Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review: 2016 Toyota Innova 2.8 V


Are you looking for the perfect family vehicle? Are you torn on which Pickup-based Passenger Vehicle (PPV) to get? Well, might as well end the search right now because you are looking at the best mainstream 7-seater in the business. Sure, it doesn’t have that masculine SUV body style you’ve been lusting over, but you shouldn’t care. The 2016 Toyota Innova is best suited to your family’s needs.

Priced at P 1,445,000 for the 2.8 V, there’s naturally going to be some apprehension against going for the Innova; after all, it’s priced in the same bracket as some mid-grade PPVs. But what it doesn’t say in any brochure is this Toyota’s good packaging. Compared not just to other PPVs but to its predecessor as well, it has a spacious interior. Not only does it offer excellent shoulder and legroom in all rows, but there’s no lack of headroom anywhere as well. The second row Captain’s Seats, a standard feature on the V grade just like before, slides and reclines, but now tumbles as well for easy access to the third row. Meanwhile, the third row seats still offer genuine space for three adults, but now come with adjustable headrests for everyone.



There’s only one problem with the Innova’s packaging and that has to do with how the third row is when not in use. Folding it is easier for sure—the spring loaded mechanism and rear seatbelt positioned anchors are godsends, but having to stick the middle headrest in a crevice when not in use feels awkward. Another instance is when the second row passengers decide to recline a bit, only to have their headrests hit the flipped up third row. Finally, anchored using just a hook and some Velcro, the third row isn’t secured well enough. Going through a pothole is enough to cause the seats to come crashing down. In fact, it happened twice in the course of a week and was caused by worn out Velcro straps.

The dubious third row seats aside, there’s nothing more to complain about the Innova’s interior. The first-generation model set the benchmark when it first launched in 2005 and the all-new one continues to live up to that expectation. It’s full of sweeps and curves, highlighting an almost organic approach to its styling. It’s also very easy to use with large, clearly marked buttons with logical placement. The stalks, switches, and controls are also well damped with a nice, crisp feel. The interior plastics are still not of the soft-touch variety, but they’re finished consistently and feel solid and well-wearing. Those with young kids will likely find the velour-like finish on the door panels a bit of a concern. Not only do they attract dirt (libag), but they can be a pain to clean as well.




The driving position compared to the previous Innova is more car-like with its high set dashboard. It offers excellent visibility in all areas, particularly the front, making it easy to navigate through small spaces. The steering wheel, though offering adjustment for both tilt and reach still doesn’t fall naturally in hand, but the new seats do more than make up for that with its great support.

The biggest cause for concern to would-be Innova buyers is the powertrain and not for obvious reasons. Without question, there’s a lot of power under the hood. The new-generation 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine, with its 171 horsepower and 360 Nm of torque, offers locomotive-like power delivery in any given situation. Granted it’s not as refined as one would have hoped for, suffering from a non-linear throttle and overeager (jerky) automatic transmission, it does make it more adept at handling full loads or impromptu drag races with previous-generation Fortuners. The biggest question mark is in fuel economy. With a displacement that’s up by some 300-cc compared to the previous D-4D, some have called out the Innova for being a potential gas guzzler. That’s absolutely not the case.



It’s simple physics, really. The Innova’s stronger motor combined with a similar curb weight means less inertia to overcome. This means the new 2.8 V can easily match or even better the previous generation’s 2.5 V: 9.17 km/L versus 9.09 km/L, despite a decrease in average speed by 3 km/h (14 km/h). The better power-to-weight ratio and more forward gears also mean excellent highway economy figures: 15.38 km/L (average speed 76 km/h with ECO off). Engaging the ECO smoothens the jerkiness and extracts an additional 4.23 km/L on the highway (19.61 km/L).

Riding on a Double Wishbone front and 4-link coil spring rear suspension, the Innova manages to improve on its road manners. It feels much more natural in handling curves and corners, though the hefty steering still requires more turns to get it dialed in. In a straight line, it’s surprisingly stable and quiet with just a hint of steering lift past 140 km/h. And thanks to its toughened frame, it’s more capable at absorbing large potholes. Some jolts still do enter through the steering column, but it’s easily plusher and more comfortable than any PPV, especially on pavement. Granted it’s not designed for off-roading, it offers some cushion against floods with its 176 millimeters of ground clearance and 500 millimeters of water wading depth.





