Arguably the biggest change comes on the inside of the new Innova. To begin with, the cabin feels spacious, open and crisply styled. The design is fresh, well-detailed and the swooping dash top looks really great without being overdone. The single piece of metal strip which runs across the top of the dashboard from the left most air vent to the right most looks classy and highlights the dash design. The manual transmission variant gets an all-black cabin which looks sporty, while the automatic top variant features brown upholstery which lends the cabin a more upmarket feel. 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 blue backlit instrument cluster looks modern and the digital centre screen hosts a comprehensive trip computer. USB and aux-in ports are cleverly placed in the middle for an easy access for front and rear passengers. As an observation, we would have preferred more USB ports especially considering it’s a premium seven-seater. The touchscreen is intuitive to use and it hosts various information like satellite navigation, eco display (which shows how efficiently you are driving), Bluetooth telephony and music system controls. On the downside I would have preferred the volume control to be a knob, instead of a button for easier access while driving. Overall quality is a big jump over the old car and Toyota has paid great attention to detail to make the car feel more premium. The touch points like the armrest on the doorpad is covered in soft velvety fabric, the chunky leather wrapped steering with large control button is great to hold, the gloss black finish on the front doorpads look classy (weirdly, the rear doorpad gets wood finish) and even the control stalks are of high order. But as you look further down, some of the bits disappoint. The sea of black hard plastics around the glovebox 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.
Thanks to the larger dimensions, the cabin feels wider and more spacious than before. Seat comfort is first rate and the contoured front buckets are very comfortable. The driver seat in this top Z variant is powered too, so finding an ideal driving position is extremely easy. The middle row sees the biggest improvement and wider cabin has allowed Toyota to give wider captain seats which are better than the outgoing model in every way. They are more supportive. Underthigh support is really good and the reclining backrest makes this a great chauffer-driven car. You also get adjustable blue ambient lighting on the ceiling which livens up the cabin. Even the front passenger seat can be adjusted using a well designed lever from the back. If you love working on the go, the foldable trays in the back are placed at an ideal height and their 7 kg weight capacity make them perfect to place your laptops on. The third row though is not a huge improvement over the old car and the combination of the high floor and low seat makes it comfy only for short stints. You also get a removable headrest for the middle passenger (how will he fit in the narrow seat is a different matter) and all three occupants get three-point seatbelts. Visibility from the third row though is hampered by the stylish triangular quarter glass. With all three rows up, boot space is reasonable and can be extended by folding the last row when not in use.
We had the top Z variant on our drive and it was packed to the brim. It gets a touch screen infotainment system, navigation, bluetooth, USB and aux-in ports, Eco and Power engine modes, powered mirrors with retract, three-zone climate control ambiente roof lighting folding tables for the second row, 12-volt sockets for all three rows and a massive the 20 one- litre bottle holders.
In terms of the safety kit, the Innova Crysta really impresses. The top Z variant came with seven airbags, ABS, brake assist, ESP and hill-start assist. Toyota also revealed that the Crysta will get three airbags (driver, passenger and driver knee airbag) and ABS standard across the range.