The Toyota Fortuner changes the market dynamics of the premium SUV segment the day it arrived in the Indian market. The first generation SUV had everything that the customers needed. It was butch, powerful looking. It covered enormous space and presence on the road. It was backed up by the never faltering Toyota reliability and quality of construction. In short, the first Toyota Fortuner was the SUV that India was waiting for and the gigantic success proved how perfectly Toyota that thought it through and how far the completion was from it. Now in its second generation, the Toyota Fortuner has grown up to be a much smarter but still butch large looking handsome SUV. Gone are those rounded bulky looks and in are the creases that shout aloud a typical Japanese design philosophy. It has earned some suave and neat bits in the process, but there is no denying that it stills a brute under that polished affair.
The second generation Fortuner got a lot of design inspiration from the Luxury part of Toyota, popularly known as Lexus. The front gets a massive chrome grill that is never a peaceful sight if you are looking at me through a hatchback rear view mirror. The Fortuner still commands respect. Period. The front grill is as discussed, reminiscent of other much upmarket Lexus SUV’s. Then there are the sleeker more cut and slashed headlamps that lend mean touches to the large SUV’s front. All this new found creases and cuts can fool you once, but the SUV has grown in almost every parameter over its predecessor.
Being a Fortuner, it was designed to do some off-road excursions with a brute force. This is true here as well, which means the new Fortuner still gets a few off-road friendly but on the outside. There is a solid running board that offers help to those closer to ground (read short) reach to the cabin. You sit high in it is an understatement, any bit higher, you could use it to take aerial shots of compact sedans puttering and running cared around it in traffic jams. The electrically adjusted seats offer you a throne to look down upon the rest. This is what a commanding seating position looks like in proper definition.
Thankfully this time around, the insides of the brute aren’t ‘rural’, the cabin has earned finesse so to speak. Toyota’s typical feel of long-lasting fit and finish is evident. The design of the whole cabin is much upmarket. Something its price tag also compliments. There is leather, a lot of it to be seen all through the cabin, while the faux metal inserts also make their presence felt, lending the premium air to the cabin. However, we are not sure if that digital clock along with the archaic climate control unit were supposed to look like an antique here, Clearly, they belong to bygone decades. The fun buttons are below this single-zone climate control unit. You get ESP, Hill Hold in chunky feeling buttons while there’s a rotary knob to control the authentic four-wheel drive setup. This knob lets you choose whether to be considerate and be in 2-wheel drive mode or to turn the four-wheel on and romp over those pesky hatchbacks blocking your way. Should you choose to destroy some metal, the four-wheel drive low ratio would be happy to help. With all the planetary space, the cabin offers vastness that would suit five adults well. The one in the middle gets good leg and shoulder space while you could fit in tiny humans in the third row easily. However, it is the middle row passengers that get creature comforts like rear mount ac while there is a charging slot in every row. Middle and rear passengers are kept comfortable by a roof-mounted AC and there is a charging port in every row.
The Toyota Fortuner gets its brute power from the mighty 2.8-litre turbocharged diesel unit that also does duty on the Innova Crysta. And as is obvious, the engine is more than suitable for the Fortuner as well. It is a much rev happier unit than the old 3.0-litre unit it replaced. It makes a hefty 177PS of peak power, 6 ps over the old engine. However, the peak torque figures are where the massive change over the old unit exists, the new Fortuner makes a whopping 450Nm in top-rated automatic trim.
It is also a pretty smooth and fairly refined motor, Toyota has done well to reign in the annoying diesel clatter to a large extent. To aid in more comfort, the Fortuner comes with a 6-speed automatic gearbox that has an option to shift to manual through pedal shift or control mounted on the steering. Funny enough, with all this weight and earth-shattering torque, the Fortuner gets an Eco mode to choose, this makes the throttle response a bit lazier to respond. But then there is a sports mode as well, that does the opposite and this is where you should always be. Ride quality is good for the size of this vehicle on most city roads. However, there is a strange jiggle that sets in through the suspension at all speeds that can be a bit unnerving. Though it needs to be aid that the suspension isn’t too soft, the body roll in corners isn’t excessive and the nose dives aren’t as much as the old car, so all good here. However, a Fortuner is nothing without some serious off-roading credentials and the latest generation does not disappoint. It has enough traction available at all times to deal with any gravel of hill climb with ease. There is a high 225mm ground clearance available which is good enough for the most demanding approach and departure angles. The wheel articulation is also commendable.
Offered in six variants, the pricing for the Toyota Fortuner is in the range of INR 27.20 Lakhs for a base model to INR 33.00 Lakhs for top-end variant. Its main rivals are Ford Endeavour, Skoda Kodiaq, Honda CR-V, etc.
Massive fan following Great resale value. Great powerful and smooth engine. Great off road capabilities.
The Ford Endeavour drive better. Competition has more features at lesser price.