Design-wise, the Innova is supposed to visually convey strength and toughness; in other words, look like an SUV. And while that didn’t work out exactly, it does appear more polished, upscale, and modern. Just the right amount of chrome bits along with the slender headlights and added angularity give it a tinge of luxury and presence. Along with this upscale look, Toyota has also thrown in almost everything: automatic LED headlights, power folding mirrors, automatic climate control, touchscreen GPS navigation, front seatback trays, interior mood lighting, push button start/stop with passive keyless entry, 7 airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and rear parking sensors. Surprisingly, they omitted leather seats—a sin considering this is a P 1.5-million MPV.

There’s massive demand in the PPV segment and it’s only one of two segments currently growing in the local auto industry. And yet, for all the SUVs’ promise to be the steed of the modern Filipino family, they’re still soundly beaten by the MPV that started it all: the Toyota Innova. The Innova may not offer macho styling or towering ride height sought after by some buyers out there, but there’s no doubt that it comes out as better packaged, more refined, and better equipped to be the practical everyday car. When it comes to buying the best family car, if mind trumps over heart, the all-new Innova comes out on top.



2016 Toyota Innova 2.8 V
Ownership 2016 Toyota Innova 2.8 V
Year Introduced 2016
Vehicle Classification Entry-Level MPV
The Basics
Body Type 5-door MPV
Seating 7
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.8
Aspiration Common Rail, Turbo
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 171 @ 3,600
Nm @ rpm 360 @ 1,200-3,400
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 6-speed AT
Cruise Control No
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,735
Width (mm) 1,830
Height (mm) 1,795
Wheelbase (mm) 2,750
Curb Weight (kg) 1,835
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension 4-Link, Coil Spring
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Yokohama Blue Earth E70 205/65 R 16 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights Yes
Auto Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40 (2nd row); 50/50 (3rd row)
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Yes, Dual Zone
Audio System Stereo
CD
MP3
Aux
USB
Bluetooth
GPS
No. of Speakers 6
Steering Wheel Controls Yes

77 comments:

  1. Uly, I think you got intimidated by it's huge fangs. You're being too kind. The only way for this new MPV to sell well is to substantially bring down the price to compensate for it's shortcomings one of which is it's looks.
    One area that should be looked into is the NVH of this SUV wannabe.
    What would a 1.45M vehicle feel like when it sounded like a real MPV inside?

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    1. I actually loved it to be honest. It's a proper people carrier that doesn't compromise on space or ingress/egress.

      The design is still pretty much is an MPV but it's been cleaned up.

      Being truthful doesn't have to be negative... This isn't perfect, but hell, it's better for a family of 7 or 8 than any PPV unless you need to off road

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    2. ^Its like toyota formulated this V model as the "high-end MPV", but most buyers in this MPV segment only has a budget of 1M to 1.2M... most folks will shy away from this model and might just get the G or E models, but are these model bang for their bucks?

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    3. Yes sir, it's a proper people carrier. That's all it is. Don't love it too much, it will leave you wondering why.

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    4. I got to test the V because that's what Toyota offered. If I had a choice, I'd say the 2.8 G is the best one.

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    5. Agree. What's that captains' seats for? To make one feel the pinnacle of luxury? In an Innova?
      I owned a 2005 Innova. Price-wise and practicality it is the most value for money car around. I use it as my transo going to work along with the heavy load of stocks every morning. And except for one major replacement on the front right wheel and the aircons' evaporator, it's still serving me fine. It loves me and I love it too. It's been 11 years now we haven't had a fallen out yet. On the other hand, I have disposed of my 2006 Sta Fe 3 yrs already as it was breaking down like a geriatric invalid. Korean cars seems to have an expiration date. They're good for 5 years only. The Hyundai Sta Fe, now that is luxurious. Inside you will not hear a whimper when it's oil burner comes alive. The NVH is just amazing. The Innova well, imagine an Osterizer whirring inside your vehicle. A captain's seats and an Osterizer don't go together. That's not luxury. That's oddity.
      What I'm saying here is Toyota shouldn't make any pretensions. The Innova should be what it is a people carrier. MPVs are defined as multi purpose vehicle, Toyota should not lose sight of it's practicality and value for money. Pricing it with a premium erases both elements.

