Toyota Innova Crysta ownership: Observation after 2 years & 20,000 km

I get a fuel efficiency of 10 – 11 km/l in the city and 14 – 15 km/l on the highways.

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Hello BHPians,

I brought Airavat home on 18th October 2020. Yes, it took me quite a long to complete 20,000 kms mainly due to Covid restrictions.

Initial impression

What I like:

  • Bullet-proof reliability and low maintenance cost
  • Abundant space and practicality
  • Resale value
  • Outright performance

What I don’t like:

  • Overpriced for what it offers
  • Lack of basic features (in lower variants)
  • Impractical for city use due to heavy steering and length of the car
  • Small size of the tyre compared to competitors

Observations about the car after more than 2 years of ownership

Alternatives considered – I was only looking for a diesel automatic MPV/SUV which could accommodate 7 people comfortably. Considering this, I did not have too many options. I test-drove the Mahindra XUV 500 diesel AT but thinking over the long-term reliability and after-sales service of Mahindra, I decided not to go ahead with it. The Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour being the other options that I had, were way more than my budget, hence went ahead and got the Innova Crysta.

On-road price & discounts – 22.3 lakhs (including extended warranty on the car (1,50,000 kms/5 years) and accessories like leatherette seat covers, rear parking camera, auto-folding ORVM, bike protector etc.)

Styling & Design – Overall design is eye-catching and still looks fresh after many years of this model being launched. It is one of the most aerodynamic and sharp-looking cars in its segment.

Overall build quality, fit & finish, paint quality and panel gaps – The car scores a commendable 4-star rating (GX variant) in the ASEAN NCAP crash test. Doors close with a reassuring thud. Paint quality is decent and until now there are no areas of the vehicle that have rusted. Panel gaps are well-proportioned. I did not notice any uneven gaps.

Space & comfort – Very spacious, comfortable and airy cabin. More than enough headroom, knee room, shoulder space and under-thigh support in the first 2 rows. 3rd-row comfort is unmatched compared to any other MPV.

Storage, practicality & boot space – This is one of the areas where the Crysta tops the list. There is an ample amount of storage space. The car has more than 20 bottle holders, each with a capacity to hold a 1-litre bottle. There is class-leading boot space even while using the 3rd-row seats.

Wheels & tyres – The quality of apollo tyres (Apterra) provided by Toyota are bad. Within a month of getting my vehicle, one of the tyres had a big cut while travelling on Mumbai – Bangalore highway. This was followed by frequent punctures on 2 other tyres during normal city drives. The design of alloy wheels too is quite basic and looks boring.

Safety & other features – Toyota has been generous in providing ABS with EBD and BA, vehicle stability control, hill start assist and cruise control as standard in the GX variant. Features like 7 airbags (in the lower variant), front parking sensors and rear disc brakes are a big miss at this price point!! Lower variants of the Innova Crysta come with only 3 airbags which is disappointing as well. The output of the music system is good even with only 4 speakers. AC is a chiller and the provision of 3rd row AC vents enhances the cooling. Despite having halogen headlamps, the throw of the low and high beams on the highway is more than adequate.

Driving experience – The Innova Crysta is a power horse, with more than sufficient power and torque at its disposal at any gear (AT adding to the driving comfort). Turbo lag is well masked by the smooth 6-speed torque convertor unit in the car, making this a delight for every person sitting at the wheel of this beast. Found the handling and dynamic ability to be very appealing, considering the length of the car. The car can cruise at triple-digit speeds all day long. The suspension feels great on bad patches of highways. Steering is heavy and ride quality isn’t the best at low speeds in the city, but at higher speeds the steering becomes lighter and more accurate with very little play. Being a ladder-on-frame rear-wheel drive vehicle, there is some amount of vertical movement that can be experienced when the vehicle is not fully loaded. The braking of the vehicle could have been better. On sudden heavy braking, I did experience the tyres screeching. NVH levels have improved compared to its predecessors (BS IV), but engine noise is still audible inside the cabin, especially at higher revs.

Mileage – In neck-to-neck city traffic, I get a mileage of 10 to 11 km/l, and on the highways, 14 to 15 km/l is easily achievable by maintaining speeds of 120 km/h. Even with a spirited driving style, the minimum one can expect is around 8 to 9 km/l.

Service – Overall service cost was meagre (10k service cost was INR 4,000 & 20k service cost was INR 8,000) and service quality levels were top-notch.

Final verdict

This is a gem of a vehicle to have in your garage, especially if you love driving long distances. The reliability, dependability, and resale value of the Innova Crysta cannot be compared with any other vehicle.

If you are looking for an MPV that has a wonderful blend of power, ride & handling, space & practicality and the ability to carry around 7 people in utmost comfort, then look no further than the Innova Crysta

Looking forward to doing many more road trips with Airavat, now that we are all back to the pre-Covid phase.

Attaching a few images.

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