Toyota won't produce all-new Innova here yet

Toyota Motor Philippines has some interesting plans in store for the Innova.

Ever since Toyota held the world premiere of the all-new Innova in Indonesia in November 2022, we have been speculating that Toyota will be launching the all-new model in the Philippine market soon. The Innova, after all, is one of the best-selling models in the Philippines and is actually assembled at their Laguna factory.

But it seems Toyota isn’t doing a full model change in the classic sense; they are not phasing out the old in favor of the new. Instead, they will sell the old alongside the new.

Toyota PH will sell old Innova beside 2023 Innova Zenix hybrid image

From what we gather from our sources, Toyota Motor Philippines is retaining the second-generation Innova model range for the foreseeable future. That means the second-generation Innova that has been in the market since 2016 will still be in production. Our sources in TMP say they may cut some of the variants, but they will retain J and E grades for sure.

What they are launching very soon is the Innova Zenix; the hybrid version of the all-new Innova, and they will be importing it. It has a 2.0L naturally aspirated D-4S gasoline engine with a hybrid powertrain. The total output is 186 PS, the transmission is a CVT, and it will be front-wheel drive because it uses a monocoque instead of a frame like the first and second-generation Innovas.

[Updated] Originally it was indicated to us that Toyota is only looking at the hybrid, but they will also be offering the non-hybrid third generation Innova. As to how that will resonate with customers remains to be seen; TMP did offer the 2.0L gasoline variant of the second generation Innova but was phased out. Customers preferred the diesel given the torque for a full cabin and better fuel economy.

That means the Innova Zenix will be the top-of-the-line model of the mixed second and third-generation Innova lineup for the Philippines. Being that the Zenix will be the range-topping model, it means it will cost around the current price of the Innova V which is already at PHP 1,789,000. If we were to make a guess, the Zenix will be around PHP 1.9 million.

Toyota PH will sell old Innova beside 2023 Innova Zenix hybrid image

There are two probable reasons for Toyota opting not to phase out the older Innova in the Philippines; at least not yet. The first reason is likely because they are not looking at retooling the local assembly plant for the new model. Going to an entirely new platform (frame-based to monocoque) entails a totally new assembly process, and that takes time and a lot of reinvestment to do. And being a hybrid also means they have to invest in the equipment to assemble that too.

The second reason is that customers would probably want a turbodiesel for a seven (or eight) seater like an Innova, and the non-hybrid variants are using 2.0L gasoline engines. And as it stands, we have yet to see a turbodiesel on the third-generation model as the diesels are rear-drive oriented. And of course, diesels have largely fallen out of favor in many of Toyota’s markets… except the Philippines.