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    6. But isn't that what the various variants are for, to cater to different tastes and budgets? Toyota knows that MPV buyers are a very diverse lot, from corporations to families. If a person wants a little bit of luxury in an MPV, why the hell not? The J thru G variants are there for other purposes, budgets and tastes.

      First gen Innova G owner here as well. The biggest replacements I've made though were on the fuel injectors around the 110km mark.

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    7. Yes. But a captains seats? And as to the price, I was talking of the hefty increase across variants.

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    8. The main purpose of the captain seat is to prevent the 2nd row passengers (your family) from giving the driver (you) a fcuk you sign when you are not looking.
      And when your wife or kids smile at you, you can rest assured that it is a smile that comes from the heart.

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  2. Captain seats are for executives of a company. Who needs them when you're bringing along a family of five with several baggage in tow? What's going to happen to the fifth passenger? And the mood lights inside? For what?

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    1. You can get the G that replaces the Captain's Seats with a regular bench

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    2. Uly, where is this V or G sourced? Indonesia? Will they continue the production of E and J here?

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    3. All Innova models are made in the Philippines

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    4. Actually I have a friend who was planning to buy an suv, and instead bought the V variant at the last minute.
      His reason: To reward his wife and kids for sticking out with him, in good times and bad times.
      I know there are many other family man who also think that way.
      By the way, about that fifth passenger . . . Toyota also has a variant of Hi-Ace, the Super Grandia LXV, that has 4 captain seats.

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  3. Anyone who says the innova or any MPV is required to look good, should have their testicles smashed by a sledgehammer. Why in the world would anyone expect the innova to look good? It's an MPV for f***'s sake! You drive this to carry people, not to get laid! You own and drive MPVs so you can say that you're never gonna get laid. Owning one basically means you've thrown in the towel and accepted your fate as a virgin.

    You know the innova club? Yeah their members are a bunch of losers who think their innovas are the best thing in the world and they have the illusion that the innova can smoke other cars. Look at how stupid and ridiculous the concept of an innova car club is. It'sa f***ing MPV! Why in the hell does the innova even have enthusiasts?!? Driving the innova is as interesting as playing with a dog's turd.

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    1. you're trying too hard, dude.

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    2. Trying to hard? What do you mean? I'm just keeping it real buddy.

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    3. The "get laid dude" in an MPV article... hahaha pathetic

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    4. I dunno. Getting laid with a stylish car doesn't sound pathetic. Being enthusiastic over a MPV, now that's pathetic.

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    5. whining about not getting laid with an MPV? yeah you're trying too hard. what's your beef with owners of dad-mobiles anyway? lol

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    6. A true car enthusiast sees a car for its entire worth. There shouldn't be any biases just because it's a van or MPV or sports car.

      If a vehicle does a darn good job as an MPV, then don't treat it as a sports car and vice-versa.

      I never cherry pick what cars I want to test. I test and drive them all. I think that's the true meaning of being an enthusiast. You're a pretender if you tend to gravitate towards looks or certain body styles.

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    7. I could not agree more, Uly. Well said!

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    8. He just wants to get laid. lol

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    9. This schmuck is a proud owner of a Mahindra MPV.

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    10. Hahaha! Just GET LAID! :)

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    11. I can get laid even without a car.MPV or not. You're the one talking to the chicks.(not the car)

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    12. Where is he? maybe he just get laid..

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  4. ^Well, I think people buy "MPVs" thinking it is versatile enough to be both an "SUV" and a "cross-overs" in one package. They always say its a practical choice, and it is if you are always carrying loads of people and stuff. But yeah, if you want to look good upon egress from a vehicle, get a proper muscle car or SUV.

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  5. "Sure, it doesn’t have that masculine SUV body style you’ve been lusting over, but you shouldn’t care. The 2016 Toyota Innova is best suited to your family’s needs." --- but people buy this for "practical" reasons, meaning they also want form aside from function, and this car fails miserably in terms of form.


    "...but having to stick the middle headrest in a crevice when not in use feels awkward" --- the headrests on third-row seats block the rear view mirror, and should this row really carry 3 people?

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  6. Is it just me or the author is very positive whenever a Toyota is reviewed?

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    Replies
    1. Have you read his fortuner review?

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    2. The recent fortuner review was pretty negative

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    3. And RAV4 and Avanza and Wigo and Hilux.

      Come to think of it, I think I like the Innova the best among the Toyota Philippine lineup

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    4. sir uly, what you own is a fort, not an innova, right?

