In 2013, Toyota began testing the new Innova in India. An Auto Expo 2016 launch was widely anticipated. Many buyers who wanted the Innova this year deferred their buying decisions to the next, eager to pick up the all-new version. Things have changed. More than 2 years later, there’s no sign of the new model coming in. And the latest developments will only make you go “ouch”. Like the new Fortuner, the new, 2016 Toyota Innova is not coming to the Auto Expo, says Gaadi.
[Render courtesy Autonetmagz]
Recent comments from N. Raja, senior vice-president for sales and marketing at Toyota India, revealed that the India launch of a brand new Toyota vehicle will happen in 24-30 months of its global unveil. And the new Innova hasn’t even been unveiled globally. The all-new MPV will be unveiled on the 23rd of November. This means that its Indian launch could be pushed back to 2017 (considering Toyota VP’s launch time frame comments), or late 2016 at the earliest.
The new Innova will be based on the second generation IMV platform, which apart from adding lightness to the equation, will improve safety levels, space and equipment. The new MPV is expected to feature a downsized (2.4 liters) but more powerful turbo diesel engine, which it could share with the lower variants of the Fortuner. Larger exterior dimensions could mean more space on the inside. ABS will be standard, and so will be airbags. The price could see an upward revision too.
While all these changes hint at a much improved MPV from Toyota, as a buyer, waiting for a year or two for the new model may not really be appealing to you. Of course, the current Innova is still a good buy for those who want a comfortable MPV for seven, complete peace of mind when it comes to reliability and maintenance, and solid mechanicals. But then, if you want something apart from the new Innova, which has been around for a decade now, what are your options?
Maruti Ertiga Diesel Hybrid
Days from now, on the 15th of this month to be precise, Maruti Suzuki will give the Ertiga a major facelift. The makeover will spruce up the compact 7 seat MPV inside out. But that’s just the icing on the cake. The real deal will be the addition of the Suzuki Hybrid Vehicle System, which we first saw on the Ciaz, to the diesel variants of the new Ertiga. This’ll make the Ertiga the first hybrid MPV of India, and also more fuel efficient than ever before. Maruti will also offer a 4 speed automatic gearbox on the petrol variant, again carving out a niche for its solitary MPV. Currently, there’s no MPV in India that sells with an automatic gearbox. The Ertiga Petrol AT seeks to fill that void.
The Lodgy is one of the best Innova competitors to have emerged onto the MPV scene in years. Large, comfortable with a good ride quality, armed with strong turbo diesel engines, the Lodgy is well priced. It’s much more fuel efficient than the Innova due to its lightness, a 6th gear and the front wheel drive layout.
While it hasn’t yet caught on, perhaps due to its “very-yesterday” looks, the Lodgy is a really good MPV for the money it’s being offered at. If you want an MPV that’s significantly better to drive than the Innova, in both pick up and handling terms, you must seriously look at the Lodgy 110 PS Diesel variants.
Hyundai Compact MPV
[Spyhots courtesy AutocarIndia]
Hyundai is one of the fastest moving car companies in the country, and there are few segments where the South Korean automaker doesn’t have a presence. One such segment was recently filled up with the best selling Creta compact SUV. One last frontier remains, MPVs. And Hyundai is on the trail already. With the design study for its MPV (code-named IP) complete, 2016 is expected to be the big year for the brand new people mover from Hyundai. While test mules have already been spotted in India, a 2016 Auto Expo reveal for the production version, with a launch later in the year is likely. Knowing Hyundai, expect the new MPV to be loaded with features and creature comforts. The best selling Innova may have some really stiff competition to contend with.
Also see – Waiting for the new Toyota Fortuner? Don’t