body shades and looks terrible!


215/55 tyres on 17" rims which wear a neutral design. Lower variants have 205/65 R16 shoes (check out the 16" rim design in Sankar's post). Both are a step up from the older Innova & its 15" rims. While the 17" size looks really neat, personally, I'd prefer 15 or 16 inch wheels on an MPV. Reason = taller sidewall = superior ride quality + wheel is less prone to damage on broken roads. Even with the Innova Crysta, the lower variant should be riding noticeably better than the top-end, thanks to an enhanced sidewall height of 15 mm. This pic is of the rear wheel - look at that drum brake inside! On a car as safe & expensive, all-wheel discs ought to be standard:


Dual-tone chrome & black ORVMs with integrated blinkers. See the fin on its mounting panel? Toyota says it's there for aerodynamic reasons (two similar fins are there on the tail-lamp as well). Click here to see an explanatory image shared by Toyota:


ORVMs house useful puddle lamps underneath!


Door handles are long & dipped in chrome, just like the outgoing Innova's (image link). Nice touch - even the request sensors are matched in chrome (the request sensor is usually black). Yes, there's a request sensor on the passenger's side as well:


Unfortunately, the door's sheet metal is still thin (a common complaint with all Innova owners). Press it with your thumb and it'll easily flex. Like the old Innova, even this car will ding easily:


Zooming in on the rear panel's paint to illustrate its orange peel effect. Way too evident, not cool Toyota!


The B-pillars are blackened, but not via stickers or paint. A more expensive solution has been used here. It's a slightly textured plastic which gives out a matte look. Chrome line on the window base is only on higher variants:


Ribbed roof for added structural integrity:


Spoiler is well-integrated and fits into the main design, unlike the older Innova where it seemed like an afterthought (reference image):


Rear-mounted sharkfin antenna. IMHO, doesn't suit the character of this car. Still, a lot better than the old Innova's pull-out antenna (image link):


Big tail-lamps with the indicator uniquely positioned below. I loved the vertically-arranged blinkers and think that it's a sweet design touch. At this price though, I'd expect LEDs to be used instead of regular bulbs! LEDs would last longer too. Today, sub-10 lakh hatchbacks have started wearing LED tail-lamps:


How the tail-lamps jut out. Don't miss the 2 aero fins I spoke of earlier:


Nice & thick exhaust pipe visible at the rear, as is the tow hook & spare tyre. 4 parking sensors (two additional ones at the corners) would be preferred at this price point, instead of just 2 in the middle. Having parking sensors toward the bumper corners would detect obstructions on the side in a better manner:


Rear washer is completely hidden from view (it's on the inside edge of the spoiler). Good that all variants have it since the rear windscreen gets really dirty in MUVs. HMSL is white with red LEDs (some cars have it the other way around):


Rear camera is very accurate! It's tucked away above the numberplate (on the left). In a car as long, you're going to need it:


Electromagnetic boot release button on the left with the 'lock' button on the right. With the smartkey in your pocket, simply press the boot release and the tail will open. Once done, press the round 'lock' button to secure the vehicle. Be sure to lock it this way, else the cabin will be accessible to anyone:


Wait anywhere with the air-con running and the Innova's derrière starts peeing like a puppy:


Reason = the rear air-con's AHU is here. The 'Air Handling Unit' consists of a blower and second small evaporator core:


All-black underbody looks clean & sturdy. Spare is mounted under the vehicle. All variants get a full-size alloy spare wheel . That chain is loose, but you don't hear it banging against the wheel inside. No mudflaps, not even tiny ones:


55 liter fuel tank (same as older Innova) is oddly shaped. Would've preferred a 60+ liter tank on a highway express:


Innova uses a superior double-wishbone suspension at the front:


Everything looks & feels incredibly robust - built for abuse. Engine doesn't get a full underbody plate, yet there is adequate protection here. Official ground clearance rating is merely 167 mm, but don't be misled by that. Toyota has artificially kept it low just as Mahindra did with the XUV500 @ 160 mm. Reason? They save 3% excise duty (27% vs 30% for big UVs with 170 mm of GC). 3% on a 15 lakh car is Rs. 45,000! I put the Innova Crysta through some mild offroading and she didn't scrape anywhere:


Just look at that overhang! We're told that the new front end is a lot safer (in the area of pedestrian safety too). Bigger rims of the 2016 Innova have an advantage in the aesthetics department, although the old car's 15" size offers superior ride comfort & durability:


Only event where the pilot & support cars are the same model! In the background are all the Innovas that accompanied us as camera cars on the review drive. Their drivers were salivating over the Crysta like you wouldn't believe. This is a cabbie's wet dream:


Both engines are strong performers (especially in 'power' mode). The line between MUVs & SUVs is getting blurred. The Innova Crysta can fight 30 - 40 lakh SUVs in every area, except offroadability:


A look at the cutaway that was on display at the Auto Expo. Gives a proper view & feel of the cabin. Observe how much higher the rear seat is placed. Its under-thigh support is good:

Last edited by GTO : 17th August 2016 at 11:36. Reason: Correction - AHU, not condensor
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Old 17th June 2016, 11:59   #4
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Interior - Front

Ingress & egress at the front are easy, just walk in and sit (rear isn't as easy due to the higher seats). First thing after sitting inside, I told Toyota "it's the interiors that will sell the new Innova". This is the single biggest area of improvement. The ambience is very D-segment sedan-like. No more like a utilitarian truck, the Crysta is like 2 generations ahead of the older car in this department.

It's an expansive greenhouse. There is a lot of light coming in, and you have a great view of the world outside. Even though the interiors are dark coloured, the cabin doesn't feel claustrophobic at all. Smartly, the upper half of the cabin (including the pillars) is in light grey, which helps to keep things...lighter.

The layered dash of the ZX looks just wow, while the silver strip running across it is a single piece, we're told. I especially loved the AT variant's black & brown interiors. The brown is incredibly classy - whoever chose it has good taste (MT gets all-black interiors). The piano black panels have also been tastefully applied. Although the cabin has a lot of elements, functions & parts, it doesn't look asymmetric like Honda's modern dashboards do. This is a good looking fascia.

All plastics are hard - no soft touch premiumness in here - yet the quality is acceptable. Some surfaces are nice, like the matte plastic around the climate control area. Equally, those on the lower part of the cabin are economy grade. As an example, the plastics of the glovebox feel mediocre in a 20 lakh car. What really helps the interiors is the leather quality, suede-like fabric on the doors, wood panelling & piano black inserts. These greatly enhance the ambience. The sunvisors are clad in premium fabric on both sides and feel really rich. Each & every button is sweet to use (exception being the ORVM adjustment knob). Some buttons, like the ones on the cabin lamp console, are soft to operate. The buttons on the steering wheel & climate control feel top class as well.

The interiors have been screwed together with absolute perfection. Nothing moves or shakes and nothing is loose. 'Built to last' is the term that comes to mind. What's more, the cabin is very practical. It offers sorted ergonomics, space, lots of storage and many likeable features. You'll be at home within minutes of stepping inside this user-friendly cabin:


It's a nice & tall driving position if you crank the seat up high. Short drivers however, will find the dash to be too top-heavy in front of them. Just look at that upward curve ahead of the driver! In the lower variants without the seat height adjustment, short drivers might face an issue. Be sure to test the visibility thoroughly before signing on the dotted line. The front passenger has a lower dash area in front of him and therefore, enjoys a superior view of the road. Lateral vision is healthy as the window line is low enough and the glass area is big:


The dashboard runs really long. The sheer length from where it starts to the windscreen is huge! Check out the expansive surface area on top:


Sexy steering wheel is among Toyota's best designs yet. It's chunky to hold and just the right size, with contours for your thumbs too. Wooden finish on top offers sufficient grip (it isn't slippery). On the flip side, the leather cladding is rock hard. I would've preferred softer material. Hornpad is light to press and when you honk, you'll hear that familiar Innova horn:


Steering-mounted buttons are well sized (including the fonts). Notice the voice command button. 'Mute' has been provided on the steering wheel, although it's a major fail in terms of usability. Having any long-press button on a steering isn't cool and Toyota should've known better. You have to long press it to mute & unmute (should have been a short press instead). When you mute, the track is paused. A confirmation beep is provided when you stop & resume:


Play with the MID using the buttons on the RHS. 4-way scrolling and back button make things easy. On the bottom right is a customisable shortcut key. You can set it to quickly access whatever MID screen / feature you use the most. Innovative:


No paddle shifters behind the steering, but you do get cruise control. I personally don't think it's of any use in India, yet I'm aware that some BHPians are fans of the feature. To them, the AT + cruise control combination might be tempting:


Zooming in to show you the pattern of the wood finish & white stitching:


The steering offers tilt & telescopic adjustment. Sadly, both have a limited range. While the tilt adjustment will still suit 99% of drivers, the telescopic adjustment isn't enough. 6 footers and those with a laidback driving position will wish that the steering came out more. It wasn't enough for my driving position; as a result, I had to stretch my hands out a bit to hold the steering:


Sweet looking instruments! Easy to read because of the illumination and prominent markings. Even under bright sunlight with my sunglasses on, I only needed to glance at them once:


Dials have a 3D effect. The circle pops out by 1/2 or 1/3rd of an inch, the centre area is concave and the dashes corresponding to the numbers are convex (going in towards the centre):


