Sunday, February 28, 2016

First Drive: 2016 Toyota Innova 2.8 G


Toyota is serious about their Innovative Multipurpose Vehicle or IMV that a team of its senior engineers circled the globe and listened to customers, including those from the Philippines, to find out what their vehicles go through. Armed with this knowledge, the result is the much-improved second-generation IMV capping off with the most-awaited iteration of them all: the all-new 2016 Innova.

Already the country’s best-selling MPV, the Innova didn’t need a drastic change to win sales, but Toyota isn’t resting on their laurels. Understanding that it is set to expand to other markets, they need to toughen up this no-nonsense, practical family car. And toughen it they did.



Hiroshi Nakajima, Chief Engineer of the IMV sums it up as having to design a second-generation Innova that’s every bit an MPV, but with the added authority of an SUV. In short, he’s going for something he calls: multi-performance. Buyers aren’t just keen on having a car that does one thing well. They want something that’s versatile—something he sums up in three aspects: an exterior that leaves a lasting impression, an interior that’s flexible, and performance that’s stress-free.

The first aspect is achieved through the Innova’s new design form. Though it doesn’t seem to share much with other Toyotas in terms of design language, it does have a stronger presence thanks to added angularity. The chiseled form starts from the wide grille that visually connects to the slender headlamps. At the side, the Innova gains a more prominent character line that projects a livelier vibe along with 205/65R16 tires at each corner. The window treatment at the back is somewhat odd, but it’s nonetheless unique. The rear end gives a strong finish with the fang-like tail lamps.



As changed as it is outside, it’s on the inside where it sees the biggest improvement in both design and quality. Toyota has certainly done their homework and it shows. The asymmetrical dashboard, a theme seen on the RAV4 and Corolla Altis, gives a visually odd look, but contributes to a driver-friendly experience. The controls are slightly canted towards the driver and together with the large and clearly marked buttons, make for easy operation. Compared to the previous model, the most comfortable seating position now is lower, giving a car-like feel. The seats themselves are also more supportive and the steering actually adjusts for both tilt and reach. The expansive dashboard top and low set instrument cluster does take some getting used to, but once adjusted to, visibility is quite good throughout.

With a body that’s stretched in all dimensions, the 2016 Innova feels bigger inside. In terms of numbers alone, it gains more headroom for the first (+5mm) and third row occupants (+10mm) while increasing the seating distance between occupants by as much as 19mm. The second row seats are noticeably spacious while retaining its cargo flexibility by having a 60/40 split fold, slide, and tumble mechanism. The third row retains its 50/50 split side folding layout, but thanks to a spring loaded mechanism and anchors at the back, as opposed to the door handles, makes for easier storage.



The family man is already rejoicing at this point, but it only gets better from there. Another substantially improved area is the driving feel. Like before, it’s offered with both gasoline and diesel engines, though the diesel is the one to get. The 2.8-liter Euro-4 compliant diesel engine is equipped with variable geometry turbo enough for a 171 horsepower output as well as 360 Nm of torque from as low as 1,200 rpm. Mated to a six-speed automatic (no paddle shifters), it makes for brisk acceleration. At idle, it’s quiet and refined, and will easily cruise to highway speeds with little difficulty. There’s almost no ruckus from the engine bay except at full throttle application. Surprisingly, occupants will easily converse with each other with controlled road, tire, and wind noise.

Still equipped with a double wishbone front and 4-link coil spring rear suspension, it manages to absorb bumps well thanks to its highly rigid frame. With the frame’s side rails as thick as those in the Land Cruise Prado, it makes for added durability that quells chassis flex, especially on rough roads and/or full loads. What’s more, the Innova has something called Body Control with Torque Demand. This fully transparent system uses sensors to quell unwanted pitching potion by controlling engine torque. Whenever the center of gravity shifts front or back, say going over large bumps, it smoothens power delivery to lessen the jolting position. The polished ride is capped off with a nicely safe and stable handling. Although the steering is still a bit lethargic because of the hefty steering and the brakes are still too grabby.



