What is it?
Why will I buy the Toyota Innova Crysta Touring Sport
Mainly to standout from the rapidly growing buyers of the standard Innova Crysta range.
Why will I avoid the Toyota Innova Crysta Touring Sport
Because it doesn't offer any niceties over the standard model, apart from new paint options and a few trim pieces.
What we have in the CarWale garage for this review looks a bit different than every other Innova Crysta. Not so subtle and a little different in some ways; this is the new Toyota Innova Crysta Touring Sport. Yes, I know, we found the name to be rather long, too. But if the unrelenting success of Toyota’s long-serving MPV is any indication, this stand-out edition featuring an upbeat design ideally shouldn’t have any trouble finding buyers. In fact, during my time behind the wheel, which included a lengthy run, in and around Bombay, I was stopped a couple of times by random strangers only to be quizzed about the differences in the Touring Sport and the regular model. Admittedly, I was probably approached by diehard Innova fans, but they liked it.
It looks like the exclusive design bits on the Touring Sport have done the trick with the Innova faithful. So, what do you get? For starters, there are extra trim bits over and above the range topping 2.8 ZX AT variant, on which the Touring Sport is based, namely the smoked headlamps along with a chrome lined bumper lip. The grille also gets contrast black and chrome treatment while the alloys get a matte black finish to complement the black peripheral cladding.
Although there are no sheet metal changes, the Touring Sport manages to inject some vigour into what’s basically a textbook MPV design. This is down to the new wild fire red paint that looks really smashing. Alternatively, this special edition can be had in a pearly white shade, too.
How is it on the inside?
Inside, the Touring Sport looks and feels, wait for it, like the Innova Crysta. There’s that instant familiarity you would expect, that is both a positive and a negative. Positive, because you know what you are going to get and negative, well, because this cabin isn’t entirely premium looking or feeling. More on that later.
Again, there are minor changes made to the Touring Sport in terms of design and layout of materials – the dash is still full of horizontally layered surfacing and surprisingly lively looking trim bits. The centre console is dominated by a 7-inch display integrated nicely and sitting atop a neat series of knobs and buttons for the climate control. In terms of quality, the buttons and dials have a tactile feel and the leather-wrapped steering wheel feels great to hold as well. What also comes as a neat touch are the softly padded door armrests and the sun visors although we wish some of the bits (including the dash-mounted cup holders, the glove-box switch and the infotainment system’s UI) had a better finish.
Speaking of changes, you will notice that the Touring Sport gets all-black leather upholstery with red contrast stitching. The dash also gets a rather loud red wood trim to match the upholstery. Continuing with the red theme, the instrument cluster is backlit in red and the stitching on the steering wheel is finished in the same shade as well.
The Innova Crysta was always designed to eat up kilometres and the Touring Sport is no different. When it comes to space and practicality, there are very few vehicles on this side of Rs 30 lakhs, which are as impressive as the Toyota. You get a commanding view of the road and a surprisingly good amount of frontal visibility despite the large ORVMs. The front seats are large and accommodating and the footwell is large enough for most drivers. Toyota has put in a little extra work in improving the cabin ambience by offering sturdy tray tables and wraparound style ambient lighting on the roof for rear seat occupants. As for the actual seat comfort, there’s a great deal of legroom and headroom, but the middle row is surprisingly flat with very few contours. What’s more, the seatbelt latch for the captain seats is not a separate element but integrated into the seat base. So, with the seatbelt put on, it robs the occupant of some of the lateral support that the seat has to offer.
The Touring Sport essentially gets the same level of kit as a standard like the Innova Crysta. There’s a touch screen infotainment system with Bluetooth, USB and aux-in ports, Eco and Power drive modes, electric mirrors with retract, electric adjustment for driver’s seat and a three zone climate control. In terms of safety kit, the Touring Sport leaves a good impression by offering seven airbags, ABS, brake assist, ESP and hill-start assist.
How does it drive?
Under the long bonnet of the Touring Sport, sits a 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine with 174bhp of power and 360Nm of torque. Paired to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, this four-cylinder engine has turned the Innova into one of the quickest MPVs in the market.
Toyota hasn’t fiddled with the engine or the drivetrain whatsoever and that’s not a bad thing at all. As it stands, the 2.8-litre motor impresses under most conditions and allows this big and heavy MPV to mask its weight and get up to speed effortlessly. Thanks to the strong bottom-end and mid-range, this motor never feels strained at city speeds. Floor the pedal and it delivers power linearly with the gearbox shifting at around 3,800rpm. The 6-speeder is quick and responsive when you are in a hurry and you need to reel in that gap in traffic. It’s also smooth enough to waft along and cruise at par throttle. In fact, on part throttle, it upshifts fairly early at the meat of the torque band to make quick progress. This gearbox really allows the Touring Sport to stretch its legs out on the highway, thanks to the tall fifth and sixth ratios. Cruising at triple digits speeds with the engine hovering at just 1,600rpm, the Touring Sport is quite the long-distance hauler.
While it’s nowhere near as chuckable as the older-gen Innova, the Crysta Touring Sport exhibits a good balance of handling and ride quality that tows the line between comfort and car-like manners better than the competition. At slow speeds it soaks up corrugations and urban roads quite well while the steering is light and does a decent job of weighing up consistently as you apply more lock. Now the low-speed ride may offer an extra layer of cushioning from bumps, but up the pace over undulated roads and its reactions differ. Like the standard car, the Touring Sport tends to lope and pitch over undulations and broken surfaces on the highway, although it’s never to the point that it’s uncomfortable.
Since its hasn’t gained any weight over the 2.8 ZX trim, the Touring Sport is as fuel efficient as the latter which managed 9.8kmpl in the city and 13.9 kmpl on the highway under our test cycle.
Why should I buy one?
It’s not any different to drive or packed with extra features over the standard car, but where the Touring Sport does work well is in pure design sense. Just look at the number of cosmetically-modified Innova Crystas (or even the older gen model, for that matter) you see on the road. The Touring Sport is a good-looking vehicle and it manages to stand out in the sea of standard Innova Crystas getting around. Buyers are likely to be attracted to that, especially those who have been considering the standard Innova Crysta and wanting to jazz it up a bit.
Where does it fit in?
In terms of competition, the only alternative that comes close to the Innova Crysta Touring Sport is the Tata Hexa Tuff. The lesser known Tuff design kit on the Hexa is an optional package which costs Rs 80,000 over the standard model. The Touring Sport is more refined and better to drive, but loses out on four-wheel drive that’s available with the Hexa.
Pictures by Kapil Angane
Click here for our road test of the Toyota Innova Crysta
Click here for our comparison test between Innova Crysta and Tata Hexa