Text and photos by Eric Tipan
The much-awaited update of the second-generation Toyota Innova is finally here and while you’ve seen versions launched in other ASEAN countries online, ours isn’t the same. Here is what the Pinoy buyers are getting.
It’s the grille that gets the biggest retouch. The overall shape is retained but there are now revised slats, a couple of accents right by the headlamps, and a new chrome U-shaped bottom border. There’s also a sharper-looking bumper that’s been completely reshaped to accommodate the redesigned fog lamps and the front underbody garnish. The headlamps are the same but the signal lamps are new and there are now LED daytime running lamps.
There are no revisions to the sides and while the rear appears the same, including the rear spoiler, the V and G variants get a glossy black backdoor garnish and a dark outline on the taillights.
Welcome lamps (found under the outside rearview mirrors), which was standard on the V, now comes in the G variant as well.
For those who want the gasoline-powered variant, that won’t be available anymore. All 2021 Innovas will get the same 1GD-FTV, 2.8L, four-cylinder turbocharged engine found in the Fortuner and the Hilux. Unlike its Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle (IMV) stablemates, it’s not the higher output version.
Engine output will differ based on the trim. So the J and E (manual transmission) trims only get 170 PS and 343 Nm of torque; the E (automatic transmission) gets 174 PS and 360 Nm of torque; the G (manual transmission) has 170 PS and 343 Nm of torque; while the G (automatic transmission) and the V trim gets 174 PS (that’s a bump up of 3PS) and 360 Nm of torque. Just like before, all models are rear-wheel driven and can come in either a six-speed automatic transmission (with sequential control) or a five-speed manual transmission.
Inside, the cabin of the V and G trims get the Noble Brown fabric seat material while all else get plain black.
There are no changes in terms of layout. The V variant will still have Captain seats, which means it’s a seven-seater while the rest are eight-seaters.
The steering wheel is the same as well. The V and G gets a combo of leather and faux wood while the lower trims have the urethane type.
Connectivity is much better now as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Smart Device Link make its debut in all trims except for the J variant. The V and G models get 7-inch display audio while the other trims get a 6.75-inch unit.
These 2021 models will also come with a higher level of safety as Vehicle Stability Control and Hill Start Assist, which used to be features reserved for the V, are now standard for all variants. A reverse camera and backup sonar, a V exclusive as well, will now be available in all G variants.
The price range is between P1.186 million and P1.739 million. If it seems a little higher than before, that’s because it is – by some 4-percent.
It’s in large part because of all these updated features that not only makes it look sportier, it’s also now more user-friendly, and comes with more amenities that appeal to a wider target market.
The Innova is Toyota Motor Philippines’ fourth top seller with more than 10,000 units sold, beating 18 other Toyota models and falling behind only to the Wigo, Hilux, and the Vios. Its biggest recorded sales was in 2017 at 24,435 units.
Can it meet that or will it set a new mark? We’ll find out soon enough but by the looks of it, these updates to the 2021 Toyota Innova should help make it a heavy favorite in the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) segment.