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5 Reasons to consider a Toyota Innova an SUV alternative


Ok, before you send me off in a strait jacket, allow me to explain. As a motoring journalist, we get questions all the time about what car to get in any given segment. A lot of those questions are about which SUV is the best of the lot, and while we know the Toyota Innova isn’t an SUV in the strictest sense, it does answer the needs of those who are looking for SUVs without the need for a four-wheel drive system. Here’s why.


Space for sevenTI11

“I need an SUV for my family” is something we hear quite often. Most SUVs, such as Toyota’s own Fortuner, have the capability of seating seven people. And while it’s true you’ll be able to fit seven people in a modern mid-sized SUV, they’ll simply be more comfortable in an Innova. The Innova was designed primarily as a people-mover after all, and there is a lot more room in the third row as a result. There’s a bit more luggage space in the rear with all the seats up too.


Similar features

The Toyota Innova is no slouch when it comes to safety and convenience features. The top-of-the-line variant features automatic LED headlamps, power folding mirrors, auto climate control, a touchscreen infotainment system, push start/stop with passive keyless entry, seven airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and rear parking sensors.


The Fortuner’s engineTI13

The Innova is powered by the same new-generation 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine found in the higher-end Fortuner models. At 171 hp and 360 Nm of torque, the Innova provides plenty of push for all its passengers. And while the engine is tuned a little weaker than the Fortuner, the Innova has a lighter frame than the Fortuner, resulting in a better power-to-weight ratio, which not only rewards you with great acceleration, but better fuel economy as well.


High ground clearanceTI14

With a ground clearance of 176mm and a wading depth of 500mm, the Toyota Innova rides tall enough to get you through any obstacles in the city — including floods. Granted it doesn’t quite match the 220mm ground clearance that most SUVs offer, but we’re talking about a difference of less than two inches between the two. When it comes to city floods and hazards protruding from the road, the Innova is tall enough to allow you to clear them all with ease.


More affordable

Looking at the price ranges between the Innova and Fortuner, we see that the Innova is more accessible from the get go. The Innova’s price starts at P919,000 for the base model 2.0 J M/T, and P1,445,000 for the top-of-the-line 2.8 V A/T, while the base model 2.4 G Fortuner starts at P1,386,000, and tops off at P2,126,000 for the top-of-the-line 2.8V 4WD A/T. Of course, the Fortuner does come with a four-wheel drive system, but if you’re not going off-roading in the truest sense of the word and plan to confine your adventures to the city and the occasional out of town trip, the Innova provides everything an SUV offers for a fraction of the price.