Toyota Innova Crysta – It’s all about Power & Luxury

Origin of Innova
Origin of Innova

A little about the King of MPVs

Toyota Kirloskar Motor has been the undisputed king of the MPV segment in India for more than 15 years now. First it was the Qualis, followed by the Innova and now the all new Innova Crysta threatens to take the game miles away from the competition. Over the past decade, GM, Maruti, Mahindra, Renault, Nissan, etc made futile attempts to dethrone the Innova but couldn’t manage to dent the supremacy of Toyota in the MPV segment. Toyota Kirloskar Motor updated the Innova with minor tweaks at regular intervals to keep it in the game. But now the new Innova Crysta is all set to change the way we look at MPVs.

The Innova Crysta, which was first displayed at the Auto Expo 2016 in Delhi earlier this year, was formally launched by Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) on 13th May 2016. Priced in the range of Rs. 13,83,677 and  Rs. 20,77,930 (Ex-showroom Mumbai), the bookings started on 3rd May and deliveries will commence soon. The Crysta will be offered in Manual and Automatic transmission. While the Automatic version will be available in Zx & Gx variants, the Manual will have four variants to choose from – Zx, Vx, Gx & G.

Innova Crysta Mumbai launch

Speaking at the launch in Mumbai, Mr. Shekar Viswanathan, Vice Chairman & Whole-time Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “Ever since its launch in India, the Innova has maintained its No. 1 positioning in its segment. Often referred to as a segment creator and better known to be synonymous with MPVs in India, the Toyota Innova is one such iconic brand which is not just the pride of Toyota but the pride of over 6 lakh owners of Innova in India. Now, with the new InnovaCrysta, we intend to take this commitment a notch above by giving our customers the best Innova possible in terms of powerful performance, luxurious features, comfort and most importantly safety. The new Innova Crysta is sure to get everybody excited.

At Toyota, we are constantly striving to make our products even better catering to the changing needs of our customers. We are positive; with the InnovaCrysta we are all set to create a new benchmark in luxury, comfort and toughness,” continued Mr. Viswanathan.

Sharing his thoughts on Toyota’s new offering, Mr. N. Raja, Director & Senior Vice President (Sales & Marketing), Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd said, “Toyota has always been a front runner in leading the MPV segment since its launch in India, first with the Qualis and then with the Innova. After 11 years of being India’s No: 1 MPV in the country, it is indeed a proud moment for all of us at Toyota to bring to you the all new Innova Crysta. It’s undoubtedly the most awaited launch in India and we are thankful to our loyal customers for their persistent support and trust in the brand Innova. The Innova ‘Crysta’ has been crafted with thoughtful features and great attention to detail, that combines revolutionary technology and sophistication of Toyota. Safety being one of the most important aspects in all Toyota vehicles, we have standardized 3 SRS Airbags along with ABS, EBD & BA across all grades in the new Innova Crysta. As we present the 2nd Generation of Innova, we are certain the Innova Crysta will continue to carry forward the brand legacy.”

Built on the philosophy of QDR – Quality, Durability and Reliability, Toyota continues to present stunning ranges of vehicles that usher in a new motoring experience for the nation. For eleven times in a row, the Innova has been awarded  #1 in Initial Quality Survey (IQS) by J.D. Power Asia Pacific Awards

A perfect combination of flawless luxury and effortless power, the Innova Crysta is designed to offer sport-utility inspired styling, robust engine and well-thought out features. It sets a new benchmark for tough and sophisticated exterior, enhanced interior, powerful and efficient power-train and un-compromised luxury with a living-room-like comfort never seen before.

We had the privilege of driving the Innova Crysta in Goa last month and were mighty impressed with its looks and performance. So, whats exactly new with the Innova Crysta? Almost everything barring the name.

Overall, the Innova Crysta is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor. It’s sophisticated, flamboyant and scores high on safety and refinement too.

While the old Innova had a 2.5L KD series engine, the new Innova Crysta gets a completely new GD series Engines which are technologically advanced, more powerful and fuel efficient too. The manual transmission gets a 2.4L engine, while the automatic gets a more powerful 2.8L.

While the old Innova had 2 Air-bags in the top two variants, the new Innova Crysta boasts of a total of 7 Airbags in the top variant and even the base variant gets passenger, driver and driver side knee Airbags as standard. ABS & EBD too comes in as standard across all variants.

Broadly speaking we can safely assume that while the old Innova was utilitarian, the new Innova Crysta is a powerful, luxurious and safe MPV.

Though we had seen the Innova Crysta at the Delhi Auto Expo in Feb this year where it drew huge crowds at the Toyota pavilion, we were literally mesmerized when we saw 5 Innova Crystas parked in the hotel porch at Goa where we had arrived for a test drive. So instead of checking into our rooms, we unloaded our luggage from the cab and started clicking photographs of the Crysta, much to the amusement of the Toyota team present there.