As a company, Toyota has set a challenge to create ever better cars and with the all-new Innova, they have delivered on that promise. Toyota didn’t need to improve it by leaps and bounds to maintain market leadership, but with a name derived from the word, “Innovate”, the all-new Innova has certainly lived up to its name. This is one vehicle that’s managed to live up to all the hype and then some.


110 comments:

  1. forgot to mention fuel consumption, or did I miss a line?

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    1. I don't want to quote a consumption figure given the relative short distance we travelled. But resetting the FC meter, I did around 9.1 km/L.

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    2. sir uly, were you able to ask any toyota rep on why they chose bring the 2.8 here instead of the 2.4?
      And is the steering wheel heavier than the new fort?

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    3. Steering feel more or less same as Fortuner. It's no Vios that's for sure.

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    4. In short, 3rd-world truck based-level, meaning not fit for traffic-choked streets & tiny mall parking slots. Can't even make the innermost lane of a typical U-turn slot, Innovas turn like they are 18-wheelers! lolz.

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  2. ^Hope you can have a "cost of ownership" review of this vehicle in the near future, say for a 5 year period for a diesel and gas G variant. TIA!

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  3. They circled the globe for an Asian vehicle? Those Japs are taking you for a ride.
    Anyway, the biggest obstacle for this new Innova to maintain its status as the king of the AUV is the price. As to why they use a 2.8 for the Innova is a mystery to me. They use 2.4 on many of the much heavier Fortuner, including auotmatics. Why is the 2.4, which can easily carry the Innova, absent? I think it's a ruse to tempt other automakers raise their SUV prices. Isuzu's mUX price can cause problems with theirs including this Innova. I can see the 2.4 come out later. It would be a master stroke on the part of Toyota if others take the bait.
    As to the styling. It looks AUVish nothing much to be excited. And why the fangs? To make the van look more vicious? It only succeeded in making it look garish. Bad looking not bad ass.

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    1. Great comment... if they really listed to their customers that 2.4L engine would have been enough. Maybe reserve the 2.8L for the V.

      I think it's a pricing ploy and supply issue when they introduced the 2.8 only here. I would guess that the 2.4 engine is in high demand in Indonesia / Thailand / India that they cannot keep up with the production. The PH takes the hit and only sells the 2.8. Win-win for the Toyota PH unit since they can make more off the 2.8 engine (900K for a base level J) and then just reserve the 2.4 engine a few years after. By then - the public would have been conditioned already of the higher Innova pricing that nobody would bat an eyelid.

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    2. That's where you're wrong r2d2. The first generation Innova was indeed an Asian MPV. This second generation one will be sold in Asia, South America, and Africa. It will now be more of a global vehicle.

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    3. Maybe, but still a 3rd-world, truck-based vehicle. Most of the countries in South America and all of those in Africa are 3rd-world countries. Meaning this won't pass emissions & safety standards in Japan, US, Western Europe, etc.

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    4. Fuck the description "3rd-world"! Wala ka nmn pambili bugok, puro ka lang paninira at sat-sat! Hayssst

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    5. the US, Japan, Western Europe all have the Land Cruisers and the 4runners which are body on frame, truck based vehicles and it passes the emissions and safety standards. does it mean that just because it isn't a unibody means that it wont pass Safety standards in Japan, US and western Europe?

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    6. Toyota's Engine used in its IMV program is Euro 4 compliant. So your argument is invalid. Truck based SUVs and MPVs are already proven to be more reliable and durable on poor road conditions that's why they are marketed in 3rd world countries where infrastructure is not the best. Fact: US emissions are one of the worst in the world because of their thirst for high engine displacement, US is at the top when it comes to contributing to green-house gases. The most strict emissions with regard to engine displacement is Europe, hence their engines tend to have smaller displacement.

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  4. sir uly, i thought this 2.8 gd engine is detuned.

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    1. De-tuned for torque. 171 horsepower still.

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  5. Might give the MU-X a run for its money......

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  6. Very impressive all new Innova. Even the huge Starex will now be threatened with the power of the all new Innova. And with the torque of 360 nm starts at 1,200 rpm up to 2,400 rpm, this all new Innova will be fun to drive!

