Don’t worry, we haven’t lost our minds. The Innova Crysta could be a threat to the Skoda Superb. Read on to see why we think so!
India may be the home of the small car, but that doesn’t mean premium car customers have a lack of choice. While luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi have flooded the market with a range of models to choose from, one car that has managed to offer opulence at a value for money price is the Skoda Superb.
Now sold in its 3rd generation, the sedan offers a hefty dose of features and performance wrapped in an elegantly styled package that can make many walk away from the more expensive German brands. However, there is one rather interesting problem Skoda’s flagship car could face. The previous generation Superb and old Innova were worlds apart in terms of what they offered. The Toyota was a reliable people carrier that didn’t provide much in terms of goodies, but with the arrival of the Innova Crysta, the game has changed.
Toyota’s multi-purpose vehicle now offers premium interiors, comes loaded with features and gets new engines that are more powerful and more efficient. It even has an automatic gearbox if you want to drive yourself.
Through this article, we take a look at how these two cars and the brands that make them fare against each other and see why the Innova Crysta could threaten the Superb, even though it’s in a different category altogether.
As a brand, Toyota is immediately associated with reliability. Anyone who has considered buying a Toyota would have noticed that most of their cars aren’t very well-loaded, nor are they the most fun to drive, yet, customers are willing to pay the premium prices the brand commands. Stories of Innovas going lakhs of kilometres without breaking down are common, which just adds to the reputation.
Skoda, on the other hand, hasn’t had the best run when it comes to reliability. The cars are well-built, but their ability to cope with Indian road conditions hasn’t been proven. It’s not just Skoda, but a lot of high-end car brands have reliability issues and when you spend over 20 lakhs on a car, peace of mind is a feature that goes a long way.
The after-sales experience with Toyota is good and the need for going beyond your regular maintenance schedule is relatively low. The Japanese automaker’s brand-value largely depends on the service division, which is why it gets a lot of importance. It’s also why you’ll see a lot of hotels using the Camry and Corolla Altis to ferry their customers, while fleet-operators swear by the Innova.
Skoda’s service experience hasn’t received the same approval and it’s something that the brand has to improve in India. The Volkswagen subsidiary's cars still use a lot of imported parts, which sometimes makes availability an issue and spares are often quite expensive too.
At the end of a six year ownership period, an Innova owner is likely to spend around Rs 60,000 in maintenance expenses. A Skoda Superb owner may be looking at a cost of over Rs 80,000 for the same period, not including any spare parts that may be required.
This is a major reason why so many people were ready to pay the premium price for the previous generation Innova, even though there were more well-equipped options available. The old model was launched in 2005 at prices of between Rs 6.80 – 10 lakh, and even today, 11 year old Innovas are sold at Rs. 4-5 lakh.
Though the Superb is an immensely popular and desirable machine, it doesn’t depreciate as slowly. In 2009, the previous model of the sedan was launched at around Rs 19-22 lakh and those cars command a resale value of around 7-9 lakh today. The strong rebate potential of the Innova has seen a lot of existing owners book the Crysta, because you get back a good share of what you’ve spent.
Features and Price
Things get a little heated here. The Superb has always been a fantastic package, offering the features and premium ambience of cars that cost more than twice as much. Toyota is late to the game, which is why the cross-shopping possibility between the old Innova and old Superb was relatively low. However, the Crysta comes packed with features, whether they’re for safety, entertainment or comfort.
Both cars offer more than two airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), vehicle stability control (VSC), hill-hold control (HHC), power-adjustable driver seats, a touchscreen infotainment system, leather upholstery and the list goes on.
There are things that the Skoda offers over the Innova Crysta (more speakers, panoramic sunroof, two more airbags, the virtual boot release pedal, power-adjustable passenger seat, air-conditioned front seats etc), but the latter doesn’t lack anything that would be a deal-breaker.
So why the comparison?
There is evidently a sizeable price difference between the two cars. The range-topping Crysta costs nearly Rs 7 lakh less than the most affordable (‘Style’ variant) Superb diesel. However, many buyers consider choosing the Superb over more expensive cars like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Audi A4 because the Skoda offers a well-rounded package at a better price.
Similarly, you may consider choosing the Innova Crysta because it offers a lot of kit, combined with the trusted Toyota name at a price that’s even more affordable. The Skoda Superb is still a great buy and offers a LOT for the price it commands. If you are looking to buy a car that offers the better driving experience, more classy design and perhaps, more snob value, we recommend the Superb hands down.
However, if you are a chauffeur driven owner or family car buyer who’s planning on buying the Skoda Superb, the Innova Crysta does make a strong case for itself.
Agree or disagree with the points above? Have an opinion you'd like to share? Well don't hold back and let us know what you think through the comments section!
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