As we enter to Day 4 with the Innova, we are getting to know the vehicle in a much better way. If we had driven it for a day, some of the things we've found out would not have come up.
The engine remains untouched, its just the same as the earlier Innova. The reason being its flawless, the same 2,493cc CRDI performs the same magic. We start the engine see a bit of vibration on the gear lever, this should be looked into by TKM and eliminated. The gear tries to engage itself into 1st!
Idling during cold weather is not as noisy as compared to the Xylo, no vibrations could be felt on the pedals or the floor. Shift to 1st gear and the huge MUV moves ahead in a sedate manner till 40kmph, shift to 2nd and the engine starts to show its true colors, we did 70kmph on the 2nd gear.
In the 3rd gear the Innova feels most agile.
We touched 140kmph easily and there was room for much more. What we noticed during its stay here is that it drives more like a sedan than a MUV, very easy to maneuver in busy city roads and on the highway it is home turf .
The car's acceleration is felt even as you get into 3rd gear, the MUV didn’t cry or feel like it was under stress during quick bursts of throttle. Body roll is present, but no as much as the Xylo and the cabin is silent even at high speeds. The engine is more refined as compared to the Xylo. At 100kph in 5th, if you are seated in the second row, you don't hear the engine working hard.
The new Innova's suspension setup remains unchanged with double wishbones and coil springs. Potholes and bad roads were all digested by this MUV and we didn’t go through the hip-hop effect as we did with the Xylo.
It is calm at city speeds and stable on the highway. Passengers at the last row too were not uncomfortable over bad roads and high speeds, they were not tossed up and down like one would expect. The Innova exhibits a sedan's characteristics here as well. The vehicle was composed during heavy cornering and we did not feel we would topple over.
The brakes on here are ventilated discs up-front and drums at the rear , assisted by the ABS that we missed so dearly on the Xylo. Braking was perfect, there were no judders or sudden movements of the body during hard application. The vehicle didn’t shudder or skid during heavy braking and stopped very sanely.
The gearbox feels appropriate and nimble , gear ratios are short for the first two gears and the later being long, to twist out the maximum from the engine. We hated the gear knob quality, no leather wrapping is available on any of the variants.
So a thumbs up for the ride, handling and overall feel. We don't like the gear lever quality and the trembling during ignition. Also a big thumbs up for the engine, a close friend of ours owns a Innova and swears by the engine as he claims no attention is required for it till one lakh km.
A big thumbs up for the turning radius of the Innova which makes parking and reversing a pleasure for this big a vehicle. Also missing is the dead pedal that we found very helpful on the Xylo for those long drives.
Toyota Innova VX Image Slideshow
If you can't view the image slideshow above, see the images at the Toyota Innova VX Engine, Gearbox, Ride, Handling Image Gallery