Toyota Innova Hycross will take on the likes of XUV700, Safari, Hector Plus in the mid-size SUV segment
What is an SUV? If you go by the textbooks, it is a rugged vehicle that has enough grunts under its hood to get itself out of sticky situations. These were pitted as go-anywhere and do-anything kinda vehicles and for a long time, that was exactly the case. Something that is based on a ladder-frame chassis and has RWD and even 4X4.
Nowadays, the word SUV is used very lightly. Cars like S-Presso and Punch are marketed as SUVs, just because they have body cladding and slightly raised ground clearance. When it comes to MPVs disguised as SUVs, just slapping body cladding on them (Renault Lodgy Stepway) or giving ladder-frame chassis with 4X4 and not giving SUV styling (Tata Aria) is not enough.
Toyota Innova HyCross SUV Render
Manufacturers go to great lengths and create SUV-looking MPV, to bridge the gap between segments. Kia Carens is a fitting example. It might not have rough-roading capability. But it is made to look like an SUV as they’re more trending products. Next car to enter a similar trend is Toyota Innova HyCross.
SRK Designs has perfectly showcased how Hycross can come close to an SUV with minimal design changes. With a few blacked-out elements, AT tyres with block patterns, a faux skid plate, an aggressive grille with bold Toyota badging, and a luggage rack at the top, SRK Designs have managed to render an SUV-looking MPV.
Other notable additions include additional rally lights on top of re-profiled LED fog lights, blackened alloy wheels, a side body decal with a mountain, a blackened roof, and wider LED DRLs. Adding a lot of presence is its luggage rack which makes it look a lot taller than it already is. Hycross is actually taller than XUV700, Safari and Hector Plus which are marketed as SUVs.
Toyota Innova HyCross Surprise
The name Innova brings to mind an image of a sturdy people mover, loved by the taxi segment. A no drama vehicle, which is built to last. It was low on features and gadgets, and barely featured on the radar of buyers who were looking to buy SUVs like XUV700, Safari or Hector Plus. Despite that, Innova Crysta sales were averaging in the 7k region per month.
The news about the arrival of new gen Innova has been doing rounds for some years now. Not many in the mid-size SUV segment were bothered as they did not expect Toyota to play their new gen Innova card as a modern day, fully loaded SUV. And that is exactly what has happened.
The result – some buyers who were awaiting delivery of cars like XUV700, Safari, Hector Plus, etc are now suddenly taking interest in the HyCross. With sales in Mid-size SUV segment on the rise, launching an Innova branded SUV is no less than a masterstroke by Toyota India.
In Sep 2022, Innova Crysta sold 7,282 units and in the same month, mid size SUVs accounted for a total of 26,553 units. In October 2022, this segment sold 23,560 units. Tempting number, isn’t it? If Toyota broadens Innova HyCross’ horizon to target this segment, it is highly likely that there will be a lot of traction toward it.
Specs & Pricing
Now that D-Segment SUV space is crowded with SUVs like XUV700, Hector Plus, Harrier, Safari, Scorpio N, Alcazar, Meridian and recently launched Tucson, it is a hot segment. Toyota’s pricing strategy for Hycross will decide what segment it will take on.
Innova HyCross will be slotted below Fortuner whose prices start from Rs. 32.6 lakh (ex-sh). Keeping that figure in mind, one can predict a pricing between Rs. 22 lakh to Rs. 28 lakh for Hycross. For reference, Innova Crysta prices start from Rs. 18.09 lakh (ex-sh).