The 4.2" colour MID. In this image is all the data shown on the 1st information screen (accessible as you scroll down the 1st screen). Temperature, real time & average fuel economy (former shown graphically here), distance to empty counter and average speed. The graphical 'Eco indicator' & 'Eco score' are unique! Some of us are obsessed with 0 - 100 times; others are passionate about FE. The latter will love these meters. Not only does your driving style get an 'Eco Score', the system also rates you on starts (easy acceleration), cruising and braking (hard braking is a no-no). See the Rupee symbol in the bottom right image? It tells you how many bucks you saved! Above that, the MID shows the km/l gain in Eco:


Scroll to the right and you'll see a digital compass (also shows street name at the bottom), music screen (can choose source) & warning messages. Phone call & cruise control info is displayed on the MID as well:


The settings only have to do with the MID; nothing vehicle specific (e.g. auto-locking doors) or for the lights. You can switch ECO on or off, set your favourite screen (shortcut button on the steering) and customise Trip Meter A (how values are displayed & calculated):


You can also individually customise Trip Meter B! Next, choose whether navigation & phone prompts come up on the MID, select the colour theme (same options are available on the audio head-unit) and enter the fuel price & normal FE (against which ECO gains are calculated):


Thick stalks give positive feedback and are great to use. Innova Crysta has auto headlamps which work like a charm. At this price, I would've expected auto rain-sensing wipers too:


The chrome-ringed engine start button. Plastic panel covering the lower variant's regular ignition switch has a protrusion that looks ugly:


All 4 of the front air vents are big and all 4 are differently shaped! No individual air volume control, though you can close them. This one on the rightmost side needs to be slid to the right to be shut; the other 3 need to be slid to the left:


Small wooden insert on the RHS too. Classy pattern:


Two dummies with the parking sensor on/off button in between. Flip-up levers for the bonnet & fuel lid:


Front doors open & close in a triple stage action. They shut more solidly than the older Innova's. Once the doors are closed, you'll realise that cabin insulation from the sounds outside is impressive. Low belt line means big window and excellent lateral visibility. You can comfortably rest your arm on the top of the doorpad, if you prefer a higher position. It's wide enough, unlike most other cars which have a thin top area. Alternatively...


...you can rest it on the main armrest clad in this fabulous suede-like fabric. Material feels r-i-c-h:


Attention to detail = the power window console tilts inward for easier access + visibility. All 4 windows get auto up & down with anti-pinch (we tried!). Buttons are illuminated too. You do get electrically-foldable mirrors, but they don't auto-fold when you lock / unlock the car. I'm shocked that Toyota could miss a feature as important & as simple to activate!!


Chrome door handles. In true Innova tradition, even these feel like they'll last 20 years. Attention to detail again = only the driver can pull on this door handle once to unlock & open his door. Passengers have to go through two steps - first pull the black unlock switch, then the door handle to open. Excellent implementation. In this image, check out the piano black insert:


Accommodating, partitioned door pockets. They are wide enough for you to put your hand in and pick a coin from the base. Thirsty?


Three 1-liter bottles are an easy fit! Toyota says that the Innova Crysta can hold 20 water bottles in all:


Comfy leather seats are awesome! They're very clearly inspired by European luxury cars and offer A+ support (including lateral & back support). As with many cars, the seat surface (which comes in contact with the occupant when seated) is genuine leather, while the seat sides are synthetic / fake leather. Compound is on the firmer side, which is good for long distance touring. This seat is one of the best among MPVs & SUVs. The neck restraints are angled a little forward, so while driving, you can easily rest your head without having to tilt it back. Notice how the seats are brown and their sides are black. A tasteful contrast.

The cabin has sufficient width, thus two hefty passengers sitting side by side won't be elbowing each other. Headroom at the front is generous; our turban-wearing friends will appreciate that:


8-way electric adjustment. Nothing for lumbar support though. Height adjustment has a healthy range - you can go from really low seating to a tall UV-like position.

On the downside, the seat doesn’t slide as far back as 6+ footers would prefer. Toyota must have restricted this to show rear seat legroom. When the seat height was cranked up to a medium level, it didn't slide as much behind as I'd prefer. Only solution was to lower the seat as it moves back & front with changes in the height adjustment. Even in the front passenger's seat, a 6 footer won't be able to completely stretch his legs:


Not only can you raise the height, you can also tilt the seatbase for enhanced under-thigh support. Made a big difference to me. Here it is in normal position...


...and with beefed up under-thigh support:


Zooming in to show you the two stitching lines on the side:


The driver armrest is clad in soft leather with white stitching. Unfortunately, it isn’t adjustable. Height-wise it is still okay, but the lack of fore & aft adjustment means that shorter drivers will find it useless. Only tall drivers who sit with their seat pushed back will rest their arm on it. Because the armrest is positioned behind, the gap to the gear lever is considerable. You'll have to lift your hand to operate the gear shifter:


Seatbelts are adjustable for height. They get pretensioners & load limiters:


The footwell is wide enough and the dead pedal is huge! Dead pedal is positioned perfectly and might even accommodate size 14 shoes! Not every day that we see such a long & wide dead pedal. On the passenger's side too, the footwell is really wide. Note: The MT variant has a lame duck of a dead pedal (check it out here):


Wide ORVMs offer an excellent view of the happenings behind. Even though they're not as tall as that of the older Innova (which was kind of a wasted space at the top & bottom), these are practical. Additionally, the range of adjustment is wide enough to support short as well as tall drivers:


IRVM is standard-fare. Big rear headrests do hamper visibility. What you will detest is the lack of an auto-dimming function - this in a 20 lakh car!! Yes, you'll have to manually flip the dimming switch at night:


Rearward view is typical SUV / MUV types. Gets worse if the 3rd row headrests are pulled up. Angled rear quarter glasses further take away some parking view. Drivers will depend on the reversing camera & parking sensors:


The center fascia. Big gaping hole at the bottom does look weird. The ICE has been covered in a separate post below, yet I can tell you now that sound quality is poor for such an expensive car. I'll give it a 5/10. Audio quality is comparable to that of budget hatchbacks:


Powerful air-con kept the cabin cool even when the outside temperature was 42 degrees! I don't know what the designers were thinking when they made this climate control panel point skyward! I'm 5'10" and still had to bend forward to check out the buttons. Seriously, the panel is positioned for someone sitting on the roof! Then, on a sunny day, you won't be able to read the display at all because of the way it's angled. The head-unit's display was visible, but the climate control display wasn't at all.

The Innova Crysta has a feature named 'cool start'. If you start the air-con after the vehicle was parked under the hot sun, it won't blow hot air on you. The system will take a couple of seconds before blowing air and will do so only when the air has been cooled. By default, the climate control starts in recirculation mode.

The blower's sound is controlled up to level 4. At level 5, it's audible. On 6 & 7, things get loud:


Rear air-con button neatly integrated onto the blower knob. Press in the centre to activate the rear a/c. Rear passengers aren't dependent on those at the front though; they can start their air-con independently from the back. In this image, you can also see the classy small chrome bits on the side of the knob:


Wicked! The small LEDs on top of the air-con buttons have a knurled texture:


On the center fascia are the buttons to activate the 'Eco' & 'Power' driving modes. If you've selected ECO, the setting is retained after restarting the car (not the case with PWR). Quite silly that the yellow 'passenger airbag on' light is permanently activated. Instead, only the 'airbag off' light should come on (whenever it's deactivated). Press the button on the right to switch off traction control; long-press it to switch off ESP as well (confirmation is provided on the instrument cluster). Unless you are starting off on an icy road, you shouldn't ever switch traction control off:


2 cubicles ahead of the gear lever - the left one has a higher floor and a slope, making it easier to pick up coins. Right one is deeper. Ahead of them is a practical storage area where a couple of smartphones will easily fit in (S6 Edge placed to show the relative size). 12v power socket right above:


Bird's eye view of the handbrake area with a single cup / bottle holder. The handbrake is very smooth and easy to engage, unlike your typical Utility Vehicle. Its base is clad in leather with white stitching:


Under the driver's armrest is a fairly accommodating storage box with a carpeted base:


Right behind is a smartphone holder (see it in action here). The AUX & USB ports are next to it, while a 12v power socket is at the floor level (behind). This rubber flap (covering the ports) is rich feeling:


Thick A-pillar on the driver's side can cause blind spots around corners, so take care. However, this one on the left isn't that bad because of the viewing distance and the quarter glass. Quarter glass does help visibility. In this image, you can also note the tweeter's position:


Flip-out cupholders right below the side air vents (for driver & passenger, both). You can direct air flow here to keep a drink cool. Quality of these cupholders is rudimentary. No damped effect and very plasticky. The plastic itself has a seam line on top:


The Innova has two gloveboxes. Both open in a damped action, but the upper glovebox's mechanism was flawed on all the cars we saw. Unless you press the unlock button with two firm fingers, it won't open. Even after spending a cumulative 7 days with the Innova Crysta, about 50% of the time, we couldn't release it at the first attempt. Upper glovebox is wide but shallow, hence suitable for coke cans, documents or miscellaneous items only:


Cooling functionality for your cans. Has 3 settings - off, intermediate & high:


Lower glovebox is more accommodating, albeit still about the size you see in C2-segment sedans. A big MPV should offer a larger glovebox. This one is illuminated and lockable. You can lock the glovebox and take the skeleton key with you, leaving the main smartkey with the driver / valet:


Sunvisors are dressed up in very premium fabric (the type you see in German luxury cars). Driver's sunvisor gets a strap to hold parking tickets & slips. Slide open the mirror and the light comes on. However, push the sunvisor toward the windshield (as you would on a road facing the afternoon sun) and the light goes off, even if the mirror is open. The light starts only if the sunvisor is perpendicular to the roof, going off if you angle it. It's these little things that make your day, really!


