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WHO would’ve thought that the well-designed exterior of the all-new innova still has room for several tweaks and add-ons in order to look more distinctive—in a sporty kind of way.

While the idea of an athletic-looking MPV may not be common for most of us, but for the fanatics, it’s definitely otherwise. So when toyota introduced the touring sport variant late last year, it was like an absolute granted wish for the enthusiasts. The added trims inside and out further gave the vehicle’s striking appearance—the kind of robustness to further intensify its character to be different.

For the most part, all it took were several matte black add-ons at the bottom panels with some polished accents.Sport variant’s but the amount of impact was more than enough to make heads turn. Not to mention, how these enhancements complemented the radiant red mica mettalic shade of the test unit.

The touring sport’s fascia highlights a black bumper chin with contours in the middle and polished metal moldings on both sides. It complements well with the glossy black pronounced grille bordered with boomerang-shaped polished metal embellishments to further emphasize its outer trapezoidal shape. These enhancements further outlined the bonnet’s sharp edges and angular fenders. Sharing features with the E version, slender headlamps are fitted with halogen lamps but with smoked design to match the dark theme as well.Touring sport variant’s black trims went on to the wheel arcs, side skirts and all the way to the rear end as diffusers.

Dark plastic trims are also fitted to the wheel arcs along with side skirts, which is also underlined with polished metal moldings. At the back, the bottom skirts formed a diffuser-like design mixed with polished metal housing the existing plastic reflectors. Likewise, the panel between the tail lights is glossy black to go along with the dark theme. Fulfilling the robust dark themes are the matte black 16-inch rims which further amplified the vehicle’s rugged look. Overall, the exterior design has transformed into a standout and imposing character you never thought you’ll see in a multipurpose vehicle.Polished metal it’s simply gorgeous, period. The touring sport variant’s dark-themed interior also matches the exterior’s athletic look.

Interior-wise, it’s also dark-themed. The elegant layout is still there but minus the sophisticated trimmings and replaced it with sporty color motifs plus rugged-looking plastic panels on the dashboard. Somehow, it still showcases an ergonomic and modern look with all controls clustered within reach, only this time, it’s more athletic. The 6.5” capacitive touch-screen operated infotainment with bluetooth connectivity, telephony and audio functions is still there. As for the air-conditioning, it’s manually controlled yet still capable to easily dissipate scorching heats and produces extremely cold temperatures.Sport variant’s comfy seats are also wrapped in dark first-class fabrics with patterns and can be manually adjusted to find that perfect driving position. Second-row passengers will still experience indulgence from the 60:40 bench with ergonomic paddings. Just like with the top-spec model, rear air vents with separate regulators are also positioned in the ceiling for better air circulation. The third row, meantime, has foldable benches to turn it into an expansive cargo bay. But even with the seats positioned, the load space is still enough to accommodate several luggage and other stuff. The touring sport variant’s dark-themed interior also matches the exterior’s athletic look.

One of the innova touring sport’s high points is its powerful 2.8-liter turbodiesel powertrain with variable drive mode functions.Polished metal just like its other diesel variant siblings, you can alter the engine’s behavior by simply toggling between modes. There’s the “eco mode” for a restricted output, yet with noticeable response when summoned. This is ideal for city driving with slow-moving traffic and freeway cruising. Of course, there’s the “power mode” for a more aggressive yield delivering powerful but smooth accelerations—perfect for overtaking and ascents. When both functions are disengaged, execution is somewhere in between yet with noticeable linear output.

While the engine was detuned to an ideal output for the innova’s frame and purpose, still it delivers more than sufficient power. It has a wide maximum torque band from 1,200 rpm up to 3,400 rpm with enough brute force to make you wonder if the motor was actually detuned at all.Touring sport as for the coupled six-speed automatic gearbox, its smooth shifting was sublime all throughout and even well in sync with engine speeds every time it shifted. Even the final drive was impressive during high-speed limits at a very low rpm, which promotes fuel efficiency. As for the available sequential control, it provided an advantage in manipulating gears for engine braking or staying within the power band whenever the need for an extra push was necessary.

Again, just like the top-of-the-line version we tested previously, you’ll certainly appreciate how the innova touring sport behaves on the road. The noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) insulation demonstrated superb sound muffling capability.Polished metal likewise, the vehicle’s damping system leans toward the comfort side and can easily absorb road imperfections. It’s almost as if you’re driving a luxury minivan in terms of coziness and handling. Now while the touring sport version doesn’t have the advanced safety features of the V models, it has all the essential elements such as the front airbags, strong brake systems equipped with anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), which makes sudden deceleration manageable. Moreover, it is armed with the brand’s anti-theft system, reverse sensors and door ajar warning.

With the touring sport variant’s standout look, people will now change the way they look at multipurpose vehicles as straightforward family movers.Polished metal to think that it can actually match your individuality to be different from the rest. Toyota’s move to dress up the innova to look athletic and robust only proves that there’s always room for every consumer’s preference.