At the media drive, we were given an opportunity to test drive the top-spec manual and automatic variants. The plan was to drive down the Goa-Karwar route in a manual transmission and return back to Goa in automatic transmission. So we got a chance to test-drive the manual as well as the automatic in real-time city and highway driving conditions.

EXTERIOR & INTERIOR:

Exterior photo gallery

The Innova Crysta looks crisp, sophisticated and imposing. The front looks bold with its huge dual-slat chrome grille and sleek LED projector headlamps. At a quick glance the profile of the Crysta may resemble the old Innova but on closer inspection you will notice that every panel is new and has subtle changes to make it visually more appealing. The rear too looks interesting with boomerang shaped tail lamp cluster, sporty spoiler and a shark fin antenna on the roof. The 17 inch alloy wheels do justice to the overall dimensions of the car. The high gloss paint finish is excellent and the Innova Crystra is arguably the most stylish MPV in India today.

Interior Photo Gallery:

As you open the door and slide into the driver’s seat, you will instantly applaud the efforts put in by the Toyota team in transforming the cabin from utilitarian to luxurious. It’s a completely new cabin stacked with all the necessities and goodies you could ever expect from a vehicle of this segment. The dashboard, the instrument console, the infotainment unit, the seats, the ambient lighting in the roof and even the thoughtfully designed door pads – everything reeks of top quality design and craftsmanship. Supremely comfortable and loaded to the gills, the USP of the Innova Crysta is indeed its lounge-like cabin.

The Innova Crysta’s cabin has the following features.

1)  The top spec manual variant gets all-black interiors with faux wood and matte silver inserts while the automatic variant gets black-n-tan coloured upholstery.

2) 3D Combination Meter with 4.2″ TFT Multi Information Display and a 7 inch infotainment unit with navigation.

3) 8 way power adjustable driver seat

4) The cabin gets blue ambient lighting

5) The Crysta gets dual glove boxes with the top one being a cooled one while the second one is lockable.

6) One touch tumble second row seat for easy access to the third row.

7) Rear auto AC with digital display and control.

8) Easy slide front passenger seat helps to increase the leg room in the second row

9) Seat Back pockets and seat back table with bottle/cup holders

10) Adjustable head restraints and 3-point seat belts for all 3 passengers in the last row.

11) Twenty bottle/cup holders, sunglass holder and other open storage slots for mobiles & other knick-knacks.

12) Center arm-rest with storage for front row occupants and individual arm-rests for second row occupants.

13) Crysta gets 7 Airbags including curtain airbags and driver side knee airbag.

14) Roof lamp, personal lamps, puddle lamps, luggage area lamp, welcome lights and sun visors with integrated mirror and lamp.

15) Smart entry system with keyless start/stop.


DRIVE, HANDLING & RIDE:

Since we had the top-end Innova Crysta for a test drive, all that we had to do is literally walk into the cabin with the key fob in our pocket, depress the clutch and press the power button to fire up the engine. Simultaneously, the quick chill air-conditioner did its job of cooling the huge cabin to ambient temperature.

Toyota has paid a lot of attention to ergonomics and driver comfort, so it was easy to find a very comfortable driving position in the Innova Crysta. The large infotainment cum navigation and reversing display too has superior resolution and right amount of contrast.

As we drove out to the main road, the Innova turned many heads and there were quite a few who wanted to snap the Crysta on their mobile phones. This was no surprise to us since the new Crysta is a real stunner. The bold and striking design with top quality paint finish and intelligently used chrome inserts make this car a head-turner on the road.

Despite being a huge MPV, the Crysta is very easy to drive.  The generous glass area and high seating position ensures all-round visibility. The dashboard switches, the gear lever, the steering wheel, light/wiper stalks and foot pedals are easily reachable and can be operated without discomfort. While the steering may feel a little heavy while parking in tight slots, it is light enough to manoeuvre this car otherwise. The leather wrapped multi function steering allows you to control the audio, telephone etc. The horn-pad is large enough and the dual tone horn is loud too.  The 3D combination meter looks neat and the 4.2-inch TFT multi-information screen displays fuel consumption, average speed, temperature, navigation, cruising range, etc.

The Innova Crysta comes in a new 2.8 L diesel engine for the 6 speed Automatic Transmission and a 2.4 L diesel engine for the 5 speed Manual Transmission. The engine appears powerful and very responsive to throttle inputs. It picks up speed at a decent pace and cruises effortlessly between 100 & 130 kmph.

