Toyota Innova is one of the most popular MUV (Multi Utility Vehicle) in the Indian market which made its debut in March, 2005. The Innova combines superior performance, versatile space and ruggedness coupled with comfort, handling and world class safety seen in high segment cars. Its contemporary design emphasizes that it has been built to cater to the world market and offers great features coupled with the generous space for passengers and luggage. After three years, Toyota introduced the new Innova with few interior and exterior modifications. The Innova is the fifth generation of the Toyota Kijang (international name).
The styling of the Toyota Innova seems modern and well executed when compared to its peers. However you can’t miss the fact, that the design cues are heavily derived from the Previa and the Corolla Verso. The Innova is aggressively styled in the front with its large three dimensional front grille with the Toyota badge placed on the central wedge, wing- shaped lights and fogs along the chin spoiler and the shapely bumper with its pronounced air intake. Maximizing passenger space is the short bonnet and raked windscreen which accentuates the cab- forward design of the Innova. Toyota Innova is available in both steel and alloy wheels. The other exterior features include the stylish side steps, rear wiper, Distinct Rear Combination Lamp, Multi – Reflector Headlamps, side protection molding, Grip type Body colored Door Handles, etc.
The interiors of the Innova are elegantly designed, packed with dual tone beige dashboard with ergonomically placed advanced instrument panels with wooden furnish, leather covered steering wheel and gear knobs and other leather upholstery. The Innova is blessed with masses of space with enough leg room, shoulder room and head room and fits in five passengers in comfort and seven to eight individuals with a squeeze. The boot capacity is 620 litres. The state of the art safety features of the Toyota Innova includes Global Outstanding Assessment (GOA) body, Dual Front SRS Airbags, large disc brakes, Collapsible Steering Wheel Column, Anti Submarine Seat, LSPV (Load Sensing Proportion Valve), Side Door Impact Beams, Immobilizer with Theft Deterrent System, etc.
Driving Abilities & Comfort
The Innova stands on a non- independent suspension with four links and a lateral rod with coil springs at the rear. In the front, the Innova is supported with a rigid tubular section chassis which uses double wishbones with coil springs. This advanced suspension system provides smooth handling and nullifies slightest hints of jerks on bumpy roads, making your drive even more convenient. The transmission is well designed and uses power quite well. The gearshift is surprisingly shorter and is positioned very comfortably. The Toyota Innova cruises at speeds of 120km/hr with complete composure and with the torquey engine, you do not need to shift gears too often during city driving.
The 16 inch, 6.5J Alloy Wheels add to the character of the Toyota Innova which is equipped with puncture resistant 205/65 R15 radial tube less tyres which are great for those off- roading adventures. The front wheels of Toyota Innova are fitted with the large Ventilated Disc Brakes and the rear wheels are housed with Leading- Trailing Drum Brakes, which helps in de- acceleration of the MUV. There’s also the ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake- Force Distribution) which avoids the incident of vehicle skidding due to slippery or wet road.
The Toyota Innova comes in three variants in the petrol engine option which is housed with a 2.0 litre, 1998cc, 1 TR- FE, 4 in- line cylinder petrol engine with EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection.) The mileage offered in the city is 8.3 km/litre and 12.5 km/litre on the highway and the 0 to 100 km/hr mark is achieved in about 13 seconds.
There are nine variants to the diesel option of Toyota Innova which is housed with a 2.5 litre, 2494cc, 2KD- FTV, 4 in- line cylinder with a Common- Rail Direct Injection fuel supply system. The engine delivers mileage of 13 km/litre on the highway and 10 km/litre in the city and crosses the 100km/hr mark in about 17 seconds. There is also the CNG variant of the Innova which comes with a company fitted CNG kit upon paying an extra amount.
The CompetitionToyota Corolla
Toyota Innova competes with Tata Sumo Grande, the newly launched Tata Aria, Chevrolet Tavera, the Mahindra Xylo and the Mahindra Bolero. The Toyota Innova is priced in the range of Rs. 8 to 11.5 lakh and can be bought in a multitude of variants to suit your pocket.
Japanese auto major, Toyota Motor Corporation rolled out the new Corolla avatar in the form of Corolla Altis which is now the 10th Generation Corolla since its conception in the year 1966. The new Corolla Altis boasts of improved power to deliver maximum output, advanced engine technology, world- class safety features and new eye- catching styling coupled with refined luxury. The 10th Generation sedan from Toyota sells in over 140 countries. Toyota Motor Corporation hopes to capture 10% of automobile market in India with its Corolla Altis.
The new Toyota Corolla Altis features wider and lower front end with smooth flowing lines from the front to the rear end which highly resembles the curvaceous design of the Toyota Camry. The lower and wider front end of the Corolla Altis also provides an aerodynamic and a stable drive. The wing mirror of the car dons turn indicators and the parking sensors are placed at the front and rear of the Corolla Altis. The chrome door handles and the rub- strip with chrome insert gives the Altis a classy touch. When looked at closely, the new Altis isn’t much of an aberration from its previous avatar, but manages to look fresh owing to some clever treatment upfront and at the rear.
