Climb up into the driver’s seat of the Marazzo and you get a commanding view of the front. The low dashboard and huge glass area gives you an unobstructed view, which makes driving in traffic easy. The fit and finish of the interior is also clearly the best we have seen on a Mahindra product yet. Plastic quality is much improved, the pieces of trim fit together well and the stalks are nice and chunky. In fact, when put it beside the Toyota, surprisingly it’s the cheaper Marazzo that exudes more consistent quality levels. Where the Marazzo could have been better is in terms of ergonomics. The cup-holders under the front armrests are difficult to access and the stylish yacht-like handbrake lever makes reaching USB ports difficult. The touchscreen infotainment screen is a huge improvement over old Mahindra’s, as the graphics and software look premium enough.
In comparison the Crysta’s dashboard looks more modern, is well detailed and the swooping dash top that looks great without being overdone. Details like the single piece of metal strip which runs across the top of the dashboard look premium and classy. Visibility from the high front seats is good and this makes it easy to drive especially in traffic. Despite the swooping dash, ergonomics are spot-on and everything from the touchscreen to the air-con controls are tilted upwards for ease of use. The touchscreen is intuitive to use and displays various information like satellite navigation, eco display (which shows how efficiently you are driving), Bluetooth telephony and music system controls. On the downside we would have preferred the volume control to be a knob for easier access while driving.
Overall quality especially on the upper portion of the dashboard is quite good. But considering that it’s an expensive car we expected better consistency especially lower down in the cabin. The sea of black hard plastics around the glovebox, cupholders and doorpads look shiny and the graining could have been better too. Even the air-con buttons are too small and the chrome finish doesn’t look very convincing either.
Despite the smaller dimensions, the Marazzo proved to be surprisingly more spacious than the Innova. Thanks to the transverse engine placement and front wheel drive layout, Mahindra engineers had more room to play with as there isn’t any transmission tunnel intruding in the cabin.
The spacious front seats of the Marazzo are comfortable and visibility is fantastic too. The Innova doesn’t do too badly for front-seat comfort either. In fact, the seat is very spacious and visibility from the slightly higher perch is better still.
Shift your focus to the middle row and the Marazzo is the more spacious of the two. It has 3cm more kneeroom and a massive 6cm more headroom. Even the captain seats are better contoured than the Innova’s. In the all-important third row, the Innova fares slightly better than the Marazzo. The seat is a tad higher and there is more kneeroom and headroom on offer as well. Although both Mahindra and Toyota claim to be able to accommodate three passengers in the third row, the restricted width makes them best for two. Here too, the Innova, thanks to better width, adjustable headrest and three-point seat belt for the centre passenger makes a better case for accommodating three adults than the Marazzo.
Both cars have large luggage bays with the third row folded. But the Innova Crysta has a flat loading bay and lower loading lip. The Marazzo’s third row folds, but doesn’t tuck away like in the Innova and the intrusion makes loading and placing luggage a chore.
The Mahindra Marazzo, despite being the newer car, is still a little sparse as far as standard equipment is concerned. It does get the basics right, but even then, you get a lot more in the Crysta. Things like powered driver’s seat, auto headlamps and keyless go are missing on the Mahindra. You get Seven airbags on the Innova as compared to just two on the Marazzo. Even when you consider the lower variant of the Innova, you still get more features than the Marazzo.