Toyota tries to make a vehicle for every niche. The Innova slots in between the, for me too me too narrow, Avanza and the more luxurious Verso.
It’s either a van like estate car, or a car like van. You choose.
It shares the platform with the Toyota Hilux bakkie and Fortuner and enjoys all the advantages derived from the shared components and development. It should be tough and last a long time.
The overall impression is of space. It will make a great touring vehicle. The versatility also allows you to use it as a goods vehicle if needed.
The cabin is neat and very functional. It is all about usable, practical space. The 7 seater even has audio controls on the steering wheel.
The car is well appointed. The dual zone air-conditioner works very well. The audio system does its thing and has Bluetooth, and USB, Aux connections with steering wheel controls. On the seven-seater the screen also displays input from a reversing camera.
The rear seats fold up like the Fortuner’s making for a cargo hold more than a boot.
The middle seats are very comfortable. The front seats are adjustable and should work for most people.
The Innova is somewhere between a station wagon and a van. It is not exactly pretty. But then big, dependable, tough reminds one more of a rugby forward than a ballerina.
The Innova looks better in reality than in a picture.
The Innova is a big car based on a bakkie platform. It handles well within the context of a large van like vehicle, with good brakes, accurate steering, fair acceleration and a top speed far in excess of the limit.
Toyota claims a top speed of 180km/h.
Power is claimed to be 118kW @ 5200 and torque 241Nm @ 3800. Actual experience with the Innova suggests it has more than adequate power and torque for normal everyday driving.
I found the Innova easy to drive and park. The park assist is available only in the 7 seat version.
The ride quality is a little agricultural if the road surface is not perfect.
I think the interior trim, although lending an airy lightness to the cabin, is too light and will soon show wear and tear.
The fake wood veneer trim is ugly to my mind.
The Innova packs loads of space. The rear seats can be easily folded out of the way to turn it into a van. It is more van than car, but comfortable and well appointed. My overall impression is of a rugged tough truly multi purpose vehicle.
The Toyota Innova 2.7 VVTi 7 list price is R276 200. The 8 seater is 259 800.
The service plan is 5 years/90 000km and the warranty 3 years/100 000km. Service intervals are 15 000km.