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    1. the hi-ace only has 105 hp, people still buy it
      the starex vgt has 175 hp, 405 nm people still buy it

      I dont think most of the people who wants to buy a van will consider this.
      they buy vans because they want to carry a lot of people not its engine power.

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    2. the more people you carry on the vehicle the more power you need :)

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  7. typical toyota product. only for the die hard toyota patrons.

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  8. Based on your initial impressions sir, How was NVH compared to Mu-X? The price for the G is almost the same as the LS-A, but the G variant has 7 airbags. So i think NVH would be the deal breaker.

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    1. It gives a softer ride compared to the PPV SUVs I've tested with the exception of the Everest which I've yet to try on Philippine roads.

      The G only has 3 airbags. The V is the one with 7.

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  9. I laugh at these weak, Japanese diesel engines used in these 3rd-world vehicles. The previous-gen diesel Hyundais & Kias from the mid-2000s can already make 177hp from a mere 2.0L diesel engine and 197hp from a mere 2.2L, and yet they were still able to sell it in Western Europe & Australia, meaning they didn't need to be de-tuned just to be able to pass Euro 4 standards!

    These Japs really view these unsophisticated 3rd-world AUV buyers as ignorant fools. And we all know what happens with fools and their money...

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    1. Actually, the Japs are smarter than you think and the Southeast Asians design these engines. Very stupid engineering.

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  10. the 1.575mill grand carnival is starting to make sense now actually

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  11. Fortuner? Here's the executive summary: typical 3rd-world truck-based ride & handling. Don't drive it like a proper SUV/CUV since it is tipover/rollover-prone, and it has a wide turning radius and very low steering ratio that you'd find it very difficult or impossible to take the 1st lane of a U-turn slot or maneuver in traffic or mall parking lots.

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    1. Ampalaya Man in the house... Too much bitterness

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    2. F*cking bitter... Shut up u don't even have one

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    3. So...... You've driven one? You're lucky if that's the case.

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    4. Why would I be bitter, I drive a 1st-world SUV! I have better standards than you poor Toyota fanboys.

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    5. Puro ka 3rd-world, truck-based! We all know that. 1st world suv pala gusto mo eh bat ka andito? You compared innova to a 18-wheeler truck? Bakit, nakapag maneho ka na ba ng 18-wheeler?! How about innova? U cant make a u-turn or Park an Innova sa malls?! Kaya nagkaka leche traffic sa Metro Manila dahil sa mga taong tulad mo na di marunong mag drive. Simpleng gawain, u-turn at park lang nahihirapan ka pa?!! Dapat sayo FORD para may park assist! 1st world SUV ka dyan! Di naman marunong mag Park at U-turn!

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    6. I like the way you express your anger, Poor Boy. I read your comment aloud, complete with emotion. You should have a car blog of your own. Maraming magbabasa sayo, for sure. Really.

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    7. ^ Bading! nababasa na kita sa ibang blogs, puro ka lang panira, burat! get a life faggot! har har

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  12. at ano naman ang 1st world SUV mo aber...bigay ng tatay mo na sya din ang nagpapagas... sheesh...

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    1. Ampalaya Man in the house... Too much bitterness

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  13. Spec down! It's kinda different with Thailand and Indonesian Market, thumbs down to Toyota PH.

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  14. hi Uly,

    is a 2nd row captain chair available here?

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  15. Kudos to the Toyota stylists -- they've added a bit of pizzaz to what has always been a mundane appliance.

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  16. Sir,
    Is an 8-seater optional on V?

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    1. No. The V comes with second-row Captain's Seats.

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  17. Is it available in manual transmission?

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    1. G is available with a diesel MT. Gas AT only.

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  18. It's amazing how the innova has a better infotainment system than the Land Cruiser.

