While Toyota has been working on introducing 8-seater versions of its popular MPVs, the Innova Crysta and Innova Hycross, a recent development may pose a challenge to their plans. The Indian government has decided to prohibit the registration of 8-seater vehicles as private vehicles, potentially impacting Toyota’s intentions. As per this decision, 8-seater vehicles can only be registered for commercial purposes or as taxis, not as private vehicles.
The Parivahan website, owned by the Indian government, has ceased accepting registration requests for vehicles with eight seats or more as private vehicles since May 22, 2023. However, registrations for these vehicles as taxis or commercial vehicles are still permitted.
For vehicles with eight seats or more, the Indian government has created a new category called “Omnibus” under the “Transport” category, as specified by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). Vehicles falling under the “Omnibus” category will be required to undergo an annual fitness certificate.
Given this recent decision by the Indian government, it remains to be seen how Toyota will adapt its plans for the 8-seater versions of the Innova Crysta and Innova Hycross. Currently, both MPVs are sold with standard 7-seater configurations, while the top-spec variants offer a 6-seater layout with captain seats in the middle row.
Private car buyers can’t buy the 8-seater
Toyota had intended to introduce 8-seater versions of both MPVs, featuring enhanced seating and additional space in the third row to accommodate three passengers side by side. However, due to the government’s new ruling, private car owners will not be able to purchase these versions. Instead, the 8-seater variants will be restricted to commercial owners or cab operators.
It will be interesting to see whether the 8-seater versions of the Innova Crysta and Innova Hycross will be available across the lineup or limited to base-spec variants. Typically, cab operators or commercial fleet owners opt for base-spec variants, prioritizing the utility and practicality of MPVs at lower costs.
Toyota introduced the Innova Hycross as a more premium MPV compared to the Innova Crysta, offering two powertrain configurations: a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine and a 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. On the other hand, the Innova Crysta was relaunched as a diesel-only MPV featuring a 2.4-litre diesel engine, which is now exclusively available with a 6-speed manual transmission.