New Nissan Evalia vs Toyota Innova Road Test Comparison Review

We pit new Nissan Evalia against Toyota Innova in this road test comparison review and here’s our verdict.

New Nissan Evalia vs Toyota Innova Road Test Compa

Despite of being oldest in MPV lot, Toyota Innova has firmly held its ground by maintaining a handsome sales lead over its rivals. Even amidst rising competition and intensifying pressures, Toyota never ceded any inch of its MPV territory to intruders. Rock-solid reliability, genuine space, comfortable for carrying even extended family and fuel-efficient diesel engine are some of the close confidents of Innova that have worked relentlessly to fend off surreptitious and menacing threats of competitors. But then competition is equally relentless and with each passing day new rivals with better skills and strategies is emerging to stake their claim on growing turf of Indian MPV category. Latest in the list is Nissan, compatriot of Toyota, has come with new updated version of Evalia MPV. Now equipped with crucial and practical alterations new Evalia seems a formidable rival to Innova. Not only new Evalia is as spacious and roomy as Innovabut also comes with extremely fuel-efficient power plant that is capable to make even small cars jittery on mileage front. So on space and efficiency that any MPV buyer is principally looking for, Evalia is on par with Innova but what about other crucial parameters? Will Evalia be able to stand its ground on other parameters as well or Toyota once again will run its rival to ground? This is exactly what we are going to find in this road test comparison review. 
Space Tussle
One of the principal considerations for any MPV buyer is cabin space and both Innova and Evalia have their positives and negatives on this important aspect. Talk out rightly about the volume of cabin and Evalia comes on top. With its upright sitting position, Evalia successfully liberates more space for occupants. Slim seats further accentuate the roominess feel of Evalia. Driving position of Evalia is far more road-commanding than Innova though the awkward placement of steering makes it more like a van than MPV. Further slim seats in Evalia though liberates more space, these are definitely not most comfortable especially when it comes to long journeys. Further the pop-up windows and sliding doors of Evalia make it feels like a commercial vehicle rather than personal vehicle. 
Nissan Evalia Upright sitting position
This feel-good factor where Evalia lacks, Innova steps in and mints a good moolah for it. Toyota feels more like a personal vehicle and there is more car-like feel to it rather than enormous utilitarian quotient shown by Evalia. Seats are more comfortable here and even third row feels better than Evalia. Roof mounted AC comes in both these vehicles though Innova’s condenser is much more powerful in terms of its cooling capacity. 
Toyota Innova Comfortable captain seats of Innova 
Everything in Innova right from texture to material, controls to finishing feel upmarket and upscale; feel that Nissan Evalia lacks heavily on. Even ergonomically Innova has got its basics right as everything is located where it should be. There is no awkwardness even for first-time driver as one feels right at home in Innova’s cabin. 
Toyota Innova: *****                      Nissan Evalia: *****
Power Struggle
There is difference of a good 1.0-litre in the displacement capacity of Innova and Evalia with former featuring a bigger 2.5-litre heart compared to 1.5-litre dCi oil-burner of latter. Now on paper this difference may come across as huge though in rear-world conditions it is hardly perceptible in city driving. Evalia with its lower kerb weight feels on par with the Innova for ambling around in city and surprisingly more drivable too. Gear shifting requirement is on lower side and Evalia’s flat torque curves makes it quite a breeze to drive in traffic. Innova too is not very cumbersome but it still requires frequent gear shift compared to Evalia. In isolation Innova can be described as a good drivable MPV on any other day though in comparison, Evalia feels a wee bit better than Innova.
Nissan Evalia Primarily Focus on Fuel-Efficient 
But for Evalia this victor is short-lived as Innova claws back its lost round as we headed on open stretches of highway. With its bigger heart and better breathing prowess, Innova proved a better cruiser. In case of Evalia overtaking manoeuvres requires a thorough planning; Innova doesn’t require a second thought to do so. Innova strong mid-range makes it a better highway vehicle though top-end of none of these two will make any auto-enthusiast happy. 
Toyota Innova Good Highway Cruiser
