Toyota is set to launch it’s new Toyota Innova model on the 27th May 2005. This is the latest in the range of Toyota people movers known as the IMV platform. IMV stands for International Innovative Multipurpose Vehicle. Toyota created this platform when they realised their people mover vehicles in most countries were looking pretty dated.

Most of you might have already heard of this model as it’s pretty hot in Indonesia as the Toyota Kijang Innova. It’s a true 8-seater model unlike most 7-seater MPVs.

There are two models available, the 2.0G and the 2.0E. Both models come in either 4 speed automatic with ECT or 5 speed manual versions.

The Toyota Innova is powered by a 2 litre 4 cylinder 16 valve DOHC VVT-i engine which is good for 100kW (roughly 135hp) and 182Nm of torque. This is an improvement over Toyota’s previous flagship budget people mover the Toyota Unser which only has a 1.8 litre engine with no variable valve timing.

Some of the features that the 2.0G has are ABS, driver side air bags, front ventilated discs, rear drum brakes, 15 inch alloy rims and a CD player with MP3 support.

The 2.0E model does not have airbags or ABS but everything else is pretty much the same except the trim level with a bit of chrome here and there and better interior.

Both the models have those really pretty Optitron meters which I really like! :P And they both have load-sensing proportioning and bypass valves.

Some of you must be wondering what is this “Load-Sensing Proportioning and Bypass Valve (LSP & BV)”. It’s something mounted to the rear suspension of a vehicle and it senses the weight distribution of the vehicle and automatically varies the amount of hydraullic pressure put on the rear brakes. This helps reduce rear-wheel lock-up during braking.

How much does it cost? Toyota’s website has listed them so I’ll just list the prices in Peninsular Malaysia.

  Individual Private Company Pvt Commercial
2.0G Auto RM 102,900.00 RM 103,788.00 RM 103,718.51
2.0G Manual RM 97,900.00 RM 98,781.50 RM 98,677.89
2.0E Auto RM 92,900.00 RM 93,773.70 RM 93,629.14
2.0E Manual RM 87,900.00 RM 88,768.50 RM 88,596.64

This will be a great alternative to the Naza Ria and to people who don’t really like the dated look of the Toyota Unser. It kind of reminds me of the more expensive Toyota Wish because of it’s design.

It’s not known whether Toyota will launch a diesel model anytime soon, but since it has done so for the Toyota Unser, we can presume there might be a diesel version for the Toyota Innova in Malaysia. In other countries, there is a diesel option for the Innova runing a 2.5 common rail turbodiesel.