When back in the early 2000s Toyota India decided to discontinue the then best-selling Toyota Qualis, it was met with a huge apprehension. The same happened with the eventual replacement of the hugely successful Toyota Innova. The MPV that replaced it, the Toyota Innova Crysta, not only stepped in the rather big shoes well, it also took the brand a few notches higher. The Innova Crysta has a wider appeal and looking at what it offers, it’s hardly a surprise. It still remains probably the best MPV you can buy in India.
Despite being a people mover, the Toyota Innova Crysta makes heads turn. If you opt for the visually more appealing Touring Sports version, then expect a bit more attention — and appreciation. But even in the standard form, the Innova Crysta offers a more stylish approach than any other MPV on the market right now. The wide grille up front adds to its imposing appearance, while a well-proportioned design, a functional rear look, and the balanced use of chrome all help to make the Crysta a pleasing sight. The optional 17-inch alloys don’t look out of place, either.
As the previous Innova grew old, it was faced with customer’s slight reluctance in accepting an outdated interior design. Space was never a problem, and that remains totally unchanged. The comfortable ride is still one of the Innova Crysta’s USPs. But what about the interior, you may wonder. The Innova Crysta takes it all a level higher, with a more car-like dashboard, plush seating, and even ambient lighting. The inclusion of up to seven airbags makes the Innova a safety stalwart as well. Further adding to its comfort quotient are things like seat-back table and air conditioner for all three rows.
The drivetrain layout for the Toyota Innova Crysta continues unchanged. The engine’s sat at the front, while only the rear wheels are driven. But it now has new engines: a 166 PS 2.7-litre naturally aspirated petrol, a 150 PS 2.4-litre diesel, and a 174 PS 2.8-litre diesel. Like in the past, it shares its engines with the Fortuner, except the 2.4 diesel. Gearbox options include a 5-speed automatic and a 6-speed manual (in Touring Sport) for the 2.4-litre diesel, a 6-speed automatic for the 2.8-litre diesel, and a choice of 5-speed manual or a 6-speed AT for the 2.7-litre petrol. Hauling almost two tonnes of body weight (alone) might be a task, but as we’ve seen in the past, the Innova is good at hiding its size and weight both.
The Toyota Innova Crysta Petrol is available at Rs 14.65 lakh onwards, while the base diesel is priced at Rs 15.77 lakh. The more powerful 2.8-litre diesel engined variant is available from Rs 17.18 lakh. The sportier-looking Innova Crysta Touring Sport is priced at Rs 18.59 lakh onwards for the petrol version, while the top-spec diesel sits on the top of the list at Rs 23.06 lakh. The Innova doesn’t have a direct rival at the moment, and even at the lower end of the price range, it’s the preferred choice for fleet operators. At the other end of the spectrum, prospective buyers get to choose between the Innova and other seven-seat SUVs. We all know who wins when it comes to riding quality and drivability, among other things.