Background: Toyota Innova, soon after its launch in 2005, created a class for itself and about 1.6 lakh Innovas are plying on Indian roads currently, most of them as commercial vehicles and rest as family wagons. It hardly had any direct competition so far as its closest rivals- Scorpio, Tavera and the likes had a jeep like rugged look and feeling, compared to almost like a car comfort, look, drivability and luxury of Innova. Sedans had a limitation of space and seating capacity and Innova was happy to bridge that, without any significant compromise.
Mahindra & Mahindra has rightly launched Xylo to take Innova head on. With a price tag about 2 lakhs less than a corresponding Innova variant, Xylo has high possibility of making its makers proud by claiming a good market share. Xylo has slapped a right question on all potential car owners- Are you sure you want to spend Rs 6 lakhs on a hatchback like Swift or i20? Or 7-9 lakhs on a Sedan like SX4, Ford Fiesta or City? Why not buy our multipurpose vehicle, Xylo, which gives you more seats, more space, at same price without compromising on comfort and luxury? Won’t you like to outgrow your Sedan? It is for you to decide…
Coming back to core purpose of this post, let us compare these two multipurpose vehicles- Toyota Innova vs Mahindra Xylo. Please note that Innova is available in both petrol and diesel variants-Only diesel variant is considered here and only top end variants are considered for comparison (Xylo E8 vs Innova D-4D 2.5V)
Xylo sans ABS-even in top end E6 & E8, let alone airbags. But it has a crumple zone under the bonnet that can absorb the impact of collision and prevents the same from being passed to occupants inside the cabin. Effectiveness of this crumple zone is not yet known and I don't think this can be treated as replacement for airbag. Both cars have parking (reverse) sensors. Comparing E8 & 2.5V Absence of ABS & airbags gets Xylo a relatively lesser ranking on Safety. If you compare no frills base models- E2, E4 with 2.5E, 2.5G, then both of them stand at par as far as safety is concerned.
On the other hand, the new 2009 Toyota Innova boasts audio controls on the steering wheel (a feature now getting common in many cars, after Maruti introduced it in SX4, Xylo misses it), Automatic Climate Control, Adjustable passenger seat (in addition to driver’s) and several safety measures mentioned earlier. Toyota's quality and reliability has been tried and tested. More feedback on Xylo will be known only after some time.
Common features: Both Innova and Xylo offer alloy wheels in most expensive variants, flat bed front seats, electronic control for external rear view mirrors, customized AC controls, captain seats, tilt steering, height adjustment for driver seats, wood finish interiors, two DIN audio system and side protection molding.
Fuel Economy: Exact fuel economy rates are not known at this point. Mahindra vehicles are generally not popular with travel operators primarily because of slightly less economy compared to its rivals. 2.5 liters Innova diesel gives about 12-13kmpl. Scorpio 2.2 mHawk gave me 13kmpl last September (that was before its first service). 2.5 litre mEagle of Xylo, which is marginally powerful than Innova (which is much lighter than Xylo by about 175Kgs) is believed to give 12 kmpl in city and 13-14 in highway, as per Mahindra representative. Good if that is true.
- Looking for a passenger vehicle primarily for city and highway use
- Not constrained with budget and don't want to trade safety for cost advantage
- Keen on less operating cost and high resale value
- Prefer a more rugged vehicle, say for urban, non-urban use, without much compromise on luxury
- Are attracted by the price difference, Xylo's looks, colours or the fact that it is a new baby in town
- Feel Xylo is a better option than Chevy Tavera and Sumo Grande
Hope this helps. Images from respective company websites. Expect some more updates and photos if I get to test drive one. Your views welcome.