Is a Suzuki “Innova” in the works to challenge in the MPV market?

The Innova has sat atop the 7-seater MPV market ever since it was first released. All other brands have come out with their challengers, and Suzuki might just be ready to join the fray. Will they come out with their own mid-size MPV? Reports are actually leaning toward a rebadged Toyota model. And in about three months, we might already see it in the metal.

Suzuki will rename the Innova and call it the “Engage”

Toyota Innova Hycross Fit In Ph Main 00 Min suzuki engage

Photo: Toyota

Seeing how Suzuki has its fingers in a lot of segments – from small cars to “crossovers” and even a small 7-seater like the Ertiga and XL7 – it’s not so much of a surprise that it would like to expand its reach. It’s logical, right? Mid-size MPVs continue to be big sellers in so many markets and after missing out, the time has come to field their own player.

This “collaboration” between these two manufacturers is not unheard of, though. The Suzuki Baleno is rebadged as the Toyota Glanza, the Vitara Brezza as the Urban Cruiser, and the Grand Vitara as the Urban Cruiser Hyryder. This, however, will be the first time that Toyota will be the “supplier”, and before we move further, we’d like to say that this is all based in India.

Toyota Innova Hycross Fit In Ph Inline 03 Min suzuki engage

Photo: Toyota

It’s been reported that an agreement of a 10,000-unit allocation of the Innova Hycross will make its way to later be rechristened as the “Engage”. Compared to its Toyota counterpart, it won’t just be a literal badge swap and will instead be intended for a more upmarket audience and buyers. The Engage will get significant cosmetic changes both inside and outside and will likely have the same 2.0-liter hybrid engine mated to an e-CVT under its hood. That mill puts out about 186 HP and 206 Nm of torque and can supposedly cover 21 km/L.

This model will serve as the bigger 7-seater MPV sibling of the Ertiga and XL7, and will also be the first under the Maruti Suzuki brand to come equipped with the Advanced Driver Assistance System or ADAS.

Toyota Innova Hycross Fit In Ph Inline 05 Min suzuki engage

Photo: Toyota

More reports point to a launch sometime in July of this year and again, that will be in India. Is it a farfetched idea that something like this will make it to the PH? Is the Suzuki Engage going to be another model we want but may never get? We’d like to think positively. We do source some Suzuki vehicles from India, and again, this isĀ a market that can be most lucrative if a proper model is introduced.

Maybe there is a chance that it sees the light of day in the Philippines. That’s up to Suzuki, of course. But it’s very safe to say that there will be a market for the Engage. It is an Innova after all.

Mikko Juangco
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