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Toyota Innova Hycross Review – The Game-Changing Premium MPV with Hybrid Power

Toyota Innova Hycross featured image

Toyota Kirloskar Motor has introduced the all-new Innova Hycross in India, the latest generation of its highly popular Innova model lineup. Positioned as a premium MPV, the Innova Hycross brings contemporary styling, a spacious cabin with new features, a powerful hybrid petrol engine and an indulgent ride quality.

Priced from Rs 18.82 lakh to Rs 30.62 lakh (ex-showroom), it aims to appeal to both private buyers wanting a comfortable family vehicle as well as fleet operators looking for a premium people mover. Let’s take an in-depth look at what the new Innova Hycross has to offer.

First Impressions – A Sophisticated New Avatar

Toyota Innova Hycross Review – The Game-Changing Premium MPV with Hybrid Power

The most apparent change is the Innova Hycross’ exterior design which ditches the utilitarian looks for a more modern and sophisticated style. It retains an MPV silhouette but key elements like the front grille, LED headlamps and arrow-shaped DRLs are new.

With dimensions of 4755mm length, 1845mm width, 1785 to 1795mm height and a 2850mm wheelbase, it has similar proportions to the previous Innova Crysta. Higher variants get 17 and 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome door handles and front fog lamps adding premium appeal. The quality of exterior fit and finish is average.

Step inside and the dual-tone dashboard has been completely redesigned. The interior feels roomy and the seats provide decent cushioning though the quality of materials used is not outstanding. Top variants pamper occupants with ventilated front seats, ambient lighting and a panoramic sunroof.

The Innova Hycross offers 300-litres of boot space which can be expanded by tumbling and removing the 50:50 split third row seats. Equipment levels are generous with conveniences like one-touch power windows, engine push button start/stop, cruise control, automatic climate control and a powered driver seat.

An 8 to 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system equipped with navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity caters to in-cabin entertainment. Overall, while not luxurious, the Toyota Innova Hycross cabin feels premium and offers features to keep family and business users content.

Driving Experience – Smooth and Refined Hybrid Performance

The Toyota Innova Hycross makes a big departure from its diesel engine lineage by adopting petrol-electric hybrid power. The powertrain employs a 1987 cc petrol engine making 172 to 184 PS paired with a 80kW electric motor and e-CVT automatic transmission. Total combined output is rated at 183-186 PS.

Performance is smooth with power delivery being linear. The electric motor’s instant torque makes up for any initial lag from the petrol engine and acceleration is adequate for an MPV. The buzzy engine noise is well dampened within the cabin too.

The Toyota Innova Hycross uses MacPherson struts upfront and trailing arm type suspension at the rear to achieve a pliant ride quality. It effortlessly irons out bumps and potholes with little judder entering the cabin. High speed stability is also good with minimal bounciness.

Given its dimensions, handling is predictable with some body roll. The steering offers decent feedback but feels vague around the dead centre. Braking performance is strong and ABS ensures short stopping distances. All in all, it focuses more on keeping passengers comfortable.

As per ARAI tests, the Toyota Innova Hycross returns an appreciable 16 to 23 kmpl fuel efficiency depending on the variant. Drivers can also choose between Eco and Power driving modes. With a 52-litre fuel tank, range between refills is sizeable. The petrol hybrid setup dramatically improves running costs over its predecessor’s diesel mill.

How Does the Innova Hycross Compare Against the Competition?

Toyota Innova Hycross Review – The Game-Changing Premium MPV with Hybrid Power
Toyota Innova Crysta and HyCross

The premium MPV space has limited competition beyond the Innova Hycross’ sibling, the Toyota Vellfire–letter is about three times the price so perhaps fairer competition would be large three-rows SUVs. Here is how the Toyota Innova Hycross stacks up against alternatives:

  • Pricing – Starting at Rs 18.82 lakh, the Hycross is affordably priced compared to other premium SUVs like the Skoda Kodiaq, Toyota Fortuner and MG Gloster.
  • Space & Comfort – With generous headroom and legroom for 7 or 8 passengers, the Toyota Innova Hycross matches the Fortuner’s comfort while offering higher practicality and accessibility.
  • Ride Quality – The Hycross’ plush ride matches more expensive vehicles and is much better than Fortuner or Gloster. It cocoons passengers from road shocks brilliantly.
  • Features – Equipment levels on the Innova Hycross are reasonably high and better than mass market MPVs.
  • Efficiency – With up to 23 kmpl mileage, the Toyota Hycross boasts class-leading efficiency – far better than than any large SUV. This makes it more affordable to run in the long term.
  • Brand Appeal – Toyota’s brand equity gives the Toyota Hycross an edge in terms of reliability, after-sales service and resale value despite costing much lesser than luxury brand MPVs.

