The Toyota Innova wants no introduction. This formidable people-mover, famend for its consolation, reliability and hardiness, has constructed a particularly loyal fan base over the years, consisting of fleet operators in addition to personal patrons. For this motive, it has stored Toyota’s money registers ringing ever since its launch in 2005, regardless of quite a few value hikes alongside the method.

Now, with its all-new providing, the Innova Hycross, Toyota endeavours to leverage Innova’s robust model fairness and take its sport to the subsequent stage – bigger in dimension, constructed on a brand new platform and stuffed to the gills with premium options. One of the speaking factors of the Hycross is its hybrid powertrain, which is analogous to its pricier stablemates, Camry and Vellfire. With costs estimated to be between Rs 22 lakh-30 lakh (ex-showroom), will probably be positioned above the briefly discontinued Innova Crysta, which is able to ultimately be bought alongside. Question is, can it replicate the latter’s success?

Toyota Innova Hycross: exterior, styling

Toyota designers have completed a splendid job in not simply modernising the Innova but additionally upping its butch character with out dropping its essence. So, what you see is an imposing, nearly SUV-like front-end, courtesy of its outsized hexagonal grille underlined by thick chrome, stretched-out headlamps that resemble a Fortuner and a raised, muscular bonnet. The bumper options matte silver inserts in addition to outsized horizontal LED DRLs, which double-up as flip indicators.

18-inch wheels dwarfed by large wheel arches. 

The Hycross’ profile provides away that it’s an all-new automotive from the floor up. It can move off as an SUV moderately convincingly, with its neatly sculpted physique traces, subtly outlined squared-out wheel arches and plastic physique cladding. The twin five-spoke 18-inch alloys completed in silver look engaging, though Toyota might do with a thicker tyre sidewall to fill the wheel arches higher, and on account of a moderately slim observe, each in the entrance and at the rear, the tyre profile appears disproportionate to the total physique and stance of the car. We’ve learnt that the slim observe has been opted for a tighter turning radius, which is excellent for a automotive of this dimension.

The window line in the Hycross distinctly flows downwards in direction of the rear, in contrast to the Crysta’s sharply upward kink. Its sloping rear windscreen, with its slab-sided design, horizontal tail-lamps and different parts hyperlink it to sure crossovers in Toyota’s worldwide portfolio.

Unique ‘Blackish Ageha Glass Flake’ paint choice seems black, blue or inexperienced underneath completely different gentle.

Speaking of which, the new Innova Hycross is predicated on Toyota’s world TNGA-C ‘High’ platform, so it’s a monocoque, the engine is transversely mounted and it powers solely the entrance wheels (all-wheel-drive obtainable in some worldwide fashions). This is in stark distinction to the outgoing Innova Crysta, which is a ladder-frame development; its engine is longitudinally mounted and it drives the rear wheels. Due to its newer-gen development, the Hycross hybrid is over 200kg lighter than the diesel-automatic Innova Crysta; the petrol-only model is even lighter.

The Hycross is 20mm longer, 20mm wider and as tall as the outgoing Crysta, however its wheelbase is longer by a whopping 100mm, with its wheels pushed to the corners. Interestingly, floor clearance stays similar to the outgoing Crysta.

Toyota Innova Hycross: inside particulars, area

Being a monocoque, what you’ll instantly discover is a extra agreeable cabin top attributable to a decrease flooring than the Crysta, so ingress and egress is a breeze. Its interiors are a far cry from the moderately spartan cabin of the Crysta, not solely when it comes to design, however even when it comes to the colors, high quality and structure. The horizontally oriented touchscreen in addition to the air vents intensify the width of the dashboard, and a few padded bits with contrasting double stitching give it a premium flavour.

Front seats really feel plush, and luxury is elevated by the air flow characteristic.

The brown and black theme with the matte silver highlights additional elevate its attraction. A welcome addition are bodily buttons for local weather management, for key capabilities of the touchscreen, in addition to for different capabilities like drive modes and electrical parking brake. Uniquely, the gear console is an extension of the dashboard, so it sits beneath the HVAC controls, and the lever operates with a moderately strong, satisfying click on.

Fit-finish and high quality of some plastics decrease down don’t befit a automotive of this value. And whereas the gear console has freed up area, there isn’t anywhere to relaxation the driver’s telephone flat (inside simple attain). You get two cup holders between the entrance seats and a big elbow field. There’s a nifty shelf on the passenger aspect above the glove field the place you may stow your smartphone, and Toyota will even set up a wi-fi charger as an adjunct.