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  19. Puro ka 3rd world truck based mpv! Haha siguro nagsisisi ka sa nabili mong sasakyan na "1st world suv"and as a result nagiging bitter ka kasi mali napili mo hahaha kahit saan website ka magpunta or studies about reliability and durability number one ang lexus at toyota. At isa pa yang first world suv mo is built to impress not to last. Konting sira lang standby yan suv mo for months or even years dahil walang parts na available. Minsan d yan sa mahal ng suv mo minsan dapat mo rin ibagay ang sasakyan na pipiliin mo sa lugar kung san ka naka tira haha liit ng utak mo puro pa yabang ang laman

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  20. looks nice. I've been looking forward to this review... but a bit disappointed with the pricing and the engine specs... I don't need a 2.8 engine to bring my kids to school... this is a bit of a let down... will probably just wait for the 2.4 version before considering buying an Innova... tsk3x

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  21. Gud day sir Uly at mga sir!
    I'm planning to buy an innova but I can't really decide between the last and the latest generation that is now available in the market. I have a family of 7-8 pax and we love to travel a lot! I am more on economical side than style given that the latest innova has 2.8 engine. I will go with diesel for sure. If that's the case,will these old and new version have different mileage? Should I buy an old version or wait for the latest? In the long run which one will cum out as more cost efficient? I'll be driving mostly outside the city. And which variant should I opt to buy - E diesel or G diesel?
    Looking forward to ur positive response. Thank you and GOD BLESS!

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  22. Sir Uls,
    Ano po b ang mga available colors s market natin?

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    1. I see red and blue in the blog, I didn't see those choices of color in other sites. They had silver, alumina Jade, black, white, avant bronze, metallic grey.

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    2. I see red and blue in the blog, I didn't see those choices of color in other sites. They had silver, alumina Jade, black, white, avant bronze, metallic grey.

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  24. Fact: 95% of Innova drivers are douchebags. Mga abusado, akala nila kung sino sila sa daan. Yung mga tipong mahilig mag counterflow. Well, honestly pati na din mga fortuner at montero abusado din. In fact all owners 3rd world vehicles ay abusado.

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  25. Hi Sir Uly,

    Does the G variant sport leather seats? TIA!

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  26. Sir Uly,
    would you say that the Mobilio RS can actually and/or directly compete with this new Innova? Given that they are both 7-seater MPV's? And disregarding price, which one would you prefer?

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    1. You still can't compare these two.

      The Mobilio is a small MPV that falls in the same category as the Suzuki Ertiga and Toyota Avanza. In that regard, it can carry 7 adults, yes, but the comfort is a bit compromised. Also, when all the seats are up, there's not much luggage space to speak of.

      Meanwhile, the Innova is a larger, more robust MPV with a ladder frame construction and diesel engine. It can swallow 8 people much easier and still have some room leftover for luggage. It's also taller and higher, better in tackling rough roads at the expense of a more truck-like driving experience.

      Bottom line? If you find yourself driving alone and just needing the additional row of seats once a week, the Mobilio will be just fine. It's also easier to park and maneuver if you work in places such as Makati or Ortigas.

      However, if you need the seats most of the time (or the luggage space) and travel long distances regularly, go for the Innova.

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  27. sir uly im planning on buying this.. been waiting for this since last year.. my question is does the E diesel comes with automatic trans? and whats the difference between the E and the G variant beside its infotainment? thank you.. hoping for your feed back.

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  28. sir uly im planning on buying this.. been waiting for this since last year.. my question is does the E diesel comes with automatic trans? and whats the difference between the E and the G variant beside its infotainment? thank you.. hoping for your feed back.

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    1. http://www.carguide.ph/2016/02/all-you-need-to-know-about-2016-toyota.html

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  30. Please do a review about the 2.8v!!!!

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  31. Which variant(s) has the engine start/stop button?

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  32. Hi. I am still contemplating in what to buy. A woman here with a fam of 3. What are the best for me? Innova or ecosport? Hoping for you reply. Thanks

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    1. Hi Ma'am. Just my opinion. Go for Innova. I checked the Ecosport when it came out, it has a tight interior space. I have a 2 year old daughter, ok naman space ng suv sa amin lalo pag mall and out of town, halos pareho sa innova. If you're considering the space inside, go for the Innova.

