The Toyota Innova Hycross is a revolutionary MPV that promises a commanding road presence, an intimidating design reminiscent of SUV body types and plenty of space – not to mention excellent mileage!
Under its hood is a powerful hybrid engine composed of a 1.8-litre petrol engine and an electric motor coupled to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The Toyota Innova Hycross, or SUV MPV as it is officially known, is in its second-generation. This time around, its dimensions have grown a bit larger and it features some additional amenities; more significantly, though, is that its hybrid powertrain makes it more energy efficient than previous iterations of Innova Hycross models.
Toyota has also equipped the Hycross with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) designed to make it more capable on our roads, such as dynamic cruise control that maintains a safe distance between it and the car in front, lane assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitor, auto high beam system and precollision system.
Comfort and convenience features available include a panoramic sunroof, nine-speaker JBL sound system, ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control, powered second-row seat with powered leg rest, side and curtain airbags and side airbags. In the ZX variant you also gain 18-inch alloy wheels, powered tailgate, panoramic sunroof and wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity for additional perks.
The Toyota Innova Hycross competes against updated versions of Kia Carnival, Mahindra XUV700 and Scorpio N, MG Hector Plus, Tata Safari and Hyundai Alcazar MPVs on the market. It offers features that help it stand out in this segment; for example premium leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, powered second row seat (including powered second-row seating ), wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity as well as panoramic sunroof with side and curtain airbags in its ZX variant.
Toyota has put much thought and consideration into creating a safe vehicle, and the Hycross is packed with safety features. These include six airbags, 360-degree camera and electronic parking brake with hill hold function. Furthermore, Toyota Safety Sense includes features like dynamic radar cruise control, lane trace assist rear cross traffic alert blind spot monitor auto high beam.
The Hycross is one of the few MPVs to offer an adjustable reclining second-row bench seat, featuring ottoman-style seats with electrical reclining capability for full range recline adjustment. Other comfort features include panoramic sunroof, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, connected car tech features and dual zone climate control.
Toyota offers two powertrain options for its Hycross: a 2.0-litre regular petrol and strong hybrid petrol variants with front wheel drive and an e-CVT transmission respectively. We do not yet know fuel economy figures for either variant but anticipate they’ll deliver superior efficiency than their respective normal petrol versions.
Toyota claims that the Hycross has lost 200kg from its Innova Crysta sibling due to its monocoque chassis and front-wheel drive layout. As a result, its ride quality is much smoother, with less body roll and easier handling – more like driving an ordinary car than an MPV! Furthermore, its electric power steering is light yet consistent, further aiding driving this large vehicle.
The Innova Hycross represents a dramatic improvement over its predecessor, the Innova Crysta. Not only is the MPV striking in appearance and utility for seven people, it boasts a hybrid powertrain as well as ride and handling improvements over its predecessor.
Monocoque construction gives the new Innova Hycross an improved ride around corners, while its lightweight frame contributes to better handling and responsiveness to driver inputs.
On the engine front, the Hycross uses a combination of a 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor that together deliver an output of 186PS. The latter draws power from a 1.6kWh nickel metal hydride battery, seamlessly switching between pure EV mode and engine mode for smooth performance.
Even under severe pressure, the Innova Hycross never feels slow or underpowered. With plenty of torque for city driving, and capable highway speeds for highway cruisers alike, its performance can easily hit big numbers without fail.
ZX(O) Hybrid variants offer enhanced comfort with second-row captain seats with Ottomans, ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control, 10.1-inch infotainment system featuring Toyota’s connected car tech (iConnect), blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alerts, high beam assist and lane keeping assist features from Toyota ADAS Level 2, 18″ alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof and powered tailgate are also key highlights of these vehicles.
The Toyota Innova Hycross can range in price between Rs 18-29 lakh (ex-showroom), depending on which variant is chosen. As opposed to its two non-hybrid siblings, however, this hybrid version includes additional features which will drive up its price point.
The hybrid variant features a 2.0-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor that produces a combined peak power output of 186bhp – which is then transmitted through an e-CVT gearbox to drive front wheels.
While driving the hybrid Innova Hycross, we found it was highly responsive and smooth accelerating. At lower speeds, electric motor takes over to improve fuel efficiency.
This Innova Hycross makes driving in both city streets and highways simple thanks to its light steering and tight turning radius, while its TNGA-C monocoque platform helps it remain composed around corners and handle rough roads without throwing passengers around.
Practicality-wise, Toyota has done an outstanding job keeping the Innova Hycross name alive despite switching to monocoque construction and hybrid powertrains; still providing its trademark brand value, bulletproof reliability, and trusted after-sales service that we’ve come to rely on from this MPV – this alone is enough reason for its anticipated success.