The Toyota Innova has emerged as the strong player in the MPV segment since its launch. It has fended off competition powerfully thanks to its ruggedness, ride comfort and performance and is now the best selling car in the segment.
We will compare the two MPVs on the basis of price, space, performance, handling and comfort.
Price is still a major factor in the Indian car market. Nissan has some what clinched that by keeping the Evalia's price under Rs.10 lakhs. The Evalia is available in four variants with the cheapest variant XE priced at Rs.8.49 lakh and the top end XV priced at Rs.9.99 lakhs. The Toyota Innova has a whopping 23 variants. Innova's entry level variant costs Rs.9.09 lakhs and the top end variant costs Rs.13.89 lakhs (all prices - ex showroom New Delhi).
The Nissan Evalia is powered by a 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine also found in several Nissan and Renault cars. It delivers a peak power for 85bhp and its maximum torque is 200Nm. The Toyota Innova on the other hand is powered by a larger 2.5-litre four cylinder diesel pot. The Innova has an identical torque figure as the Evalia while the power output is slightly higher at 102bhp.
The Nissan Evalia is not a thirsty car. It delivers an overall mileage of 16.5kmpl which is impressive for an MPV. The Innova with its added bulk and bigger engine is not a fuel sipper when compared with the Evalia. The Innova's overall mileage is about 11.8kmpl.
The Nissan Evalia's kerb weight is 200 kilos less than that of the Innova. This helps the Evalia sprint to 100kmph within 14.3 seconds which is more than 3 seconds faster than the Innova. The Innova's higher power figure means it offers more zip when needed. The power delivery is smooth and linear adding to driving pleasure. In the 0 to 100kmph sprint, the Innova is a tad slow taking 17.6 seconds.
The Nissan Evalia is much more manoeuvrable than it looks. It has a low turning radius and can make sharp turns in city traffic. You will feel the length of the Innova while driving it. Although the interior reminds you of a car, one needs to keep in mind the Innova's dimensions before taking a sharp turn.
The Innova has won thousands of fans just for its comfortable seats. It is very comfortable even on long drives and on pretty rough roads too. The Evalia on the other hand is pretty comfortable on city road conditions and on the highway. But on a long run, you might prefer the ride comfort of the Innova.
The Nissan Evalia can comfortable seat three people. The front row has two seats, the middle and third row has bench seats that can accommodate three each. The Nissan Evalia impresses with its excellent head room even in the third row. However, knee room and foot space is a little restrictive.
The Toyota Innova offers pretty much similar space. However, the Innova has its advantages. Buyers can opt for either captain seats or a bench seat for the second row. Moreover, the second row is slideable. This provides much more knee room and foot space for the third row passengers. Bit the clincher for the Innova is that its third row seats are the most comfortable ones in the segment.
Luggage space is essentially one of the important factors while comparing MPVs. Both the Innova and Evalia have foldable third row seats that generate a lot of luggage space. However the Evalia is the winner here as it has more practical luggage space than the Innova. Moreover with a lower loading height, it is an easier car to load and unload heavy luggage.
The Nissan Evalia's top end model comes equipped with rear parking camera, air bags, music system and other fixtures. But it cannot compare with the Innova's car like look and feel. The Innova's cabin is more loaded than the Evalia and if you are a gizmo fan, the Nissan can only be your second choice.
The Toyota Innova is a better looking car than the Evalia despite being on the road for so many years. The Evalia looks like a Van from many angles despite Nissan working on improving its looks. The rear sliding door is one of the things that has not worked in the Evalia's favour.
The Nissan Evalia has come up tops in terms of mileage, ease of driving, handling and space. The Innova is most definitely a more aspirational vehicle than the Evalia. The Evalia has the advantages when it comes to the numbers but it fails to capture the heart of the buyer. Despite the Rs.2 lakh price difference between the Evalia and the Nissan, an MPV buyer might prefer to be seen in the Toyota rather than the Nissan.