Toyota Innova Crysta Petrol Review
Car Tested: Toyota Innova Crysta Petrol AT; Road Test No. 755
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 16.87 – 24.19 lakhs
A petrol powered Toyota Innova makes sense only for those who are wary of the diesel ban
The thought of driving a petrol MPV is just ridiculous and that’s the reason why there were no takers for the petrol powered Toyota Innova which was launched more than 10 years ago with the first generation model. Fast forward to 2016 and Toyota has just launched a powerful petrol engine in the second generation Innova. The reason for doing this is the diesel engine ban in the NCR region and the negative sentiments towards big engined diesel powered cars. So does a petrol engine in the Toyota Innova Crysta make any sense?
Exteriors – There is little to differentiate the petrol powered Innova from its diesel sibling as both look exactly the same, save for the 2.7 badging on the tailgate. From the front and side, there is nothing to tell if it’s the petrol Innova although a sticker has been put on the fuel lid to prevent someone filing diesel in it. Of course a petrol Innova owner has to be super careful considering 99% of these Japanese MPVs are diesel powered. The design is well balanced and the Innova is a modern looking MPV with good road presence.
Interiors – On the inside, the petrol powered Toyota Innova Crysta is identical to the diesel model, other than the tachometer which gets a 1000 RPM higher redline. The cabin is luxurious and filled with a ton of features, it’s also very spacious, making this Japanese MPV the best vehicle for the family. Quality levels are very good and this is a genuine 7-seater MPV which doesn’t skip on any equipment you would expect from a car of this price. Practicality is high as there are a ton of storage spaces, bottles holders being abundant in all three rows.
Performance – Toyota has launched the petrol Innova with a 2.7-litre 4-cylinder 2TR-FE VVT-i engine which outputs an impressive 166 PS of power at 5200 RPM and 245 Nm at 4000 RPM, paired to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic. Our test car was equipped with an autobox. The same motor is used in the Fortuner overseas and is a very refined unit. There is no lag as you dab the accelerator and the vehicle picks up pace from as early as 1400 RPM, not showing any signs of losing pace till the redline which is a shade under 6000 PRM at 5900 RPM. It weighs 80 kgs lesser than the diesel but due to the torque of the oil burner, the gasoline Innova is slower to the ton when compared to its diesel counterpart, it still is quick at 11.68 seconds.
The Toyota Innova petrol is lag free and has good grunt throughout the rev range
The engine is audible when you get past the mid-range and better insulation was expected from the petrol Toyota Innova Crysta as lower NVH is a USP over the diesel powered car. The 6-speed automatic torque converter gearbox is quick with shifts but is slow to respond to downshifts and there is a proper lag when you want the transmission to select a lower gear. But the biggest issue with a petrol powered MPV is the mileage, our test car’s MID displayed a rather poor 5.5 km/l and in the real world with not so spirited driving, one can expect something between 6-7 km/l. This means you need to visit the fuel station often as the tank range isn’t great either. ARAI mileage itself gives it away – 9.89 km/l for the manual and 10.83 km/l for the automatic, that’s pretty darn low. There are Eco and Power modes and you can shift the gearbox into Sports mode using the tiptronic function on the lever but in all honestly, this isn’t a car to drive fast, it’s a higher cruiser.
Driving Dynamics – The petrol Innova has the same suspension set-up as the diesel version and thus it has the same dynamics too. The lighter weight isn’t apparent and there is a lot of body roll around corners. Still, handling is good by MPV standards as this vehicle weighs around 1.8 tonnes. The steering is a bit heavy at low speeds while it does weigh up at high speeds, it could have done with better feel and feedback at the straight-ahead position. Ride quality is good and the Innova does a good job of isolating occupants form bad roads.
Verdict – A petrol engine in an MPV like the Toyota Innova Crsyta makes little sense and even though Toyota has given it a powerful gasoline option, it’s still the diesel we would opt for. Toyota offers not one but two diesel engines with the Innova Crysta and both of them are very good and much frugal too. The diesel is not only lighter on the pocket to run, it’s also better in performance and the Rs. 1.30 lakhs you save by opting for a petrol model, is easily recovered on the diesel with its cheaper running costs. As for the only reason you would opt for a petrol Innova, it’s the peace of mind of not getting banned by the NGT but that is highly unlikely.
* The petrol engine is refined and offers very good performance
* The interiors feel upmarket and the cabin has a lot of space
* Loaded with a ton of features which make a family outing comfortable
* Cheaper than the diesel model with no worries of a ban
What’s Not So Cool
* Extremely low mileage defeats purpose of an MPV
* Lower resale value when compared to the diesel Innova
Alternatives: Honda CR-V
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