Toyota has officially staged the global reveal of the 2023 Innova in Indonesia. And as expected from the series of photo leaks and teaser images, the Innova has gone through a radical change with a new body design, more upscale interior amenities, and of course, a host of safety features that include the Toyota Safety Sense.
Its predecessor is highly regarded as one of the most versatile vehicles in the market thanks to its powerful diesel engine and robust ladder frame build. But now that those two ingredients have been replaced in the name of efficiency and refinement, how will the all-new model fare from the old one?
We can't drive the new one just yet, so instead, it's time to crunch the numbers and do a spec check between the old IMV Innova and the all-new TNGA Innova.
Tale of the tape
The previous-generation Toyota Innova utilized the Innovative International Multi-Purpose Vehicle platform or IMV that also underpinned the Hilux pick-up and the Fortuner SUV. IMV-based platforms were either rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive and had a rear live-axle configuration with either coil springs (Innova and Fortuner) or leaf springs for the Hilux.
As it stands, the previous-generation Innova measured 4735 mm long, 1830 mm wide, and 1795 mm tall. In addition, it had a wheelbase of 2750 mm, while the minimum ground clearance is at 178 mm.
On the other hand, the all-new Toyota Innova is now underpinned by the Toyota New Global Architecture-C (TNGA-C) platform, a unibody construction utilized by the likes of the Corolla, Corolla Cross and Lexus UX models. And since the platform is designed for front-engine and front-wheel-drive configuration, the new Innova is now being driven by its front wheels. The rear suspension is now semi-independent thanks to a torsion beam configuration.
The all-new Innova measures 4755 mm long, 1850 mm wide, and 1795 mm tall. The wheelbase is now at 2850 mm, while the minimum ground clearance is measured at 185 mm.
Surprisingly, there's not much difference between the old and new Innova when comes to its size. Despite the change in platform, the new Innova is only 20 mm longer and wider than the previous generation.
What's worth noting is that the new Innova has a longer wheelbase and a higher ground clearance. During the launch of the new Innova, Toyota executives said they moved the wheels outward to achieve shorter overhangs and improve the MPV's approach and departure angles. In addition, this change, together with the unibody construction should also open up more room inside for passengers and cargo. While the new Innova looks lower in the launch photos, the loss of the rear differential housing helped in raising the new model's minimum ground clearance.
Shifting from diesel to hybrid power
Now we'll address what most are curious about with the all-new Innova – Power. A lot of people enjoyed the previous-generation model's diesel powerplant as it made the Innova an agile MPV, especially in Power mode where it had a quicker engine response.
The previous-generation Innova was initially offered with a 2.0-liter gasoline variant, but the 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV was the preferred choice in the country with 174 PS and 360 Nm of torque coming at an early 1200-3400 rpm. It was mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with manual sequential mode.
For the new model, however, the diesel engine has been ditched in favor of two gasoline engines – a 2.0-liter non-hybrid and a 2.0-liter hybrid from Toyota's Dynamic Force engine family. Both are paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with 10 simulated gears.
The 2.0-liter non-hybrid is called the M20A-FKS. It produces 174 PS at 6600 rpm and 205 Nm of torque from 4500 to 4900 rpm. Meanwhile, the new Innova's hybrid engine is called the M20A-FXS. The engine alone puts out 156 PS and 187 Nm of torque, while the electric motor has 113 PS and 205 Nm. Together, the hybrid system produces a combined output of 186 PS.
As it turns out, the all-new Innova matches, and even beats the old one when it comes to peak horsepower, especially in the hybrid variant. But as expected, the shift from diesel to gas and gas-hybrid power will leave the Innova's loyal fanbase to miss the lump of torque that the previous-generation model had.
So instead of being a punchy MPV that could bury you in the seats on full tilt, the all-new Innova could be more of a smooth operator. But nevertheless, it should have enough power to pull its own weight. Not to mention, the hybrid system paired with the e-CVT should enable it to achieve fuel economy numbers the previous diesel can only dream about.
Major cabin glow-up
The Innova may have lost the punch of the previous 2.8 diesel, but its occupants could quickly forget about it once they step inside the new model. For this head-to-head matchup, let's compare the top-of-the-line Innova V against the Indonesian top-spec model, the Innova Q HV.
The previous-generation Innova V was somewhat lacking when it comes to interior amenities versus the price it had. While it had captain seats for the second row for PHP 1.779 million, you only got burgundy-colored fabric seats, a 7-inch touchscreen audio system, LED ambient lighting, and single-zone climate control. The gauges for the instrument panel aren't even digital, plus there are no electronic adjustments for the seats. Not to mention, Toyota was not being liberal with giving the old Innova USB charging ports.
That's where the all-new Innova is leaps and bounds better in terms of interior equipment. For one, it already has a panoramic sunroof that extends to the second-row ottoman captain seats. There's a bigger 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a 360-degree monitor in front, while second-row passengers get the benefit of two additional 10-inch screens placed at the back of the front seats.
The top-of-the-line Innova Q HV is even equipped with a power tailgate with voice command, which should make loading cargo a lot more convenient. However, it remains to be seen if the new Innova will have fold-flat seats in the third row instead of the old one that tucks itself to the sides, and we may have to test that one for ourselves in the near future.
Safety and Security
As for safety features, the previous-generation Innova, back when it was first introduced in 2016, came out with plenty of equipment in its class.
The previous-generation Innova had driver, front passenger, side, curtain, and knee airbags in the top-spec V variant, and things such as ABS and EBD with brake assist, vehicle stability control, and hill start assist were standard in all variants. For parking convenience, it had a reverse camera with parking sensors.
For the all-new model, the Indonesia-spec Innova Q HV no longer has knee airbags, while ABS and EBD with Brake Assist plus VSC and HSA still come as standard. What Toyota added to the new model is Blind Spot Monitoring to go along with the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. This means, the all-new Innova now has driver assist features like autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with lane keep function, front collision warning, and rear cross-traffic alert, among others.
The addition of the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 basically gives the new Innova another pair of eyes to keep its occupants safe and alert the driver of road hazards.
Currently, the IMV Toyota Innova in its top-of-the-line V variant sells for PHP 1.779 million while its entry-level variant, the Innova J is priced at PHP 1.191 million. Meanwhile, the all-new TNGA Innova in the Indonesian market sells for Rp 419,000,000 (PHP 1.528-million) for the non-hybrid G variant, while the top-spec Q HV with all the bells and whistles is priced at Rp 601,150,000 (PHP 2.192-million).
While those prices are subject to change once the all-new Innova reaches our country, we should more or less expect the price bump considering the added features and hybrid system for the higher variants.
In addition, TMP is building the IMV Innova locally in the Sta. Rosa, Laguna plant, but has yet to announce if they will have local production for the all-new Innova.
On paper, the all-new Innova is packed with more features, comes with a multitude of new interior amenities, and is expected to run more efficiently and smoothly with its new engines and platform.
But as a trade-off, the Innova may have already departed from its AUV roots that began with the Tamaraw FX. Still, we're yet to find out if Toyota has indeed done the right thing in transforming the Innova. And if you ask how, that will depend on how many we see on the road in the future.