First of all, I would like to thank my friends and other Carwale customers who have reviewed my Verna feedback and encouraged me to write about my current cars. Thank you once again.
I am not a person born with Silver spoon (??)... I am mentioning this because I have been upgrading to new cars every second year (inexplicable for a middle class salaried person). But there are certain things which compel you to take certain decisions.
I owned a petrol Verna till I decided to upgrade to Toyota Innova. After I made this decision and committed to a fairly large monthly EMI (on loan), I am not feeling guilty one bit. That is the satisfaction I have derived from my Innova. My children are loving it, my parents are very comfortable, my wife feels pampered and I feel completely in control (of the road)
Now coming to the specifics...
Exterior One of the best designs for a big vehicle. Looks extremely attractive and up market. There might be several Innove taxis on road but still you feel it is still a private vehicle. Toyota does sell White colored Innova's in the higher variants. Good thought. I have fitted a rear spoiler to enhance the looks and bring in more stability. It is really working. The colors available are equally good. For a change a Black colored Innova pales in comparison with light colored ones. Alloy wheels a must to get the ultra good looking Innova. You need not worry about the wide tyres. It already has 205mm wide tyres which is good enough. Do not waste money for those extra wide tyres. It does not make much sense and also it might spoil the looks.
Interior One of the best in class. I tested Safari, Scorpio and Xylo before deciding on Innova. Those vehicles are no way closer to Innova when it comes to interior quality, space and feel. Innova is a class apart. Very plush, roomy and spacious... You might consider some upgrades if you want to feel better. I went for Toyota's leather seats, wood finish on door trims and dashboard, JBL speakers and JVC music system to complete the interiors. It is making me feel rich inside
Note: All of the above accessories are genuine Toyota and pricey. So please decide based on your pocket size.
Performance The 2.5 lt diesel engine is quite capable to pull 8 people on board. However, the 103PS power feels little less if you are used sedans, like I am. But nevertheless the power is linear and you will not feel any turbo lag whatsoever unlike Safari or a Scorpio. In terms of body roll, it is expected of a car of this size. But again, it is much less compared to other vehicles in this segment probably because it is not as tall as other vehicles in this category. Driving position is excellent, no matter how miles you munch, you feel still fresh. But you might feel frustrated when smaller cars like Swift, Santro overtaking you on highways. As I mentioned before it is little underpowered for its size. But this feature makes it a safer vehicle. Speed enthusiasts will definitely complain!
Further, city driving is not very difficult as people would assume. However, one should avoid narrow bylanes. Come on! you should respect a vehicle of this size for heaven's sake!
Mileage The most important factor for Indian owners, it is giving me 14.5 KMPL on highways with AC (80% of the time) and 12 KMPL in city with AC (again 80% of the time). Please do expect more from a car of this size and weight (2.3 tons). Some of my friends have got 16 KMPL on highways, might be true!
Price This is the most damaging part of Innova. It is very very very PRICEY to be very mild. With couple more lakhs one can buy bigger SUVs today. To add the ex-showroom you pay a huge amount of road tax in Karnataka (the highest in the entire country). But if you are planning not to change your vehicle for the next 5-6 years and have a bigger family (in today's world anything more than 4 people is a big family) then you should pay that extra money and go for Innova. It is really worth it.
Overall, I would say it is a very good vehicle if not the best for an Indian family.