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    5. Yes. First generation Fortuner, but I've driven the old Innova.

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    6. sir uly, were you more impressed before by the old fort that's why you picked it over the more practical innova?

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    7. Simple: when we got the Fortuner, the Innova wasn't offered with ABS.

      If the Innova at the time had ABS, we would have gotten that instead.

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    8. @AnonymousJune 21, 2016 at 12:49 PM

      It's just you

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    9. HI Uly would you say that this Gen Innova is in different segment between ADVENTURE, CROSSWIND and ETC?? I mean did toyota just create a new segment for an AUV/MPV??


      Thanks

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  7. good luck with your ~1.5M price tag! *bust*

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    1. the tag price actually pays for the badge not the car!

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  8. Wow! At that price it is going up against the Everest or the lowest trim of the new Montero, and both of them carry the same number of people. If I have that budget I will be going with either of those choices.

    What's with that interior? The cloth seats look hideous.

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  9. Hi Sir Uly. Having tested both, how do you compare the overall space (Legroom, shoulder and headroom especially in 2nd and 3rd row) and ride comfort of Montero Sport and Innova?

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  10. Sir Uly, which one would you consider or prefer as an everyday vehicle and occasionally going out of town with a family of 5? the new Montero Sport 4x2 or the new Innova G ? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. The Montero is the better car. Its in a higher car segment. Di na pinagiisipan yan.

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  11. Great review. The negatives in car reviews has always drawn me to Carguide.ph. These are the things that are hard, sometimes impossible to find out in a short test drive. No other review I read mentioned anything about the tranny issue. The others are probably worried about ruffling mighty Toyota's feathers. Keep saying it as it is and I will always visit your site.

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  12. Hi Mr. Ang. Good review. I like the new innova, but it's quite pricey. That 1.3M - 1.5M territory is populated by very competent 7-seat 4x2 SUVs with a/t such as the Trailblazer L, MU-X 3.0, Fortuner 2.7 G, Everest 2.2, and Montero Sport 2.4. Unless one is in the market for the Innova J variant, a higher variant just doesn't make sense for the average person. Although, with that engine, it can work as a very discreet armored vehicle. I've seen a few examples of armored 3.0 V fortuners. If that old engine can carry propel the weight then the Innova's more powerful engine can do the job.

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    1. Get the G variant if you don't need that suv ppv height and does not go off road. You will thank Sir ULY. Period.

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  13. Innova V or the Kia Carnival 11 seater? 100k difference..

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    1. Kia Carnival no doubt. Its in a higher car segment.

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    2. how about the new montero? its leaps ahead of the innova.

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  14. The Innova's exterior is very ugly representing the wagon designs in the 70's.

    However it is much better than the Everest and Montero.

    The "DARNA" bumper designed Ford Everest is girlish and the 2.2 engine will cough up blood when engaged by this 2.8V Innova in marathon duel.

    Mitsubishi is already bought by Nissan and the Montero nameplate will soon vanish. It will be rebadge as the Nissan Pathfinder soon. This will be nissans entry into the PPV segment in the phils.

    Izusu's MuXsok is not even worth comparing due to its underpowered engine and the black smoke from its tail pipe same as the montero !

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    1. ^Why are you comparing this MPV with those PPVs? is it because of its retail price?

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    2. Lol everest looks girlish? Maybe you watched too much darna in your days. Try parking the montero and fortuner beside the everest and see which looks like a girlish car

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    3. Common sense lang yan iho. Pag underpowered ang makina ibig sabihin yan MATAKAW sa krudo dahil hirap at piga ng piga ka sa accelerator para tumakbo at makaakyat. Pero si MUX at Dmax both same engine ang pinaka fuel efficient batay sa DOE test. Ikaw na humusga!

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  15. It is only Chevy's DURAMAX ENGINE that will make the Innova 2.8V shiver. I'm saying this because i was able to tame both the all new Hilux and Wildtrak from the stretches of the Slex up to Baler in Aurora ...

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    1. wait for me then.....

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  17. Thumbs up on sir ULYs review.. I dont own innova but im a car enthusiast too so ive test driven this one ( 2.8 G ).
    No other PPV rides better than innova. Montero (2016) maybe a little bit softer at its rear passenger but tend to be boaty while its front suspension (stiffer) and steering (shaky). Best overall ride comfort still hands down innova. People carrier champ!

