Used or new, the debate always carries on and we have covered extensive details about the same. However this time it’s a real proposition between two people movers and those are the relatively new Mahindra Xylo and the used Toyota Innova. Both the cars being real hits as far as the sales charts go. The Toyota Innova has got a massive fan following even after the 5-6 years that it has been in India so far. The only reason owners sell the Innova is to go in for the newer BS4 version which recently made its presence felt in India. The Innova is available with different names in other parts of Asia and is as successful as the model out here. There was a variety of competition which the Innova had to fend off. Some like the Qualis mimicking Chevrolet Tavera and the ICML Rhino as also the Mahindra Xylo and Tata Sumo. The recent Tata Aria was also touted as an Innova competitor. The Mahindra Xylo was the one which actually gave the Innova a tough fight. But this fight was restricted to the time the Xylo was launched and after 6-8 months, the initial fizz chickened out and now, the Xylo lags behind the Innova as far as sales of upmarket MUVs go.
Even though the sales figures have gone down, Mahindra’s nemesis, the Toyota Innova returns time and again with some upgrades whereas the Xylo has barely received any upgrades since its launch. However, now even second hand Toyota Innova cars are posing to be a threat to a new Mahindra Xylo, the reason being that the Innova has got a very good resale figure which nearly competes with the price of the new Mahindra Xylo. The Mahindra Xylo already was available at close to Rs 1.5 lakhs less than what the Toyota Innova was offered at. Now, the gap lessens because even a 2 year old Innova (which is hard to find in the first place) is available at a slightly more price than a brand new Xylo. Now starting with the looks, the Innova is the more van like of the two whereas the Xylo incorporates the Mahindra DNA into its face. Moreover the Xylo is the fresher design of the two. However it does seem awkward sometimes considering that from some angles, the Xylo looks like a cruel animal on the prowl. About the wheel design, the Xylo’s feel aggressive. From the rear, the Innova feels more like a family car while the Xylo doesn’t feel far off from a tall hatchback. New iterations of Innova post 2008 have got the LED treatment for their tail lamps which look neat while the Xylo’s LEDs are of the traditional variety. Both the cars look strong enough, but then, the Mahindra Xylo feels more rugged of the two. As for the Toyota Innova, it has proven its track record in India however we have often come across many dents and stuff on the bonnet and bumper of Innovas whereas we have rarely witnessed or seen any Xylo cars with the same thing. Innova bumpers rarely come off their hook and used, well maintained Innova cars wouldn’t be far off from this target.
For the interiors, the Innova’s wide dimensions mean that there is lots of space inside with the doors opening wide enough for easy ingress and egress. The well appointed interiors however make do with less gizmos and mostly ones which are the need of the hour. Some like the steering mounted controls, Bluetooth alignment and also a multi information display are missing from the earlier Innova MUVs. Not only that but the fabric of the seats seems a bit flimsy and irritating after a long drive. Its another story that most of the first owners change them for better trim. The Innova’s power goodies work without a fail and Toyota also offers the Innova with captain seats option. The rear is also reasonably spacious with decent storage facility even with the third row of seats in place. The hatch opens upwards for the fifth door. The interiors of a second hand Innova stand the test of the time well, though, it is advisable to check the glovebox shutter as it usually chickens out with harsh use. Other than that, the electricals and all should work perfectly. While the Mahindra Xylo may feel a bit left with its dimensions, the interiors speak a different story. It has got excellent seating capacity and was the first in its class to offer the captain seats as standard in the top of the line variant. Interior quality, though not a patch on the Toyota, is almost similar and there is hardly any thing to fault about. What can however be praised is the n number of cubby holes in the cabin and also the way Mahindra have made full use of the MUV’s dimensions. There are foldable trays which are released from the scoop made in the front seats. They seem a bit flimsy though in their operation. Mahindra have provided the Xylo with a driver information system which tells the instantaneous fuel efficiency, outside temperature and other stuff. New variations of the Innova have now got this feature but then its very rare to find a 2010 or 2011 model in a used car show room. The Xylo matches the Innova in terms of the space value and the last row of seats is a wee bit more comfortable for three elders than the Innova. Moreover, on the top end E8 variant, Mahindra offers reverse parking sensors, which most of the owners of the second hand Toyota Innova would have already fitted as an aftermarket thing. There are stories floating around and some in print about how people have stayed a whole week inside the cabin of a Xylo without any home sickness feeling.
