Tata’s first attempt at the premium MPV segment had dismal results. The Aria failed to tick the right boxes in buyer check-lists to dethrone the Toyota Innova as the most preferred MPV in India. The task was Himalayan back then and it has only grown in stature with the new and vastly improved Innova Crysta in competition. Will the Hexa be able to sustain the pressure? Let’s see how it fares against the undisputed champion of the MPV segment, the Toyota Innova Crysta.
Tata’s cars have always been spacious, and the Hexa also scores high on interior space. It is also the bigger MPV of the two, and it looks beefed up as well. The Crysta, on the other hand, has a modern flair to it. It is more angular and urban, milder in the way it looks compared to the Hexa for sure.
At 4788mm, the Hexa is the longer of the two; it is also wider than the Crysta by 73mm. With dimensions that overshadow the Crysta, the Hexa should have better road presence. The Hexa’s 200mm ground clearance further ensures that it will be able to take most of the common road irregularities in its stride.
On the inside, the Innova Crysta feels equally roomy as the Hexa and both the MPVs offer captain seats in the middle row as an option. On the quality front, the Innova Crysta still leads the Hexa, but the latter has certainly improved over its predecessor.
Both Toyota and Tata offer options when it comes to choosing diesel engines on the Innova Crysta and Hexa respectively. The Crysta gets a 2.8-litre diesel engine with an automatic transmission while the manual version gets a 2.4-litre engine. The Hexa will come with a 2.2-litre engine however its base variant will have to make do with lesser power and torque figures. The Hexa’s 2.2-litre engine makes a maximum torque of 400Nm which gives it the best pulling power amongst the two. The Innova Crysta’s diesel motors however outshine the Hexa’s on the availability of torque at lower revs, which helps when you’re lugging some weight. The Innova Crysta’s 2.8-litre unit is also the most powerful here as it produces 174PS of maximum power.
Displacement – 2179cc
Maximum Power – 150PS@4000rpm / 156PS@4000rpm
Maximum Torque – 320Nm@1700-2700rpm / 400Nm@1700-2700rpm
Transmission – 5-speed manual/ 6-speed manual and automatic
Toyota Innova Crysta
Displacement – 2393cc / 2755cc
Maximum Power – 150PS@3400rpm / 174PS@3400rpm
Maximum Torque – 343Nm@1400-2800 / 360Nm@1200-3400rpm
Transmission – 5-speed manual / 6-speed automatic
A comparison of standard features of the Hexa and Innova Crysta shows that the Hexa’s base variant will be more loaded than the Innova Crysta’s. One key feature that the Hexa's base trim misses out on is the captain seats which will be missed by chauffeur-driven buyers.
Very few MPVs have made it big in India, and the Innova has ruled the MPV space since its launch. Toyota’s unmatched reliability made it popular amongst the fleet owners while its spacious cabin and comfortable ride quality earned it many loyalists in the private segment as well. The Innova’s latest avatar is more premium than ever and is more feature-loaded than before that makes it a great value-for-money proposition in the MPV space despite its high sticker price.
To succeed in the segment or even get close to Innova Crysta’s sales figures, Tata will have to undercut Crysta’s prices by some margin. Prices for the Innova Crysta diesel start from Rs 14.21 lakh ex-showroom, Delhi. The Innova Crysta is also available with a petrol engine, prices for which start from Rs 13.98 lakh ex-showroom, Delhi. The Innova Crysta enjoys unmatched buyer loyalty and Toyota’s QDR further seals the deal for the Crysta.
Tata should, therefore, price the Hexa competitively and considerably lower than the Crysta. It may not cause a significant threat to the Innova Crysta's popularity, but the Hexa might end up eating the sales of compact SUVs and C-segment cars, for its benefit!