Cars > Peek

Would you want a better-equipped Toyota Innova?

New variant and more features are available in neighboring ASEAN markets

Toyota has found a way to prettify the best MPV in town. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

As a colleague once said, you can never go wrong with a Toyota Innova. Since its launch in 2004, the MPV of the Japanese automaker’s SUV/MPV/pickup triumvirate has endeared itself as the go-to vehicle for Filipino families. If there’s one criticism of this car, it’s the not-so-impressive list of features, especially for the top variants.

For example, the only differences between the G DSL AT and V DSL AT variants are the second-row captain seats, a set of 17-inch rims, and other simple upgrades here and there.

With almost a P150,000 price difference, you’d expect some more features here and there. Well, it seems that Toyota might throw in some new toys for its well-loved MPV, or even a new variant.

Simple visual changes do a lot of wonders for the Innova. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Recently, Toyota Malaysia launched a new variant of the Innova called the X.

Changes include front and rear bumper spoilers, over-fenders, rocker lower molding, blacked-out 17-inch wheels, automatic LED headlamps, a black grille with dark chrome accents, a new nine-inch infotainment system, a wireless charger; third-row USB charge points, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

These very incremental changes could sway a lot of buyers. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

There are also interesting optional features like Toyota Premium Security and Solar Film, as well as a dashboard camera for the front and the rear.

This particular variant is very similar to the Innova Venturer of Indonesia. On the other hand, the Innova in Thailand, particularly the Crysta Premium, has cruise control.

With the Fortuner having cruise control and Toyota Safety Sense, it makes us wonder what keeps Toyota Motor Philippines from offering such options (at least with the Innova V variant). Especially since the two vehicles virtually share a lot of their mechanicals.

Should a new pimped-out Innova variant be launched in our market? PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Make no mistake about it: The Innova that our market has is still one of the best MPVs around. It is the only one that sits on a sturdier ladder frame and offers the lone diesel engine, which Filipinos love.

But with other markets offering Innovas with better specs, we believe that it would further endear the legendary MPV to more customers. Pricing might be the main culprit, but if it means having these additional nifty features, wouldn’t you want to shell out more for an even better Innova?

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.