Sunglass holder is built of light plastic. Feels cheap. This black lining is only on the side visible here, but not on the bottom area (not visible here). Partial lining could mean some scratches on your sunglasses. Should have had full lining inside:


Blue ambient lighting. You can dim / brighten it as per your preferences (or turn it off). The cabin's rear also gets this ambient lighting which is controlled independently. The buttons on the cabin lamp console feel fantastic to use...they have a soft action. There's a button to start all cabin lamps (front & rear) out here:


With the front & rear mood lights on at night:


A picture from Toyota showing all the airbag positions. Dual front airbags & a driver's knee airbag are standard across the range. Look closely and you'll catch the cylindrical knee airbag in this image (which cars like the E-Class & 5-Series don't have). Top-of-the-line ZX variant gets 7 airbags! As you can see, side impact protection is provided even for 2nd & 3rd row occupants:


Where the driver's knee airbag is located. While I applaud Toyota for this, I have a feeling the decision has something to do with the Euro NCAP performing random tests on Indian cars. Thus, I'll give credit to both of them (Toyota & the Euro NCAP):


On the side of the seat...


...and pillars:


You don't ever need to take the black & chrome smartkey out of your pocket. Lock & unlock buttons only (no boot release). Its backside has a bluish effect on the sticker, as if to match the cabin's ambient lighting. Innova branding too:

Last edited by GTO : 17th June 2016 at 17:08.
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Old 17th June 2016, 12:00   #5
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Interior - 2nd Row

Wide gap between the B-pillar and the seat makes it easier to step in & out. However, the 2nd row seats are placed noticeably higher than the ones at the front (see difference here). Hence, ingress won't be as easy for the elderly. A senior citizen will instead prefer the 1st row passenger seat. Because of the height, short occupants will find the floor outside to be low, and will have to step out carefully. Things are certainly not as effortless as in the new breed of monocoque MPVs (Lodgy, Mobilio, Ertiga):


Rear doors have a dual-stage opening & closing action. They feel lighter than those at the front. Even when you shut the rear door, the sound isn't as nice as the front's. Rear door has wooden inserts (1st row gets piano black instead). Why? Ask Toyota. Beats me. Around the main armrest area, you get the same premium brown fabric. And yes, you can rest your arm on top of the doorpad if you prefer a higher position. The top area is wide enough. Power window switch has an ergonomically perfect position:


Practical door pockets are wide & accommodating:


Sweet grille pattern. 3rd row doesn't get speakers and these (of the 2nd row) are rather weak units to fill up the cabin's rear. You will definitely want to upgrade the speakers:


The wheelbase is the same as the outgoing Innova and hence, space is more or less the same. Legroom is good, but not excessive like the XUV500. I could easily sit here, even with the front seat pushed all the way behind. Healthy foot room as well. Plus, the area where your foot would meet the front seat is soft:


I'm a big fan of captain seats at the rear as they offer unreal comfort (better than any bench seat). If I'm going to be chauffeur-driven, I'd take this over an E-Class! Overweight individuals will appreciate that the chairs are more accommodating than the ol' Innova's captain seats. Back & thigh support are excellent and the seats are very comfortable over long distances. The fact that you can adjust the backrest angle & slide the seat fore & aft makes things that much better. Set up the backrest to a relaxed angle and you're all set.

The soft headrests / neck restraints are adjustable, although they only have two locking positions (all in & a little higher). You can of course move it out as much as you like, but it won't lock in place (might slide down after a while). Should have had another locking position at the 50% level. Headroom is just about enough for tall dudes because the roof moulding comes down to host the third row A/C vent. If your height is well over 6 feet, you'll probably need to recline the backrest more than usual to fit in comfortably:


Show 'em who the boss is! 2nd-row passenger (on the left side) can increase his legroom by pulling on this lever and pushing the front seat ahead. Even with someone on the front seat, it's a one hand operation:


A chauffeur-driven seth can convert the seats to 'bed mode' and truly chillax. The seating posture of bed mode is helped by the rear seats being positioned higher:


Both seats get their own individual armrests. They are functional, but definitely a size too thin. Toyota should have made these wider, especially since there's a lot of room between the seats to accommodate larger units. In terms of armrest height, at 5'10", I found them to be perfect. They are connected to the seat and move up & down as you recline. In 'bed mode' however (pictured above), they will need to be folded away as their resting position will be too high:


A terrible idea to house the seatbelt on the seat itself (cars usually have it hanging next to the bucket seat). With the current placement, an overweight person will 'sit on' the buckle, making it difficult to fasten the seatbelt. It'll be even trickier to unlock it! When the buckle is hosted separately, you get a bit more wiggle room too:


Smart! One lever with two holding positions. The lower handle can be used by 2nd row occupants to adjust their backrest angle. The upper one will be used by 3rd row occupants to flip the seat forward (when they want to get out):


The roof-mounted rear air-conditioner with a silver strip above it. Can be operated independently (no need to press the 'rear a/c' button on the dashboard). I must mention that the rear a/c can only cool the cabin. Heating is exclusively from the front air vents:


Leftmost button controls the ambient lighting. Uniquely, the rear a/c gets an 'auto' button which will keep changing / optimising the blower speed! Cool. If you operate it manually, the blower offers 7 steps of adjustment. Until level 4, blower sound is perfectly under control. On level 5, it's audible. At 6 & 7 however, things get loud, but the noise isn't from these air vents; it's from somewhere behind!! We went looking for it. Turns out, the rear air-con's condenser is placed to the right of the 3rd row seat (behind the side panel). Now, the air-con blows cool (not cold) air in the 3rd row's RHS cup-holder. Crank the blower level up and it sounds like a mini turbulence going on in the cup-holder area!! Pretty loud. The 3rd row air vents also blow out more air than those of the 2nd row. End result = you'll never go above level 4 on the rear air-con:


Showing the rear mood lighting again. You can adjust its brightness levels or entirely shut it off:


Both spring-loaded grab handles of the middle row get bag / coat hooks. These grab handles fold back in slowly. Are provided for everyone, including the driver (which is rare) & 3rd-row occupants:


In addition to a cabin lamp placed in the center, you get individual lights on each side. The silver button feels amazing to use, incredible quality! I wish Toyota had used LEDs everywhere in the cabin instead of regular bulbs:


Side airbags protect middle row passengers too:


Window rolls all the way in. Glass area is huge and the belt line is low enough, thereby lending a great view of the world outside. Despite the dark interiors, the cabin isn't claustrophobic at all. Excellent amount of light coming in:


Food tray with a cup-holder, heavy duty plastic and 10 kg payload - trust Toyota to overengineer these things. Check out the wooden insert above it. Personally though, I'm not a fan of these trays. If there is a major crash with them folded out, the tray could puncture the passenger's chest. When folded in, the hard plastic could break his knees. Just be sure to buckle up so that you aren't flung into them:


Tray has bag hooks on both sides. Including these and the ones on the grab handles, you can hang 6 bags in the middle row!


Two seatback pockets. Not deep, but wide enough. The inside of the seatback pockets has a nice smooth lining, so whatever you park here won't get scratched:


Smartphone holder with USB & AUX ports (check them out here)...


...and a 12v power socket right below:


Floor isn't flat, but the hump isn't too tall to be a bother. There's enough foot room for the 5th occupant of the bench seat variant:


In the area between the captain seats is a foldout unit with two cupholders. Its plastic quality is a little flimsy. Also, if any kid tries to access the 3rd row from between the captain seats, he might step on it and break it! Be sure to fold the cupholders in after use:


Both captain seats have ISOFIX hooks for the little ones:
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Old 17th June 2016, 12:00   #6
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Interior - 3rd Row

You can flip the seat forward in a single, continuous motion. The flip & tumble operation is so intuitive to use that Rehaan's Mom (who's never successfully managed to fold an Innova seat before) could pull it off, without asking for instructions.

Toyota calls this 'one-touch access'. You have to fold & push the seat forward together. If you don't push, only the backrest will fold down (without the seat tumbling forward). As mentioned in the previous post, the seat's recline handle has two catches on it; 3rd row occupants can use the upper one without assistance to get out themselves. Of course, kids can use the gap between the 2nd row captain seats to get in & out of the last row.

While this one touch tumble makes it easy to fold the seat, and the gap to get in is sufficient, ingress & egress are definitely not a job for the elderly. You still need to climb & crouch to get in. Be kind to the elderly and offer them the middle row seat:


How's the third row? It's definitely usable, although the limited width makes it best for 2 (not 3, as Toyota insists). Look at the picture and you'll see hard plastic at the base of where the 3rd occupant would sit. If 2nd row passengers are in a good mood, they can take their seats ahead, thereby liberating much needed legroom here. I could sit on the last row, but only because of the adjustable backrest (you can adjust its recline angle, as shown in the picture). In full up position, you'll feel like you're in a cargo train. You need to put the backrest down; it has many steps of adjustment and all the way down is how most people are going to prefer it. For reclining, a nice li'l handle is located within easy reach, right beside you. You don't have to go hunting for it. On the flipside, a trunk full of luggage might restrict how much you can recline the backrest.

