It is once again the battle of the D-segement behemoths and this time around we have decided to pit the new Innova Sport Touring against the ever present XUV500. In this comparo, we have taken the top-of-the-line Innova Touring Sport diesel AT and the top spec XUV500 W10 AT AWD. They are both fully loaded machines and pretty much the best of what their brands offer when budget is not the main concern. The comparison has come about because these are the choices that consumers have nowadays.
At outset, these are two different body styles competing for market share with very specific USPs. The Innova in this Touring Sport guise or even in the standard Crysta trim fits the bill in terms of typical MPVs while XUV500 ticks off all the boxes with regard to a modern soft roader. While their underpinnings may be different, (RWD Vs AWD) in essence, they are both seven-seat vehicles with evenly matched proportions. While the Innova was a bit plain in its Crysta trim, this Touring Sport style with its deep colours, black wheels and little sporty bits does give the MPV an edge in terms of standout appeal. However, the XUV500 takes the winning prize here, even though it’s a bit plain, as it is an SUV body style and that is flavour of the car market these days.
Interior and features
In terms of interior and features, there is very little to separate both the vehicles. Both get the all the standard bits and bobs like the touchscreen infotainment system, multi-zone climate control, leather upholstery, three rows of seating and a plethora of storage spaces for all three rows. It is then the little bits that matter and this is where the Touring Sport gets an upper hand. It offers wood inserts in the dash, electrically adjustable passenger seat, captain seats in the second row and LED head lamps. Being featured loaded was one of the selling points of the new Innova and it is clear that Toyota has raised the stakes in terms of what is being offered in the segment.
This top-of-the-line Touring Sport model is powered by a 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engine producing 172bhp/360Nm while the XUV500 gets a 2.2-litre mill producing 140bhp/330Nm. The Innova only gets a six-speed AT while the XUV500 can also be had with a six-speed MT. The XUV500 gets torque-on-demand AWD which matches its SUV appeal while the Innova is a rear-wheel drive thanks to its Hilux pickup truck origins.
Even in its highest form the XUV500 is Rs 3.3 lakh cheaper than the Innova in this top spec Touring Sport trim. This down to the latter having extra features, bigger diesel heart and of course all the bits that give it the Touring Sport moniker. Where the Innova really gets expensive is that it is a RWD design that is underpinned by a ladder on frame chassis while the XUV500 is a monocoque with front wheel drive as standard. There is also the fact that in a segment where the sale of 1500 cars is considered a major achievement, Toyota manages to retail a massive 5000 to 6000 units of the Innova every month.