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July 1, 2014

Review: 2014 Toyota Innova 2.5 V

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Nine years is a long time in anyone’s book. In the same year YouTube was launched and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, Toyota hatched a new product that revolutionized the Asian Utility Vehicle or AUV segment by killing it. The product’s name: the Toyota Innova. Of course, a lot has happened since then and new players have entered into the segment. Still, it seems that the more things change, the more it stays the same; especially true when it comes to the Innova—a product that’s essentially unchanged since its debut in 2005. Still here it is, still in prime fighting form two face lifts later.

Blessed with the V badge, this Innova is the highest trim level of the entire line-up. Largely, it’s the Innova for social climbers who refuse to be associated with the hoi polloi and their more pedestrian E or G trimmed models. It’s the MPV of choice for those who’d rather be caught dead eating at Burger King than Jollibee. That said, you can’t tell the V apart from the rest of the Innova line except for the solitary badge at the back. It’s something elitists won’t like, but the rest of the car buying public will. Toyota’s been pretty restrained in going hog-wild with the Innova’s design and that’s a very good thing. It still remains nicely proportioned and modern looking even if the latest iteration’s a love-it-or-hate-it affair visually. Personally, the enlarged grille and new front bumpers create a more striking presence that’s much better appreciated in person although the added garnish at the back does indeed look a bit tacky no matter how you look at it.

While the Innova V doesn’t look that radically different from the outside, it’s the inside that grabs the headlines. Crack the door open and you’re greeted by the familiar whiff of leather, café-colored leather seats at that. Likewise, the steering wheel and shift knob are also covered in cowhide. It’s hard to fault the choice of leather in the Innova—it’s soft but durable enough for the long haul; very similar to the ones they install in the range-topping Fortuner. However, those with messy toddlers will cringe at the light palette which is hard to keep clean. After just two weeks of use, color transfer will occur between dark jeans and the seats, so imagine how it will be after years of use. Aside from the leather seats, the V also gets rather convincing faux wood trim.

All this talk of wood and leather won’t convince your purveyor of luxury unless the subject of seating comes into play. Like upgrading from Economy to Business Class, the Innova swaps its second row bench seats for two individual Captain’s Seats. This move produces both positive and negative effects, though personally, they’re mostly negative. On one hand, it gives unparalleled comfort with individual sliding and reclining options. The arm rests also provide an excellent respite for the busy executive. However, the practical-minded will note a reduction in the Innova’s seating capacity from 8 to 7. It also makes entry to the third row much more difficult as these seats do not fold or tumble. And those who use their Innovas as a light-duty business vehicle will find the loss of cargo flexibility a bit discontenting considering the perfect size of this MPV.

Aside from these changes though, the V is equipped pretty much like the G variant. Don’t expect a bamboozle of luxury tech like HID headlamps or headrest-mounted monitors or a back-up camera. Instead, you’ll encounter Innova mainstays like the LED backlit gauges, front climate control and rear air conditioning, a multi-function computer, and back-up sensors. The biggest change for 2014 is the addition of a touchscreen entertainment system with a full array of inputs and Bluetooth hands-free and GPS navigation from whom else, but AVT. And like most systems they design, they washout at the slightest hint of sunshine and produce a laggy response at best. Sometimes you’ll miss the good, old Fujitsu Ten radio.

Mechanically, the Innova’s little changed since it first launched 9 years ago. Under the hood, it’s still powered by the 2.5-liter D-4D common rail turbo diesel engine. Without the benefit of a variable geometry turbo, it still makes do with a 102 horsepower, 260 Nm output. It sounds like a blender full of gravel, but pulls remarkably well. It’s largely smooth and torquey and can make quick work of accelerating the Innova even with a full complement of passengers on board. Fuel efficiency is quite good, averaging 9.09 km/L in the city after two weeks of use. The 4-speed automatic is also well suited with smooth, unobtrusive shifts. It’s also ready to kick down a gear on command.

The Innova may not look like a body-on-frame vehicle, but underneath it shares its platform with the Hilux pick-up truck and the Fortuner SUV (the IMV Project, remember?). Sharing chassis is nothing new, of course; but what is remarkable is how Toyota tuned the Innova for a much more compliant ride than its pick-up or SUV cousins. The low speed ride is holding up to the test of time and it’s very resistant to potholes. The body shudders a bit on uneven roads, but that’s mostly because of the third row seats which are anchored crudely with a hook on the grab bars. On the highways, the Innova is very stable with controlled wind noise. The steering is truck-like with its vague feel and the need for a lot of turns from lock-to-lock. Still, the Innova remains a great MPV with its tall eye height and the ability to safety traverse through 500 millimeters of water.

The Innova is by no means a sports sedan or luxury cruiser, and it has no pretensions of being either. Yet despite its age, it’s still winningly refined and commendable as a practical way of transporting the family. As enticing and solidly executed as the Innova V is, it’s hard to recommend this for the social climbers, much less the upper crust of society wanting a new family vehicle because of one thing: the price. The 2.5V is now pegged at P 1,261,000—putting it within shooting distance of other 7-seater SUVs or even 5-seater compact crossovers. Perhaps in lesser trims, the Toyota Innova remains a great and convincing buy for a family car. In the case of the V variant though, the case may not be as convincing.