Overall, the New Innova Hycross brings sophistication and comfort close to luxury vehicles at an attractive price point. This will expand Toyota’s appeal among private car buyers wanting an upmarket family vehicle.

Which Variant Offers the Best Value for Money?

The Toyota Innova Hycross is available in ten variants, with prices ranging from Rs 18.82 lakh for the base G variant to Rs 30.62 lakh for the top ZX(O) hybrid version (ex-showroom). But which variant makes the most sense for buyers?

  • G 7-Seater – Priced from Rs 18.82 lakh, the entry level G trim is affordable but lacks essentials like rear parking sensors, alloy wheels, push button start or rear AC vents. Appeal is limited for private buyers.
  • GX 7-Seater – This mid-spec variant of Toyota Innova Hycross adds useful features like parking sensors, LED DRLs, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment while retaining the affordable pricing of Rs 19.67 lakh. It makes for a well-equipped yet value focused variant.
  • VX 7-Seater – Stepping up to the VX trim brings additions like ambient lighting, auto climate control, 10.1-inch touchscreen, wireless charging, cruise control, and traction control. It carries a reasonable premium of around Rs 2 lakh over the GX variant.
  • VX(O) 7-Seater – This range-topping variant of Toyota Hycross goes all out on luxury additions like a panoramic sunroof, front parking camera, powered driver seat, genuine leather upholstery, and 6 airbags. But the price hike of over Rs 5 lakh seems unjustified.

Verdict – The mid-level GX variant strikes the best balance between price and features. Buyers prioritizing luxury features can consider upgrading to the VX grade for its higher value.

Ownership Experiences with the Toyota Innova Hycross

Toyota Innova Hycross Review – The Game-Changing Premium MPV with Hybrid Power

Here are some real user experiences shared by new owners after driving the Innova Hycross for a few thousand kilometres:

  • Refined and Frugal Hybrid Engine – Owners are very impressed by the Hycross’ petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. The transition between petrol and electric power is seamless and performance smooth. The claimed 16-23 kmpl fuel efficiency has also been backed up in real-world driving.
  • Ultra Plush Ride Quality – The supple suspension and cushioned seats make the Innova Hycross one of the most comfortable mainstream vehicles over bumpy roads and potholes. Long drives are fatigue-free for passengers.
  • Spacious and Practical Cabin – With the ability to seat 7 or 8 occupants, owners find the cabin very accommodating for large families or airport transfers. The easy ingress-egress and boot space add to practicality.
  • Toyota’s Peace of Mind Ownership – Existing Toyota owners choose the Innova Hycross for its reliable and fuss-free performance. The ownership experience including after-sales service matches Toyota’s hassle-free reputation.
  • Advanced Safety Features – Customers feel safety has been enhanced versus the Crysta with additions like vehicle stability control, hill-start assist, cruise control, traction control and 6 airbags on the range-topper.

The Innova Hycross impresses owners as an upmarket family vehicle that strikes the right balance between comfort, space, features and frugal hybrid power at an affordable price point.

Maintenance & Caring for the Innova Hycross

Toyota Innova Hycross Review – The Game-Changing Premium MPV with Hybrid Power

To maximize the ownership experience of the Hycross, following some simple maintenance best practices is recommended:

  • Adhere to periodic service schedules – Get the Toyota Innova Hycross serviced every 10,000 kms or 1 year for optimal performance and longevity even if it seems unnecessary.
  • Check tyre condition frequently – Inspect tyres for uneven wear and ensuring pressures are at specified levels to prevent premature wear or damage from potholes.
  • Monitor battery performance – Hybrid batteries have finite lifespans. Use diagnostic tools to check battery health and proactively get it replaced if charge capacity drops.
  • Detail interiors regularly – From leather seat cleaning to plastic, vinyl and glass treatment, bi-annual interior detailing keeps the cabin looking fresh. A paint protection film also safeguards the exterior.
  • Keep exterior paintwork clean – Do not let bird droppings, tree sap or road grime accumulate on the paint as they can damage the clearcoat finish over time.
  • Use only recommended oils and lubricants – For petrol-hybrids, oils with low viscosity and ‘Resource Conserving’ certifications aid efficiency and battery cooling.

Following such care tips along with Toyota’s acclaimed after-sales service gives the Toyota Innova Hycross the best chance of clocking high mileages without hassles.

