Innova Hycross with 7 passengers: Highway drive impressions

With the weight of 7 people on board, I could definitely feel a difference.

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I got rather carried away typing out the Crysta encounter yesterday so I didn't get the time to talk about the second half of the day, when the car was fully loaded with 7 people on board including me, the driver.

Here it is with 2 people in the middle captain's seats and 3 people in the 3rd row. Both front seats are empty. I wanted to check out whether it would squat down like in that one picture that was posted here where it was fully loaded. I couldn't notice any difference in the rear stance but the car was standing still on gravel so I'm not sure if that plays a part.

Here is the car while it is empty for comparison. Note: I have flipped the image so it is easier to compare.

With the weight of 7 people on board, I could definitely feel a difference in regenerative braking. The car was now coasting much further and the actual brakes would kick in a lot more when slowing down. You can tell when the actual brake pads have kicked in by looking at the Eco Meter which will be pushed all the way to the end of the 'charging zone' and will not move further even when pushing the brakes down further.

Courtesy of Kerala's uneven terrain, I had to go up a rather steep climb and then stop before reaching the top because of an intersection. The Hycross didn't have any trouble going up and didn't have any trouble starting off after coming to a complete stop either. Hill hold assist kicked in automatically when I lifted off the brake pedal and the car stayed in place pressing the accelerator pushed it forward smoothly. No sudden jerks, everything was smooth and controlled and there was no unnecessary revving even with the extra weight which was pleasantly surprising.

I understand this was a rather short climb but I'm going to take it to Munnar next month and I will update here on how it does on a proper hill climb.

Another thing to talk about is the stance and wheels from the side. I must say, the wheels don't feel as undersized as I had initially thought when I first saw it in the Indonesian press reveal where it was wearing the Modellista body kit which extends the bumpers down further. It is a size smaller than competing crossovers such as the XUV700 or Tata Safari but it doesn't look bad either.

Would bigger tyres have been nicer? Yes. Are the current tyres so small that I want to upgrade them to something bigger? No.

So I have shelved my plans to upgrade the tyres to a thicker sidewall to increase the overall diameter. Besides, it will lead to the wheel speed sensors being uncalibrated and I don't want to screw up all the ADAS calculations or the handling which is pretty damn good for an MPV. It's not like I'm going to go offroad in this thing anyway.

I booked mine in November on the first day of the booking opening. I don't know if I would be considered 'early' since the Hycross went through a price hike and a Kerala road tax hike before I got mine in April. I didn't pay anything extra over the official price list. I didn't know anyone important, I just made my booking online through the official Toyota website. Maybe I got lucky with the salesman assigned to me. I told him straight up that I had booked at another dealership too and I will take delivery of whichever one arrived first.

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Power to the people