Toyota Innova HyCross Review: The Perfect Marriage between SUV and MPV?

  • Dec 6, 2022
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In this review we answer some key questions regarding the much anticipated Toyota Innova HyCross. Is it as good as the spec sheet suggests?

The Toyota Innova HyCross has created a stir in the Indian car industry even before its launch and with good reason. Although it has the iconic Innova moniker, it looks more like an SUV which will appeal to a wider audience and unlike a Toyota, it is loaded with features. 

It also comes with the option of a more fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain which widens its appeal. We got to experience the hybrid version briefly and in this review we try to answer some key questions regarding the Toyota HyCross.

Is It Bigger Than The Innova Crysta?

The HyCross is a big MPV and in fact, is noticeably larger than the Innova Crysta. In comparison, as seen from the table below, the HyCross is 15mm longer, 20mm wider and the wheelbase is a massive 100mm more. It is not only larger than the Crysta but also the Tata Safari and Mahindra XUV700, except widthwise where the two homegrown SUVs are slightly wider. 

 

HyCross

Crysta

XUV 700

Safari

Length

4750mm

4735mm

4695mm

4661mm

Width

1850mm

1830mm

1890mm

1894mm

Height

1790mm

1795mm

1755mm

1786mm

Wheelbase

2850mm

2750mm

2750mm

2741mm

 Does it look attractive in the flesh?

The HyCross’ design is a huge departure from Crysta’s MPV lines, as Toyota designers have tried to make it look more like an SUV, and by a good measure they have succeeded in doing so. The front is inspired by cars like the Hilux, especially the massive hexagonal grille and the slim LED headlamps. This gives the HyCross a lot of presence and the big chiselled bumper with integrated LED strip for the DRL and turn indicator makes it look appealing. 

From the rear, the tail lamp and boot design does remind you of the discontinued Tata Hexa which is no bad thing. There is a right amount of muscle here and the integrated roof spoiler and the stylish bumper add a bit of jazz to the look. 

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The profile too manages to look like an SUV thanks to the flared wheel arches and high bonnet. What feels odd however are the wheels. The size, at 18 inches, is decent, but when compared with the size of the car they look small and the low profile rubber also accentuates this feeling. 

HyCross’s Interior Looks Unlike Any Toyota! Is It That Good?

Yes, it is! The dash design is modern and looks premium. Quality is a huge step up compared to not only the Crysta but the Fortuner as well. You get soft-touch materials on the dashboard and front door pads and even touch points are draped in quality material. Overall the HyCross’s cabin does feel premium and looks expensive. 

However, it isn’t perfect. In the lower parts of the dashboard, you will still find hard, scratchy plastics, the retractable cup holders on the dash feel a bit flimsy and the foldable tray between the middle row captain seats feels wobbly and cheap. 

However, the game changer is the features list which is longer than even the Fortuner. In the top ZX and ZX (O) variants you get a panoramic sunroof, dual zone climate control, 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, ventilated front seats, powered driver seat with memory, 360-degree camera, digital driver’s display and a fantastic nine-speaker JBL sound system. The only thing missing is a wireless phone charger which can also be fitted as an accessory.

In terms of safety, apart from all the standard features, you get six airbags and the ZX (O) variant comes with a full-blown ADAS system which comes with features like lane-keep assist, blind spot monitor and adaptive cruise control. 

Can Tall People Fit One Behind The Other?


The HyCross is big on the outside and massive on the inside! As a result, all three rows in the HyCross are very spacious. The fronts are large, comfortable and offer great support. The highlight however is the Ottoman middle-row captain seats. The electrically adjustable footrest and backrest make finding your ideal seating position easy and there is loads of knee room. In fact, at this price point, we couldn’t think of a more comfortable rear seat so the HyCross will prove to be a phenomenal chauffeur-driven car as well. 

The third row is equally impressive. There is more than enough knee and foot room and it is also quite airy thanks to the large glass area. For anyone over six feet tall, the headroom will get a bit tight, but other than that, it is one of the best third-row seats we have experienced in a long time. 

How Big Is the HyCross’s Boot?


With all three rows up you get enough space to fit four small suitcases or six duffle bags which is similar to the Innova Crysta. With the third row folded you get a massive flat storage area which is big enough to move houses. Thanks to the third-row folding flush into the floor, you get more horizontal space compared with the Crysta, whose upward folding third row eats into the width of the boot. Overall the HyCross’s boot is massive which makes it extremely practical for big families. 

Innova And Front Wheel Drive! How Does It Drive?


The only disadvantage of not being front-wheel drive will be experienced in hilly regions or over rough terrain where the HyCross might struggle for traction. Other than that the HyCross, unlike the Crysta, feels extremely easy to drive. The steering is light and so are the controls which makes manoeuvring this big car a breeze. Visibility all-round is almost unobstructed which makes driving easy even in the tight confines of the city. The HyCross almost feels as easy to drive as the much smaller Hyryder which is a huge compliment.

What adds to the easy-to-drive nature is the hybrid powertrain which is responsive at low speeds thanks to the instant torque from the electric motor. It also feels refined thanks to it running most of the time in EV mode at low speeds and even when the four-cylinder petrol motor comes to life to charge the battery, it feels seamless and the drive remains smooth and comfortable. The petrol motor too is refined and it is only when you floor the accelerator that the motor gets noisy as it stays at high RPMs to accelerate faster.   

How Is The Performance With Full Load?


The claimed nought to 100kmph time for the HyCross hybrid is 9.5 seconds and even when we tested the car with a full load, we got a figure of around 14 seconds which is impressive. Just to give you perspective, the Crysta 2.4 diesel automatic also registered a time of 14 seconds to 100kmph, but there was only the driver on board. Clearly, the HyCross has plenty of power for most needs and doesn’t feel underpowered in any way. 

What it doesn’t feel is sporty or exciting as acceleration is smooth and not rapid. The hybrid powertrain too feels strained and becomes noisy when pushed hard. Where this powertrain shines, however, is in terms of fuel efficiency. Despite being this large, heavy and being driven enthusiastically, the HyCross was consistently doing 14-15kmpl which is incredible. In our experience when driven similarly the Crysta diesel returns around 11-12kmpl and the petrol 2.7 would have been under 10kmpl. 

How Is The Ride Quality and Ground Clearance With Full Load?


Surprisingly, just like the Crysta, the HyCross’s ride quality feels planted and comfortable with a full load. Out on the highway, the HyCross feels stable and sudden potholes or undulations are dealt with ease. Even at low speeds, the HyCross feels comfortable with a full load and the suspension works silently too. In fact, without load, the HyCross feels a bit stiff as even small imperfections are felt inside the cabin but not to the point of feeling uncomfortable as a result. 

What is very impressive however is the sound insulation. The cabin remains silent even at high speeds with very little road or wind noise seeping into the cabin. Combined with the pliant suspension and comfortable seats, the HyCross proves to be an exceptionally good long-distance companion. 

Worth buying?

We expect Toyota to price the Innova HyCross between Rs 20 lakh for the base G non-hybrid variant and Rs 30 lakh (ex-showroom, speculative prices) for the top ZX (O) strong-hybrid variant. Even if the HyCross is more expensive than the above-mentioned price bracket, it will prove to be a very competitive package. But, if it is priced well, then it promises to be a game changer.

Toyota Innova Hycross Video Review

Toyota Innova Hycross
Toyota Innova Hycross
Rs. 18.82 Lakh
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