Further the absence of 6th gear on both these vehicles is sorely missed; more so in case of Innova as it comes with more grunt and power. There is nothing to write home about the 5-speed manual transmissions of these vehicles as both are notchy and lacks the precise feel. Still out of these two, Innova feels a bit more reassuring though it is Evalia which comes with lighter clutch. Brakes of Toyota are in their own league and far better than the wobbling and oscillating pedal experience we have on Evalia. On efficiency front Evalia with lower kerb weight and smaller heart, zooms past Innova by covering more km to a litre.   
Toyota Innova: *****                          Nissan Evalia: *****
Road Manners
With its monocoque chassis, lighter steering and tight turning radius, Evalia feels very easy to drive in that city or out on highway. Further the excellent driving position and commanding road view mean one need not to worry about going to places in such a big MPV. Further the ride of Evalia is absorbing and cushioning though it could have been better had Evalia comes with some modern suspension setting at back. Leafy spring at rear of Evalia makes it a bit jittery and Nissan resorting to such an old-school arrangement is really surprising. 
In contrast, Innova comes with four-link with lateral road rear suspension that seems a bit fairer on the comfort side. The overall ride quality is more absorbent and as the speed rises, Innova displays a flat ride that is absolutely balanced and composed.
Toyota Innova Contemporary suspension  
There is hardly any bouncy effect that we encountered in Evalia and even on handling front, Innova seems to have upper hand. Despite being a ladder on chassis frame rear wheel drive, Innova grips the road better and quickly comes back to trace its line. Evalia also returns to normalcy after thrown around the corner though the time taken for this corrective measure is more than Innova. 
Toyota Innova: *****                          Nissan Evalia: *****
Looks Matter
Even the importance of looks is on a high these days as contrary to manufacturers’ expectations, MPV customers want their vehicle to look on par with other cars. Both Innova and Evalia are still maturing to this newly-found phenomenon as both these cars are average in their appearance. Although now Toyota has realized this fact to some extent and trying hard to make Innova look up market and fancy. In its latest iteration of facelift, Innova comes with plenty of chrome, new grille and added zing in terms of terms of redesigned lamps. All these changes have made latest Innova a handsome MPV though it still lags behind new breed of modern and sophisticated MPVs’. 
Toyota Innova: Chrome Accentuation  
Evalia, on other hand, has nothing to boast about its styling save for the front face of this Nissan. Except the symmetrical frontage that blends in beautifully headlamps, grille and chin, there is nothing in Evalia design that will give you high.  In side profile, it seems Evalia is designed with completely different set of designers who are at loggerheads with each other. Side design feels completely out of the synch with each other and even in facelift version, Nissan did nothing to correct this design blunder. 
Nissan Evalia Unimpressive Flesh 
Further the large blocky tail gate of Evalia further aggravates the plain and bland virtue of this Japanese chariot. The only consolation for Evalia here is low loading lip and extra luggage space something that is not Innova’s strongest virtues. 
Toyota Innova: *****                          Nissan Evalia: *****
Overall Verdict
With a price range that stretches between Rs 8.50 – 10.68 lakh, Evalia makes a good case for itself not only on value for money but also as a competent overall MPV. It is spacious, roomy and fuel-efficient too. Light steering and excellent driving view make this big MPV quite a breeze to drive on any turf of your choice. But then there are some deterrents too that will sure to knock on your door time and again before you finally make up for your mind to buy this Nissan. Bland design, built-to-cost interiors, unanimated highway driving and a bit bouncy ride are some of the prominent shackles you will find difficult to break. And these are points exactly where Toyota Innova scores tremendously. Contemporary design, plush interiors, comfortable seats and car-like characteristics will sure to win you over instantly. In addition to these, the trust of hassle-free ownership and rock-solid reliability that brand Toyota invokes is simply outside the abilities of Nissan, at least for the moment. Though Innova comes across as fairly expensive MPV that retails between Rs 9.72 – 14.92 lakh, still as a holistic package Innova is notches higher than Evalia. And we won’t mind paying more money for Innova’s better comfort and quality that promises to be there for life time. 
Toyota Innova: *****                          Nissan Evalia: *****

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