The all-new generation Toyota Innova launched in late 2016 continues on the proven formula for this region. While many customers agree the Toyota Innova gets the people-mover task done very well, the overall image and design were just too down-to-earth.
The Innova 2.0X was introduced as the top of the range variant, as customers are now more sophisticated and have a strong preference for a more stylish and premium-featured MPV.
Specifications for Toyota Innova 2.0X
- Engine: 2.0-litre, Inline-4 Longitudinal, Dual-VVTi, Petrol
- Power: 139 PS at 5,600 rpm
- Torque: 183 Nm at 4,000 rpm
- Transmission: 6-speed torque converter automatic, rear-wheel drive
- Safety: Seven airbags, electronic stability control (ESC), Emergency Stop Signal, Hill Start Assist, ISOFIX (2x, rear)
- Origin: Locally assembled at ASSB, Selangor
- Price: RM125,324.28 (excluding GST, SST, and insurance)
Additional features and equipment in the Innova X substantially improve the looks. Apart from the exterior and interior changes which we will cover later, the X-variant and G-variant share the same side mirrors with puddle lamps, soft-closing tailgate, Optitron meter panel with 4.2-inch colour multi-information display, automatic air conditioning, roof ambient lighting, two foldable tray-tables, 8-inch display audio with reverse camera, and keyless entry with push start button.
All variants of the Innova come with a full range of safety features that includes 7 airbags, ESC, Hill Start Assist, Emergency Stop Signal and Isofix child seat anchors, earning a 5-star safety rating in ASEAN NCAP.
For the exterior upgrade, Toyota decided to use a crossover approach to its styling concept. Resin wheel arches and side skirts are added, while the front and rear bumpers have chrome-on-resin spoilers.
The tyre and wheel sizes have also been upsized to 215/55 R17 and 17-inch respectively. A gloss black grille, tailgate trim piece and matt finish on the wheels complete the exterior enhancement of the Innova X.
We specifically love the LED head lamps and fog lamps that are exclusive to the Innova X. The LED fog lamps provided much more illumination up front, complementing the head lamps that have a lighting coverage that is further ahead.
The Crimson Spark Red example we have here is also exclusive to the Innova X, while other colour options include black, silver, white, and bronze.
The Innova X separates itself from other variants by having a captain-seat configuration in the second row. The two individual seats have sliding and reclining functions as well as an individual armrests. The gap between the two seats has sufficient space to create an aisle for children to walk to the third row. A compact fold-away cup holder is also placed on the left seat.
Passengers have access to two USB charging ports, but they are located on the edge of the lower console. A 12-volt power socket is also located, closer to the floor.
One feature we find absolutely useful and befitting the captain-seat premium image in the Innova X is the fitment of the front passenger seat slide lever. Mounted on the right shoulder, this lever allows the driver or second-row left passenger to slide the front passenger seat for more leg room. Sounds familiar? Yes, this feature is available in the Camry flagship, albeit in manual adjustment rather than a power switch in the sedan.
All three rows have access to ceiling mounted air conditioning vents. However, the rear control panel only has switches for the fan speed. Adult passengers seated in the third-row report that headroom and legroom are adequate and the ride is comfortable back there.
With the third row seatback adjusted to a comfortable angle, the space left for luggage is sufficient for perhaps five to six soft duffle bags stacked on top of each other.
Toyota has also designed the dashboard with plenty of large storage spaces. There is even a cooled upper glove box can easily fit 3 cans of drinks and keep some chocolates from melting. Overall, the cabin feels very solid and all switches have a good weight to them.
The Panoramic View Monitor (RM2,500) is a feature that should be included as standard rather than a paying option. Images are clear on the large 8-inch screen and the driver can select angles from any of the four cameras to aid manoeuvrability.
The Innova X continues to use the 1TR-FE two-litre engine, now improved with Dual VVT-i breathing technology. Combined with the well-spaced ratios in the 6-speed automatic, the Innova X takes-off with a good pace and settles down to a quiet hum on the highway. At 110 km/h speed, the engine is only spinning at 2,200 rpm, contributing to low noise and vibrations into the cabin.
Similar with all variants of the new Innova, the driver now has three drive modes – Normal, Eco and Power. All three perform as labelled, with power mode making the accelerator pedal more responsive and holding the gear longer.
Hard accelerations make the engine vocal, however, the noise is well subdued away from the cabin. There is no need to push the engine to work so hard, as 90% of the maximum torque is available from 2,000 rpm. High-speed stability is also well dialled-in into the Innova X.
Comfort & Refinement
On the note of ride comfort, there is no hiding its body-on-frame construction. The Innova X rides with slightly less ride comfort compared to its monocoque/passenger-car based competitors. The large seats on both the front and second row do isolate much of the vibrations from the roads with the worst surfaces, but, ultimately, the overall chassis frame is still loosely based on the workhorse, heavy-duty Hilux pick-up.
The Innova was designed as a product to suit a wide range of road conditions (the majority being the worst conditions) in countries such as India, Indonesia, and Indochina region. A high-degree of robustness have been designed into the suspension and thus, on our better paved Malaysian roads, we do experience that occasional busy-ness in the suspension and ride comfort.
Cabin quietness, however, is a highlight. From the outside, the engine emits a louder sound at start-up. But, driving around residential areas, accelerating up to highway speeds, the engine noise is well muted. Wind noise and tyre noise are all well sorted out too.
Economy and Maintenance
Our weekend stint in the Toyota Innova ended with a total of over 360 kilometres, combining the usual highway routes as well as a relaxed drive up the famous hilltop resort, resulting in a very respectable fuel economy of 10.2 litres per 100 kilometres. With the fuel gauge at the quarter mark of the 55-litre tank, the computer also returned an estimated range-to-go of 90 kilometres.
Scheduled maintenance on the rear-wheel drive Innova requires more than the usual. The official periodic maintenance schedule necessitates a rear-differential oil change and power steering fluid change at every 40,000-kilometre interval, costing an additional RM175 per visit at official Toyota service centres.
Bear in mind, these are maintenance services that are not required in front-wheel drive MPVs. Over the course of 5 years or 100,000 kilometres, our calculations reveal that an owner only spends RM4,300 (without GST and SST) on Toyota's maintenance packages (mineral oil lubrication, one transmission fluid change at the 80,000-kilometre interval, and one set of spark plug change at the 100,000-kilometre interval).
The new Innova is certainly a more refined, more polished product than its predecessor. The improvements on the Innova X variant certainly makes the product more attractive. The perceived-quality in the interior move it closer to a mainstream large sedan, with high-quality switchgear and surface finishing.
There are not many rivals to the Toyota Innova X, with the newly-launch Nissan Serena a close rival due to the same seating capacity and configuration. They are almost at the same price too, with the Serena at RM125,785 and already fitted standard with the bird’s eye view camera plus free maintenance for 3 years.
The Mazda Biante drives really well but lacks in various features (only 2 airbags, no reverse camera) and fetch a much higher price tag at RM140,515.
As styling is always subjective, the crossover-looking Innova X might just happen to meet your emotional requirements compared to the single-box looking MPVs from Nissan and Mazda.