2014 Toyota Innova 2.5 V
Ownership 2014 Toyota Innova 2.5 V
Year Introduced 2005
Vehicle Classification Entry-Level MPV
The Basics
Body Type 5-door MPV
Seating 7
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.5
Aspiration Common Rail Direct Injection, Turbocharged
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 102 @ 3,600
Nm @ rpm 260 @ 1,600-2,400
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 4AT
Cruise Control No
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,585
Width (mm) 1,775
Height (mm) 1,760
Wheelbase (mm) 2,750
Curb Weight (kg) 1,670
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension 4-Link with Coil Spring
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires 205/65R15
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control No
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes
Auto Lights No
Auto Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Wood/Leather
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 50/50 third row
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Climate Control Yes
Audio System Stereo
No. of Speakers 6
Steering Wheel Controls Yes


  1. Thanks for the review! Any news/rumors on the next generation Innova?

    1. yes the new face of innova brochure has leaked, search it

  2. Same old tired dog w/ a re-dyed collar. Boring!

    1. if you don't like it don't look at it. no body gives a rats ass about your opinion.

    2. Why? Do you have one? Or can you afford one?

  3. Best ever after nine years of Toyota revo's replacement

  4. best ever? sa tingin ko naman ito na ang pinakapangit na exterior make over ng innova. parang trying heard na sta. fe ang front grille. if its not broken dont fix it sana. ayaw ko muna bumili ng innova sa ngayon dahil dyan

    1. its the convenience of use, not the look. for me innova is still good for family use no matter what the design is. its only aesthetics

    2. Guide nga eh kaya kung di ka sangayon eh di stick your current front grille into your ass. Eh di wag ka bumili until di ka satisfied sa front grille. Front grille lng pala basehan mo sa pagbili ng sasakyan mag banawe ka na lng.

  5. It is the same old shit, but it's still better than the older shits that are the isuzu crosswind and mitsubishi adventure. I wonder why people even bother buying those pieces of shits. Pffft, mga pinoy nga naman.

    1. its their choice, not yours stupid. i have Mits Adventure and its still kicking. Plus I am not gping into racing but using it for family purpose. Baka nga siraing kotse wala ka pa e

  6. Mga ulol kayong lahat. If I know, panay kayo pintas wala naman kayong pambili. If you have the money, you buy whichever car you want.

    1. hahaha, TAMA! free lang kasi mag comments

    2. Dami rin tangang nagbabasa ng review ini-expect nila tutugma sa gusto at nasa isip nila! Gumawa na lang kayo sarili nyo review para maranasan nyo pang-gago nyo.

    3. Tama! Mahal pa mga bilihin dito, mahal kuryente tubig. mahal pa pang gas. magpapaaral pa ng mga anak

  7. Thanks for a great post. It's very detailed. I'm a BIG FAN of Toyota and Innova is winningly refined and commendable as a practical way of transporting the family.

  8. Yung iba dyan puro pintas lang lahat ng sasakyan may pros and cons depende nalang sa bibili kung ano gusto nya.inggit mode yung mga pintasero at pintasera walang pambili kaya yun nganga sila.

  9. Filipinos are the most demanding consumer in the world. Marami tayong pintas, wala namang kakayahang bumili. The bottomline is kayabangan lang ang kaya natin.

  10. hehe daming angal, wag nga kayo dito...para sa mga interesado lang naman ang guide na to...kung ayaw nyo di magsilayas na lang...paki nyo kung gustong bilhin ng tao....di lahat ng pinoy mayayaman....pero karamihan mga praktikal lang...dami nyo kasing alam...kaya lahat pinapakialaman....

  11. Kaya ginawa ito dahil para magkaroon ng idea sa pagbili ng sasakyan hindi para laiitin o manglait.
    Kung wala naman kayo magandang sasabihin wag na kayo mag comment dahil hindi kayo makakatulong sa mga gustong bumili ng sasakyan.

    Isip isip muna bago mag comment.

    Ang RESPETO ay para sa marunong RUMESPETO.

  12. Grabe naman kayo makapanglait, tapos ang gagaling nyo pang magkomento, ano kayo diyos? kaya wala tayong pagkakaisa dahil sa ganyang ugali natin eh... hindi ba natin naisip na kaya nga inilabas itong website ay para gabayan tayong mga pilipino sa pagbili natin ng sasakyan?!nasa sa atin na 'yun kung gusto mong maraming burloloy ang sasakyan mo o kung gusto mo naman na gamitin ito sa praktikal na pamamaraan. kung gusto mo maging mausok ang buhay mo at halos magpakamatay sa trabaho para lamang masustentuhan ang "maintenance" nito.
    kaya dapat mag-isip muna tayo, hindi puro salita at kayabangan lang...

    sabi nga sa kanta ng ASIN at laging sinasabi ni Ted Failon, "bato, bato sa langit, ang tamaan huwag magalit."

  13. Mag motor nlang kayo, Bajaj para matipidsa Gas..hahaha

  14. Ano ba to laitan forum??? Eh parepareho lng nman kayong maiitim ang kulangot? Nako eh iisa lang naman ang pupuntahan natin lahat....cementeryo!!!

  15. Hi Just to ask, does this model came with bluetooth? We're gonna rent this Innova model on Sunday and I'm trying to figure out whether it has bluetooth or not TIA ��

    1. Oh wait...this is the 2015 model...I'm not sure tuloy hahaha. It's been a while.


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