Monday, February 1, 2016

Used Car Review - Toyota Innova (2005-2016)

The original article was published last December 9, 2013 and can be viewed here.

Since a new model is on the horizon, Myk Belmonte writes a farewell review here.

2005-2016 Toyota Innova

The Kijang, as it is known in Indonesia, could be traced back as far as 1977. The prototype was first displayed at the 1975 Jakarta Fair with production commencing two years later. It first started as a pick-up truck with minibus and pick-up with rear body and roof versions being available. Its mission was very simple: offer people low cost transportation while having the capability to carry many people and conquering poor roads. They had succeeded on their intended purpose here.

Late 2004 saw the introduction of the fifth generation Kijang which gave a new moniker, the "Innova". It was more luxurious than previous models and one of the vehicles of the IMV program which shares its platform with the Hilux and Fortuner. It retains its body-on-frame chassis layout, which is suitable for tough situations. It gave way to new engines that included a 2.0 gasoline, 2.7 gasoline (for some markets only), and a 2.5 diesel.

Replacing the Revo after conquering the Adventure and Crosswind for years is the Innova, which is basically the same vehicle but using a different name. The industry was shocked especially it essentially replaced a best selling nameplate. Gone are the rear side facing seats which scream utility than luxury, it looked more of a minivan which became a favorite of Filipino families. Revisions were done in late 2006, September 2008, October 2009, February 2012, February 2014, and March 2015.. Available variants include the J, E, G, and V with limited edition models that include a Sports Runner made available in 2009, a 25th Anniversary Edition in 2013, and a 1 Million Limited Edition in 2015.

Value and Costs
Thanks to its long production run, finding an Innova that fits your budget and requirements is easy. With prices between P360,000 for old models to P950,000 that gives you a nearly brand new unit, there's a unit for you. Do take note gasoline models sell less than their diesel counterparts, which is the norm in the market. Go for a unit sold in February 2013 and later if you want to have the remainder of the warranty.

First batch of Innovas having the 2.5 diesel engine faced a chocking problem which dirty diesel fuel was the culprit which caused these engines to stall, these models can be distinguished by two lines underneath their grilles as opposed to the mesh grille for later ones. Also, have the rear suspension checked especially it has the tendency to leak. Overall, this vehicle is something easy to maintain and would not let you down. Before I leave this paragraph, cleaning the aircon requires the dash to be disassembled and better leave this to the professionals.

Exterior and Interior
It shares some resemblance with some Toyota MPVs and minivans, most notably the 2004-2009 Sienna and Wish. To distinguish the J from its higher models, a grey grille is standard while the latter uses either color coded or chrome ones. J models carry hubcap covers, black door handles and mirrors, and no rear wiper. E adds rear wiper and alloy rims while G and V gets chrome exterior bits for 2005 until 2011 or body color door handles and side mirrors with signal repeaters which took effect for 2012 to 2015 units. For the limited edition models, the Sports Runner has body kits and a different set of rims but without the body stickers the Revo SR was clad of while the 25th Anniversary Edition and a 1 Million Limited Edition can be distinguished by a badge outside.

The interior was a step up from the Revo with more curves and amenities than the model it replaced. Low models have grey interiors while the G and V carry beige as their motif. A dual glovebox comes standard for all models while later models have an auxiliary jack and USB port (and for some, Bluetooth and navigation system). Driving position is high enough, a trait that was inherited from its predecessors. Second row occupants have decent space and can be folded upfront for more space while the third row is folded sideways but space can be tight for large sized people. V models have second row captain's chairs and wrapped in leather, useless in our tropical climate. In the safety side, it was not until 2014 that all models came with dual airbags and anti-lock brakes, especially that some variants prior to this update had no ABS brakes or a passenger airbag.

Both gasoline and diesel motivators are available so let us delve to their technical specifications. The popular engine in the Innova range is the 2KD-FTV 2,494cc diesel which has 102hp at 3,600rpm and their torque ratings differ: 200Nm at 1,400-3,200rpm for manuals and 260Nm at 1,600-2,400rpm for automatic variants. On the other hand, choosing the 1TR-FE 1,998cc gives you 136hp at 5,600rpm and 182Nm at 4,000rpm. Despite the conservative 102hp, the diesel isn't a slouch to drive and leagues ahead of the Crosswind and Adventure when it comes to refinement and performance. It loses its advantage when compared to the rivals with higher horsepower ratings of the same engine displacement. Going with the gasoline will give you a smooth engine but fuel consumption isn't as good as the diesel but still better than the fuel thirsty Revo.

Driving Impressions
Despite the truck based underpinnings, it has a ride which does not give motion sickness to its occupants. Handling isn't something in the ancient age that plagued rivals which are generations older. Besides, you would not be buying this to race or participate in drag sprints.

Killing a popular nameplate isn't a wise gamble; the decision that Toyota made proved to be a success. What they did not know the Innova continued the Tamaraw's heritage. A good choice for a family vehicle, new or used.

The Good:
  • Numerous variants available
  • Does resemble a minivan
  • Light years than its rivals
The Bad:
  • You wouldn't race with this
  • Some early diesel woes
  • V's limited utility
The Pick: 2.5 G

Engines: 1,998cc 1TR-FE 4-cylinder gasoline and 2,494cc 2KD-FTV 4-cylinder diesel
Power: 136hp @ 5,600rpm (gasoline), 102hp @ 3,600rpm (diesel)
Torque: 182Nm @ 4,000rpm (gasoline), 200Nm @ 1,400-3,200rpm (diesel MT), 260Nm @ 1,600-2,400rpm (diesel AT)
Fuel Consumption: 6-10km/L (city), 8-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front double wishbone, rear rigid axle-four link with coil spring

Price (New): P650,000-P1,300,000 (range from 2005 to 2013)
Price (Now): P360,000-P850,000
Rivals: Isuzu Crosswind, Mitsubishi Adventure, Chevrolet Orlando, Kia Carens, Mitsubishi Fuzion, Nissan Grand Livina, Suzuki APV, Toyota Avanza
On Sale: 2005-2016

Toyota Pasong Tamo - (02) 893-8084
Toyota Manila Bay - (02) 581-6168
Toyota Makati - (02) 897-3333

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