How an ex-Qualis & Innova owner decided to buy the Hycross: Pros & Cons
I even checked out the Urban Cruiser & Hyryder SUVs before going ahead with the Hycross.
BHPian SKDrives recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Team-BHP to a greater extent helped me in understanding some cars I considered buying like Toyota Urban Cruiser, VW Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, Toyota Hyryder hybrid and Innova Hycross. Like anyone else, am also excited about my new car, and am here to share my car-buying experience with you all. It’s a long post, am trying to make it as interesting as possible, try to read it full.
Few lines about me
From Salem Tamil Nadu, a software professional working from Bangalore, family into farming and business. All these days till 2020 we were using pre-owned cars. Our first car was Toyota Qualis RS – which we bought in 2011; it had 2,80,000 kms when we bought it. We drove it to 3,90,000 kms and sold it off in 2015.
In 2015, we bought a 2008 Type 2 Innova GX which had already clocked 1,90,000 kms, and it has done 2,60,000 kms now as I write this. In the same year, we also bought a 2008 pre-owned Hyundai Santro exclusively for me to learn and get used to driving. It just did 125000 kms and except for the engine, everything else is a mess.
Owning a Toyota and Hyundai at the same period of time is one enlightening experience every car owner should go through. Collectively with Qualis and Innova, we’ve done 1,80,000 kms. We’ve done some fantastic family road trips, numerous 2000 kms round trips, and so many Bangalore – Salem round trips.
The cars stayed with us on all our happy, not-so-happy, flat and sad occasions. Honestly, I would confess, owning Toyotas all these happy miles is absolutely niggle free and not even once they’ve failed us. On the other side, Santro started giving trouble and it already started showing age-related complications.
When we decided to buy a new car, everyone in the family voted for buying a Toyota for obvious reasons.
When we finally decided to buy a Toyota, we were on a budget which was under 15 Lakhs. The idea was to refurbish Innova GX and replace Santro with a new five-seater.
The only choice we had was Toyota Urban Cruiser (Suzuki Brezza), the car had no characteristics of a Toyota, disappointed with the product lineups of Toyota, the only purebred Toyota in front of me was Crysta but the budget pulled me away from it.
Not so convinced with UC, we test-drove Kushaq 1.0 Ambition and Taigun mid-variant MT. Though the ergonomics and seating comfort were miles ahead compared to UC, the 3 Pot 1.0 TSI was jittery. Till you shift to 3rd gear, we cannot expect a settled ride with these engines. For me naturally aspirated 4 Pot Suzuki Engine was more offering smooth and settled ride compared to that of VW’s.
Having no options left, we finally booked Toyota UC back in 2020 and finally worked out a year-end deal with all the discounts we were getting UC top model MT for 117000 INR on-road. Anaamalais Toyota Salem was the only dealer available and we went with them.
The car was due for delivery in Feb 2021, during PDI we found out that the car allotted to us was making a clicking sound when the engine was idle after racing. Thank god I’d paid only 60K in advance; without much hassle, I had to hold my booking for the next lot of vehicles to come. Meanwhile, the news about the Brezza facelift surfaced and expecting a parallel Toyota model, we’ve decided to wait for the UC facelift.
Like a cloud, it came rained for a while, and like a cloud it passed – The Urban Cruiser.
Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder
While we were waiting for the facelift of UC, news surfaced that Toyota was working on a new model, codenamed D22. And from then on, I regularly followed updates on the then D22 in Team-BHP. The updates looked usual and normal to me till it was speculated that Hyryder will come paired with Toyota’s Hybrid system.
Then, followed Car Care Nut channel and learnt in detail about Toyota hybrid system. The more I watched their videos, the more I started believing that the Toyota Hybrid system is an engineering marvel and added to the expectation, we were patiently waiting.
After a long wait, when Hyryder was finally launched in August 2022. The first disappointment was the inclusion of a sunroof in Hybrid G. I always thought and still think, the sunroof is just an overrated luxury feature for India.
The second disappointment struck when the prices were revealed. Hybrid G was almost 22L on-road and with a sunroof, I was not convinced with the price I’d be paying for.
What’s wrong with Hyryder?