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  18. Using the 2.4 diesel engine instead of the 2.8 would have brought down the price of the Innova. The new 2.4 is stronger than the old 2.5. With the price of the 2.8, buyers would be having second thoughts and move up to an SUV.

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    1. Power to weight ratio. Look it up

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    2. That's exactly the point.

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  19. Best looking Innova!

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. From the last Gen Innova the NVH on this one is improved very well you almost hear nothing of the engine noise and bumps on the road


    I have the E for me its the most Practical Variant of all it has a touch of mid class with all black interior, while for the G it is buyers with extra money to throw in for the class that it will give but the end of the day they both will give same performance or I shall say all of the Variant will give same performance !! I have driven mine at 140KPH and it still asking for more!! hahaha

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    1. Agree with this-- I had a long look at the E yesterday and it looks like the trim and features level is very similar to the outgoing G. The E is more expensive than the previous G though.

      All black interiors absorb and retain heat longer though. The brown seats on the G may look ugly but those are more practical, especially here.

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    2. Black seats are not a problem if its fabric. When its black leather, it'll burn your ass especially if it's parked during noon time.

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  22. Still wondering why other makes aren't venturing into this segment. Would be great to have more choices. With all the doom and gloom in the Americas and EU right now, you'd think the car makers would prioritize developing products for the Asian market.

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    1. Its a low volume segment. Even the American market has abandoned these minivan like offerings in favor of SUVs and crossovers, both of which are more versatile.

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    2. How is it a low volume segment? The Innova was #2 in total number of sales last year here in PH, #5 in Indonesia. It's also enjoying good sales in India where the market favors subcompact passenger cars.
      It might be a low volume segment in the US, but not here is Asia. The American market is hardly a good measuring stick for the Asian market.

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    3. It is a different segment that only exists in Asia. There are no body on frame minivans to my knowledge in the bigger markets. Although Toyota says this will now also be sold in South America. The minivans sold in North America, some of which are also sold here are much larger. These are the likes of the Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Town & Country and Kia Carnival.

      Don't know about US sales date re: minivans but a lot of people I know in Canada and the US still buy them. To me this body type is better suited to our city roads than the PPV SUVs. More usable space, better comfort, handling and easier maneuverability. Add to that better FC, easier ingress/egress, cheaper tires, cheaper purchase price and it makes more economic sense. It does suffer from an image problem but we need to start favoring function over form in this country.

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  23. The Innova would be even better if they put in the 2.4 diesel engine with an E and J variant.

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    Replies
    1. Sir, The Innova here in the Philippines is offered in J, E, G and V ... We only have a 2.0 Petrol engine and 2.8 Diesel engine. The J, and E variant was faced out in Indonesia and India due to low demands

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  24. For Mr. Uly: Re- My assessment of innova 2016
    The center console of Innova 2016 is too tall and occupies a too wide space across the driver cabin. Because of it, a tall person with a longer leg on the driver seat would have his right foot naturally positioned on the brake pedal rather than on the gas pedal. This is because the pillar of the dashboard, being slanted toward the driver cabin, together with the tall console, pushes the knee toward the left. For the right foot to press on the gas pedal, the thigh should twist a little in order that the right leg could be held perpendicular to the floor side to side orientation and parallel to the console wall to clear the knee from the console wall and dashboard pillar. This position would be very difficult to maintain, very awkward and tiring. The knee would keep on knocking on the console wall while driving nevertheless. I like the car but would not like to be on a driver seat where the leg keeps on knocking on the console wall. Because of it, I need to take a long hard look before a purchase is made.

    The above assessment may not be to your agreement. I am open to be educated and would appreciate your comment. Would there be an improvement on the 2017 model?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mateo.

      Even if Toyota did update the Innova for 2017, I don't think they'll be able to change the position of the center console. If ever, it'll likely just be cosmetic changes like change of trim color or the addition of leather seats.

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  25. Hello Mr. Uly,

    Thanks for the honest opinion. That effectively ends my quest for the Innova. Actually I was rooting for somebody to tell me I can drive the Innova had I not been doing this wrong and that wrong.
    I was hoping that the console wall of 2017 model will have a curve midway as it goes up from the floor, to make the top narrower. This will give room to the leg. The dashboard pillar can be just straight vertically up instead of the slant to clear the knee of obstruction. That will loosen up the driver. But these are wishful thinking now.

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