We in India love our Toyotas because they bring with them legendary reliability and a no-nonsense ownership experience. Having said that, we can’t really call Toyota cars to be a beaming ray of suave art and timeless design charm. But don’t feel defeated, as Toyota has promised that they will, from now on, pay more heed to visual appeal as well as the old usual run-of-the-mill stuff such as, reliability, quality and efficiency. “All our new models must have better and more aggressive styling. We have been conservative in the past.” stated Naomi Ishii, the Managing Director at Toyota Kirloskar India. This clearly shows that one of the world’s wealthiest carmakers understands the demands and needs of its customers fairly well. Efficiency and reliability alone, won’t do.
Now we know that a boat isn’t what got you to this website, but when we sat down to think of a stylish Toyota, that’s all we could come up with. But, the carmaker has begun to step in the direction of better aesthetics for its future cars. The first ones to get the dose of ‘Style’ would be the 2016 variants of the Etios sedan and Liva hatchback. These cars have been always designed and engineered keeping India in mind, but having said that, Toyota isn’t 100% happy with the the sales of these cars as they expected them to do even better. And thorn in the sales bush for these cars is their jaded styling. We don’t say they look bad by any stretch of the imagination, but then they aren’t hot enough to reel-in customers to the showrooms either. Toyota also found out that the interiors of the cars, though ergonomic and well laid out, are too spartan and boring. And even with the facelifted Etios, Toyota didn’t seem to put much effort in the styling department, which we feel left a lot of customers wanting for more.
It is not just in India, but across the world, too, Toyota has never really witnessed crowds cheering and applauding them for their classic designs. But with newer cars like the present-gen Corolla, Toyota does seem to be inching towards better design and aesthetics and we are only too glad. The Innova, on the other hand, did really well in India and still is. However, it isn’t a design classic, either. On that note, Ishii said, “Styling will be a focus (on the next Innova), but without sacrificing its selling point – space. We must balance form and function”.
As we have seen earlier, test mules of the 2016 Innova do promise better styling and a more refreshed look, overall. But only time will tell us how things pan out for this MPV (multi-utility vehicle) in the long run and whether it woos customers to the showrooms based on its looks. All that said and done, Toyota vehicles of the future will be something that not only appeals to your practical head, but also (hopefully) to your four-chambered organ (heart, that is).
Source – AutoCar India