New 2016 Toyota Innova – Why the competition needs to be scared

The 2016 Toyota Innova is an all-new MPV, and will be launched in Indonesia later this month. The vehicle will continue using a ladder frame chassis, but one that’s been heavily redesigned. In fact, the new Innova sits on the all-new, second generation IMV platform, which it shares with the new Fortuner. And it’s not the platform alone that the 2016 Innova shares with the new Fortuner. There is a whole lot of sharing, and a long list of changes. Will the competition have to worry about the next-generation version of the MPV king of India? Let’s find out.

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The 2016 Innova is expected to arrive into India late next year or in early 2017. Official word on the launch time frame is yet to arrive.

 

[Images courtesy Ascomaxx]

It’s a sharplooker, and that’s a major departure from the odd design cues that the past few facelifts of the current Innova have featured. The new Innova looks more contemporary, and the styling job is quite comprehensive, both at the front and the rear. With larger dimensions to boot, the new styling should give the new vehicle better street presence, even as prices are poised to head northwards. Why nobody really buys an MPV for looks alone, good looks don’t hurt, do they?

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The 2016 Innova gets larger than ever before with length, width and height increasing by 180 mm, 60 mm and 45 mm respectively. Even though the wheelbase remains constant at 2,750 mm, the increase in other dimensions will do two things for the MPV. 1. They’ll give the Innova a better street presence. 2. More space on the inside will be liberated. More space on the inside means a more comfortable MPV, and the new Innova is set to raise the high standards set by the current model.

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It gets more powerful too with a brand new 2.4 liter GD turbo diesel engine making more power and torque. The 2.4 liter motor, which replaces the 2.5 liter D-4D unit, makes 147 Bhp and 348 Nm (360 Nm for the automatic variant). A five speed manual gearbox is standard while a 6 speed automatic transmission is a new addition. The new Innova will continue to be rear wheel driven, but the key takeaway here is that it’ll be much faster than the older version, which used to feel underpowered when speeds approached 3 digits.

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Safety gets a big boost, as ABS and twin airbags will be standard across the variant line up of the new MPV. Considering the sheer size of the MPV and the performance boost, the impetus on safety is welcome. The higher variants of the new Innova get more safety features such as curtain airbags, hill hold assist and electronic stability program. All in all, the new MPV seems ready to meet the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BVNSAP), which is a new set of safety standard expected to be enforced in India from 2017.

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And so do creature comforts, for Toyota has been making noises about taking the new Innova a segment higher in terms of premium-ness. A touchscreen infotainment system, ambient lighting, leather upholstery and strategically placed wood inserts are the various premium bits on the new MPV. The interiors get a complete redesign. With space added, the new Innova is expected to be more comfortable than ever before. Will that result in a big price bump up. As of now, the grapevine pegs a price increase of less than 10 % for the new model.

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