The seat is placed higher than the second row, but even the floor is higher, so for someone who is 5'10", under-thigh support is inexistent. I was sitting with my knees pointing upward. If the 2nd row is pushed ahead, shorter folk could extend their legs and increase under-thigh support a bit.

The seatback of the 2nd row is made of fabric, thus you can bury your knees into them if necessary. Even the area where your shin and feet touch the seat ahead is soft.

The headrests have two locking positions; all the way down or all the way up. They're well sized & soft, therefore a fair place to rest your head. Those who are 5'8" can park them in the middle position, albeit it won't lock in place. You might have to keep pulling it back up when travelling long distance.

Overall, tall adults will be able to sit here for trips / movies / marriages within the city. On a Bombay to Goa run, the 3rd row should be left to children or short - medium sized adults. When it comes to the 3rd row seat, the Mahindra Xylo is still king of the hill:


Manageable with the 2nd row a little ahead. Headroom is just about enough:


Too tight with the 2nd row pushed all the way back. 3rd row comfort depends on the mood of 2nd row passengers. Also notice the difference in under-thigh support between the two images. If the middle row is pushed ahead, 3rd row passengers can stretch their legs and improve under-thigh support:


Last row vents throw out more air than that of the 2nd row. Even with the blower on level 4, you can feel the cool air on your face. Roof liner is durable (not luxurious). In this image, check out the position of the rear cabin lamp. Will serve both of the rear seat rows:


Rear window is a classic example of Toyota choosing form over function. The glass area is now smaller and it's purely a design decision. If you sit with the backrest in a reclined position, all you'll see is the plastic panel next to you, as the window is positioned ahead. Look on top and you'll see the 3rd-row grab handle:


Left passenger gets a cup / bottle holder:


The one on the right gets room for two bottles and a floor to park his smartphone. You could even place your hand there and use it as an armrest. See those vents in the cupholder? If the blower level is at 5, they churn out a serious amount of cool (not cold) air. Will keep your bottle cool, but can get very noisy as there's a mini-turbulence inside. Rear air-con condenser is placed behind this panel. No 12v socket for the smartphones of those on the last row:


3-point seatbelts for all 3rd row occupants. Middle passenger has his seatbelt mounted on the roof:


Buckle for center passenger is marked such. No confusion:


To unfasten, the other buckle needs to be pressed with the seatbelt clip (as shown):


Boot capacity is identical to the older Innova. 300 liters with all seats in place. Space is good for a couple of cabin bags:


A dedicated spot to park the unused headrest of the middle passenger (3rd row). You place it in an inverted manner (face in):


Toolkit has been neatly arranged behind. The black rubber band holding it tight is of superb quality:


A bottle jack. Personally, I prefer the conventional floor jack as it can work when the clearance is low:


The quality of this pouch is nice. Surprise quality in an unexpected place:


Notice the clean way in which you can park unused seatbelts. Even the seatbelt's clip has a dedicated holder. Similar slots are provided for the seatbelts of 2nd row passengers (on the C-pillar). Having them slotted like this means no clanking / rattling noises from loose seatbelts.

The boot lamp activates automatically when the tail-gate is opened. That's why we find its manual on / off switch to be an overkill.

Behind this plastic panel is the rear a/c condenser. Place your hand on it and you'll find it to be cool:


Back to carrying luggage, if you need more space, fold the 3rd row down:


To move them entirely out of the way, pull on this strap and lift the seat to the side. The mechanism does provide assistance when you are lifting it and the action is very light:


900 liters of cargo capacity with the 3rd row out of the way:


Innova Crysta gets a dedicated hook to lock the folded seat. In the older Innova, you used the grab handles (link to image):


Velcro strip to tighten it. A rubber bush on the 3rd row seatback (see bushes here) prevents it from rattling when folded away like this:


Not a flat floor. The floor dips around the 2nd seat row area:


If you want to haul more cargo (1,800 liters of space this way), you can tumble the middle row seats forward. Lock them in position by hooking their straps onto the legs of the front neck restraints (click to see how):


The tail-gate feels more substantial than that of the older Innova. A unique feature is the ''Easy Close Backdoor' which means that the tailgate always shuts properly. Neither do you have to put pressure on it, nor do you slam the tailgate. Take it calmly to the final closing position and it'll shut by itself. Using this video to illustrate:


Spare wheel removal procedure is identical to the old Innova's. Click here to see how:


Alloy spare wheel. Lower variants with 16" rims get a full-size alloy wheel too. Like the older car, the Innova Crysta uses a chain-pulley mechanism to lower the spare wheel. It's loose, yet you don't hear the chain dangling & hitting the wheel:

Last edited by GTO : 17th June 2016 at 20:13.
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

In-Car Entertainment

7" capacitive touchscreen is very intuitive to use. All buttons & controls are big, making it easy to operate. Don't miss the 'reorder' button at the bottom; you can change the order of these menu items based on what you most frequently use. Touchscreen has 'flick & drag' which means you can use it just like a smartphone (to scroll through menus, for instance).

Should have had a cap over the ICE screen; under direct sunlight, there are visibility issues with the screen.

While the head-unit is competent, the 6 speakers aren't. In a car costing 2 million bucks, the audio quality is very poor. Bass heavy tracks sound awful. I'll give it a 4 / 10 rating (5 tops) for sound quality. What's more, the SQ gets progressively worse as you move towards the back. While SQ on the front row is mediocre, on the second row, it's just about bearable. No speakers in the 3rd row area. Some Rs. 6 lakh hatchbacks have superior sound quality! Retain the head-unit, but please upgrade the speakers:


The usual set of contemporary inputs. DVD playback too! Ignore the USB 1 & 2 options. There is only 1 USB port in the Innova. This menu too can be reordered:


Play with these (basic) settings all you want, but audio quality remains poor:


ICE shows you trip information, distance-to-empty and fuel-efficiency (average & real-time):


Graphical date-wise FE display!


Among the many options, you can also set the 'touch sensitivity' level:


Upload your own startup image:


And set the screen off image.

Yes, you can switch the screen off at night if it bothers you (with the music still playing). Change the volume and the screen will show the volume level for a handful of seconds, before going off again:


Choose the colour theme (personal favourite is blue):


Super cool! You can customise the homescreen. Not only can you choose between it showing 2 panels or 3, you can also select exactly what is displayed in those boxes:


Sample display of a customised homescreen with 3 panels. To access your custom homescreen, simply press the bottom right button on the head-unit's outer frame.

Once your phone is paired up, you can save up to 50 voice tags for frequently used contacts. You can also choose from different ringtones on the ICE:


Navigation is good in terms of timing & accuracy. The instructions are spot on and easy to follow. Support for 8 languages with male / female options.

System can be slow to find the destination sometimes. We used it when going back to the hotel in Goa and the system took a while to zero in on the destination & pick the proper route:


Convenient! The MID also displays instructions. The MID goes back to the regular screen (e.g. eco meter) once you've followed the directions:


Stuff nearby:


Lack of attention to detail...unexpected from Toyota! Hyundai's navigation lists all the Hyundai workshops close by (link to image). No such option in the Innova's ICE:


Recording can be useful in unknown territory. You can store the route taken and then, retrace if needed:


While the standard disclaimer comes up at the start, you don't need to compulsorily press 'continue' to use the navigation (I find it very annoying). This screen will disappear shortly after:


SD card-based navigation from MapMyIndia:


Sit back and enjoy a slideshow of pictures:


Or play videos! Good time-pass for cabbies who inevitably spend so much time waiting:


The blue line marks your car's path and it is accurate. You will need that in such a long vehicle. Under bright sunlight, you might have to strain your eyes a bit to read this display.

You'll get audio feedback from the parking sensors as well. However, because both parking sensors are placed toward the bumper's center (no sensors on the side), be cautious about objects at the corner of the vehicle:


You can tweak the camera's brightness & contrast levels:


ICE remote control feels like a cheap Chinese product (the type you get with unknown brand TVs):
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Driving the 2.8L Diesel AT

Big 2.8L diesel has more power than even the Fortuner 3.0. You'll see this motor in the next-gen Fortuner. Finally gets an engine cover (not in lower variants though):


As part of its premium positioning, the Innova AT gets a larger 2.8L engine that's being offered for the first time in India. This motor uses a variable geometry turbocharger. Power ratings are 172 BHP (@ 3,400 rpm) and 360 Nm of peak torque starting at a low 1,200 rpm (held till 3,400 rpm). The Fortuner 3.0L makes 3 horses less, although the torque rating is identical. It also has a 5-speed AT, compared to the Innova's 6-speed slushbox.

With the Innova AT, things have just gotten difficult for the Fortuner (current + next-gen). Most Fortuners are sold with the 4x2 (only enthusiasts buy the 4x4) and it's AT variant is very popular. The slushbox was one of the reasons why customers chose a Fortuner over the Innova. But, with an AT now available in the new Innova, it's going to cannibalise the Fortuner bigtime.

In what is fast becoming a trend, and a very welcome one at that, Toyota has equipped the Innova with Economy & Power driving modes (over & above the 'normal' mode). This is a superb way of customising the engine's behaviour for prevailing driving conditions. These modes are basically switchable engine maps that alter the power delivery.