Another highlight of the new Altis is its neat cabin which is ergonomically designed and well placed interiors giving ample of space and leg room to the driver and the passengers. The interiors are designed to give the car a more cheerful look and are fitted with top notch quality materials. There is also plenty of cubbyholes to store your cell phone or hold your beverage. The rear folding seats allows for maximum optimization of storage space. The Altis is also equipped with an arm rest, integrated with a 6- disc CD player audio system with six speakers and an air conditioner with heater as standard. However, the high end model of the Corolla Altis which is the 1.8VL comes equipped with features like headlamp washers, high- intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, driver seat which can be adjusted in eight ways with lumbar support, cruise control and auto dimming inside rear view mirror
Driving Abilities & Comfort
The Corolla Altis is popularly known to be one of the most luxurious sedans in its segment when it comes to rear seat comfort which is why it is one of the most preferred cars in the world to be used as ’Taxis.’ The different in the ride quality of the Corolla as compared with other cars in its segment is clearly perceptible, making it a hot choice among those who like to be chauffeur driven. Toyota Corolla Altis stands on Mac Pherson Strut type suspension at the front while the rear suspension has Torsion Beam which is responsible for tight turning radius of just 5.3 meters. The Corolla may not be an absolute driver’s car but putting the pedal down really enthralls you, at least in a straight line as the rev-happy engine packs quite some poke and propels this baby convincingly.
The steering feedback isn’t very direct, but makes for effortless navigation in congested streets- it feels a tad vague while cornering at high speeds though. The Electric Power Steering (EPS) wheel has mounted audio- controls allowing easy access to the driver. The sporty 15- inch, 7- spoke alloys look neat. Safety features onboard the Corolla Altis comprise of front ventilated disc brakes and rear solid disc brakes with an Anti- Lock Braking System (ABS), air bags for driver and passengers, keyless entry equipped with an alarm system, front fog lamps and Supplement Restraint System (SRS.)
Toyota Corolla Altis features a 1.8 litre DOHC petrol engine which delivers a power of 132 PS @ 6000 rpm and a max torque of 170Nm @ 4200 rpm. The engine is equipped with Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVV- i) which smoothens the acceleration and makes your drive hassle free. The VVV-I technology is also responsible for optimizing valve timing by regulating air intake and exhaust timings to send potent torque while the engine is at low and mid- range rotations. Fuel consumption is also claimed to be reduced largely with the computation of throttle demand by the engine which then provides the considerable torque during passing, cruising or idling. Corolla Altis comes in four variants out of which the 1.8J, 1.8G, 1.8GL don a 5- speed manual transmission while the 1.8VL dons a 4- speed Automatic transmission.
The CompetitionToyota Camry
Presently the Toyota Corolla Altis comes in five different colours and is priced in the range of Rs. 13 to Rs. 16 lakh. With that price tag, the Corolla Altis competes with the likes of the Honda Civic, Volkswagen Jetta and Skoda Laura.
Toyota’s mid size sedan the Camry, which debuted in India in 2007, recently got its design updates for the year 2010. The Seventh Generation Camry is considered to be a pretty car equipped with all the basic goodies as standard and with the recent updates; Toyota has shredded the conservative image of the Camry to a more stylish and classy look. Camry has been the bestselling car in America for seven consecutive years. It was first introduced in the year 1983 and first U.S production model rolled out in 1988.
The exterior of the Seventh Generation Toyota Camry boasts of sleek new trimmings, classy chrome grille, restyled tail lights, bolder fog lamps and sporty 10- spoke alloys. The new High Intensity Discharge headlamp accentuates the Toyota emblem on the front grille while providing increased visibility and whiter light. The new mirrors on the Camry are called ’Hydrophilic’ which are designed to disperse water droplets. The interior of the Toyota Camry is noteworthy too with its innovative new design and layout of the main controls which are large and logically placed around the new leather steering wheel with neat buttons. There’s plenty of space for occupants as well as storage space for luggage. The wheelbase has been expanded which has opened up the interior space, providing an increase in leg room for both the front and rear seat passengers. The 8- way power driver seat and the 4- way power seat for the front passenger with lumbar support makes sure you are firmly settled in comfort.
There are six air bags in the new Camry, of which four air bags spurt out as curtains in an event of an impact. Two new safety features shield the passenger’s necks. Also, there is a clip that holds the rear seatbelts in order to avoid chafing the neck of children or short adults. The new color scheme for its interiors brings a more relaxed and soothing ambience while driving.
Driving Abilities & Comfort
Once inside the Camry, you just can’t ignore the comfort oriented set up when cruising on long highways. However, when a corner is in sight, the Camry’s soft suspension and the unenthusiastic vague steering is sure to disappoint you. The new Camry is a car that is built to cruise on straight highways and falls apart when hustled around tight corners and twisties. There is no traction control either, but the compromise is nicely settled by the ABS- equipped brakes at all the four ends, which work beautifully. For drivers who panic at times while applying or rather not applying enough pressure while braking, there is also a unique brake assist system which increases braking pressure even when the pedal is not pushed hard or reduces the pressure when the driver eases up from the pedal. The Hill Sensing Control is behind the smooth performance on gradients. It also is equipped with an automatic climate control system which has the ’Plasmacluster Technology’ which helps in eliminating germs from the air. The noise of the wind at high speeds has also been cut down, thanks to the newly developed computer fluid dynamics which enhances the aerodynamic performance of the Camry.
The Toyota Camry has been brought here with a 2.4 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine which is capable of churning out max power of 167 PS @6000rpm and a max torque of 224 Nm @4000rpm. Camry is available in two variants, the 5- speed manual transmission, which gives a mileage of 9.0 km/litre in city and the 4-speed automatic transmission that gives a city mileage of 7.8 km/litre and a decent 8.9km/litre on the highway.
With a price range of the Toyota’s Camry being between Rs. 21- 23 lakh, for the top end automatic gearbox variant with all the options, it competes with the Skoda Superb and the Honda Accord. You can get the 2.0 litre TDI Diesel engined Skoda Superb for the same price as the Toyota Camry; however Camry’s long set reputation of reliability and much lower maintenance cost reinforces just why the Toyota Camry continues to remain the best- selling car in the world.