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  33. Buti pa kayo may pambili..na-miss ko tuloy iyong cimarron, harabas, ford fiera & toyota tamaraw

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    1. Cimarron the best. May butas sa harap para malakas hangin.

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  34. Hi Mr Ulysses. Do you have any info about the water wading capability of the 2016 innova? With the kind of rainy season we have now a days, wading capability is on top of my must haves in choosing a vehicle. I hope you can enlighten me on this matter. Thanks in advance. Cheers!

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    1. We threw this question at the IMV chief engineer and he didn't to give specifics. However, he said 400-500 mm is a safe number.

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  35. puro kayo 3rd world suv ano ba ibig sabihin mo? truck based=body on frame=3rd world? eh ano twag mo sa amg g63 na 10million dito? 3rd world din? yun body-on-frame din? sa australia, first world sila pero madami pa rin amy gusto ng truck bsed? tingin mo lang porke mahina sa US ang truck based suv bulok na agad? sa US nga meron 4runner para sa truckbased at highlander para sa CUV? land cruiser is truck based too. body on frame has its benefits.

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  36. Good pm. Should I go for Innova V or Kia Carnival 11?

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  37. toyota website and other car review sites states that innova J dsl MT displacement is 1998 cc. but it is advertised as 2.8 innova J. what is the true displacement of the J dsl variant of innova?

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    1. Because you're looking at the 2.0 Dual VVT-i gasoline.

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  38. have driven the dsl e mt variant for 1000 km in my daily drive to work and out of town trips with the whole family on weekends. for me the 2.8 displacement is just right, its a relaxed engine even on full load, hindi bitin even during uphill overtaking, i do not notice any lag on sudden intended acceleration, the brakes are more than adequate, steering is indeed heavy compared to a sedan with similar hydraulic steering, but it is not tiring to drive, makes me conscious of the vehicle's size and weight. my average fuel consumption even with 7 passengers is 13 to 14 km/li mixed city and highway speeds of 100kph or more on normal mode. switching to power mode propels this innova twice the speed at half the press on the gas pedal. at this vehicle's current price, you're better off with a lower priced suv if your priority is the high stance, road presence and off road capability and other accessories. but if what you need is a spacious, comfortable, quiet ride for 8 adults, and a fast fuel efficient vehicle that is also suitable for spirited daily drive to work, with just the basic necessities and accessories, this variant will do.

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  39. Sir Uly, may improvement po ba yun turning radius ng 2016 innova as compared to the old models?

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  40. Good Eve! Just want to ask if it is more advisable for me to go innova before this latest model? I will be using the it for both business and family. TIA

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  41. Hi Sir Uly, Ask ko lang which has the better/faster engine, Fortuner 2.4 G MT or Innova 2.8G MT? Thanks

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  42. Hi po me and my family are planning to buy an innova my question budget wisely medjo hirap kami sa e variant tipid mode kasi eh. Any major difference ba between e and j variant? Aside sa mags, speakers and foglights?

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  43. Ganda ng Innova, bang for the buck specially the G variant. One can never go wrong with this all new Innova. Cheap spare parts/maintenance, excellent resale value, wouldn't feel less compared to SUVs, Powerful engine, Roomy interior, lots of toys. Man I truly love this car.

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  44. 2.8 innova g manual dsl or 2.4 fortuner g manual dsl? Ano po mas maganda?

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  45. Meron na po bang update regarding sa fuel consumption nito? Thanks!

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  46. 2.8 innova g manual dsl or 2.4 fortuner g manual dsl? Ano po mas maganda?

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  47. i wonder about un sa automatic un sinasabing jerky daw...
    ang laki ng tinaas ng price ng innova... sana meron pa un older model. ..

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  48. i wonder about un sa automatic un sinasabing jerky daw...
    ang laki ng tinaas ng price ng innova... sana meron pa un older model. ..

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  49. i have a new innova 2016 dsl j mt.... and i was amaze coz its so fast and super tipid... walang binatbat ang mux, hi ace at montero...

