Need a car for 2 years: Should I buy a 14 year old Toyota Innova

I need one more year to comfortably commit to a 25 lakh car. Two days back I get a call from my friend in town that one of his friends is thinking of selling his Innova.

BHpian jonesanto recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Guys, I need to make decision on a used car purchase with a tight deadline.

I have never purchased a used car, I have an immaculate condition 2006 Elantra, which is my daily drive in and around the city. I use my brother's Innova for long drives. I sold my Octavia last year and I am starting to think maybe that was a bad decision, but the offer was too good to pass. I finished my house construction in Kerala which we started in 2020 Feb. March 2020 we went to first lock down, then everything changed. It left me with no money when I finished the house construction and from someone using an Elantra and Octavia, it has to be an upgrade, and in this market I am easily looking at big 25 ones if I need a proper upgrade, so I am not looking to purchase anything now.

Brother's Innova is their company vehicle which is used for outstation business trips and at times there has been date clashes that both needed the car on particular dates and so on. Brother also owns a Fortuner and he sends that car. This makes a little uncomfortable even though he is family, and I am sure my bother doesn’t mind and it is just all me.

I need one more year to comfortably commit to a 25 lakh car. Two days back I get a call from my friend in town that one of his friends is thinking of selling his Innova. The guys is abroad now and looks like he is not coming back permanently anytime soon. Car belongs to a reputed business guy in town, single owner, all services done at Toyota only. Car is old, shape changed not sure which model and we decided to take a look at the car.

We went to see the car, first impression, the colour has changed! Red flag. Yes it has changed in RC too, asked about it and the son wanted it to look different. He had spent a lot of money on interior too, new seat covers, good audio system, neat and clean interiors. Drove the car, it drives well. Few issues here and there but nothing big. Checked body, under body, engine bay. Good tyres, battery is 2018. In general, not bad. Then we checked the RC and it is a 2008 model. No way I am purchasing a 14 year old car. I told my friend the same and he said, you need a car for like one or two years, this is in good condition, Innova is reliable and it will easily serve my purpose. Then I spoke to my trusted mechanic and he said, if it’s maintained well, take it. What? Then I asked my brother, he is like, you are using my Innova, why do you ask me? Just take it if the price is right.

Then I realized one thing, not one person is going to say no to an Innova, no wonder it is one of the most popular MUVs in India. Even my wife, who doesn’t know anything about cars said if all good, go ahead.

Usually I am a person very clear on what I need and what I don’t need. Desperate times call for desperate measures? I need a car for outstation drives, I don’t have long drives every month, let’s say once in three months one Bangalore trip.

This family has not put an ad anywhere and they will only sell the car to someone they know. So I told my friend, let’s say, without thinking, if it’s for 2 lakh or something I can think because it is an Innova. And they actually agreed if it is for me. My friend had put a good word for me and his friend wants the car to go to someone who will take care of it. Money is not an issue here.

This put me in a difficult situation, I know no one will give an Innova for 2 lakh irrespective of what the condition is. Me and my friend went to Toyota service with this car, did a proper check-up. Brake needs new master cylinder and booster and they said it will be 15K with labour. Shocks are in decent condition, nothing major, lower arm bushes can be changed they said, nothing urgent. Then small things like, wiper change, one bulb gone etc. A major service has been done in 2019, guessing they were planning to use it and then COVID struck. Work done in 2019 is complete clutch overhaul, brake pads, some gaskets changed due to oil leak, AC full service. EGR cleaning. A normal service done in March of 2022 for 10k. Vehicle has done 1.7 lakh kms. They also said that the car has not met with any major accidents.

Did I miss anything? If did, please feel free to point it out.

I am not looking to purchase any other used cars. I did not even want purchase this, but do you guys think the car is good for another 2 years? Should I get this car or not?

This is the only pic I have and it looks new inside and out because they did a lot of work in 2019 and then it was not used due to COVID:

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

My cardinal rule with used cars is:

  • Never buy one with over 40000 - 50000 km
  • Never buy one that's over 5 years old.

But this is an Innova & it's dirt cheap. The price is way below fair market value. Go for it, but get a pre-purchase inspection done from a Toyota dealer. If it clears that test, just pay the 2-lakhs the same day itself and take her home.

If you use it for a longer time, good. If you resell it within 2 years, you'll actually make a profit. Have two 1st-gen Innovas in my closest circle, both are ~15 years old with 2+ lakh km on the odometer, and regularly do Mumbai-Goa and Mumbai-Ahmedabad trips. One of the owners recently got a full body paint overcoat at the Toyota dealer as he still doesn't want to sell it.

Here's what BHPian Prowler had to say on the matter:

I don't see any reason why you are making such a fuss over the age of the car. If the price is right, you should go ahead and buy the Innova. You have checked out the MUV with the ASS and they gave a positive report and it is a Toyota. If I were you, I would just check the underbody for rust and if found negative, complete the deal.

Older cars may not have the bells and whistles you might expect from the modern ones, but they can still serve you well.

I bought a 10 year old Ambassador and transplanted her petrol engine to an Isuzu diesel and used the car for nearly a decade. Even my current ride is getting a bit long in the tooth but she ages a lot more gracefully than me.

"Age can not wither her nor can custom stale her infinite virtue" Shakespeare said that for a woman which can equally apply to a well maintained car.

Here's what BHPian SoumenD had to say on the matter:

Just 1.7L run Innova diesel for 2lakhs? Damn, that sounds too good to be true. Go for it man.

If some cabbie was reading this thread, he would have already reached out to the person and picked it up cash down by now am sure.

Here's what BHPian narayans80 had to say on the matter:

You have already taken to a Toyota ASS and they haven't thrown you any red flags mechanically. I hope you've already confirmed there is no accident history.

For a clean, first owner Innova with just 1.7 lakh on odo, 2 lakhs is too good to be true. I've seen 6 lakh INR Innovas with 2.5-3 lakh on the clock.

Here's what BHPian GreasyCarb55 had to say on the matter:

I know you've already made up your mind of buying this Innova and as someone who's family has owned an Innova 2.5 Diesel since 2011 I can tell that you have struck literal gold.

Ours has been converted from Type 2 to Type 4 and has run a similar 171,000km, my dad has colleagues offering him around 10-12 lakh for our car so 2 lakh is as I said, literal gold for an Innova with 1.7 lakh on the odo.

Heck, get a nice head unit with Android Auto and Apple Carplay along with a speaker/subwoofer upgrade and maybe some nice alloys if you wish and I guarantee that you will be happy enough to keep the Innova for another 4-5 years let alone 2. Plus the Gen 1 Innova is a hard car to replace, only another Innova or something more expensive will do.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.


A helmet will save your life