Monday, October 10, 2016

Quickie Used Car Review - Toyota Innova (2005-2016)

2005-2016 Toyota Innova

The Good: Robust, comfortable than the ancient rivals

The Bad: Side folding third row seats, gasoline engine could use more punch

The Say: Definitely an innovation, sticks to its name.

Go For: 2.5 G
Avoid: 2.0 V

Price Range: P360,000-P800,000
Our Rating: ****

Full Reviews: Used Car Review - Toyota Innova (2005-Current)/(2005-2016)
Latest vehicle profile: Toyota Innova Diesel/Gasoline

See the different versions of this vehicle:
2005-2008 Gasoline/Diesel
2008-2012 Gasoline/Diesel
2012-2014 Gasoline/Diesel
2014-2016 Gasoline/Diesel

Vehicle Overview
Replacing the Revo, the Innova continues the Kijang lineage whose roots trace although the latter vehicle was discontinued. It was the second member of the IMV platform family that was launched after the Hilux pick-up in the Philippine market.

Since this vehicle was sold for a decade (a thing that its predecessors didn't enjoy locally), this MPV had its fair share of exterior and interior updates which makes the vehicle new despite its age. J models are distinguished by their black door handles and mirrors and they do not get a rear wiper nor alloy wheels (they make do with hubcaps) while E models gain the last two items its lowly model don't have. G and V models are identical outside with their chrome door handles and side mirrors (which were upgraded to body color with side mirror signal repeaters in 2012). A limited edition Sport Runner with body kits based on the 2.5 E was added in January 2010 while the 25th Anniversary Edition (August 2013) and 1 Million Sales Edition (July 2015) can be distinguished by a badge.

Similar to the model it replaced, it has both gasoline and diesel engine options to choose from although they are entirely brand new. The sole gasoline engine is a 2.0 which is smooth but loses when it comes to fuel consumption (but still better than the Revo's fuel thirsty nature) while the only diesel option has 2.5 liters which does well despite the horsepower deficit and is leagues better than its decade old rivals. When it comes to riding this car, it will not give you any motion sickness and handling is ages ahead of its rivals.

Compared to its predecessor, the Innova's interior will remind you on what decade you are on especially that amenities brings you back to civilization. Driving position is high, which is an advantage with space for all rows roomy enough except for the third row for large people. Similar to the Fortuner, folding the third row is done sideways. Throughout the years, the interior had been updated with additional equipment to reflect market trends.

What Should I Get
All regular variants can be had with either a 136hp 2.0 gasoline or a 102hp 2.5 diesel (except for the E, which got a gasoline option in March 2008) so better choose your model well since they differ on what equipment they carry and manuals are available in all but the V and automatics can be ordered across the range except for the J. All models start with the J which gives you power steering, CD player with MP3 (auxiliary and USB were added later on), and vinyl seats with other goodies like airbags (driver in October 2009, passenger in February 2014) and ABS brakes added to the mix later on. Next on the list is the E which adds alloy wheels, rear wiper, power windows and door locks, and fabric seats with ABS brakes and airbags became standard later on. Our pick for the best balance is the G that gives you fog lamps, reverse parking sensors, wood accents, multi information display, power mirrors, alarm, keyless entry, and driver's airbag with ABS brakes, passenger airbag, steering wheel controls and automatic air conditioning system added in September 2008. Added in September 2006 is the V that gets middle row captain's chairs, leather seats, dual airbags, and ABS brakes with February 2014 adding Bluetooth and navigation system. Special edition models include the Sport Runner (based on the 2.5 E) adding body kits and different set of alloy wheels, 25th Anniversary Edition (derived from the G) which adds a badge, navigation system, and can only be purchased in white or brown, and the 1 Million Sales Edition (molded from the G) adds the same items from the 25th Anniversary except it for the addition of a rear spoiler and is only available in green.

How Much Would It Cost Me
Thanks to the badge, the Innova has low maintenance costs compared to several sophisticated rivals (such as the Kia Carens and Chevrolet Orlando) plus spare parts are widely available, due to its best seller status and its long run. Fuel consumption wise, diesels trump their gasoline counterparts. Alongside its IMV siblings, it has been recalled in April 2014 for a faulty spiral cable that may cause the airbag not to deploy in a crash which involved units built from 2005 to June 2010. Other things to look for are the rear suspension which tends to leak, EGR valve for the diesels if they are exposed to low quality fuel, and for early releases of the 2.5 (these models are distinguished by two lines than the mesh grille of later units), the suction valve tend to get stuck due to poor quality fuel. With lots of units available, do take time to be picky enough.

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