We Indians love SUVs, no doubt about that. The bigger, more powerful, more feature-packed and more imposing our vehicles are, the better. As a result, it definitely is no wonder that the Toyota Fortuner was a massive hit from the moment it went on sale in our country. During the course of its time here, the Fortuner received one minor facelift but now, Toyota has launched the all new Fortuner in 6 different variants. Read on to know what this new one brings to the table.
Under the high bonnet lives either one of two engines. Buyers can choose between a 2.7 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine that produces 164 bhp and a 2.8 litre, 4 cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine that puts out 174 bhp. While the diesel engine is tuned to generate 420 Nm of torque when paired with a manual gearbox, it churns out a slightly higher 450 Nm when connected to an automatic gearbox. We felt that the petrol motor did not provide the amount of grunt needed for a vehicle like the Fortuner, and that the diesel version felt much better to drive. The petrol variant can be ordered with either a 5 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic gearbox. However, the diesel version provides its buyers with the option of 6 speed transmissions (both manual and automatic). You get paddle shifters regardless of which automatic transmission you order.
Toyota has worked on lowering noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels by adding more levels of insulation and so on. As a result, this new Fortuner has excellent levels of refinement. Although the engine is a tad noisy during idle from the outside, barely any of its noise seeps into the passenger cabin; and at cruise speeds, it becomes very evident just how much Toyota has actually worked on improving ride comfort. It must also be pointed out that this new Fortuner feels much more nimble to drive than the earlier model. One of the best features in this vehicle is the downhill assist control (DAC), which automatically holds the Fortuner at a certain speed while crawling downhill. We played around extensively with the low range settings and the DAC while descending a particularly rough and rocky path and it performed beautifully.
The Fortuner is a very large car, make no mistake about it. It may not look as butch as its predecessor but, its edgy styling and massive proportions make for impressive amounts of presence on the road. Some might prefer the beefy looks of the outgoing model, but there is no denying that the new Fortuner will turn heads. Inside, you get the same high-riding seat and a commanding view of everything else on the road. The instruments are legible to read and most of the controls are where you expect them to be. Our only gripe was the fact that there were a fair few components which have been taken straight from the parts bin of the Innova Crysta and that the quality of some plastics could definitely have been better.
However, the Fortuner scores high in the ergonomics department. The middle row seats can be tumbled forward by a 3rd row passenger without any assistance by using just one single lever; and every row gets dedicated AC vents. Features such as the touchscreen infotainment system are easy to operate. Although the driver can adjust her/his electrically and in 8 different ways, we felt that Toyota could have included memory settings as well for an SUV in this range. You get a good amount of safety features though, such as 7 airbags, brake assist, vehicle stability control, hill assist, ABS with EBD and more.
The new Fortuner is a worthy successor to the massively popular model it replaces. It could have done better in terms of the quality of materials used on the inside and the petrol engine definitely needed a deeper reserve of power. But, on the plus side, it still has got a presence that cannot be ignored, it comes very well kitted out in terms of features and it can easily work when the road disappears altogether. The new Fortuner will undoubtedly continue to attract a huge fan following and continue scripting its success story in India.