Toyota Innova generations explained: Qualis to Hycross
Since its debut in 2005, the Innova has been an enormous success for Toyota. Not only it has been a popular MPV in the country but also one of the best-selling cars in its segment. The Innova has gone through a lot of changes in the last decade or so. Now, Toyota has unveiled the all-new Innova Hycross, bringing in new technology, electrification, and a new platform. But we take a quick look at its previous generation models and find out its history.
The story of the Innova began way back in 2000 when Toyota entered the Indian market with the Qualis. Not only was the Qualis based on the third-generation Kijang, but it also borrowed a few elements from the Kijang's fourth-generation model, such as bumpers, switchgear, instrument cluster, among others. Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) launched the Qualis in a choice of three variants: FS, GS, and GST, with prices ranging between Rs 4.58 lakh and Rs 7.39 lakh (ex-showroom). Unlike current MPVs, the Qualis could accommodate up to eight or 10 passengers, depending on the variant.
The Qualis was introduced with a 2.4-litre, inline-four, 8-valve SOHC diesel engine with 'Distribution Type Fuel Injection' technology. It came from Toyota's 2L family engine that powered other Toyota vehicles in various international markets. This motor produced 75PS at 4,200rpm and 151Nm of torque at 2,400rpm. Notably, it had a top speed of 130kmph. In early 2002, the Qualis gained a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, fuel-injected SOHC 1RZ-E engine making 93PS at 4,800rpm and 150Nm of torque at 2,800rpm. The petrol engine provided a top speed of 140kmph.
Although the Qualis turned out to be a successful model for Toyota, the brand discontinued it in 2005. It replaced a new moniker - the Innova. Between 2000 and 2005, the brand delivered more than 142,000 units of the Qualis, capturing almost 30 per cent of the total MPV market.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) introduced the Innova in India at the beginning of 2005. Its prices started at Rs 6.74 lakh and went up to Rs 9.95 lakh (ex-showroom). With this, Toyota had skipped the fourth generation of the Qualis for the Indian market, as the Innova was essentially the fifth-generation model that debuted as a replacement for the fourth-generation Qualis.
The first gen Innova and the Qualis were poles apart in terms of the exterior, interior, and features, along with performance. It came powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol VVT-i petrol engine producing 136PS and 190Nm of torque, while a 2.5-litre, inline-four turbo-diesel that produced 102PS and 200Nm of torque. Notably, the Innova received a slew of mid-cycle facelift updates before the second-generation model made its India debut.
Toyota showcased the second-gen Innova at the 2016 Auto Expo in India. The MPV for the market was named the Innova Crysta. Launched in mid-2016, the Innova Crysta was a point of departure in terms of design and interior over its predecessor. It was modern, feature-rich, and more powerful and efficient powertrains.
The MPV was available with two engine choices - a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel with power outputs rated at 149PS/343Nm and a 2.8-litre turbocharged diesel generating 177PS and 360Nm of torque. While the former was mated to only a five-speed manual gearbox, the latter could be paired with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Toyota later phased out the 2.8-litre diesel engine due to stringent emission norms. It was replaced by a 2.7-litre Dual VVTi petrol motor producing 168PS and 245Nm of torque.
The second-generation facelift model was launched in India in November 2020. It was powered by a BS6-compliant 2.7-litre petrol engine alongside a 2.4-litre diesel motor. As a part of the facelift, The Innova Crysta featured a fresh exterior, including a new grille, new bumpers, tweaked tail lights, and new alloy wheels.
Toyota Innova Hycross
The Japanese automaker unveiled the third-generation Innova Hycross in India on 25 November, 2022. This generation update has brought significant changes to the Innova, including a new monocoque chassis and an SUV-style exterior with chunky cladding. It ??measures 4,755mm in length, 1,850mm in width, and 1,795mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,850mm.
The Innova is powered by a 2.0-litre inline-four petrol TNGA engine paired with a fifth-gen self-charging strong hybrid system. This powertrain is mated to an e-CVT automatic transmission. It also gets the same 2.0-litre petrol TNGA motor in a non-hybrid version and is coupled to a CVT automatic transmission. The hybrid powertrain produces a combined output of 186PS and 188Nm of torque, whereas the petrol-only powertrain generates 174PS and 205Nm of torque.
The Innova Hycross is equipped with a wide range of features, such as a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated seats, a powered driver seat, electronic parking brake with auto-hold, a wireless phone charging pad, USB Type-C, dual-zone temperature control (front and second row), and Toyota's connected car features among others. For the first time, it also comes with ADAS. That said, Toyota is likely to launch the Innova Hycross in India in early 2023.
Text by Gajanan Kashikar
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