We’ve had countless MPV debuts this year. We saw the releases of models such as the Toyota Veloz, the updated Mitsubishi Xpander, and more recently, the Honda BR-V. But we have yet another major debut this year, and you can perhaps call it one of the most significant premiers in 2022.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the third-generation Toyota Innova.
Woah. It looks very different!
You bet. Whereas the outgoing and previous Innova models looked more like MPVs with front-hinged rear doors, this new one is going for a more crossover-like design. At the front, we see a bolder and wider grille, along with a flatter hood and wide wraparound headlights. The more macho design also comes courtesy of its bigger front bumper and its chiseled corners.
Toyota calls the new look more SUV-like than ever, although we lean towards the side of it resembling a crossover more. The automaker also took a page from the Veloz by sticking on plastic cladding all over the lower half of the car. The sides also appear higher than before with larger doors, and the windows resemble that of the Highlander (or Kluger, if you live in Australia or New Zealand) crossover sold in other parts of the world.
As for the rear, there are high-set wraparound tail lights, plus a wider opening for the tailgate should make loading cargo easier.
Under the skin
The Innova didn’t just get an overhaul on the outside. The third-generation model is nothing like the its predecessors. For starters, the all-new Innova no longer shares the same frame as the Hilux and Fortuner (IMV platform). For this generation, it shifts to a more car-like chassis by utilizing the TNGA-C chassis. That means it shares the same bones as the Corolla Altis and Corolla Cross. That also means the redesigned Innova shifts to front-wheel drive, a huge break from tradition.
What about the inside?
Those who own (or owned) an Innova will be in for a shock with this generation. The dashboard is a wraparound design that takes inspiration from newer Toyota crossovers and SUVs. It also has its gear selector and other functions mounted straight to the dashboard, freeing up space in the center console.
Because of the shift to a front-wheel-drive platform, Toyota says the cabin is wider and roomier than the outgoing model. That also means the Innova now has fold-flat third-row seats for better space efficiency. Toyota even claims that three passengers can fit in the third-row area. As shown in the last teaser, the Innova can be optioned with a panoramic sunroof.
Last but not least, the Innova will be available with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. It includes features such as Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert and Lane Tracing Assist, and Automatic High Beam.
What powers the new Toyota Innova?
The major news here is the removal of the turbodiesel option for the Innova. From now on, the options are a 2.0-liter gas and 2.0-liter hybrid-gas powertrain. The non-hybrid engine is good for 172hp and 205Nm of torque, a huge leap from the old 2.0 from previous Innovas. As for the hybrid, that one packs 184hp for its total system output.
Here’s another surprise in the all-new Innova, the manual transmission is no more. The Innova doesn’t even come with a six-speed automatic anymore. The lone transmission choice is a ten-speed CVT. As mentioned earlier, power is sent to the front wheels.
When is it launching here?
That's the huge question mark for now. Given that it’s been revealed and launched in Indonesia, it might not be long before we can get our hands on the redesigned Innova. But given that the Innova is a huge seller here, we reckon Toyota Motor Philippines is working double time to launch it locally.