Normal mode: If neither of the two (eco or power) modes are selected, the Innova's engine runs in normal mode. This is a balance between economy & power.

Eco mode: Press the ECO button on the center fascia and you'll immediately see the air-con blower's level drop down a notch. The climate control works less harder in ECO mode - it still cools the cabin sufficiently though. Power delivery is also lower, with the throttle response dulled a bit. That said, because both engines are big & powerful, ECO mode is very useable in the 2.4 MT & 2.8 AT, both. It doesn't feel sluggish at all (unlike the TUV300) and there is more than enough grunt from both the engines. Toyota says that the dip in power is between 8 - 10%. On a lighter note, having ECO mode on a big 2.4 / 2.8 diesel is in itself a contradiction .

Power mode: Engage PWR mode and you'll feel the throttle to be sharper. The engine is very, very responsive in this driving mode. Acceleration times also noticeably improve; you'll especially feel this in the 2.4 MT. Ironically, PWR mode actually increases the steering's assistance a wee bit. You won't notice this unless you pay attention, but the difference is there. It is unlike conventional sport / power modes that actually firm up the steering for high speed driving. Finally, yes, the air-con blower level comes back up (if you're switching from eco -> power).

Switch off the engine in ECO mode and it'll restart in ECO itself. However, PWR mode isn't retained after a restart - you have to manually select it again. After spending some time with the Innova, the difference between normal, ECO and PWR modes was enough that I could guess which mode the car is in, without looking at the instrument cluster. They have distinct characteristics. I had my brother put me through a blind test where he'd go on changing the modes and I wouldn't take my eyes off the road; got it right each & every time.

PWR & ECO mode status on the MID. Notice the difference in the way they're presented:



The Innova AT doesn't use a fancy dual-clutch transmission. Instead, a simple old school torque-converter unit does the job. Knowing Toyota, it'll be very reliable too. The Innova AT isn't going to wow you with lightning fast shifts or super smart logic, yet it will take you from point A to B in extreme convenience. The AT doesn't leave much room for complaint, but it doesn't give you anything to write home about either.

Press the brake pedal & hit the engine start button to fire her up. Where the MT's gear lever shakes & dances all the time, the AT's gear shifter is calm and composed. It remains that way on the move. However, on startup, even the AT variant suffers cabin shake. At idle, the big 2.8L diesel is audible on the outside, but shut the door & windows and the noise goes away. Cabin insulation is very good. Outside noise stays outside.

Thanks to the torque converter, the way the vehicle moves from a standstill is smooth & seamless. In bumper to bumper traffic, the transmission's creep makes the Innova crawl at 7-8 km/h (without accelerator input). You can drive with just your foot on the brake pedal through bottlenecks. Peak torque is developed early @ 1,200 rpm, thus there's no lag to speak of. Even at low rpms, the throttle is responsive. With a light foot in the city, upshifts happen at as low as 1,500 rpm! This helps you cruise around with smooth shifts & low engine sound. The AT is keen to upshift and will quickly make its way up the ladder - at times, you'll see upshifts happening as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator (uncool for people like us who like engine braking). This is a big & powerful diesel, hence you don't need to give it heavy revvs within the city. Soft inputs work best for normal commuting. However, press the accelerator halfway in and shift quality definitely becomes perceptible. While the gearbox is still overall smooth, it's not an absolutely seamless shifting experience above 2,000 rpm. You'll know when the shifts are taking place. The engine & gearbox are also very responsive to throttle input. Some owners might feel that they are too responsive! Even in normal mode, the engine revvs with a slight tap on the pedal. This is why you'll see the 2.8L revving unnecessarily when shifting between the lower gears. Solution? Eco mode.

On Team-BHP, we don't usually recommend driving around in ECO, yet for the city, we'll make an exception with the Innova AT. Because of the dulled throttle response & relaxed map, the driving experience is smoothest in ECO. This is the mode you have to use within the city and - as mentioned before - it's still quick enough. Power mode for your daily commute? Fellow passengers will find it too jerky as the throttle is damn sharp. Drive around town in ECO mode and the experience is calm & comfortable. Club that with the new cabin & loaded equipment levels, and the Innova AT feels like any 30 lakh rupee premium SUV. The lines between MPV & SUV have definitely been blurred with this car.

On the open road, the Innova Crysta AT is a fast people-mover. The engine remains responsive above 2,500 rpm. Because of its big engine and the power on tap, you'll never be left wanting for punch. Also, power mode does bring an enhanced sense of urgency to the engine (although normal & ECO are useable on the highway too). The Innova AT can be a lively intercity express. In kickdown, upshifts take place in the vicinity of 4,000 rpm. Don't drive it in a pedal to the metal style though. Rather, you should build up speed gradually, else you'll get a lot of noise as the engine revvs & the gearbox drops a gear (more on NVH later). Best part about the car is its cruising ability and this is quite a revelation for an Innova. Thanks to the tall 6th gear, 100 kph comes in at merely ~1,650 rpm, while 120 kph is seen at just under 2,000 rpm. At this point, engine noise is virtually absent. The Innova AT is a very calm long distance cruiser, exactly how an MPV should be. Overtaking doesn't pose a problem either. There's ample power and you have a great view of the road ahead. However, the 6-speed has that conventional AT lag (~1 second) between your putting the foot down and the gearbox downshifting. After that, she pulls away nicely. I did face one problem at high speeds here - due to conservative tuning and limited revs, at times if you jump out of the lane and want to overtake, the gearbox drops just one gear when you wish it had dropped two. The downshift logic isn't aggressive at all and you'll need to be patient in such a situation. Thus, on two-lane highways where you need to make quick moves, I'd recommend PWR mode. It'll give you more punch. Another option is to prepare the car for overtaking (via a downshift in manual mode) before the actual move.

The only time you should use manual mode is for overtaking and when you need the additional engine braking (say, going downhill). Other than that, I don't see anyone playing with manual mode in a van. With manual mode, the 2.8L hits its max revvs of about 4,500 rpm. Nope, this isn't your modern diesel that revvs to 5,000 rpm and beyond. Further, manual mode is tuned conservatively. It won't allow aggressive downshifts where the resultant rpm would be too high, thus you can't entirely depend on it for engine braking when running down a ghat. In comparison, the Endeavour's AT (which I drove recently) was far more willing.

The Innova's S-mode is very funny. Actually, it's not an S mode at all. Remember the D2 / D3 / D4 positions on older ATs which denote the max gear you are allowing it to shift up to (sample image of Fortuner AT)? That's exactly what the Innova AT does in 'S' mode. As an example, move the lever to S and you'll see S4 on the instrument cluster chosen by default. This doesn't mean that the current gear is no.4. Rather, that's the topmost gear that the AT will drive in. It will remain between 1 - 4. You can similarly choose to restrict the AT to 3rd; drive at 4,500 rpm all day long and the box won't upshift. This is unlike proper 'S' modes which move up the shift points and give the gearbox a more aggressive nature. No such thing here, Sport mode doesn’t necessarily result in a lower gear for every situation. The problem is, the layman won't realise this. He'll select 'S' mode thinking it's quicker and see 120 kph at 3,200 rpm in 4th (as S4 is chosen by default). Many people won't even know what they are supposed to do for easier cruising. Only an enthusiast will manually shift up to S5.

Those looking for a real 'sport' mode can keep the gear lever in D, but select the engine's PWR mode. The real S isn't on the gear shifter...it's on the center fascia!

In terms of NVH, the 2.8L is sorted. While idling, the diesel is audible on the outside, but shut the doors & windows and the cabin is sufficiently insulated from that sound. At city rpms (2,000 rpm & under), engine noise is well under control. Even above that, the 2.8L sounds much nicer than the 2.4L, emanating more of a 'hum' rather than a 'clatter'. It's a typical big diesel hum that you won't see in smaller engines. Even as a passenger, the 2.8L feels smoother and clatter-free. Closer to 3,500 rpm however, the engine does get noisy. And it's not got a nice note. Take the revv needle to 4,000 rpm and the diesel gets awfully loud. Passengers will ask you to back off.

Due to the 1,800+ kilo kerb weight, large engine size & AT, don't expect FE to be high. Depending on traffic conditions and how happy your right foot is, you can expect between 8 - 10 km/l (tops) in the city. On the highway, figures should be more respectable, thanks to the 6th gear & low cruising rpms.

6-speed AT. Black & brushed silver gearlever looks smart. Gated shifter means no 'unlock' button. While driving, you can freely move between R-N-D! "Shift Lock" is placed under the black plastic cap (above "P"). Use the shift lock when you park on an incline and can’t move the lever out of "P". The feature could also be used when towing the vehicle:


Tap up for an upshift & vice versa - just the way I love it! European cars follow the opposite pattern (i.e. tap up for downshift):


Engage the fake 'S' mode and you'll see 'S4' selected by default. This ain't no sport mode. Rather, it's the 'max permitted gear', beyond which the box won't upshift. You can of course change this limit. Bummer, the MID doesn't show you the current gear:


Drive with a light foot and you'll see a green ECO light on the rev counter. It's very small and easy to miss. Not an indicator you'll see in your peripheral vision:


The 2.8L diesel on display at the Auto Expo:


From the side:


Both engines get an insulation sheet under the hood. What sucks is, there are no gas struts to lift that h-e-a-v-y bonnet up. No cost-cutting at this price, Toyota! You will need two strong hands to lift it up:


Huge gap between the frame & front grille:


Intercooler placed right in that gap, but it hardly fills the space up:


Air box now rectangular, compared to the earlier Innova's round one:


Partial firewall cladding on the left...


