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Old 27th March 2005, 22:49   #1
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Default Toyota Innova D4D test driven

Finally one Wednesday afternoon, i gathered the courage to call up Shinrai Toyota at Mahalaxmi and get myself booked for an Innova test drive today. A lot had been said about the long queues by people to get a sneak preview of the car, so it made sense that i book my place for the occassion.

First up, a walk through the car.

The exteriors have an excellent finish, a few notches higher than the erstwhile Qualis. The shut-lines are tighter, the car feels more tauter and the overall look isn't much MUV, more MPVish to be honest. Its quite huge to look at, something that takes time to digest. The car runs on 195/205/60 R15 tyres and has 5 variants for both the Petrol and Diesel. The base diesel and petrol versions are nicknamed E while the rest are the G and top-of-the line V version. My ride was the top-of-the line V version, complete with body coloured bumpers and mirrors, fog lamps, rear-wash wiper and alloy wheels.

On the inside the vehicle justifies its huge appearance... its ability to liberate interior room. The driving seats and position are nearly spot on, but the A-pillar does show some blind spots. The round dials are simple and not as gimmicky as one expects them to be. The car is loaded with ABS brakes as well as twin airbags, the former has some issues which i shall talk about in the driving experience.

The top of the line V version also has captain chairs for its middle row and a 3 seater configuration at the rear. Seat belts are provided for all 7 passengers, as well as vents for the middle and the rear rows. There is seat fabric and not leather all round, something hard to understand. If that's not all, the fabric is the type that will attract dirt fast due to its material as well as colour (creme).

On the move:

My friend and myself had to share the test drive with a young couple and their even younger children. We took the 3rd row for this reason, and our initial impressions while trying it out at the showroom vanished and soon realised that the car is quite comfy even in the 3rd row which generally is meant for children. 5'10" and less should find the seating quite comfy actually. The AC is powerful, it doesn't chill fast but does make the temperature quite ambient after a few minutes.

A few minutes into the "family" drive and i was in the driver's seat. First gripe: The seat doesn't firmly sit in the right position and is quite sensitive. Takes some time to get the position right. The gears are heavy to use and require a firm hand, but since it still is an MUV it isn't all that bad since it does slot into the right gear no matter what.

The diesel is torquey and the clatter can be felt in the front seats, quite a bit infact. The body holds tight and the fittings are good enough to hold some wheel-spinning antics. There is torque that builds up in the 2000-2200 rpm band and upwards till 3500 rpm. The engine revvs right upto 4500 rpm, but by 3500 rpm, the torque is pretty much churning its lungs out. Progress is brisk, quite a bit like the Scorpio. The Scorpio though feels a bit more torquey, but that will be subject to scrutiny once i get my hands on the CRDe.

The car lunges to 3 digits quite easily infact, something never felt in the Qualis. The body roll is quite contained, far less than some tall boy small cars. The brakes though are my bone of contention. The wheels tend to lock at the slightest intent to brake hard. Its stable under braking, but the brakes lock quite often, even under moderate braking. It can probably be attributed to an ill-timed ABS sensor plus the combination with drums at the rear.

The in-dash two din stereo can be said to be bearable at best. Serious audiophiles know what to do. The knobs on the dash board are rotatory and the overall feel of the switches is tactile and slots into its position smoothly. The overall fit and finish are of a high order.

So would i suggest a buy sign on this car. Well, honestly...no. Hard to believe isn't it, but at 8 lakhs for the base model which doesn't even sport a power steering is rather expensive. The V model retails at 11.2 lakh, on-road Mumbai. At that price several C++ segment cars are available. Its more involving than the Corolla to drive IMO, but it still retains the typical Toyota "sterile drive" feel where one feels disconnected with what the wheels are doing.

Overall, a 7.5 on 10. The vehicle isn't earth shattering, but if you must have one, head for the G2 variant that IMO seems the best value for money.

It should head the Honda City way. A great package that suits the typical Indian pallete. But not the Indian car enthusiast.

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Old 27th March 2005, 22:50   #2
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Gr8 write up Revv.!! Talking about the Innova....have gotto see many of them around the airport. They seem to be pretty huge.
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Old 27th March 2005, 23:09   #3
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Nice writeup. Didn't you test drive the petrol? I should be doing the same, shortly. Will contribute my inputs as well.

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Old 27th March 2005, 23:26   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu
Nice writeup. Didn't you test drive the petrol? I should be doing the same, shortly. Will contribute my inputs as well.

Shan2nu
Since diesel would be one of the largest selling ones, i decided too get myself the diesel test drive. The petrol one should shortly occur, albeit when the lines aren't as lengthy.....
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Old 28th March 2005, 00:48   #5
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Hmm.Maybe I should get a test drive myself.I hope the local dealer has demo versions in petrol and diesel.I've seen quite a few of the Innovas aloready on the road.As always,the full option looks better,not that it would win a beauty contest,whereas the base version looks rather drab.So much for first impressions.Now for that test drive........
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Old 28th March 2005, 10:12   #6
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Good writeup Revv

IMO that it will be difficult for the Innova to replace the Qualis in the market where the latter sold the most, n ie the commercial tourist vehicle market.

