Toyota is busy in mid-2023 with a new car blitz and new tech. Just today in Tokyo, Japan’s No 1 carmaker unveiled the all-new and hugely popular Alphard minivan, and last week, the brand revealed details about its next-gen electric vehicle and battery plans. Meanwhile in Malaysia, UMW Toyota Motor has just launched the Innova Zenix SUV with two specifications. The 2023 model is fully imported, with prices ranging from RM165,000 for the petrol V model to RM202,000 for the HEV hybrid form.
Toyota says that the Innova Zenix is designed for the millennials who have now grown up and started their own families. As such, they’ve put a significant effort into the exterior design of the new MPV, now characterised by its SUV-like proportions, and a more premium and classy appearance as opposed to its predecessor’s utilitarian look.
The Innova Zenix is now bigger all around, measuring 20 mm longer with a 100 mm longer wheelbase, and with an extra 15 mm in width. The Malaysia-spec model gets LED headlights, manual headlamp levelling, LED daytime-running lights, front fog lights, combination tail lights, 18-inch alloy wheels and automatic folding wing mirrors with welcome lamp.
The all-new Innova Zenix has undergone substantial changes because it now sits on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) with a monocoque construction rather than the previous ladder frame chassis. This should result in improved handling, comfort, and ride quality. The engine is now positioned transversely as a result of the move to TNGA, driving the front wheels rather than the rear. One aspect in the new Innova Zenix’s favor is that it is up to 170 kg lighter than the previous Innova, this improving economy.
There are two different powertrain options available in Malaysia for the 2023 Toyota Innova Zenix. The base grade 2.0-liter Dynamic Force naturally-aspirated inline-four engine develops 174hp and 205Nm of torque through a 10-speed CVT with Sequential Shiftmatic, while the 2.0-litre HEV hybrid pumps out 186hp and 206 Nm of torque, with a 6.5 Amp-hour self-charging battery, channeled through an E-CVT transmission.
Inside, the Zenix’s more luxurious cabin employs higher quality materials and premium a new overall dashboard design. Both specs share their equipment list, but the range-topping HEV swaps the bench seats in the second row for a pair of “captain chairs” with manual adjustments and a folding centre table. Upping the ante inside is a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment display, 7-inch color TFT display for the instrument cluster, black pseudo-leather trim, auto climate control, electric parking brake, a panoramic sunroof, wireless connectivity, and a powered driver’s seat.
As you’d expect, the all-new Innova is the first Toyota model in Malaysia to feature Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 advanced driver assistance suite, boasting Autonomous emergency braking with intersection support, emergency steering assist, low-speed acceleration suppression, adaptive cruise control, lane tracing and lane departure alert, and rear cross-traffic alert—making this SUV one of the safest on the roads.
Boasting two gutsy powertrains, with an economical hybrid as flagship, as well as an upgraded, more luxurious interior and a full suite of safety features, the Innova Zenix will no doubt jump to the top of the affordable mid-sized SUV genre. We can’t say it’s the cheapest, but this SUV is still great value.