...and full on the right:


Just look at the size of that headlamp! It goes nearly up to the A-pillar:


Awesome! It does appear that the headlamp glass & plastic housing (behind) are separate units, held together by clips. Meaning, if that plastic bracket breaks in a small shunt, you don't have to replace the entire headlamp unit (as is the case with so many cars):


ECU placed way behind (on the top RHS), safe from the elements. Almost all wires in this engine bay are properly clad / insulated:


Variable-geometry turbocharger mounted on the left:


Such an oversight isn't expected of Toyota. How exactly does one fill brake fluid? A black plastic panel is right above its cap!


A lateral look at the plastic panel that is angled to stop water & misc particles from entering the engine bay:


No protection sheet below means you can see the road surface through the engine bay:


Specific instructions on refilling the dual air-con's refrigerant:


The Innova Crysta is equipped with 'pitch & bounce' control (also seen in the Prius). Toyota says that the system ensures a smoother ride by using engine torque to suppress any pitching & bouncing motion caused by road conditions or driver input:

Last edited by GTO : 17th June 2016 at 17:06.
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Old 17th June 2016, 12:02   #9
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Driving the 2.4L Diesel MT



The Innova's regular variants get a 2.4L diesel. While the older Innova had a slightly bigger 2.5L engine, the Innova Crysta makes nearly 50% more power & 70% more torque from the 2.4! That's a big, big difference and is evident within a minute of driving it. Power is rated at 148 BHP (@ 3,400 rpm) and 343 Nm of torque (starting from 1,400 rpm). In comparison, the older Innova made merely 101 BHP and 200 Nm - a reason behind its low gearing.

Like the 2.8L, the 2.4L uses a variable geometry turbocharger. Toyota claims this 2.4 is an all-new engine and it has new GD nomenclature too. But honestly, it feels like a more powerful version of the old engine. The sound & character are very similar (of course, it's more muted, yet the engine note is similar). The Innova 2.4L MT gets ECO & PWR driving modes as well. To know how they work, refer to the post above where the two are explained in detail.

You have to press the clutch pedal before starting the engine. As the starter cranks, the gear lever moves violently and there is noticeable cabin shake. While driving too, the gear lever continues to shake all the time, including on bad roads as the gearbox moves about on its mounts.

The Innova feels sprightly, a lot more so than the older car. Throttle response is excellent and the MPV moves off effortlessly. Due to the increased power, I was apprehensive about lag from a bigger turbo. Happy to report that in-city driveability is actually a highlight of this engine. There is no turbo-lag and the 343 Nm of peak torque is made at a low 1,400 rpm. As a result, the Innova passes the 2nd gear speed-breaker test with flying colours! Leave aside a speed breaker, you can even move away from a standstill in 2nd gear itself. In low speed traffic conditions, you can use 2nd as an automatic; for less dense traffic, you could stay in 3rd. The 2.4 diesel has an immensely tractable nature, making it practical for your daily commute to work. No unnecessary or excessive gearshifts required. Even when we were climbing up a flyover, the engine didn't ask for a downshift to 3rd. It just went up in 4th itself. This driveability & enhanced power will be appreciated when you are carrying a full load of passengers. Don't lug it though - if you are in too high a gear at too low an rpm, a distinct resonance & vibration will fill the cabin up. This is typical of diesel body-on-frame UVs and is seen in the Scorpio & gang too. If the revvs drop too low, downshift. At city rpms (<2,000), engine noise is well controlled. It is a big diesel and hence, you don't need to revv it to move around. Light throttle inputs work just fine.

ECO mode in the 2.4L is very useable and it feels powerful enough. You can certainly use ECO within the city when traffic is light. That said, for driving through heavy traffic, I'd recommend normal mode. Reason = the low rpm driveability is noticeably superior in normal mode. It is just more effortless when pulling away from crawling speeds (compared to eco). Power mode? Not for the city. Because the throttle is sharp in PWR mode, the drive will be very jerky. Power mode is aggressive not only while accelerating, but even when you lift off the accelerator (passengers will lunge forward).

If you liked the Innova Crysta in the city, you'll like it even more on the highway. Engage PWR mode and immediately, the 2.4L feels a lot more eager. It's a different animal - a slight tap on the throttle and the engine responds. Where the old Innova was adept only at middle lane cruising, the Crysta 2.4L can run in the fast lane with monocoque MPVs like the Ertiga & Mobilio (Lodgy 110 is faster though). It's over 4 seconds quicker to the 100 km/h mark than the outgoing Innova which took a l-o-n-g 17 seconds to get there. On the expressway, performance is enjoyable (by MPV standards) and she moves just like any 30 lakh SUV. She sure doesn't feel like your typical people moving van. While PWR is my preferred mode for the highway, eco & normal modes are also peppy enough. However, once you experience PWR mode, it'll be difficult to go back to eco / normal. The 2.4L MT can revv to a notch above 4,500 rpm. No point going that high though (peak power & torque are made much earlier). While engine sound is controlled at city rpms, the diesel does get loud over 3,500 rpm. Above 4,000, the noise is very unpleasant. In terms of cruisability, the Innova Crysta is a big step ahead of its predecessor. The old Innova's short 5th gear resulted in 100 kph being seen at a high 2,750 rpm. The 2016 Innova shaves 500 rpm off that and sees 100 at 2,250 rpm. Quite a difference. What's more, at 100 kph, there is no drone or clatter. Just a mild hum from the engine. At 120 kph where the old Innova was too noisy, the Innova Crysta's engine is spinning at 2,800 rpm. At this speed too, engine sound isn't intrusive. In fact, wind & tyre noise will be more prominent. The engine is busy, but it's not noisy. I didn't have to raise my voice to talk to co-passengers at 120 kph (try that in the older Innova). Improved cruisability aside, I still wish a 6th gear was offered. Considering the amount of time that Innovas spend on the highway, a tall 6th would've brought a more relaxed cruising rpm, higher fuel economy and longer engine life. This is, after all, the national highway car of India!

The 5th by itself isn't too tall. One advantage of that is you can use it like an Automatic on the expressway. Get this, we drove from the Khopoli toll naka to the Panvel end of the expressway in 5th alone! Not once did we downshift, such is the tractability of this turbo-diesel (in power mode). Slower overtaking move at 80 kph? She can do it without a downshift. 5th is all the gear you need for long distance cruising. One thing you'll certainly miss on the highway though is a proper dead pedal. While the AT variant gets a comfortable dead pedal to rest your left foot, the MT gets a sorry excuse of one.

The MT's gear lever isn't truck-like anymore, although it isn't exactly car-like either. The throws are long and it does require some effort to operate. The clutch isn't too heavy; it's light enough, but the pedal's travel range is long. Wish it was shorter. What's more, the clutch pedal's resting point is high up.

The NVH package of the Innova MT is better than the old Innova, but the 2.8L is superior. To start with, the 2.4L is clattery. Engine noise is well-controlled at city rpms. Up until 2,000 rpm, passengers won't complain. At 2,500 rpm, you'll hear that familiar Innova engine note. As you cross 3,000 rpm, the diesel gets noisy. At 4,000 rpm, not only is the engine loud, but even its note isn't likeable. What will also bother you is the shaky gear lever. It's always dancing - on startup, on the move, over rough roads etc. If you are the type who drives with a hand on the gear knob, you'll find the NVH rudimentary as the gear knob is constantly vibrating. Wind & tyre noise are okay. Wind noise gets really audible only at 120 kph from around the ORVM area.

2.4L makes nearly 50% more power & 70% more torque than the older Innova's 2.5:


A look at the 2.4 ZX's all-black interiors:


2.4's instrument cluster is nearly identical to the 2.8's, down to the redline marking:


MT has a clutch start system, meaning you have to press the clutch pedal to fire her up:


The pedals are very well spaced out. Lots of room here. Unfortunately, a proper dead pedal is missing. Where the AT has a large & comfy unit, the MT gets a thin strip stuck to the floor. A sorry excuse of a dead pedal. When touring long distance, you can't rest your foot at a comfortable angle like in the AT:


Aesthetically, the MT's gear lever isn't truck-like anymore. However, it's always shaking & dancing. A turn-off in an otherwise sweet cabin. In this pic, also notice the two missing cubbyholes (behind the gear lever) that the AT had:


All-black seats...


...with white stitching. I didn't like these black seats as much as the AT's brown & black combo:
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Old 17th June 2016, 12:03   #10
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Ride & Handling

The Innova has a double wishbone front suspension with a 4-link coil spring rear. Ride quality is more comfortable than the outgoing Innova. It doesn't have that initial stiffness of the old car. The suspension has a mature state of tune; the ride is composed and sorted, but it's still not what I would call 'plush'. The suspension doesn't isolate you from the conditions underneath and you always know what kind of road you're on. It rides like a typical body-on-frame UV and sharp bumps come in strong. I feel some of that is due to the 17" rims. The lower variants with a 15 mm taller sidewall will surely ride plusher. Overall, I'll say that the Innova Crysta's city ride quality is compliant and give it a 7.5 / 10 (variants with 16" rims might get an 8). Highway ride comfort is extremely good. Absorption levels get better as the speedometer needle climbs up. At 100 kph, the ride is flat and there is no bounciness / floatiness from the car. It's a very composed MPV at high speeds and this greatly elevates passenger comfort on long distances. The Innova Crysta flattens bad highway roads.

