Cars/ First-drive/ 2022 Toyota Innova HyCross | Crown Prince | First Drive Review

2022 Toyota Innova HyCross | Crown Prince | First Drive Review

The Innova Crysta has always dominated the MPV segment, can the Innova HyCross do the same damage?

For

Features, Comfort, Refinement

Against

Camera Quality, No Diesel option

Driving

The Innova HyCross is equipped with two powertrains- a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine combined with a CVT unit that produces 172 bhp and 205 Nm of peak torque. While the other is a 2.0-litre petrol engine coupled to an electric motor, or as Toyota refers to it, a self-charging hybrid powertrain. I drove the latter, which makes a combined output of 184 bhp and 206 Nm, propels the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.5 seconds, which is impressive for a vehicle of this size. Accelerate, and the power from its hybrid engine feels smooth and effortless. Moreover, what really catches you by surprise is the silence you experience when you start the HyCross and not the diesel rattle you are used to in Toyotas. The vehicle also has a specific EV mode which allows the driver to drive in pure EV for a small distance, and the 1.7kWh battery gets charged via the motor when it depletes.

Yet another astounding feat is the instant power you have on tap, thanks to the electric motor. Acceleration from a standstill is instant and feels quite rapid. 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 is also refined; it is only when you floor the accelerator that the engine gets noisy as it stays at high RPMs to accelerate faster. Where this powertrain shines, however, is in terms of fuel efficiency. Toyota claims a figure of around 21km/l, and even during our testing, we were getting an average of nearly 17.5km/l under harsh accelerating and braking conditions.

Surprisingly, like the Crysta, the HyCross ride quality feels planted and comfortable. On the highway, the HyCross feels stable, and sudden potholes or undulations are dealt with ease. Even at low speeds, the HyCross feels comfortable, making the ride for the passengers quite delighted. 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, but the engine noise does creep in when pushed a bit. Combined with the supple suspension and comfortable seats, the HyCross is an exceptionally good long-distance companion.



TopGear Magazine Jan 2023