2023 Toyota Innova Zenix: 3 Things we like, 3 we don't

2023 Toyota Innova Zenix: 3 Things we like, 3 we don't

The all-new 2023 Toyota Innova Zenix has made a significant impact on the Malaysian automotive market since its launch in June 2023. This latest iteration of the Innova introduces a hybrid variant, marking a major shift in the lineup. 


  • How much does the 2023 Toyota Innova Zenix cost?

    The 2023 Toyota Innova Zenix is priced at RM 165,000 for the 2.0 V variant and RM 202,000 for the 2.0 HEV hybrid variant in Malaysia, excluding insurance costs.
  • What are the hits and misses of the 2023 Toyota Innova Zenix?

    The 2023 Toyota Innova Zenix comes in an attractive SUV styling along with a hybrid powertrain option and advanced safety features. However, it is relatively more expensive now and may pose a learning curve for new hybrid technology users.
  • The MPV is renowned for its quality and reliability, positioned as a family-oriented and versatile vehicle. The Innova Zenix targets customers looking for a practical yet stylish people carrier. The Innova has long been a favourite in the segment, but the Zenix stands out due to its modern features and SUV-inspired design.

    In Malaysia, the Innova Zenix is available in two variants: the 2.0 V, priced at RM 165,000, and the new hybrid variant, the 2.0 HEV, is priced at RM 202,000. The two models offer a choice between traditional gasoline power and advanced hybrid technology. 

    Toyota Innova Zenix

    The new, third-gen Innova Zenix impresses with its advanced technology, offering a host of modern and advanced features. This blend of technology and convenience elevates the Zenix's desirability among customers seeking the latest advancements in automotive safety and infotainment. This new offering coexists with the previous-generation Innova model, giving customers the choice between traditional and hybrid powertrains.

    However, every car has its own set of pros and cons. While the new Innova Zenix has made a name for itself in the market, let us take a look at the 3 things we like about it and the three things that we don’t. 

    3 things we like

    Advanced hybrid powertrain

    The first standout feature of the 2023 Toyota Innova Zenix is its advanced hybrid powertrain, available in the 2.0HEV variant. This cutting-edge technology combines a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine with an electric motor, producing a total output of 186 PS, a significant boost compared to the previous-generation Innova. This hybrid setup not only delivers impressive power but also enhances fuel efficiency, making it a standout choice for city driving.

    Toyota Innova Zenix

    The hybrid system includes a selectable EV mode, allowing the Zenix to run on electric power alone for short distances, reducing reliance on gasoline. This innovation demonstrates Toyota's commitment to environmentally friendly driving solutions while offering practical benefits for everyday commuting.

    Top-notch safety features

    The second reason to admire the Innova Zenix is its comprehensive safety features. It comes equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, a driver-assist suite that includes essential technologies like Pre-Collision System (PCS), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA). These features provide an added layer of security, making your journeys safer and more stress-free.

    Toyota Innova Zenix

    Additionally, the Zenix offers a 3D panoramic view monitor, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a dashcam. It's no surprise that the Innova Zenix achieves an impressive 5-star ASEAN NCAP crash test rating, cementing its position as one of the safest MPVs available.

    SUV-inspired design

    The third aspect that sets the 2023 Innova Zenix apart is its striking SUV-inspired design. It departs from the ladder frame construction of its predecessor, adopting the advanced Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. This shift to a monocoque body and front-wheel drive configuration offers improved rigidity, better handling, and enhanced ride comfort. The lower centre of gravity contributes to overall stability while saving on fuel consumption.

    Toyota Innova Zenix

    The Zenix's dimensions have grown slightly, providing a more spacious interior cabin for passengers. Its exterior features include automatic LED headlamps with auto high beams, LED daytime running lights, and a bold and modern SUV-style design. The 18-inch silver rims add to its premium appearance, making the Zenix look more like an upscale SUV rather than a typical MPV. This shift in design philosophy is an attractive proposition for those who seek both style and functionality in their family vehicle.

    3 things we don't

    Elevated Price Tag

    One of the notable drawbacks of the 2023 Toyota Innova Zenix is its relatively high price, especially in the hybrid variant. Priced at RM202,000, the hybrid model places itself in the same price range as many mid-size SUVs. This could potentially deter budget-conscious buyers who may find more cost-effective alternatives within the SUV segment. 

    Fortunately, there is a 2.0-litre gasoline version available at RM 165,000, providing a more budget-friendly choice for those not seeking the benefits of hybrid technology.

    Toyota Innova Zenix

    No manual transmission options

    For an MPV or SUV of this size and segment, a manual transmission option would have been perfect for enthusiasts. The new Innova Zenix however does not get one. The previous six-speed torque converter automatic is also replaced by a Direct Shift CVT with 10 virtual ratios in its ‘Sequential Shiftmatic’ programme (with steering paddles). However, Toyota claims that the switch from 6AT to CVT and e-CVT(on the top-spec variant) makes for better fuel efficiency and stronger acceleration. 

    Learning Curve for Hybrid Tech

    The introduction of hybrid technology in the Innova Zenix presents a learning curve for potential buyers. Not all consumers are ready to embrace this shift, as some prefer the familiarity and simplicity of traditional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. Navigating Toyota's hybrid system can be daunting, especially for older drivers who may not be accustomed to its nuances. 

    Toyota Innova Zenix

    The reliance on authorized service centres for hybrid tech servicing may also limit accessibility for maintenance and repairs. As a result, those seeking a straightforward and conventional driving experience may find the transition to hybrid technology challenging.


    The Toyota Innova Zenix has garnered positive attention for its enhanced capabilities, safety features, and superior design, making it a prominent contender in the MPV segment. With a range of modern and advanced tech features like Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, it offers a convenient and utilitarian package. It addresses the evolving needs and preferences of modern families while upholding Toyota's legacy of quality and durability. 

    Also read: Toyota Veloz X-Urban pack launched in Thailand

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