Toyota India has finally replaced its decade-old workhorse – the Innova, with an all-new model called the Innova Crysta. By all-new we mean an entirely new product that is arguably a big leap forward especially in terms of equipment levels and engine options.
Now despite its premium positioning in the full-size MPV space, the old model never really cut the mustard. Sure, it was made to last longer than eternity and drive like a car in spite of its pick-up truck genes, but there is no hiding the fact that the old Innova had become outdated by today’s MPV standards. The new Innova Crysta though, is far more upmarket, so much so that it’s fair to compare it to SUVs like the Mahindra XUV500, besides its contemporaries.
The Innova Crysta benefits from a new ladder-frame chassis which is significantly more rigid than before, thanks to additional cross-members and welding points. However, this has also resulted in the vehicle gaining more weight. In fact, the Innova Crysta weighs nearly 200kg more than the old car though to be fair, its dimensions have grown in every way as well. It’s 180mm longer (4735mm), 60mm wider (1830mm) and 40mm (1795mm) taller than before. As for the wheelbase, it remains unchanged at 2750mm.
The XUV 500, on the other hand, is 4585mm long, 1890mm wide and carries a masculine stance at 1785mm. Its wheelbase is rated at 2700mm. As a people carrier, the Innova is expectedly longer than the XUV500 although what’s come as a surprise is that it also sits higher off the ground compared to the Mahindra.
The biggest change on the Innova Crysta is on the inside wherein you will find an all-new design and layout that looks and feels thoroughly modern. Gone is the utilitarian looking cabin and in its place is an interior filled with lots of creases and soft-touch materials. The equipment list has been bumped up significantly as well.
The top-spec Z variant comes with a touch screen infotainment system, navigation, Bluetooth, USB and aux-in ports, powered mirrors with retract function, three-zone climate control ambient roof lighting folding tables for the second row, 12-volt sockets for all three rows and a massive the 20 one- litre bottle holders. As for safety, there are seven airbags, ABS, brake assist, ESP and hill-start assist. More importantly, Toyota has made it official that the Crysta will get three airbags (driver, passenger and driver knee airbag) and ABS as standard across the range.
The XUV 500 is also generously equipped with standard equipment (on top-spec variant) including a sunroof, puddle lamps on wing mirrors, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, push-button start, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, reverse parking camera and lots more. Mahindra, too, has paid close attention to the safety aspect by offering six airbags, ESP with rollover mitigation system, hill descent and hold function and disc brakes on all four corners.
In keeping with the all-new nature of this car, Toyota is offering two new engine options for the Innova Crysta. The standard 2.4-litre diesel engine is coupled with a manual gearbox and makes 150bhp at 3400rpm and 343Nm of torque between 1400rpm and 2800rpm. To compensate for the extra weight and power-sapping torque converter transmission, the automatic variant gets a more powerful 2.8-litre unit which produces 174bhp at 3400rpm and a healthy 360Nm of torque between 1200rpm and 3400rpm. ARAI fuel efficiency figures, meanwhile, for the 2.4-litre manual is 15.10kpl, and the 2.8-litre automatic is 14.29kpl.
Mahindra is offering the XUV 500 with a 2.2-litre motor producing 140bhp of power at 3750rpm and 330Nm of torque between 1600rpm and 2800rpm. The engine can be had with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Given its SUV underpinnings, the XUV 500 also gets a capable all-wheel drive system.
No matter how competent or bad a vehicle is, it all boils down to the pricing, even for buyers in the premium MPV and SUV segments. While both these vehicles have a wide spectrum of variants to choose from, it’s the XUV 500 that comes across as the cheaper buy of the two. The ex-showroom price for the entry-level W4 variant is Rs 11.96 lakh while the top-spec W10 automatic with all-wheel drive comes in at Rs 17.80 lakh.
The Innova Crysta is more expensive by a considerable margin, especially as we move on to the higher-spec variants. Nevertheless, ex-showroom prices for this highly improved model range between Rs 13.83 lakh and Rs 20.77 lakh, depending on the variant.
Click here to read our first drive report on the Mahindra XUV 500 AT