Not many would love the Toyota Innova’s current model as far as looks go. The people mover looks like a gargoyle with that overdone front end but when it comes to utility, reliability and low maintemance, the MPV is still the king of the hill in the Indian market. Nobody buys the Innova for its looks, but rather for the kind of fuss free performance that this MPV is capable of, day after day. So, there are a lot of people who love this Toyota MPV – over 5,000 new ones each month at last count. But the time’s running out for the Innova. If you love this MPV, it’s now or never. You need to go buy one before it’s too late, and here’s why.
Fact 1: Toyota will launch the all-new Innova in early 2016.
Fact 2: The automaker has a history of discontinuing successful vehicles and replacing it with new ones.
Fact 3: The current Innova will be discontinued. It’s place, in terms of pricing, could be taken up by the Avanza, a much smaller MPV.
[Render courtesy AutonetMagz]
Word from Team-BHP suggests that the current generation Toyota Innova’s production will be on for only three more months, before the MPV gets discontinued to make way for the new model. With June already past, and the Toyota factory due for its annual maintenance shut down, this leaves the Innova with a production run until September. To retool for the new model, the factory will need a break after the current MPV’s production halts. By the end of this year, we’re looking at a brand new Innova being put into production at Bidadi, off Bangalore. Notably, the official unveil of the new model is due in Thailand, in the next few weeks.
Cab operators needn’t worry though. A big chunk of Innova production comes from the cab market, and Toyota plans to keep the base variant of the current MPV in production for up to a year. This is to allow the cab market to transition from the old to new version. This practice is common among automakers who cater to the cabbie segments, with many previous generation cars being repositioned to do duty as taxis when their replacements get launched for private car buyers. We’ve seen this happen in the past, with the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Tata Indica Vista. The Innova promises to be the latest addition to this “re-positioning” list.
What do I need to know about the next generation Toyota Innova?
First things first, the new Innova will get larger and pricier. Expect to pay up to 10-15 % higher for the new model, which pushes the MPV further northwards in terms of pricing. A starting price tag between 13-14 lakh rupees is envisaged.
The new model will be based on the second generation of the IMV platform, which will be tweaked to follow the Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA).
The Innova is likely to get an all-new turbo diesel engine with more power and torque than the outgoing unit. 6 speed manual and automatic gearboxes will be rolled out too.
The larger dimensions of the new MPV will translate into more space on the inside, and the premium push will see more features and creature comforts.
As is the case with the current model, the new MPV will retain its ladder frame chassis with the longitudinally mounted turbo diesel motor driving the rear wheels.
The arrival of the pricier new Innova will create a void in Toyota’s portfolio, in the 8-12 lakh rupee MPV space. Would Toyota leave such a big gap?
Toyota is likely to fill up the void created by the Innova, with the Avanza. The Avanza is a competitor to the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Honda Mobilio, and has Daihatsu origins. With Toyota planning to induct the next-generation Rush compact SUV (Daihatsu Terios) into the Indian car market in 2016, the Avanza seems like a logical step for the Japanese automaker to take, especially considering the big gap created by the Innova going upmarket.