New Facelifted Innova launched - 28 January, 2009

Toyota has launched a new facelifted Innova to take on the Mahindra Xylo


This is an archived story. Click above link for the latest info.

Toyota Kijang Innova in India any time now!

Click here to read the latest update:  Farewell Toyota Qualis, welcome Toyota Innova 

Toyota rolls out its latest minivan / MUV Kijang  innova in Indonesia. It is expected to hit Indian markets in a few months. Dancewithshadows braces for the thunderbolt.


The temptation to compare the newborn to the grandfather is only human, despite being aware that comparisons are odious. But one canít help comparing the hot-off-the block Toyota Innova MPV to its best-seller grand-dad in India, Qualis.

Photo gallery: Click to view larger images

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toyota innova front picture innova rear photo toyota innova interior photo innova dash picture

The Toyota Kijang Innova is not here, yet. It is supposed to roll out in India by March 2005. Till the real rollout happens, we can only feast over the details. Here goes:

Toyota's fifth generation Kijang MUV, (Qualis was the 3rd) rolled out in Indonesia last month. From there, this MUV is expected to be exported to several countries. It is not clear whether the model will be produced in India or imported. India may see its first Toyota Innova Kijang in March 2005.

Expected to be priced at around the same levels as Qualis, the value-for-money offered by the new kid on the block is phenomenal. If you are planning to buy a Qualis or a Tavera, it would do well to wait for a few months and take a look at a swanky new Toyota Innova.

Talking about looks, the Toyota Innova is light years ahead of the Qualis. More a mini-van than an MUV in design, Innova wins hands down in the looks department unless you are looking for the toughie Scorpio look. Forget Qualis, the Innova's well-contoured forward leaning front end and the split grill are ages ahead of its peers. The looks gel those of an SUV, hatchback and an MUV. Built on the Innovative Multipurpose vehicle Platform (ha-there comes the name), the Toyota Innova is made entirely outside Toyota's Japanese factories.

Toyota Kijang Innova rear sonar Innova's styling is very modern and the front looks more Corolla-ish than an ordinary MPV. The big, uniquely shaped headlamps and air intakes lend extra personality. The design has kept extra passenger space and luggage space in mind. The rear lights are conical. The Innova exudes an overall silky, flowing feel.

The Toyota Innova interiors are breathtaking and, we believe, trendsetting. We are convinced that with the right pricing and positioning, Toyota is sure to carve out a new niche in the multi-utility vehicle market here. The overall interior feel is more that of a luxury car.

The first Toyota Innova rolled out in Indonesia has two variants; with petrol & diesel version. One has to wait and see if both will come to India too. Innova comes with engines in 2000 cc (petrol) and 2500cc. (diesel).

What happens to the Qualis once Innova takes centre stage? Though a bestseller, Qualis may have to bow out to its worthy predecessor. Toyota Kirloskar which makes Qualis in India doesnít have scope for more expansion at its plant. Over a period of time, the ageing Qualis is expected to make way for the smart youngster.

What will be the competition for this new MUV from Toyota in India? The other MUVs in the market currently are the Tata Sumo, Mahindra Scorpio, Chevrolet Tavera and Toyota's own Qualis. Some might argue that the Scorpio is an SUV. Okay then. Even though the Chevroelt Tavera is priced very competitively compared to the Scorpio or the Qualis, we have not seen too many Indian buyers going for this vehicle yet. Which leads to a sneaking suspicion that Indian MUV buyers may prefer the traditional high-bonnet look for a vehicle to carry their joint families around in India. However, if that guess is wrong and the Innova bowls them over, brilliant. 

Some have said that the rear of the MPV is very similar to the Chevrolet Forrester available in India now.  BS Motoring magazine calls the Innova a minivan meant for developing economies. 

The waiting list for the Chevrolet Tavera indicates that there is a huge market for a refined MPV - something more like a family car than the taxi cab that the Toyota Qualis. If the demand for the Tavera MPV continues and the demand for the Qualis drops, this is a car Toyota is going to really need in the Indian car  market.

Latest news indicates that the Indian version of the Innova may come with a 100 bhp unit. If that truly is the case, then Toyota may have a winner for itself in the Indian MUV space - especially the promise of pricing at the Qualis levels holds true.

 If early signals are any indication, await the big splash early next year! Once the new vehicle rolls out in India, come back for latest updates!





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