The 1.6kWh nickel steel hydride (NiMH) battery positioned beneath the entrance seats.

But the Hycross’ high-riding stance lends drivers a commanding view of the highway and a glimpse of the flattish bonnet, which many are more likely to respect. The entrance seats are broad and have glorious cushioning, and what makes them much more comfy is the air flow perform. This time round, the driver’s seat can be electrically operable with two reminiscence capabilities.

Toyota has positioned the hybrid’s battery beneath the entrance seats, and there’s even a vent on the passenger aspect to chill it. But does that eat into the footroom and luxury of center row passengers? No, in actual fact, the prolonged wheelbase ensures that knee, leg and foot room for center passengers is loads. If you go for captain’s chairs, you get a set of part-electric chairs with ottomans, extensions on which you’ll be able to relaxation your legs if you actually wish to stretch out, thus taking consolation to the subsequent stage.

Captain chairs with ottomans supply enterprise class consolation ranges. Front seats have to be manually prolonged for full ottoman profit. 

In order to make use of it successfully, you’ll have to maneuver the entrance passenger seat ahead, subsequently, it isn’t of a lot use behind the driver. With the center slid absolutely behind and the entrance passenger seat all the method ahead, you’re in for a enterprise class-like expertise, with the ottoman supporting your legs, and the backrest in a reclined (electrically operable) place. The passenger behind the driver’s seat, nonetheless,  could have restricted area to stretch.

Large panoramic sunroof floods cabin with gentle.

For the consolation and comfort of rear passengers, there are window shades, a devoted local weather management unit, and a nifty foldable tray with cup holders between the captain’s chairs. The Hycross additionally includes a panoramic sunroof that floods the cabin with gentle and accentuates the sense of area. AC vents transfer to the sides of the roof, however these did really feel moderately flimsy to function.

Getting to the third row is fairly simple too, as the center row slides all the method in entrance, liberating a big opening to trundle by means of. Once sat, you’ll respect the area and luxury of its third row. It feels fairly vibrant and ethereal, so even adults might be comfy on lengthy drives with out feeling worse for put on.

Third row is comfortable sufficient for adults. Headroom for tall adults is tight.

The backrest reclines in a 50:50 ratio, and Toyota has even provided three particular person headrests, in addition to three-point seat belts, for the occupants. At sure backrest angles, nonetheless, taller occupants will brush their heads in opposition to the ledge of the roof, so six-footers might discover headroom briefly provide.

With all seats up, there’s nonetheless area for just a few comfortable luggage.

With all seats in place, the boot has sufficient area for a few comfortable luggage, however folding the third row flat liberates cavernous cargo area. What makes loading heavy baggage very handy is the large boot opening, low flooring top and a flat loading lip. The electrically operable tailgate provides to the comfort.

Toyota Innova Hycross: options

Toyota has loaded the Innova Hycross to the gills with upmarket options like auto-LED headlamps and tail-lamps, 18-inch alloys, panoramic sunroof, ventilated entrance seats, electrically operable driver’s seat with reminiscence, multi-zone computerized local weather management, 10.1-inch touchscreen with wi-fi Apple CarPlay (and wired Android Auto), JBL sound system, acoustic and tinted windscreen, electrical tailgate, paddle shifters, tyre strain monitor, and a 360-degree parking digicam being the notable ones.

Digital instrument cluster additionally shows the stream of energy.

It additionally packs in some very helpful autonomous driver help techniques (ADAS) like blindspot monitor, adaptive cruise management, rear cross site visitors alert, excessive beam help and lane conserving help. Unlike in some vehicles, lane maintain help isn’t very aggressive or intrusive, which does make it amongst the higher techniques on the market, nonetheless, most drivers would like leaving this specific characteristic turned off because it sometimes tends to intervene whereas tackling corners.

Rather primary interface; packs wi-fi Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto.

Vehicle stability management and hill begin help are commonplace throughout the board, however we’re sore that Toyota provides aspect and curtain airbags for under two out of 5 variants.

Toyota Innova Hycross: enigne, gearbox, efficiency

Toyota is providing the Innova Hycross with a alternative of two powertrains – a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol and a 2.0-litre hybrid, the latter being the focus right here. What’s fascinating is that, whereas the petrol and hybrid share the identical 1,987cc, four-cylinder direct-injection engine, the latter runs a extra environment friendly Atkinson cycle whereby the consumption valves stay open for an extended throughout the compression stroke for a lean air-fuel combination. Hence, the petrol unit makes merely 188Nm of torque by itself, in comparison with the commonplace (non-hybrid) petrol’s 205Nm.

