Toyota Zenix Cover Photo

Toyota has been winding up for a while. We all knew that a new MPV was on the horizon as several launches in other ASEAN countries clued us in on what was to come. However, to have the new 2023 Toyota Zenix so soon is a pleasant surprise, and something that we’re eager to test and see on the road. 

The new model will serve as another carbon-neutral vehicle in the Toyota lineup, and while we did assume that it would totally replace the Innova in the lineup, the all-diesel model is still available at the time of the Zenix’s launch. 

As the first hybrid MPV in the Toyota lineup, the Zenix marks a few firsts for the brand and for the segment. There will still be a gasoline-only variant on offer, but the hybrid variant is likely going to be the poster child of the nameplate.

Speaking of, the powertrain of the Zenix will be one of the model’s main highlights. The non-hybrid variant gets an MK20A-FKS 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that makes 172 hp and 205 Nm of torque. Higher in power compared to the Innova of old but has lower torque figures. Meanwhile, the hybrid variant gets an MK20A-FXS 2.0-liter engine—still—but with a hybrid electric motor that makes a combined output of 183 hp and 393 Nm of torque. That power is enough to trump the last-generation Innova diesel but with the smoothness and power of a gasoline engine. Both powertrains are mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). 

For the top-spec trims, the Zenix will be equipped with LED headlights, DRLs, and foglights as standard, while baser models will come with just the LED headlights and foglights. Low to mid-variants will get 17-inch wheels, while top trims get 18s. Distinguishing features of the hybrid variant include chrome accents and additional over-fenders that add to the Zenix’s boxy design. Overall, it looks like a larger Toyota Veloz, which is part of the appeal now since the Zenix moved away from the IMV platform and went to the TNGA-C platform, resulting in a body that will offer up a more comfortable ride, and more chassis rigidity. Refinements here mean that we’re expecting a better ride from the model. 

Ground clearance is rated at 185 mm, which is par for the course, but lower than the second-generation Innova. In terms of dimensions, the Zenix comes in at 4,755 mm long, 1,850 mm wide, and 1,790 mm tall, all on a wheelbase of 2,850 mm. With this, the Zenix is actually a longer and wider car compared to the second-generation Innova we’re all familiar with. 

Inside, we get premium amenities in the form of a standard leather steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, electronic parking brake with auto-hold, a combination digital-analog gauge cluster, and also a 10.1-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Ambient lights are also standard and also there is a standard pair of captain’s chairs and a power tailgate to boot. 

The hybrid gets an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, a power second-row ottoman for the captains’ chairs, and it also has a two-tone black and brown interior. 

As for seating, the Zenix is a seven-seater in a 2-2-3 configuration. The rear cargo area is also a marked improvement over the Innova since the rear seats fold into the floor now, rather than up and still in the way. 

The base variants get dual SRS airbags, stability control, hill-start assist, front and rear proximity sensors, and a reverse camera along with the standard ABS and EBD systems. 

Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line hybrid gets seven airbags and Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of features which includes Pre-Collision Assist, Automatic High Beam, Lane Tracing Assist, Lane Departure Alert, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control along with Blind-Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and an upgrade over the reverse camera—a 360-degree camera. 

Toyota Zenix Exterior

Pricing for the Zenix is currently set at P1,670,000 for the gasoline-only variant, while the starting price of the hybrid is pinned at P1,953,000. Being a Toyota, white will be an additional P15,000 over the standard SRPs of the models. 

For those that are asking whether the diesel Innova will still be available, fret not as the Zenix will be sold alongside the second-generation Innova, at least for the time being. Perhaps this will shift in the future, but for now, you can buy either an Zenix or an Innova. 

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