S Variant was 18.63L on-road, however, it lacked some basic features like a rear windshield wiper and alloy wheels. Though it felt reasonable for the price somehow was not convinced with S. Toyota created some serious mess with the variants of Hyryder.
Finally with compromises like installing 3M CR70 film on the sunroof, booked Hybrid G and started waiting for test drives to begin. Then came the day when we test-drove Hyryder Hybrid V (the only test-drive vehicle available), the initial impression was: for the price I’m paying, I’m not getting even half the space we use to get in our 2008 Innova.
The second row was compromised with space, though the ride was plush and sophisticated lack of space for well-built adults was subpar in Hyryder. Add to it, because of the cheap sunroof blind used (probably the cheapest fishing net available), the head was radiating inside the cabin. We could clearly feel the cabin was like an oven and the AC system working overtime to keep the cabin cool.
I expressed my dislikes to the sales assistant, and having no other option still decided to go ahead with Hyryder G. The wait for Hyryrder G with compromises began.
The Arrival of Hycross
While I was waiting for Hyryder, Crysta was stopped. News started surfacing and Autocar India wrote an article about the launch of Innova Hycross in the 2022 Diwali season.
I called the sales assistant and informed him to put Hyryder’s booking on hold, he was shocked and tried to convince me. But I decided to wait for Hycross. By the time when Hycross was launched, I was fully familiar with Toyota’s hybrid systems and how it drives.
So no question about the engine or the powertrain. The only stopper this time would be the price. Was recovering from the pain Hyryder’s price caused this time was not expecting anything less than 33 Lakhs for the mid variant.
Fastened my seat belts and was ready to brace the impact.
Finally, the day came in, and Hycross was revealed in India on November 25 2022 (though I was following their Indonesian launch with subtitles). After going through their specifications brochure, it was evident that Toyota did an excellent job in fixing the variants. Out of all, Hycross VX Hybrid was the no non-sense variant to me and it ticked all (yes, ALL) my expectations from a car. Next is price.
The very next day, without expecting too much, we cancelled the Hyryder booking and booked Hycross VX Hybrid 7S Silver Metallic and wait for the price reveal in 2023 January has begun. To shock everyone, in December 2022 Toyota revealed the price of Hybrid models. It was costing me 29.8L on-road in Salem which was much less than what I expected. Good job Toyota.
Hycross first impressions and test drive
Finally, I witnessed the first Hycross in person only at the end of January. I had to travel from CV Raman Nagar to Bannerghatta Road Nandi Toyota to see the VX hybrid in person.
To be Frank, I liked everything about Hycross, the way it looked, the way it was designed, the way the interiors were laid etc. It looked like one complete vehicle for me, especially with so much space for all three seats on offer. However, from time to time, I kept hearing complaints about the plastic quality of Hycross interiors, but was not bothered, as am coming from a 2008 Innova it’s filled with plastics and plastics only.
I was trying to get a test drive, but because of so many reasons, I couldn’t get the test drive of Hycross till I drove our own. Finally, the sales assistant said our car is allotted and expected to arrive by March 16th. By this time Toyota already revised the price, and now the VX hybrid was costing 30.4 L on-road in Salem.
We initiated the process, and everything went in our way finally we go the delivery of the Hycross Hybrid VX 7S on 24th March 2023.
Our car clocked 2500 kms so far, which includes 2 Bangalore – Salem Highway trips (220 kms one way), one Salem to Trichy Road trip (125 kms one way), one Salem to Karaikkal (Thirunallaru) road trip (250 kms one way).
Most of our members covered the review aspects of Hycross, which helped me in my decision making and am sure it will help you all as well. So I will stick to what I like and what I dislike after these 2500 kms.
What I like about Hycross?
What could be better in Hycross?
Other than these minor niggles, it’s all good so far.
I’m happy with my buy, and it’s all Toyota: right from platform, engine and drive train.
Sometimes, we have to wait longer than usual to get what we feel is the best. As a fanboy and loyal customer of Toyota, I had to wait for three years to get Hycross which feels so far so good. So try to delay your car buying process. Digest all the information that’s thrown at us and enjoy the process. After all, it’s our money and it’s our happiness.
Thank you for reading fellow BHPians. Happy motoring and wish me luck.
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