On the move, the Innova feels very sturdy. In particular, straight line stability is rock solid and she feels like a tank at triple digit speeds. It isn’t easily affected by crosswinds either. On the other hand, body roll is noticeably more than in the outgoing Innova. It's not excessive, but there is more lean than the old car through fast corners. The Innova Crysta didn't feel as 'tight' or 'agile' as the earlier Innova did on the Lonavla ghats. This is due to the suspension's tune & additional weight. Don't fret though, it's not a deal breaker and the Innova is still a neutral drive. Its on-road behaviour is balanced and the grip levels from those 215 mm tyres (lower variants get 205s) are healthy. What's more, the ZX variants get ESP / VSC which can be a life-saving tool in an emergency manouveur. Both, the ZX MT & AT, further get hill start assist which holds the car in place on an incline. It prevents rollback in stop & go traffic.

An area where Toyota has messed up is the hydraulic steering's tuning. It's h-e-a-v-y at parking & crawling speeds! I'm surprised this heavy steering got signed off at the testing & validation stages as it will be a common area of owner complaints. At very low speeds, the heavy steering requires a fair amount of effort to operate. When you have to squeeze the vehicle into a tight parking spot, you'll hate the steering. Should be a simple fix and I hope it's sorted ASAP. Things get better once the speedometer crosses 20 - 30 kph. Moving around in the city, you'll be fine, but at low speeds, you'll find the steering to be cumbersome. The steering has sufficient weight at expressway speeds. It didn't feel nervous at all. Ironically, the steering feels better in ECO & Normal modes at 120 kph, as PWR mode actually increases the steering's assistance a bit. Taking sweeping curves at 100 kph, you'll prefer how the steering feels in normal mode (where it is weighed up) compared to PWR mode (where it is slightly lighter). There are times when you get a noticeable amount of steering feedback from the road. An uneven rut or bump will have the steering wheel moving about. This is now a rare thing by modern car standards and can get annoying on broken roads.

The 5.4m turning radius is short enough for a full-size UV and makes the Innova city-friendly. No unnecessary 3-point u-turns. Driver visibility is also good as you sit high up, and both engines have a tractable nature. Still, it won't be as easy to pilot in the city as MPVs like the Lodgy & Ertiga; they have a smaller footprint and lighter steerings.

The braking hardware does the job expected of it and stops the van with no drama. Even in the AT variant at high speeds, the brakes didn't feel nervous. They worked just fine. I just wish that disc brakes were provided at the rear, considering the premium positioning of this car and how much time it'll be spending on highways. Lastly, there is nose dive from the front of the car, even under medium-level braking.
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Old 17th June 2016, 12:03   #11
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Other Points

• It's ironical that a car which carries the reputation of being the 'most reliable' in India has to visit the service station more than other 'less reliable' cars! The Innova Crysta's service interval is 5,000 kms / 6 months (same as the previous-gen). This, in a time when most other models have convenient 10,000 km / 12 month visits (some even going up to 15,000 km). Toyota seriously needs to redesign the Innova's maintenance requirements. An owner with heavy running of 2,500 km / month will need to send his car to the workshop every 2 months! Absolutely ridiculous.

The first 3 services are labour-free. Initial intervals are 1,000 km / 1 month, 5,000 km / 6 months and 10,000 km / 12 months.

• Standard warranty coverage is for 3 years / 100,000 km. Extended warranty available up to 7 years (highly recommended) - related thread.

• Even without any sales in the Delhi NCR region, Toyota shipped 7,259 Innova Crystas in May 2016!

• The fruit of building a trustworthy brand. When the Aria's top variant was launched at Rs. 15.50 lakhs, everyone's lower jaw dropped. The 'overpriced' MPV was dead on arrival. No one would pay that kind of money for a van, they said. Toyota launches the Innova Crysta ZX AT at Rs. 21 lakhs ex-showroom and no one bats an eyelid. Tata Motors destroyed its brand, while Toyota built it painstakingly.

• The current localisation level is a little over 80%. Engines are being sourced from Thailand, until Toyota India's new engine plant is ready (will start in 2016 itself).

• The interiors of the GX variant are horribly bland! Certainly not befitting the 18 lakh price tag. Thanks to honey_starhoney for sharing pictures here. Lower variants don't get an engine cover either - thanks to Shanksta for sharing these pics.

• Doors auto-lock as you drive away. What's more, they will automatically unlock in an accident. Even if the battery connection is cut off in a frontal crash, there is an auxiliary capacitor at the rear which will be used to unlock the doors. It's charged whenever you start the engine and can hold the juice for 30 minutes (after the engine has shut off). Toyota calls this the 'door control battery' feature.

• In case the battery dies, you can open the tail-gate manually. On the inside of the tail-gate is a small access panel that you can easily open with a screwdriver. You'll see a manual release there.

• While the petrol is coming soon, its fuel economy will never be impressive in an 1,800 kilo MPV (2,100 kilos with passengers onboard). The diesel will always be the more respected, not only due to the FE, but also the higher torque & long tank range. Of course, direct-injection turbo-petrols have caught up with common-rail diesels, but the Innova isn't getting a modern petrol with cutting edge technology.

• ARAI ratings are 14.29 km/l (2.8 AT) and 15.10 km/l (2.4 MT).

• The way that the side of the centre fascia is angled, it's the perfect place to rest your left leg on. Keep your foot on the dead pedal and the lower leg on the centre fascia over long highway runs. It is angled just perfectly!

• As much as I love the captain seats, any more than 4 onboard and you have to use the 3rd row. Having 5 onboard isn't that rare in India; the 5th occupant will have to unhappily jump behind on the last row. This is one of the areas where the bench seat variant scores.

• Beige interiors should definitely have been an option. A large part of the market still prefers beige as it results in a lighter, airier cabin.

• Seatbelt warning is there not only for the driver, but also for the front passenger. The seat has a weight sensor.

• For a car that focuses so much on safety, not having a TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system) is inexplicable. Big miss, Toyota. At the end of the day, safety levels all come down to those 4 palm-sized tyre patches in contact with the road.

• Simple usability error = switch off the A/C button, then come back to hit 'auto' and set the temperature. The compressor won't kick in. So, while pressing auto, you have to also ensure that the 'A/C light' / button is on. This is unlike other cars where all you have to do is press 'auto' and the cooling starts (even if the a/c button was switched off earlier).

• Has the follow-me-home feature. Switch off the car and flash the high beam, it'll then stay on for 30 seconds while you find your way in the dark.

• When you lock & unlock the car, there is no confirmation beep. Lock the car and the turn indicators flash once; unlock the car and they flash twice.

• Try to walk away from the Innova Crysta with the engine running + the smartkey in your pocket, and you'll hear short beeps on the outside. Try to lock the door at the same time and you'll hear a long continuous beep.

• Two BHPians have reported steering alignment and left-pulling issues (here and here). We didn't have any of those on our test cars.

• Engine timing chain is for life. No periodic replacement required.

• All important buttons are illuminated, including the ECO / PWR / TC off buttons, steering-mounted controls, power window switches etc.

• Considering the car is so well-equipped, the ZX should have had a sunroof. That, and an auto-dimming IRVM, are the only features missing.

• The Innova today is so loaded that it's hard to believe the 2005 car didn't get internally adjustable mirrors! Not even manual stalks inside. You had to roll down the window and adjust the mirror glass with your hand.

• The premium for an automatic gearbox alone is usually a lakh. Keeping that in mind, the ZX AT does offer a lot for its 1.3 lakh rupee premium over the ZX MT. You get a 6-speed AT, bigger 2.8L engine with more power & torque, lesser engine noise, a more refined driving experience (no dancing gear lever), sweet black & brown interiors, a proper dead pedal and two additional cubby holes (ahead of the gear lever).

• The inside rubber beading on the body & pillars feels very premium.

• Why is the Innova so popular in the taxi market? Not because of its reliability or space - there are others offering the same at a lower price. It's basically demand dictating the supply. When a customer asks for a taxi, he'll insist on an Innova. No one calls requesting a Xylo, Lodgy or Aria. My brother had an all-India tour for some foreigners in February. On one of the legs, the cab company sent him a Lodgy. My brother was flummoxed!! He only sat in the Lodgy after my insistence that it's a competent MPV. He agreed so himself after trying it. But the point is, if a customer isn't on a budget, he'll never look beyond an Innova taxi.

• Would have loved to see a 6-speed MT with the 2.8L diesel. The new Fortuner will surely have that combination.

• Another point on the top variant's 17" rims (and why I think 16s would be a better idea). R17 tyres are more expensive to replace.

• The smartkey's battery is user-replaceable. No need to go to the dealer to replace its battery.

• While we enthusiasts welcome more power, a part of me says "the last thing those Godforsaken highway cabs need is more BHP"!

• The instrument cluster has five levels of adjustment. It's tricky to adjust the illumination, so I'll explain it here. First, press the plastic stalk on the instrument cluster till you see the illumination option at the bottom of the MID. Then, long press on the stalk. It'll now keep jumping between the different levels. Stop when you get to the desired level.

