The Toyota Innova has been a popular choice among the Filipinos. It is the country’s best selling MPV, and with good reason. It’s affordable, reliable, and decently comfortable to drive and own. 10 years after the introduction of the first Toyota using the first generation IMV platform, we now have the new Hilux, Fortuner, and now, this, the Toyota Innova. What has 10 years done to the country’s best selling MPV?
For starters, it has grown up to be a good looking child. The Toyota Innova is completely different from its predecessor. A stark contrast, if you will. No design elements are shared between the two vehicles. Toyota Innova chief engineer Hiroki Nakajima states that he wanted the Innova to possess the Innova with the combined characteristics of an MPV and SUV. As a result, the Innova’s front end is chunkier and more authoritative, with a large, bold grille, and a pair of LED headlamps with LED daytime running lights heighten the look of the front end in the daytime. At the side, there is a strong character line that runs from the tip of the headlights, and then suddenly kicking back at the rear window. It’s an odd design move, and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to like this design element. At the rear, tail lights that are shaped like fangs, which is similar to the one found in the Honda HR-V and Honda Pilot.
Inside is where I think is the most interesting. There’s a mixture of different surfaces and shapes. The asymmetrical dashboard is a bold move, and certainly makes the interior a more exciting place to travel in. There’s soft touch plastics that replace the old cheap feeling plastics of the previous generation Innova. Finally, after 10 years, Toyota finally thought it was important for drivers to have reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel, so it’s now easier to find a driving position that suits many people. The G and V variants have a more interesting interior design, with faux wood and brown fabric seats instead of the dull gray interior found in the lower variants. Captains chairs are standard in the V variant, and interior LED ambient lighting is standard in the G and V variants. Elements that make the Innova a more relaxing car to be in.
There are two engine choices for the new Innova. The first one is actually surprising to everyone. The 2.8 liter 1GD D-4D diesel engine found in the highest variant of the Hilux and Fortuner can be selected on all variants. The engine is slightly detuned to give less torque. Figures are impressive for a vehicle such as this, and it would be very interesting to drive the all-new Innova on long distances to thoroughly check things out. It produces 171 hp and 360 Nm of torque. The other engine choice is the 1TR petrol engine, carried over from the previous generation, albeit with minor tweaks. It still produces 136 hp and 183 Nm of torque. Both engines can be mated to either a 5-Speed Manual or a 6-Speed Automatic with PWR and ECO Modes, while the V can only be had with the diesel and the 6-Speed Automatic.
Tweaks have been made to the Innova’s chassis. Thicker pillars ensure that chassis flex is minimized, especially on full loads and/or bump roads. The Innova is still fitted with a double wishbone front suspension and a 4-link coil spring rear suspension, the suspension has been tweaked to give a better ride. Combined with the stiffer chassis and more supple suspension, the ride of the Toyota Innova is said to have improved in leaps and bounds.
The Toyota Innova will be made at Toyota’s Sta. Rosa plant, and Toyota has retooled the factory in order to be ready for the anticipated strong demand for the vehicle, which is forecasted at 2,000 units a month. Whether you will be contributing to this sales figure is up to you, as these are the prices of the all-new Toyota Innova.
- 2.0 J MT – P 919,000
- 2.8 J MT – P 1,021,000
- 2.0 E MT – P 1,040,000
- 2.0 E AT – P 1,120,000
- 2.8 E MT – P 1,142,000
- 2.8 E AT – P 1,222,000
- 2.0 G AT – P 1,232,000
- 2.8 G MT – P 1,269,000
- 2.8 G AT – P 1,349,000
- 2.8 V AT – P 1,445,000
Hot damn it’s miles away from what the Innova used to look like.