2.0 petrol throughout the vary; runs the environment friendly Atkinson cycle on Hybrid model.

Complementing the petrol engine is an electrical motor that pulls power from a 1.6kWh nickel steel hydride (NiMH) battery. Toyota engineers clarify that for heavier vehicles in the line-up, the tried and examined NiMH battery is their go-to choice, because it manages thermal runaway higher than lithium-ion batteries; the latter being comparatively costlier and extra suited to lighter, smaller vehicles.

By default, the Hycross begins on battery energy and it’ll calmly potter round, with the petrol engine kicking in to recharge the battery or to offer an extra punch. Toyota claims that 50-60 p.c of a typical city commute is feasible in full-electric mode, with the petrol engine enjoying a supporting function.

Monocoque structure has infused a way of confidence in the method it drives and handles.

As speeds improve, it’s the petrol engine that takes cost. With the battery-motor lending its electrical help, the automotive feels fairly responsive and the hybrid makes gentle work of small increments in pace. With no spike or sudden surge, the Hycross’ acceleration may be very linear, so some would possibly miss the midrange oomph of the turbo-diesel, however under no circumstances is the hybrid’s acceleration gradual. Toyota claims that, flat-out, it’ll speed up from 0-100kph in 9.5sec, which is spectacular for a automotive of this dimension, however as speeds climb, efficiency begins to taper.

Toyota’s e-CVT (planetary gearbox) is comfortable when pushed sedately and feels in full sync with this hybrid system. But with an aggressive driving model, significantly at freeway speeds, the e-CVT makes the engine sound strained and really feel outdoors its consolation zone, though there’s greater than sufficient efficiency on faucet. There are paddleshifters on supply, so drivers can manually choose six predefined ratios, after which there are drive modes too – Power, Normal and Eco.

High gas effectivity will maintain a examine on working prices.

The Hycross’ monocoque development begins exhibiting its prowess nearly instantly. Body actions are much better managed, and though the suspension feels a contact firmer than the Crysta’s, it drives with much more confidence this time round, attributable to its longer wheelbase, providing a planted freeway experience. Curiously, Toyota opted for moderately low-profile 225/50 R18 tyres, which have an effect on the plushness of the experience, leading to some jolts coming by means of on the sharper bumps. Also, highway noise filters by means of, significantly in the second and third row.

With higher torsional rigidity, a taut construction and a protracted wheelbase, dynamics have improved by a quantum leap, in comparison with the Crysta. It rolls and pitches much less, and feels higher behaved than the Crysta, however what actually takes the drive expertise up just a few notches is its electrical energy steering, which makes manoeuvring and parking this massive MPV a breeze. And in addition to being gentle and simple, its tight turning radius may be very spectacular. What’s good is that the steering feels constant, and it doesn’t relax aggressively like the Crysta’s hydraulic unit did.

Toyota Innova Hycross: verdict

The new Toyota Innova Hycross elevates the MPV expertise with its luxuriousness. It is a spacious 7-seater and it excels in the consolation division. It wears a extra fascinating, SUV-ish persona, and its interiors are dressed to impress with premium equipment.

The ace up its sleeve is its hybrid powertrain, which is clean, feels fast and responsive and is more likely to return staggering gas effectivity, thus conserving a examine on working prices. Being comparatively cleaner and greener than a petroleum or diesel car is barely icing on the cake. What’s extra is that its monocoque development improves its driving manners by a quantum leap, and its electrical energy steering makes it extra user-friendly than the Crysta.

Spacious, upmarket, environment friendly and good to drive, it has the makings of a hit story.

But the Hycross isn’t excellent. The e-CVT makes the engine sound strained when pushed aggressively. And though the hybrid performs properly in isolation, it lacks the diesel’s sheer punch. What may very well be a deterrent for patrons, particularly these driving in hilly areas, is its front-wheel-drive structure. Interior fit-finish and high quality of some bits don’t belong to a automotive of this section.

For all its deserves, the Innova Hycross is more likely to be priced between Rs 22 lakh-30 lakh, so will probably be costly. However, as Toyota’s gross sales mirrored in the previous, pricing hasn’t been a deciding issue for Toyota loyalists in India, as long as the product is powerful. And the method the Innova Hycross has formed up, this one has all the makings of one more success story.

Also see:

Toyota Innova Hycross video review

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