Both the cars come with 2.5 liter diesel engines though the Innova is also offered with a 2.0 liter petrol engine with CNG for company. However used Toyota Innova buyers would definitely be interested in the diesel variant and hence we are focusing on the diesel power plant here. Like all the Toyota products, even this engine is bullet proof and requires no maintenance except for the regular servicing and fluid changes. The new lot of Innova cars come with the engine putting out 108 Bhp of power in its BS4 trim. Torque remains the same at 200 Nm. The 5 speed gear box is also pretty much slick but it has got long throws and one would sometimes miss the gear lever altogether with eyes on the road. The clutch setup is on the harder side and takes some getting used to. Brakes work just fine and the way one expects them to. However brake pads need to be replaced every 30k kms and do check if this replacement has been done in the used Toyota Innova that you must be eyeing. The Hydraulic power steering is a good unit but just like the other Toyotas, doesn’t have much feel at the helm. It is significantly light at city speeds whereas the open highways see it becoming heavier. The engine however is more on the noisier end of things and the diesel clatter is very much audible at cruising speeds.
Cut to the new Mahindra Xylo and the 2.5 liter engine codenamed as mEagle brings 112 Bhp of peak power and a huge torque figure of 260 Nm to the equation. This engine also gets a 5 speed manual transmission which is good to use however drivers with a habit of keeping their hands on the gear lever would be disconcerted with the rocking gear lever. The Xylo has the more silent engine of the two and the superior power and torque figures demonstrate themselves in the acceleration figures with the Xylo being nearly 3 seconds fast off the line and also possessing a higher top speed. The Xylo is an effortless cruiser whereas the Innova especially a used one would slightly labour around. As far as the running expenses go, the diesel Innova returns an overall fuel efficiency of 12.8 kmpl while the Xylo runs a kilometer more than what the Innova can manage. The Innova’s fuel tank capacity is similar to the Xylo’s with a 1 liter difference separating both. Both the cars come with a discs setup in the front and self adjusting drums at the rear. The Innova has a confident stopping poise while the Xylo has got a bit of heaving and pitching thing for it. A new Xylo has got ABS and EBD to it while older Innova variants used to get them as optional on the top end variants. Airbags were standard on the top of the line Innovas back then while they are standard from the mid variant in a new Xylo.
The ride quality is a must in a MUV considering that it is a mile muncher and people would be spending most of their time safely ensconced in the confines of the spacious cabin. The best part of a used Toyota Innova is that you would immediately feel comfortable inside the cabin. The ergonomics are spot on and visibility all around is good. However driving an Innova in the city confines would quite be a pain given its gigantic proportions. The Xylo, in the meanwhile, is far easier to drive in the city given its somewhat compact dimensions. Low speed ride quality for the Mahindra Xylo is slightly lumpy however it improves with a full load of passengers whereas the high speed ride quality is much better. Being rear wheel driven means that the Xylo promises some fun in the drive. However we would have wished that the steering wheel should have had more of feel. The Innova feels almost car like to drive and out on the highway, the Innova is the one to go for since it is the least fazed by crosswinds. The Xylo tries its best to hide its tall 186 mm ground clearance however it sometimes does get affected by all those G forces on the highway. Ride quality in the Innova is very good at low speeds , however, sudden ruts on the highway do catch it out unawares. But then the Innova can corner a bit more harder than the Xylo and wouldn’t let the occupants know that it is at it.
A used Innova can be termed as a safer car than the Mahindra Xylo because we have seen instances wherein a Xylo would be all crumpled up while the Innova would come out of the same accident with only its front portion damaged, that is if this collision is assumed to be a frontal one. However, those are assumptions and both the MUVs can safely be assumed to be on the safer side. They have their fair share of the safety aids namely airbags, side intrusion beams and also seat belts. The Innova also boasts of a proven GOA body for its construction.
While Toyota is known highly for its reliability and the quality products that come out of its stables, the Innova is just the prime example of the same. It replaced the Qualis and even though it was a more expensive vehicle than the Qualis, the MUV loving public just lapped it up. Its popularity reflects in the fact that it is still very highly priced in the used car market. Used Toyota Innova price is Rs 6.15 lakhs for a 2005 model. Compare this to the base price of Mahindra Xylo, a 2011 model, which sells at Rs 6.35 lakhs and you get a fair idea of why the Toyota is so revered. However an old car wouldn’t carry a warranty with it whereas a new Xylo would come with a warranty. However when the time comes for selling one, you would be looking at a loss proposition. Our recommendation is that if you are planning to sell the car soon, then the Toyota Innova makes for a good buy while if you are planning to keep the car for a long time, then it’s the Mahindra Xylo which should receive our vote.