Personalizing the Innova Hycross

Toyota Innova Hycross Review – The Game-Changing Premium MPV with Hybrid Power

Here are some popular accessories and customisation options owners can use to add flair and tailor the New Innova Hycross to their tastes:

  • Chrome Accessories – Adding chrome door visors, body side mouldings, tailgate garnish and fog lamp bezels enhances street presence and premium appeal.
  • Alloy Wheel Upsize – Swapping the stock 16, 17 or 18-inch rims with larger aftermarket alloys up to 20-inches enhances the styling dramatically.
  • Rear Entertainment System – Install drop-down video screens and gaming consoles for second row passengers to utilize the spacious cabin better.
  • Ambient Lighting – Custom interior mood lighting solutions with multiple colour options make the cabin more luxurious.
  • Wireless Phone Charger – Conveniently charge mobile devices without cables by fitting an aftermarket Qi wireless charging pad.
  • Sun Blinds – Shades on rear windscreens and side windows enhance privacy and keep the cabin cooler in hot weather.
  • Body Kit – Add on front bumper lip spoiler and side skirts in contrasting colours for a sportier appearance.
  • Roof Box – Mount a sleek roof storage pod to increase luggage capacity for long vacations.

Numerous such customizations allow owners to personalize the Hycross to suit their family’s needs and tastes.

Key Safety Technologies in the Innova Hycross Explained

Toyota has equipped the New Innova Hycross with the following safety features to protect passengers:

  • ABS and EBD – Prevents wheel lock-up under hard braking and balances braking force across wheels for stability.
  • Vehicle Stability Control – Detects loss of traction and applies brakes automatically to avoid skidding or drifting off the driving line.
  • Hill Start Assist – Prevents roll-back when starting uphill by maintaining brake pressure temporarily.
  • 2 to 6 Airbags – Dual front airbags, side airbags and curtain airbags provide all-round impact protection in a crash.
  • Rear View Camera – Displays area behind the car on central display while reversing to avoid accidents.
  • ISOFIX child seat anchors – Secures compatible child seats safely without using seat belts.
  • Pre-Collision Warning – Alerts the driver if a collision is imminent due to distracted driving so preventive action can be taken.

Together these active and passive technologies provide all-round safety for passengers while driving. Higher variants also offer up to 6 airbags.

Toyota Innova Hycross – Indicative Pricing and Mileage

Here are the variant-wise prices, fuel efficiency and seating layouts for the Toyota Innova Hycross:

Variant Price Mileage Seating
G MT 7-Seater Rs 18.82 lakh 16.13 kmpl 7-seater
GX MT 7-Seater Rs 19.67 lakh 16.13 kmpl 7-seater
VX AT 7-Seater Rs 25.30 lakh 23.24 kmpl 7-seater
VX(O) AT 7-Seater Rs 27.27 lakh 23.24 kmpl 7-seater
ZX AT 7-Seater Rs 29.62 lakh 23.24 kmpl 7-seater

The Hybrid variants deliver an appreciable 23.24 kmpl mileage. Overall, the Hycross strikes an appealing balance between space, comfort, features and efficiency.

Pros & Cons of Toyota Innova Hycross

Pros

  1. Stylish Design: The exterior design is modern and appealing, featuring nice touches like LED headlamps and arrow-shaped daytime running lights.
  2. Spacious and Comfortable Interior: The cabin offers plenty of room for passengers with quality seats. There are some premium details like a panoramic sunroof that add to the comfort.
  3. Fuel-Efficient Hybrid Powertrain: The petrol-electric hybrid setup provides a nice balance of smooth driving performance and improved fuel economy.
  4. Useful Technology Features: An easy-to-use touchscreen system with navigation, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay brings desirable tech functions.
  5. Comfortable Ride: The suspension tuning provides a plush and quiet ride quality, making driving easy at various speeds.
  6. Safety Features: Important driver assistance technologies like ABS and vehicle stability control are included, along with airbags.

Cons

  1. Exterior Build Quality: Some panels and trim pieces exhibit rough or uneven fit and finish.
  2. Interior Material Quality: There are a few noticeable hard and hollow plastic pieces inside that could feel more premium.
  3. Handling: The steering and chassis tuning don’t encourage spirited driving, with noticeable body lean in turns.
  4. Pricing on High Trims: Moving into the top variants adds quite a bit to the sticker price.
  5. Limited Model Competition: The vehicle mostly competes with other Toyotas, lacking a breadth of rivals to compare.
  6. Brand Reliance: Toyota’s reputation carries the car as features are comparable, rather than superior, to rivals.

Final Verdict

With the 2022 Innova Hycross, Toyota has taken its best-selling MPV model to more premium territory while retaining the core strengths of interior space, ride quality and reliability. The powerful yet frugal petrol-hybrid powertrain enhances its appeal dramatically.

While not the most affordable or luxurious option, the Toyota Innova Hycross finds a sweet spot for those wanting peace of mind ownership of a comfortable and well-equipped 7/8 seater family vehicle backed by Toyota’s famed after-sales service. Test drive one today to experience it yourself.