Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited has updated the Innova MPV, its best selling vehicle in the Indian car market. The Innova now offers SRS airbags for the driver and passenger as standard fare, in a move that it is in line with Toyota offering the passive safety feature as standard on all its vehicles sold in the country.
Toyota’s move to offer airbags in all cars sold in the country could have to do with the criticism that many global automakers have faced in India, following Global NCAP safety tests, which alleged that car makers have a differential – read lower – safety levels on cars they sell in India, when compared to those sold in developed markets.
The Global NCAP tests prompted Vokswagen to deploy airbags as standard equipment on its lowest priced and largest selling car, the Polo hatchback. Toyota followed suit by introducing airbags as standard in budget offerings such as the Liva hatchback and Etios sedan. Now, the Innova has followed the Liva and Etios to gain standard airbags.
The latest move to equip all cars sold in India with airbags underscores the Toyota brand’s premium positioning, and also reaffirms the Japanese automaker’s commitment to passenger safety. The Innova has come under criticism for offering less for more, even as the MPV has seen a steady increase in prices, without a corresponding increase in equipment levels.
Notably, the Innova was first launched in March 2005, with prices starting from 6.74 lakh rupees, going all the way up to 9.35 lakh rupees for the petrol variants and 7.34 lakh rupees to 9.95 lakh rupees for the diesel variants, with prices reflecting ex-showroom Delhi figures.
Currently, the Innova range starts at 10.51 lakh rupees, going up to 15.8 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi. As these prices reflect, the price increase on the Innova range has been steep over the past decade or so, even as the Innova continues to be built on the IMV platform with a ladder frame chassis to boot.
The basic structure of the MPV has remained unchanged and so have most of the features but for minor additions. The engines – 2 liter VVT-i naturally aspirated petrol (130 Bhp-181 Nm) and 2.5 liter D-4D turbo diesel (100 Bhp-200 Nm) units – have also remained largely unchanged, apart from a CNG variant added to the petrol motor with the diesel motor gaining an intercooler.
The Innova continues to operate with a five speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels on both the petrol and diesel variants. The 2015 Innova also gains Rear AC vents on specific variants with visual tweaks on the outside. The MPV is due for a full generation change in early 2016, with the all-new version already spotted testing on Indian roads.