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  50. Hi Sir Ully,
    Good day. Any idea if there is any chance that Toyota will going to release Gray Metallic color for Toyota Innova 2016?
    Thanks

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  51. Hi sir uly,

    I just wanna ask if what would you prefer the innova G vs monterosport GLS? Since their price is almost the same because of the 200k discount from the monterosport GLS variant. So basically same price n cla @1.350M.. Thanks for the response.

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    1. Actually, you won't like this answer, but the Innova is a much more practical family vehicle. The space isn't compromised, the ride is better, and the ingress/egress is much easier.

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    2. I actually have the same question. Thank you for the answer.

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  52. The good old Daddy's car got even better.

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  53. Japanese vehicle;toyota & mitsu.
    During WW2, Japanese invade most part of Asia, which majority of it, is what you now call third world country. After they were "nuked" by the U.S., their economy were likewised level to the ground. But, look at them now how they risen from the ground. They are resilient, just like how they make their vehicle. Its true that even the westerner loved japs vehicle because of resiliency, reliability, low maint. Cost and reasonable price.

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  54. Also, zero fighter plane uaed by the japs during that era was made by mitsubishi...

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  55. Hi sir Uly,

    I've test driven both Innova 2016 G and Fortuner 2016 G variant. But until now I still cant decide which one should I take. Should I go for Innova V instead of Fortuner G considering that Innova V is loaded with more safety & driver assist features or should I go for Fortuner G for better look and higher ground clearance. Your advise is well-appreciated.

    By the way, here're some points of consideration.
    *Engine - Innova 2.8 V AT or Fortuner 2.4 G AT?
    *Ride handling and comfort
    -Vehicle usage:
    *90% - daily ride for kids hatid-sundo (city drive pero a lot of potholes)
    *5% - grocery thing evry 2 weeks
    5% - Yearly out town trip 7-8 pax(malubak, mountaneous roads and provincial highways)

    Maraming salamat po sir Uly...sana maliwagan na...

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    1. Hi.

      I will allow you to read the Innova review first:

      http://www.carguide.ph/2016/06/review-2016-toyota-innova-28-v.html

      Now, going to your question...I'd pick the Innova. Yes, it looks like a mommy car and it won't have the same "porma" factor as the Fortuner. But let's face it: it has a more comfortable ride, roomier interior, bigger cargo space.

      In fact, the only thing the Fortuner has going for it is the tall ride height which gives you 200-mm more water wading depth.

      Based on your requirements though, it seems the Innova is better fit for you. In fact, you don't have to splurge on the 2.8 V. You can go for the 2.8 G and still have great value.

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    2. Kudos sir Uly!

      Thank you for the very comprehensive points. My wifey as well picked Innova for a more practical family vehicle.

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    3. Kudos sir Uly!

      Thank you for the very comprehensive points. My wifey as well picked Innova for a more practical family vehicle.

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    4. Great answer, Sir Uly. A very practical comparison between the two.

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  57. Sir Uly,

    i would like ask gas consumption of 2016 innova J gas? Is is true na 10-12km per Liter? Im planning to buy kasi the J gas instead of the diesel eh

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    1. See chart:

      http://www.carguide.ph/2016/05/just-how-fuel-efficient-are-new-toyota.html

      Personally, I doubt the gas will reach 10-12 km/L unless highway driving. Expect something more along the lines of 6--8 km/L in the city.

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  58. Sir Uly, thanks for this article and responses to inquiries. It helped me decide if I will choose Innova over other SUVs. Thank you.

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  59. Sir Uly,
    base dun chart ng carguide ang fuel efficient ng innova G 2016 diesel automatic/manual, parang mas matipid pa ang automatic kaysa manual tranny?paki explain po bakit mas tipid ang matic engine. manual po kasi ang prepared ko dahil sa alam ko mas tipid sya, ngayon kung mas tipid po ang matic baka mag matic na lang po ako .Thank you.

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  60. Sir Uly,

    I would like to get the innova 2.8V A/T.. But I prefer the 2nd row seat to be bench type.

    Possible bang I request na ang install yung bench type instead of the captain seat?

    Thank you..


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  61. Sir,

    Can you provide fuel consumption comparison of both Manual and Automatic G Variants?

    Planning to buy an Innova

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