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The Toyota Innova gets an updated look for 2021

The tried-and-trusted multipurpose vehicle receives revisions

Much of the exterior makeover can be found at the front. PHOTO BY BOTCHI SANTOS

The Toyota Innova, the third vehicle in the Japanese automaker’s IMV (Innovative International Multipurpose Vehicle) lineup, gets its first refresh since its introduction in February 2016. Changes are mostly cosmetic, but help rejuvenate the aging model with a fresh feel.

Key revisions are the new front fascia similar to the Hilux Conquest introduced late last year, aligned with Toyota’s global SUV/pickup design theme. It also bears similarities to the Tundra, the Tacoma and even the RAV4 with its bolder hexagonal radiator grille. There are also new lights, particularly larger signal lamp indicators up front and repositioned fog lamps, with full LED lighting available for the top variants.

Do you like the changes done to the Innova? PHOTOS BY BOTCHI SANTOS

At the rear, the basic taillight design remains similar to the outgoing model, but with a black outline that results in a more sophisticated feel. For the wheels, there is a new twin five-spoke swirl design in 16 inches for the G, E and J variants, while the top V variant gets a tweaked five-spoke design with a bigger 17-inch diameter.

Seven colors are available:

  • Super White
  • White Pearl Crystal Shine
  • Silver Metallic
  • Black
  • Blackish Red Mica
  • Alumina Jade Metallic
  • Red Mica Metallic

Inside, the Innova gets new fabric for the interior, a slightly revised dashboard architecture (with some cabin plastics finished in matte black rather than shiny gloss finish), and a new touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard.

Can you spot the differences in the cockpit? PHOTOS BY BOTCHI SANTOS

Delving further under the skin, the new Innova gets hill-start assist and vehicle stability control across the range, along with antilock brakes. The V variant brings it a step further with ABS-EBD brakes and brake assist. The V variant also gets seven airbags, while all other variants get three airbags (driver, front passenger and front-driver knee airbags). In the event of an emergency that triggers the ABS and VSC systems, the brake lights flash repeatedly to alert drivers behind. V and G variants get a reverse camera, while the lower variants can be fitted with one as an accessory.

Toyota Motor Philippines expects Innova sales to be strong for 2021 as the model will be unaffected by the new and somewhat confusing safeguard tax (or bond, whatever), which will only be levied upon imported vehicles. This makes the locally made Innova a very attractive option for price-conscious buyers looking for a utilitarian workhorse that has good cargo capacity, a taller-than-normal ride height, and an efficient diesel engine.

  • Innova V AT – P1,739,000
  • Innova G AT – P1,592,000
  • Innova G MT – P1,537,000
  • Innova E AT – P1,355,000
  • Innova E MT – P1,285,000
  • Innova J MT – P1,186,000

Botchi Santos

Botchi is your friendly, walking car encyclopedia. He loves helping people choose the right vehicle for themselves as much as he enjoys picking the right one for himself. Expect him to write about car culture, test drives and car-shopping advice. His regular column is called ‘Car Life’.