The all-new Kijang Innova has higher quality

Toyota Kijang Innova Overseas Review: “A car craftsmanship that focuses on the next generation, aims to be the core among developing countries” by Hajime Aida

The Kijang Innova has maintained its high popularity as an MPV in Southeast Asia and other countries. Originally, this model took over the Kijang multipurpose vehicle beginning in 2004; however, it was released in the market only in November 2015. I was given the opportunity to test drive this model in Indonesia, where it was produced.

I test drove the newly set advanced grade Q, and its powertrain has a 2L diesel engine and a 6-speed AT. It has a maximum output and a maximum torque of 137hp and 190Nm respectively. Aside from that, you may also choose the latest 2.4L 2GD-FTV diesel engine. The 2GD-FTV engine generates a maximum output and a maximum torque of 149hp and 359Nm respectively. The price of the model with Q grade, which I test drove in Indonesia, is 400,002,215 rupiah (conversion to JPY is 3,670,000 yen), and this is the highest price range in the history of the Kijang Innova. It is indeed one of the reasons why it attained the luxury car class, and to that extent, it also exceeded the existing model in terms of full equipment.

Its seats are based on fabric, which gives off a luxurious feel; its dashboard also has a high-quality wooden panel; and its LED ambient light softly shines from the ceiling. You may start its engine by pushing its button, and its dashboard has a display audio that can connect to Wi-Fi. As for its safety equipment, it has airbags on both sides; knee and curtain shield airbags, which are not yet generally available in Indonesia; and its third row seats are also equipped with three-point seat belts and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). However, the quality of other parts such as the dashboard isn’t that great. It felt like they focused more on the craftsmanship of its appearance.

The comfortability in the rear seats has been greatly improved through the equipment of separate seats in the second row. The back of the front seats have a folding table, and it also has an LCD-equipped auto air conditioning unit. Even though these parts were generally equipped in minivans that are in Japan, some of these were not available in the previous model. While it has the popularity that was firmly rooted in the Alphard, which has been imported from Japan, one would instantly think that these materials were set to correspond to the needs of the local production, which does not require import tax.

Surprisingly, even though these have also been equipped in its basic model, which costs 282 million rupiah (approx. 2.5 million yen), this advanced grade still sells better than the basic model. Because of that, the lower grade G and V could be delivered within 2015; but for the Q grade, customers would still have to wait for three months before it is available. I’ve heard that the number of wealthy people in Indonesia is increasing.

I was only able to test drive this car within a limited area, but even so, it clearly expressed a better performance than the previous model through its steering operation. Even when turning at low speed, it expresses a firm steering operability, and it has clear difference compared to the previous model. The lightness of the previous model was unusual; it was difficult to grasp balance. That sensation has greatly improved in the new model. There were moderate shocks from the road; however, I did not feel any unpleasantness. I was also able to hear similar opinion from those who were seated on the second row. They say it was clear that it has evolved as an MPV.

I didn’t feel any particular force in its 2L diesel engine, but I was able to drive smoothly without any tendency of slipping through the 6-speed AT. However, I couldn’t say that this kind of performance would remain the same when the car would be fully occupied; its fixed capacity is seven passengers. I was not able to test drive it in such situation; nevertheless, I still expect a powerful performance given the overwhelming torque of the new 2.4L 2GD-FTV diesel engine. As it aims be the core among developing countries, the quality in terms of drivability, comfort, and the like was no doubt raised.

â–  5 Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★
Interior / Comfort: ★★★★
Power Source: ★★★
Footwork: ★★★
Recommendation: ★★★

Hajime Aida | AJAJ Member

Born in 1956 in Ibaraki Prefecture. Graduated from the School of Political Science and Economics in Meiji University. After graduating from the university, he became a member of an automotive journal and started working freelance in 1986. He expanded his writing profession particularly to car navigation and ITS fields, as well as writing reviews about new cars.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)