Disclaimer: Toyota invited Team-BHP for the Innova Crysta test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 18th June 2016 at 16:13.
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Old 17th June 2016, 12:03   #12
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

The Smaller yet Significant Things

White Innova = official highway taxi of India. You'll be seeing a lot of these around. Recently read somewhere that 60% of MPV sales are from the taxi & fleet segments! Take a look at the two white colour options here:


Why is this area on the B-Pillar scooped in? Observe this image closely and you'll know. The purpose is to allow the front passenger's elbow to move back & forth (while on the armrest) without interfering with the B-Pillar trim (i.e. prevent the elbow from hitting the B-Pillar when moving the arm backward). Might also stop the seatbelt (when unused) from hitting the B-Pillar & making a noise:


How the LED low beams perform at night. Bright enough. My personal preference though would be to have the beam a bit higher. Found them a level too low:


With the halogen high beams. Very powerful. If you flash your headlights, the low beam & high beam (both) activate:


ORVMs are India-friendly and they move the other way with minimal resistance. Literally, it's one-finger light!


Always wanted to know what these glass markings mean, but didn't know who to ask? Click here:


Two bright reversing lights on the tail-gate:


Puddle / warning lamps on all four doors; that's in addition to the puddle lamps under the ORVMs:


Uninspiring, ordinary door sill plates. Would've liked something with more character & design:


Heavy owner's manual runs nearly 600 pages long! Then, there's a separate one for the navigation. Hopefully, you don't need to read the owner's manual after this review :


An 'Innova Crysta' image is displayed at startup:


Even if you haven't accessed the navigation or entered a destination, the MID's compass screen shows you the name of the road you're currently on. Your knowledge of city roads will certainly improve!


MID shows you exactly which door is open, or if the boot is. Door closing action here is shown in a progressive manner. I wish more & more cars start monitoring the bonnet too (Innova Crysta doesn't). Driving with an unsecured bonnet can be dangerous:


Will prompt you to engage P before stepping out:


Rubber flap to cover the steering column's innards. I like Hyundai's leather treatment more (link to image):


With a double-din ICE and proper MID, a dedicated clock using outdated casio-style fonts is unnecessary. The older Innova also had a clock in a similar position, but its screen doubled up as an MID. I think this clock has just been used as a filler:


Premium positioning means the handbrake's base is clad in leather (older Innova's wasn't):


Fabric skirts on the side of the front seats to cover up the rails & mechanism:


Twist & turn locks to hold the floor mats in place:


Once bitten, twice shy? Toyota now provides instructions for properly installing the floor mats:


Things are universally clean, tidy & organised, even in places you wouldn't normally look. This is the front passenger's footwell:


33 PSI all-around, except when you are carrying 7:


Just like the front vents, even those at the rear can be individually shut. However, a fair amount of air still comes through:


2nd row seats have a pocket underneath in which you can tuck the latch & straps when not in use:


Disable the front passenger's airbag from the side of the dashboard:


Area inside the door handle, where you'd place your hand and pull the door, has a nicer feeling plastic:


A legend in its own right, the ol' Innova received an emotional farewell from Toyota employees:


Toyota sure knows its customers. 6 out of the 7 accessories in the official Innova Crysta brochure add more bling (chrome). Siggghhhhh:


Not ones to be left behind, dealers come out with their own chrome editions! In this case, the 'Nippon Limited Edition' . Thanks to deetjohn for sharing this pic!


A look at the bench seat variant. Toyota calls this an 8-seater, and the captain seat variant a 7-seater. However, because the 3rd row is good only for 2, I'd say they are 7 & 6 seaters (respectively).

While the lower variants give you the choice of captain seats or a bench here, the ZX variant only comes with captain seats. That can be disheartening to some owners who'd want the fully-loaded variant, but with space for 1 more passenger. Why Toyota, why? How can the highest variant not have a choice when lesser variants do?


Like we saw on the 3rd row, center passenger will have to contend with rock hard plastic on his lower back. Look closely and you'll see the two plastic covers of the seat folding mechanism. He does get a headrest...


...and a 3-point seatbelt coming down from the roof!


All occupants (including those on the 3rd row) get proper seatbelts :


Middle passenger's buckles are the same as what we saw on the 3rd row. You'll need to insert a seatbelt clip to unlock the one on the right:


Regular variants get an illuminated keyhole:
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Old 17th June 2016, 14:42   #13
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Official Reviews!
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Old 17th June 2016, 14:49   #14
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Thanks the review GTO!

Although Crysta is expensive, I see a lot going for it. I personally didn't like the top heavy dashboard design, however felt the car is good to drive, during my short test drive in a 2.8. And What an engine! Its a good looking car, a nice change from past gen plain-jane Innova and no wonder it is taking Toyota back to top of its game in Indian Market. And once the new gen Fortuner comes along...

Rating the thread a well deserved 5 stars.
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Old 17th June 2016, 14:51   #15
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Default Re: Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review

Wow!

Excellent review once again. The wait has been agonizingly long, so I am glad that the resultant quality makes up for it.

Susprisingly, I can say the same about the new Innova as well.
Based on my limited experiences with the old Innova and my experiences with the Fortuner - I was almost certain that I would be disappointed with the price to value ratio on the new Innova as well.

So one fine Sunday I headed to the Toyota showroom to check out the new Innova and test drive it. This happened after we checked out the Maruti Suzuki Brezza and the Honda BRV earlier in the day as well. Showroom experience was below average being a Sunday, but still better than Maruti Suzuki and Honda earlier in the day as they just could not provide test drive. 'Sir, we only have one staff today. Please wait(for 30 mins, in our crowded, non -AC [switched off on Sunday]) in our showroom so that we can take you (Three customers already waiting) for a test drive one after the other!' However, they did provide that test drive and hence all is good. Not to mention that this particular Toyota showroom takes the first rank among all of my dealership experiences ever, with my frequent interactions with them servicing my friend's Fortuner.

Coming to the car itself - first things first. There is a LOT of talk about how this car is not worth the 26L price tag it commands in cities like Bangalore. However, my view is that the pricing of every product in a capatalist market is dictated by the demand for it and not by the costs involved in manufacturing it. As the initial reports reveal, 60% of the bookings have been made for the top end ZX AT variant which clearly shows that people are willing to pay a premium for this car. And coming to my personal view - I love how the new Innova has become premium and feels like it is worth a premium (But may be not so much!) rather than having to compromise the quality to stick to the price range of the older car. IMO, Innova is one of the three products (The other two being premium city runabouts Elite i20 and Polo GT TSI) that gets a space in several high end garages as well sporting much more premium Germans. One rare product that has managed to balance a fine line between commercial transport for work purposes and comfortable people mover for home use. The new one should do even better.

Test drove the top end ZX AT variant and it scored on every parameter I could think of. Space, quality of interiors, features, power, automatic transmission, ride quality etc. Space in the third row was decent for a 6 footer, but I felt just short of enough legroom and knee room. Frankly, I liked the third row of the Honda BRV better as it was much easier to climb into as well. Second row comfort in the captain seats is majestic though! The ride especially was very good and I really didn't feel out of place even though I am used to driving much smaller cars. In comparison, the Fortuner I drive around occassionally feels so stiff and disconnected with all the bouncing around over the rough. New Innova just flattens out all these surfaces at speed and the handling felt decent as well, although I never got a chance to test it around corners. Can only judge based on the high speed stability which is remarkable and almost European.

Only one irritating aspect about the drive was the drive modes present on the car, which felt polar opposites without a medium level. In the power mode, the car unncessarily climbed to higher rpms in lower gears without much of an accelerator input, with the resultant growl from the diesel engine. Not nice as there is enough power on tap even otherwise. To counter this - I had to go down to the Eco mode, and later come back to the power modes once the car is at higher speeds. I guess the transmission is below average stuff, compensated by the grunt on the 2.8L oil burner. That said, I never really liked the torque converter on the Fortuner as well, and feel that the smooth and faster in one small Hyundai with a torque converter gearbox.

Is it worth that much money? Probably not, but it doesn't matter as the sales figures clearly show. The product is priced within the limits of the aspirational value that it commands. Would I buy one? If I had that much of money to spend and needed a seven seater, yes. This is the Toyota you should buy currently, specially among all their diesels. The Innova makes the Fortuner look naked in comparison. Competition? I personally feel Crysta has already killed off Hexa before it could even be born. TATA probably delayed it too much and allowed Toyota to catch up on all the major USPs it had - power, features, automatic transmission, safety features etc. XUV makes for a strong case against the lower end variants of the Innova, but cross shopping would be less as Toyota enjoys the best loyalty among all the brands present in India as of now.

Rating a well deserved five stars, and will comment post a more thorough read. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures from the showroom -

Price list for Bangalore -
Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-img_5633.jpg

View from third row. Airy and premium -
Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-img_5635.jpg

Second row legroom -
Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-img_5637.jpg

Under thigh support for third row -
Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-img_5641.jpg

Legroom for third row -
Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-img_5642.jpg

Cockpit -
Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-img_5644.jpg

A closer look at the interiors and fabric quality of lower variants -
Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-img_5645.jpg

Closer look at alloy wheels for the lower variants -
Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-img_5651.jpg

Taking up prime exhibit space in the Toyota showroom. Makes all the others including the outgoing Fortuner feel very outdated -
Toyota Innova Crysta : Official Review-img_5640.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 17th June 2016 at 15:13.
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