Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power

Sanjay · Mar 26, 2021 09:00 AM

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 01

Since you're reading this article, chances are that you're considering the newly-facelifted, locally-assembled (CKD) 2021 Toyota Innova as your next car to fit your growing needs.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 02

Here with us in 2.0X guise (RM 129,677, on-the-road sans insurance and SST, valid until 30-June 2021), it's the range topper in a line-up that consists of two other variants - the 2.0G and 2.0E. The key difference between them is that the 2.0X is a six-seater with two captain seats in the middle, while the other variants seat seven.

Also read: Priced from RM 111k, 2021 Toyota Innova facelift launched in Malaysia

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 03

But before you rush out the door like a character in a radio ad, it's best you learn the pros and cons of this MPV as we'll explore within.

Pros:

  • Spacious, practical interior
  • Comfortable seats
  • Easy to drive

Cons

  • Lacks power
  • Noisy engine
  • Lacks ADAS

Let's get right into it then.

Pro - Spacious, practical interior

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 04

The Innova has a spacious interior. Just what the doctor ordered then - space enough to fit a big family and all that entails.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 05

As mentioned earlier, there's seating for six adults, with the middle row populated by two individual seats. Each row gets their own air-cond vents as well as corresponding USB ports.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 06

Second row head- and legroom

And it's rather comfortable place to be in, offering adequate head- and legroom. Space is more than enough in the front and second row.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 07

Space in the third row

Third row head- and legroom are pretty generous as well; with the second row adjusted to normal seating position, we could still fit 1 tennis ball worth of head- and legroom.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 08

Clockwise from top left: centre console storage with optional wireless charger, tray for 2nd row passengers, 3rd row cupholder, large glove box with drinks cooler, door storage cubby

Families won't be left wanting when it comes to space, as the Innova has plenty large cubby spaces and no less than 13 cupholders, including two on each tray fixated behind the front seats.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 09

And then of course, you have a large bootspace that can be made bigger by stowing away the second and third row seats.

Pro - Very comfortable seats

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 10

How are the seats themselves you ask? They're actually pretty good!

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 11

The leather seats (unique only to the 2.0X, other variants get fabric) are well-contoured, provide more than enough back and thigh support and to cap it all off, the leather used is rather supple and breatheable. 

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 12

Adding to the merits are the ergonomics of the seats themselves. Each seat can be adjusted to fit ideal sitting positions and they don't cause any awkward shifting around.

Pro - Easy to drive

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 13

'Confidence-inspiring' and 'Innova' are very rarely mentioned in the same breath but hey, it is what it is. The Innova drives great. 

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 14

Note expansive windscreen and small windows between the slim A-pillars and the dashboard

It's not about dartiness or anything of that sort, it's about how the Innova feels around you. It's a big car, but the great all-round visibility makes even first-time MPV drivers feel comfortable behind the wheel. 

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 15

Combine its tight turning radius with the rear-wheel drive (RWD) setup and you get a big car that's also easy to park. Part of the ease comes from its flat and angular body too, which reduces one's guesswork in determining its edges.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 16

Are spare wheels always important?

Ladder-frame chassis notwithstanding, the Innova's suspension also deserves credit for smoothening pockmarked roads very well. It isn't overly crashy and maintains a comfortable ride.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 17

215/55R17 tyres for the Innova 2.0X

Sure there's still the inherent waftiness and light vibration typical of ladder-frame construction, but it's hardly noticeable in regular driving.

Con - Lacks power

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 18

Under the hood, the Innova retains the same powertrain combo as the pre-facelift: a 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder mill making 139 PS and 183 Nm, paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 19

Power mode doesn't magically add more power

Asking it to lug 1,735 kg (kerb weight) is a bit of a tall order, that much is obvious - drive it uphill and the engine will roar its displeasure as your foot nearly pins the floor. And this is happening even before we hit the car's gross weight of 2,355 kg.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 20

Manual mode will see a lot of use

The engine is simply not up to snuff and needs a lot more torque to help it along.

Con - Noisy engine

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 21

We also have to detract points for the Innova's noisy mill. There's a loud whooshing noise at each startup - actually not very different from commercial vehicles - which gives off a slightly unrefined impression. 

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 22

For technical reasons, Toyota's linked the engine along with the radiator fan. What happens then is the fan will spin as the engine runs. Even if the air-conditioning is off or the engine is cool enough, the fan still runs, causing the noise.

The noise isn't too apparent when you're inside the car, but if you're outside of it, it's quite rough.

Con - Lacks ADAS

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 23

Big missed opportunity here. The Innova completely misses out on any Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) ADAS function, only coming with a blind spot monitor with rear-cross traffic alert (BSM, RCTA).

Recall that its sister car, the Toyota Hilux, already comes with TSS features such as Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Yaw Assist, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 24

3D 360-cam is now standard

To us, it's only logical for an MPV to be better equipped with safety features because they're commonly used for ferrying many passengers. At the very least, the Innova should've come with autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

Also read: Another 5-star ASEAN NCAP rating for Toyota with the 2021 Toyota Innova

Conclusion - Does what it needs to, but where's the wow factor?

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 25

When the truth's been told, the Innova does what most will buy it for - offering oodles of space for people and things alike while offering a rather easy driving experience. 

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 26

That said, it does lack in some aspects - especially in terms of power (please give it more torque next round, Toyota) and active safety.

Pros and Cons: Very practical, but the 2021 Toyota Innova 2.0X needs more power 27

For all it's shortcomings however, it's far from being bad. Sure, it does what it needs to, but there isn't any wow factor to speak of. And since you've already come this far, why not consider the Nissan Serena too? Those sliding doors open up a new world of practicality, as you can see in our review.

 

Also read: 

2021 Toyota Innova facelift, which variant to get?

Buying a 2021 Toyota Innova? Here's the minimum salary required for a loan

New vs Old – 2021 Toyota Innova facelift vs pre-facelift

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