One of India’s most-loved cars, the Toyota Innova has eased itself into the pages of history. Yes, the very last units of the model have been rolled off the production line but before you heave a sigh of grief, we ought to make it clear that there’s an all-new Innova coming soon. Now although this successor is likely to come off as a better product in every plausible way, let’s not forget the brilliance of the old car that is shaping up to be a sure shot future classic.
Among many, here are our top 5 reasons that made the old Innova great.
Reliable to the boot
The fact that the Innova is well over a decade is almost implausible. Sure, there had been a few updates along the way but Toyota kept the old Innova in pretty much the same shape and yet, jacked up the prices to a point where the outgoing model range was nearly twice as expensive when compared to the original. Funnily enough, us Indians were only too willing to pay so much simply because of the legendary reliability of the old model. To start with, things hardly ever went wrong even after years of hard driving. Secondly, Toyota’s trusty after-sales support means there’s hardly a nightmare even in the case of a mechanical failure.
Built like a tank
The old Innova was built to last and last long. And it’s why we would buy one in a heartbeat if we were to keep and run a used car for years to come. The overall built quality is first-rate and it will probably take 6-digit figures on the odometer for the cabin plastics to start rattling or squeaking. And because everything inside the cabin and the mechanical bits are hardwearing, the Innova has turned out to be immensely reliable on the long run. Do not be surprised to see mechanically fit cars being used as taxis with well over 3 lakh kilometres on the clock.
India’s new-age people mover
The Innova was introduced as a replacement to the highly successful Qualis and while the latter was hardly a dynamically accomplished product, the Innova was. The old car was built around a fairly modern body-on-frame construction and as a result, felt the most car-like to drive compared to the existing people movers.
Big on the inside and comfortable
The Innova’s cabin has gone through a significant number of updates in its 10 year-plus lifecycle that made it more luxurious but none with regards to the design or the layout. So while it may look a bit utilitarian for some, the cabin is big on the inside and features three rows of breathing space for full-sized adults. Models configured with captain seats in the middle offer even more flexibility, however, do note that those arm chair-like seats aren’t exactly as accommodating as the bench-type layout.
Holds its value like gold
Thanks to its bulletproof reliability and all-round appeal as a people carrier as well as a lifestyle vehicle, Innovas often rack up close to half a lakh kilometres within a couple of years of ownership and that ultimately makes the hunt for a clean, low mileage example quite difficult. And because it’s so popular among varied set of buyers, the Innova demands a rather high resale value. Take this clean-looking January 2014 model, for instance, which has covered nearly 50,000kms and yet, is listed at a rather generous Rs 16.50 lakh as a used buy.