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Karawang, Indonesia, November 21 – After months of anticipation and speculation, Toyota formally held the global launch of the third-generation Innova (called the Kijang in Indonesia), now reclassified as an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) instead of an AUV (Asian Utility Vehicle), which it was formerly classified as; with its humble beginnings going back to the Tamaraw of the late 70s.
The all-new Innova is precisely that, in even more ways than one would have expected. While the previous two generations of Innovas were based on Toyota’s tried and tested ladder-frame IMV (Innovative International Multipurpose Vehicle) platform shared with the HiLux and Fortuner, the third generation Innova is built on the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture)-C platform.
The TNGA-C platform is shared with other vehicles already within Toyota’s local lineup, such as the Prius, Corolla Altis, Corolla Cross, and, hopefully, the GR Corolla. You may have noticed that all of the names mentioned – except ‘GR Corolla’ – are of unibody, transverse-engine, front-wheel-drive vehicles, and you’d be right to assume that the all-new Innova is, indeed, a unibody, transverse-engine, front-wheel-drive vehicle.
This new platform, according to Toyota, allows the Innova’s overhangs to be reduced, while extending its wheelbase by 100 millimeters (approximately 4 inches), from the previous 2,750 mm to the present 2,850 mm. A longer wheelbase means more interior room and, ultimately, a more comfortable ride.
The all-new Innova has grown in other areas too: length and width have both gained 20 millimeters; length is now 4,755 mm and width is 1,850 mm, while its height is still at 1,795 mm, which avoids issues with multi-storey parking facilities and toll road classification.
Despite the stunning all-new bodywork, the new Innova’s approach, departure angles and ride height (185 mm) have been carried over from the previous generation. With the absence of a ladder frame under the floor, this means a lower overall floor height, easier ingress/egress, more interior volume, and lastly, space for the battery packs.
Battery packs? Among the many ways the all-new Innova distinguishes itself from its predecessor is the availability of a hybrid variant for the first time, thanks to the TNGA platform. The hybrid setup consists of a 2.0L M20A-FXS naturally-aspirated four-cylinder ‘Dynamic Force’ Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine that produces 152 PS at 6,000 rpm and 187 Nm from 4,400 to 5,200 rpm.
This is augmented by an electric motor rated at 113 PS and 205 Nm for a total combined output of 186 PS. Toyota says a Nickel–Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery was preferred due to Indonesia’s climate, and it is stored under the two front seats so as not to occupy space in the rear cabin or cargo area. We have yet to obtain confirmation from Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) if the hybrid Innova will be available here, and whether it will use Ni-MH batteries too, since Indonesia and the Philippines share similar climate profiles.
Aside from the hybrid powertrain, the Innova will also be offered (per Indonesian info) with the 2.0L M20A-FKS gasoline engine rated at 174 PS at 6,600 rpm and 205 Nm from 4,500 to 4,900 rpm. Both powerplants feature a CVT (e-CVT for the hybrid) and boast higher output than the outgoing 2.0L 1TR-FE engine that produced 139 PS and 183 Nm.
Remember what we mentioned earlier about this third-generation Innova being all-new? The omission of a diesel variant is another ‘all-new’ detail of the Innova, and it makes perfect sense because the hybrid variant will be just as (or more) economical as/than the old 2.4L 2GD-FTV D4D engine, while reducing tailpipe emissions. This aligns with Toyota’s global thrust to becoming a carbon-neutral manufacturer by 2050; locally, TMP is eyeing carbon-neutral operations by 2035.
Visually, the third-generation Innova adopts SUV-like design cues with its sculpted sides and black protective trim on the wheel arches and lower door halves. Meanwhile, the front fascia features a hexagonal grille and angular headlamps (below) separated from the lower intake by a horizontal LED light strip set arranged in a H-shaped panel.
Side-on, the all-new Innova boasts a more energetic, youthful profile that is less utility-vehicle-like by moving the A-pillars back and pulling the D-pillars slightly forward. From the rear, the taillights and upright tailgate take their cues from the RAV4, further contributing to the SUV-esque appearance of the new Innova.
Inside, the dashboard is new and has a more streamlined, classy appearance compared to the dashboard of the previous Innova. Contrasting trim colors visually segregate the dash’s layers, with a floating center console that integrates with the center stack serving as the focal point. This area accommodates the shifter, center a/c vents and controls, and a touchscreen infotainment system.
A wide console between the front seats hosts cupholders, USB ports and armrest. The shift to front-wheel-drive means the omission of the propeller shaft tunnel, clearing up interior space for the option of second-row captains’ seats with ottomans, in the higher variants.
The all-new Innova will be equipped with 16-to 18-inch wheels (depending on variant), LED headlamps, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, 10-inch dual rear seat entertainment screens, a panoramic suroof and, of particular benefit to Filipino drivers, the all-important Toyota Safety Sense package of safety and driver aids, including autonomous emergency braking.
Philippine variants and pricing of the all-new Innova will be published as soon as TMP makes a formal announcement; though we sincerely hope the hybrid variant will be available locally, which should offset the omission of the very popular diesel variant of the outgoing generation Innova.
Follow this story for updates. We’re just as eager as our readers to obtain confirmation from Toyota Motor Philippines.