Technical details apart, the image of a MUV/jeep as a ruf-n-tuf vehicle for commercial purposes is set in the Indian customers mind. A MPV (van for the lay-man who's gonna buy it) which is priced at a premium (even for the base model, esp when compared to the qualis) is not a VFM thing.

Also, a small nuance which i feel may have some effect is the lack of luggage space per se; coz in the qualis, 4 could be seated in the back, n also could accomodate a cpla bags under the bench.

Still, it wil be a wait n watch scenario as to how the Indian buyer looks at it
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Old 6th April 2005, 19:51   #7
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Good write up revv.
You should consider writing for some mags.
I agree that the car is expensive but toyota is notlooking for qualis type taxi buyers but more private buyers but surprisingly 7000 have been booked.
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Old 6th April 2005, 20:21   #8
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dude did you see the size of the car, only a driver can drive it LOL
It has thousands and thousands of cubic space inside. It looked like a small car untill it drove pas.. my zen the window of innova starts after the top of the zen. definetly not a mini van like in US or doesnt feel like a SUV either. might be an answer to fusion. I thought fusion was big when saw in ADS , but it was the other way round. Hope it doesnt be in luxury taxiis segment. My perspective no no for family drivin. I went for it but changed my mind immediately because of size,although I liked the looks and engine and build quality for that price.waitin list for 4 months in hyd. wonder what people want.

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Old 10th April 2005, 10:53   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvmaster
We took the 3rd row for this reason, and our initial impressions while trying it out at the showroom vanished and soon realised that the car is quite comfy even in the 3rd row which generally is meant for children. 5'10" and less should find the seating quite comfy actually.
ARevvmaster
Well .. i do not think that 3rd row is comfortable ...
I had seen a new D4D being fitted with after market accessories at my friends accessories shop ... I sat in the 3rd row and i was feeling so uncomfortable and i am just 5'8" .. there is nor proper folding of our legs as in first two rows .... Except for this everything else is Good in that car ...
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Old 14th June 2007, 16:03   #10
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Post Innova D4D V




Today called a Toyota Innova D4D V for a test drive, the car had done around 22000kms : -

Performance - The car is really not powerful, you need to shift gears at 3000RPM or so to keep it moving and reaching 100kmph is not a easy task, managed to take it to 120kmph with shifting at 3500RPM, could do with a lot more power and torque of 20.4 is very very less for a 2.5L engine considering a Swift manages 19.0Kgm.

The airfilter box is huge, and only Petes is the only method to increase performance, which is a must.

Braking - The car came equipped with ABS and still the braking was below average, this can be attriubuted to the poor 205's Goodyear GT3, this car needs bigger rubber asap and rear drums didnot help much in braking.

Gearshift - On starting the vehicle, the whole gear shift lever vibrates insanely. Gearshift vibrates too much.

Looks - Hmmmm, lets not even go there

Build quality - is ok, the ashtray was coming out.

FE - The diesel gives 10 in City and the Petrol gives 6-7kmpl

VFM - There is a thread started by GTO by the name Corolla, nope Innova. Well after driving both the cars i will tell you why Innova is cheaper.

Corolla has more features then the Innova, here are a few i can remember of : -

Dead Pedal
Glass Antenna ( The antenna of the Innvoa is horid)
Leather Seats
Lumbar Support
Audio Controls on steering wheel
Rear Discs
Smoother gearshift
Electric Retractable Mirrors

Comfort - The car is very comfortable and the only reason to buy one.

Overall - I wouldnot buy one till Toyota launches a new one with improved features, the car needs more power, better features atleast lumbar and leather(optional) and wider tyres and bigger too, there is a huge gap in between the tyre and the body.