The gear shifts are smooth; the throws are short but the slight vibration on the gear knob especially while idling will remind you of the older Innova. The clutch is fairly light too and won’t tire your legs in heavy traffic but there is no space to stretch your leg beside the clutch pedal. A dead pedal has been provided but i found it awkwardly placed. A wider foot-well on the driver side would have been appreciated.

The Innova Crysta comes with two driving modes – Eco and Power. While we were happy driving in Eco mode for most part the drive, we did engage the Power mode to understand the change in driving dynamics. The power mode dramatically changes the character of the vehicle and there is an instant surge in power which helps during overtaking or while driving a fully loaded vehicle uphill.

The handling too is very predictable and car does not throw up any unwanted surprises while braking hard, cornering or driving over rough patches at high speeds. Body roll is evident at high speeds but it is well contained considering the size and weight of this vehicle.

Toyota claims that they have worked hard on sound insulation and suspension. To a large extent they are right. The cabin insulates the outside noise fantastically but the engine grunt is audible in the front row. Surprisingly, when i moved to the second and third row, the cabin felt very silent. It felt as if the first and second rows were separated by a glass partition. Moreover, the Crysta comes with an improved suspension with pitch & bounce control which genuinely helps in reducing cabin movement over rough patches. For a photo-shoot, we decided to drive up a hilly road and there we got an opportunity to experience the Crysta’s ride over rocky and uneven surfaces (check photo-gallery). The car drove up the beaten path very confidently, without causing any discomfort to its occupants. And thanks to the generous ground clearance, the Crysta managed driving up and down the rocky hill without hurting its under-body. On this stretch, we could also test the Hill Start Assist Control which prevents the car from rolling backward on steep inclines.

Overall riding comfort can be rated as excellent partially due to the new rigid frame and superior suspension set-up. The other important factor adding to the comfort quotient is the way the cabin has been designed to pamper its occupants. The seats are large with adequate thigh and shoulder support. The captain seats get arm rests and every passenger gets an adjustable headrest and 3-point seat-belt too. With adequate knee room, head room, best-in-class seats and goodies like ambient lighting, 3 row air-conditioning and thoughtfully designed storage spaces , the Innova Crsyta’s cabin is a very comfortable place to be in.

We also drove the 6 speed automatic transmission which is simpler to drive but a tad bit noisy. However, it is a very convenient option in traffic ridden metros of India, especially if it is self-driven by the owner.

SAFETY FEATURES:

7 SRS airbags / ABS with EBD & BA / Vehicle Stability Control / Hill-Start Assist Control / GOA Body / Reverse Monitor & Sensors / Immobilizer.

FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 55 Litres

FUEL ECONOMY: 14.29 Km/l for Automatic Transmission & 15.10 Km/l for Manual Transmission. (As per ARAI certification).

COLOUR OPTIONS: Grey / Silver / Super white /Garnet Red* / Avant-Garde Bronze* / White Pearl Crystal Shine* (*New Colours)

SERVICE INTERVALS:

WARRANTY: 3 Years/1 Lac km warranty

ON-ROAD PRICE IN MUMBAI in lakhs : (Approx price as on 13th May 2016)

Gx 7 seater MT: INR 18.40
Gx 8 seater MT: INR 18.45

Vx 7 seater MT: INR 21.85
Vx 8 seater MT: INR 21.91

Zx 7 seater MT: INR 24.42

Gx 7 seater Auto: INR 19.98
Gx 8 seater Auto: INR 20.03

Zx 7 seater Auto: INR 26.02

VERDICT:

With the launch of the Crysta, Toyota has given a new dimension of Luxury to the MPV segment. While earlier MPVs including the erstwhile Innova scored high on utility and economy, the new Innova Crysta has changed the focus to Luxury and Power. Toyota engineers have worked over-time to present a vehicle that is stylish, sophisticated, powerful and luxurious. But all this comes at a cost and so the Innova Crysta is priced at a premium. At approximately Rs.18 lac on-road in Mumbai for the base variant, it isn’t cheap by any standards.

But this car is not just about mass transportation. It is about transportation in style and comfort. It provides you a powerful engine, a luxurious cabin, a well sorted ride and the dependability of a Toyota machine. So even if it is expensive, there will be many takers. People having large families, the corporate world and of course the premium cab segment – all of whom look at a Toyota product as a long term asset.

With the Crysta’s price ranging from Rs.18 lac to Rs.25 lac on-road in Mumbai, Toyota has created a vacuum in the Rs.12 Lac to Rs.17 lac price bracket. So finally the Ertiga and the Enjoy will find sufficient buyers until Toyota surprises all with the launch of the Avanza in the near future.

Photo Gallery:

About Jeevan 170 Articles
Jeevan is based in Navi-Mumbai and is a regular contributor to our webmag. He can be reached at jeevcb@yahoo.com