Toyota Innova Hycross ZX (O) Hybrid First Look

What is it?

Toyota unveiled the Innova Zenix in Indonesia on November 21; the Innova Hycross has already made its way to India. Compared to the previous generation, the Innova Crysta, the third-generation vehicle represents a huge improvement. It adopts the SUV aesthetic, the front-wheel-drive monocoque TNGA platform, and a long list of modernised features, making it a formidable contender once again. The Innova is practically a mythical figure in the history of Indian automobiles, but Toyota has taken a giant leap forward with the Hycross, suggesting a promising new course for the model.

How is it on the outside?

The Innova was first introduced in 2005, and since then, the name has come to represent any vehicle with MPV-like dimensions. The Crysta’s previously MPV-esque design has been given a more masculine edge with wider lines. The new car’s design departs somewhat from that aesthetic in favour of a more conventional crossover layout (hence the cross in Hycross).

The iconic Toyota “T” logo stands tall in the centre of a large chrome grille at the front of the vehicle. You receive a full set of LED headlights and a robust bumper with chrome accents. The dramatically flared wheel arches, the black cladding around the bottom half of the profile, and the door handles that match the body colour are all visible in this side view.

The outside rearview mirrors are painted to match the body, and the 18-inch alloy wheels have a spoked pattern. The 16- and 17-inch wheels are expected to have a somewhat distinct design, while the wheel covers will likely be a close facsimile of the larger wheels. The central part above the licence plate hole gives the trunk the Toyota family look. This is typical for other Toyota models sold in Indonesia, including the Cayla and the Veloz.

The rear design includes badges on both sides, a substantial bumper, and taillights that wrap completely around the vehicle. Now that a car as popular and powerful as the Innova has abandoned its MPV roots for a more SUV-like style, there can be little doubt that SUV design is the way to go.

How is it on the inside?

The Innova line has always had a segment minimum inside, meaning it looked well enough for the price range it was in but not much more. It seems that Toyota has made some significant improvements. Both the length and wheelbase of the vehicle have increased by nearly a centimetre. All three rows of seats are upholstered in plush quality plastics and the interior is decked out in a brown and black colour scheme.

The front row of seats is dominated by the freestanding 10.1-inch display and the island-like centre console housing the gear lever, climate control interface, and ADAS controls. Wireless charging is available at the island’s peak. While we didn’t have much time to test out the ergonomics, we can assure you that everything is conveniently located. On the 6th of December, you’ll be able to read our review of the vehicle, in which we’ll cover all the details about the car’s usability and accessibility.

The second-row ottoman seats on this Innova Hycross are the vehicle’s showpiece. The powered feature works for raising the footrest and reclining the seat, but getting it to your perfect seating position is a manual operation, despite the fact that it appears to be quite attractive on paper. The front passenger seat lacks power, and shifting it requires human effort. Many Hycross customers are likely to have a chauffeur drive them around, so the weird auto-manual combination of the seats may not be a big deal for them. As an added selling point, the Innova range’s third-row seats fold down to create more cargo room, making it possible to stack practically anything vertically or horizontally.

What’s on the feature list?

If the car’s list of upgraded features is any indication, Toyota has spent a lot of money on it to keep it at the forefront of its market. The ZX (O) trim level featured in these images comes standard with features such as a panoramic sunroof, three-zone climate control with rear vents, power driver seat with memory function, 10.1-inch display for the infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Connected car technology, JBL sound system, full-color MID, power mirrors, power windows, LED light package, and 360-degree camera.

Safety features included on all trims include six airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD), three-point seat belts for all occupants, anchorages for ISOFIX child seats, and a 360-degree camera. This Innova Hycross is the first to have Toyota’s new suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), Toyota Safety Sense, which includes a pre-collision system, Auto high beam, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane tracing aid, and dynamic radar-guided cruise control.

What’s under the hood?

There will be a choice between two powertrains for the Innova Hycross. One is a 2.0-liter gasoline unit with 172 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque and mated to a continuously variable transmission. There are two available drive modes, Eco and power, for this motor (GX only). Hy in Hycross comes from a powerful 2.0-liter hybrid setup, with a gasoline engine making 172 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque paired to an electric motor making 11 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. The eCVT is coupled to this powerplant. The Innova Hycross is available initially with only an automatic transmission, and all trim levels include front-wheel drive.

As an additional first, the Innova family has shifted from a ladder-on-frame to a front-wheel-drive monocoque architecture. It has a McPherson strut front suspension and a semi-independent torsion beam rear suspension, as well as disc brakes. Wheels measure 18 inches on the ZX and ZX (O), but only 16 inches on the VX. For wheels, the base model G comes with steel wheels measuring 16 inches in diameter, while the mid-range GX model comes with alloy wheels with the same size. This next week, we’ll be testing out the Innova Hycross, and our evaluation of the vehicle will be published on December 6th.

What about pricing and when will it be launched?

Toyota is rumoured to be selling the Innova Hycross for somewhere between $22,000 and $30,000, with reservations being taken as of today. The company also confirmed that deliveries of the vehicle would begin around the middle of January 2023. Its competitors in this price range are the Hyundai Tucson and the Citroen C5 Aircross. There are also the BYD Atto 3, Skoda Octavia, and MG Gloster and Kia Carnival in less expensive trim levels.

Sanjeev Shah

I am professionally a Mechanical Engineer and i love blogging and for that purpose i have created the website for automotive contents.