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Old 14th June 2007, 16:12   #11
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I don't understand why you did a testdrive so late. What took you so long?
Innova is a big success with all the poor problems you have mentioned.
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Old 14th June 2007, 16:19   #12
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BUSA do you know what is the meaning of Lumbar support?
All cars have lumbar support(bucket seats). It all depends on your back shape etc,
For example tall people find Indica and santro back seats very good for the lumbar area. However esteem front seats have very poor lumbar support.
No car, except for ones what allow different types of adjustments on seat height etc., can have seats which are comfortable for every frame.
So I find this funny. "No lumbar support"
Innova in my opinion has excellent lumbar support. I have history of slip disk, and I notice poor seats very quickly. With shoulder injury thrown in I can tell quickly whether a car has nice egronomics easily, because if it doesnot it pains real bad sometimes.
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Old 14th June 2007, 16:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Performance - The car is really not powerful, you need to shift gears at 3000RPM or so to keep it moving and reaching 100kmph is not a easy task, managed to take it to 120kmph with shifting at 3500RPM, could do with a lot more power and torque of 20.4 is very very less for a 2.5L engine considering a Swift manages 19.0Kgm.
Thats the first time I hear someone say that mate.... I have driven the Innova (have two in the family) extensively and have never once felt it was under powered. At times we had comfortably kept up with the Skoda L&K (Diesel) both doing some spirited driving. It needs to be driven like a diesel car.... if you know what I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Braking - The car came equipped with ABS and still the braking was below average, this can be attriubuted to the poor 205's Goodyear GT3, this car needs bigger rubber asap and rear drums didnot help much in braking.
Not so, IMHO. Braking is actualyl very good indeed, both within the City and in the Highway. For once, the OE tyres are pretty good and does not need upsizing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Gearshift - On starting the vehicle, the whole gear shift lever vibrates insanely. Gearshift vibrates too much.
You have a valid point there @ starting clatter, but the gearshifts are very smooth even after 50K KM in our cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Build quality - is ok, the ashtray was coming out.
you are joking... right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
FE - The diesel gives 10 in City and the Petrol gives 6-7kmpl
What else do you expect out of a close to 2 TON behemoth? It's an MUV afterall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Comfort - The car is very comfortable and the only reason to buy one.
Very valid.... it's middle seats are the best in the class, may be only after the Safari (debatable, I know, but thats again, IMHO).

No offences mate, but are you trying too hard to find something wrong with the car? may be we should call you the official Team-BHP Critic
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Old 14th June 2007, 16:51   #14
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Quote:
I don't understand why you did a testdrive so late. What took you so long?
Cars like Innova dont intrest me to go for a test drive, i was interested in buying one so took a test drive.

Quote:
Innova is a big success with all the poor problems you have mentioned.
I dont say Inonva is a bad vehicle by any measure but these small problems like Drums at the rear and lack of leather seats should be rectified with a newer version rather then launching limited editions with graphics ala MUL style.

Quote:
No car, except for ones what allow different types of adjustments on seat height etc., can have seats which are comfortable for every frame.
@ TSK - When i said No lumbar Support it clealy means that the feature for adjusting the lumbar is missing, i have clearly stated that comfort is the main reason to buy one, instead of just glancing through my post take time in reading what i wrote, i have clearly said features missing in Innova which Corolla has is Lumbar Support and the adjustment is known as Lumbar Support itself.

Quote:
Thats the first time I hear someone say that mate.... I have driven the Innova (have two in the family) extensively and have never once felt it was under powered. At times we had comfortably kept up with the Skoda L&K (Diesel) both doing some spirited driving. It needs to be driven like a diesel car.... if you know what I mean
Toyota Innova 2500cc, 102bhp, 20.4KGM
Hyundai Tucson 2000cc, 112bhp, 25KGM or so
Embera CRDi 2000cc, 140bhp, 30KGM or so

By underpowered i mean, it doesnot go the way i thought it would, i drive another diesel car, Swift and there was a marked difference in performance so you cant say that i should have driven the way diesels are meant to be.

Quote:
you are joking... right?
No, seriously it was.

Quote:
What else do you expect out of a close to 2 TON behemoth? It's an MUV afterall
Ya, i dont mind the FE of the diesel but petrol gives 6kmpl is quite expensive.

Quote:
No offences mate, but are you trying too hard to find something wrong with the car? may be we should call you the official Team-BHP Critic
No buddy, nothing at all like that, i am not trying to find any faults with the car, infact i love the Innova, its comfortable has a good ride and for 7 seater car the Innova was the first on the list and hence i test drove it first. Infact you can attribute some points to worn out tyres and poor maintainance by Toyota.
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Old 14th June 2007, 16:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post



Performance - The car is really not powerful, you need to shift gears at 3000RPM or so to keep it moving and reaching 100kmph is not a easy task, managed to take it to 120kmph with shifting at 3500RPM, could do with a lot more power and torque of 20.4 is very very less for a 2.5L engine considering a Swift manages 19.0Kgm.

The airfilter box is huge, and only Petes is the only method to increase performance, which is a must.
the innova is powerfull enough i have driven my innova and its powerful what makes you say that the car is not powerfull

and the three digit speed comes up fast and thier is no load on the engine when the a/c is on
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post

Braking - The car came equipped with ABS and still the braking was below average, this can be attriubuted to the poor 205's Goodyear GT3, this car needs bigger rubber asap and rear drums didnot help much in braking.
the breaks do the job pretty good

we have both the abs and non abs versions
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Gearshift - On starting the vehicle, the whole gear shift lever vibrates insanely. Gearshift vibrates too much.
arre bhai diesel hai so viberation have to be their
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Build quality - is ok, the ashtray was coming out.
maybe it was no attached properly but our innova the first one has done about 1.30 lac km in about 8 months and it still feels solid
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
FE - The diesel gives 10 in City and the Petrol gives 6-7kmpl
what do you want out of it bhai all three of ours give around 12+ with a/c on highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Comfort - The car is very comfortable and the only reason to buy one.
now i have to agree on this its the most comfortable muv i have ever sat in after the mb 140
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