Toyota Fortuner Review
Best Selling SUV in its ClassTuesday, June 11, 2013
Toyota launched Fortuner in India in 2009. We remember when Toyota announced its arrival, people rushed in to Toyota dealers to book their SUVs even without taking a glimpse of it. In India, there are only few options available when it comes to premium SUVs. Its roaring looks and trust of Indians in Toyota instantly made it the champion of its segment. Since its launch, Fortuner is enjoying good sales. Fortuner was originally launched with 4 wheel drive system only. People wanted its automatic version. Its competitors like Captiva and Endeavour are available in automatic transmission and more over they have been re-launched in the market for better results. Toyota doesn’t want to lose this segment and that’s why they introduced the face lifted version of Fortuner which they showcased this year at Delhi Auto Expo 2012. Now this car gets automatic transmission with front wheel drive option. In this way Toyota has managed to cut down its price and made it more competitive in its segment. Till now it’s been a hit in Indian market and with these new changes, Toyota expects things to get better in future.
Toyota Fortuner Exterior
Toyota Fortuner is designed for those who want bulky and huge cars. It has always been on the heavier side. The new Fortuner has been given special treatment to look much mature and stylish. The face of this car has been revised to make it look fresh and aggressive. It looks very similar to Land cruiser; it borrows its front styling from its elder sibling. Gone are the square shaped headlights and old grille. The car now features much wider and larger front grille with five layered chrome strips and a big Toyota logo. The new angular headlights merge well with the grille and make it look aerodynamic. These new headlights are automatic HID headlamps with washer. Its bumper has been altered with new set of fog lights and sharp lines. Its air-dam is very rectangular in shape with new cuts and lines on bumper chin.
The new Fortuner has big bonnet with edgy lines and jumbo intake for inter-cooler on bonnet which adds to its macho look. The car now sports newly designed alloy wheels. These are 12-spoke 17 inch alloy wheels. These are not fancy at all and you will miss the bulky character as they don’t go well with those massive wheel arches. The car has body colored side mirrors with in-built turn indicators. Side and rear profile of this car has got some minor changes which are hard to mention except new transparent tail lights and chrome door handles. The rear of this car includes jazzy wiper well matched with a rear spoiler. Similar to other cars in its family it features a sleek chrome bar just above the rear number plate reflecting its name. Rear bumper has smart lines with new reflective lights which are very similar to its earlier model.
Toyota Fortuner Interior
The interiors have been slightly refurbished. Beige and black colors are used inside it with beige colored leather seats and trims. New Fortuner gets rid of old steering wheel and now shares the four spoke steering wheel from Camry. Its gear knob along with steering wheel is wrapped in leather with silver finish on steering. It has chrome door handles inside with wood finish panels, which makes it look up-market. New optitron combi-meter with illumination control is fitted in this car for better visibility. The quality of plastic and material used inside is of superior quality. The interior of this car looks much premium than before and doesn’t resemble much to Innova which was a big drawback earlier. The overall appearance is just fine although there is still room for improvement.
Comfort and Convenience
Toyota has managed to make this car as comfortable as possible. Its seats are extremely comfortable. High quality of fabric has been used for the seats. They offer immense thigh and back support which makes it very comfortable. Its extended length and width allows you to get into the most spacious car in its segment. There is plenty of leg, shoulder and headroom in this car. Its extensive wheelbase of 2750mm makes it a very comfortable car. Be it 2nd or 3rd row, you never run out of space. First and second row seats has seat slide. It also has front and rear armrests which are handy on long drives. Front seats are of sport type with 6-way power adjustable driver seat. Driver seat is placed very nicely as it offers accurate visibility of the road.
Third row seating has been kept in mind that’s why Fortuner has dual auto AC with rear AC controls and ceiling vents for 2nd and 3rd rows. Rear passengers are given no chance to complain about AC as it effectively cools the cabin and makes it perfect for long rides. New Fortuner also has cruise control to make your rides stress free. The new power steering is tilt adjustable. It also features electrically adjustable and retractable outside mirrors and rear parking camera with display for convenience while parking. Other features include power windows with one touch up, down function (driver side only), keyless entry and power door lock.
Dashboard and Storage
Toyota Fortuner features dual tone colors on its dashboard. It’s equipped with lockable glove box. Other than glove box, its dash has no place for storage. There is a square shaped center console which is not that attractive and fancy. It’s quite simple in terms of styling, fitted with Multi information display. Black wooden finish with sliver accents around the center console differentiates it from dashboard. The buttons and plastic used on the dash is very soft to touch. It has cup holders in center and rear console, back pocket on front’s seats with front map lamp and overhead storage space. It has enormous boot space and even with full seating, there is enough space to carry full size bags.
Music System of Toyota Fortuner
Toyota Fortuner is blessed with a very powerful music system to make your rides enjoyable. It’s a double din audio system with display. It’s fitted in center console with LCD touch screen, radio, DVD with Bluetooth connectivity. This audio system also sports USB and Aux-in ports which allows you to play music from your gadgets directly. There are six speakers fitted in the new Fortuner which gives high quality sound. Audio and Bluetooth control switches are mounted on steering wheel for easy accessibility. Two additional power sockets of 12v DC have been provided in this car.
Engine and Gearbox
The new Fortuner uses the same powerful 3.0L D-4D diesel engine with inter-cooler turbocharger. This unit churns out a maximum power of 171 bhp at 3600 rpm with a massive torque output of 343 Nm ranging from 1400-3400 rpm. Toyota has made big changes in this department. Now, Fortuner is also available in two wheel drive system with an additional variant with automatic transmission. Sadly, Toyota has devoid the four wheel drive option from automatic variant. So if you want a stress free ride in city conditions, you will have to compromise on power while off-roading with 2 wheel drive variant. We have seen recently manufacturers loading their SUVs with number of gears; Toyota has stick with the basics. The manual four wheel drive variant is mated with Five-speed gearbox. Its two wheel drive variant with manual transmission also has five-speed gearbox. It has five- speed automatic gearbox equipped in its front wheel drive variant. It’s very simple and basic with no paddle shifter.
Acceleration and Performance
Let’s first talk about its two wheel drive variant with automatic transmission. It has a very basic automatic transmission yet very effective. Press the throttle and you will sense what this 3.0L motor can do. The massive 343 Nm of torque is available as early as 1400 rpm which keeps on coming till 4000 rpm. This automatic transmission is much lighter and faster than its manual transmission. The car reaches 100km/hour in almost 12 seconds. Less gears means longer gear ratios and its easily noticeable in city driving where you will have to wait for acceleration but once you start cruising, the mid power band smoothly powers the car and it can easily way pass 150km/hour without being much audible.
The two wheel drive variant with manual transmission is also much responsive in comparison to its four wheel drive. The pedal feels very light and engine sounds eager to go as this variant is 95kgs lighter than the four wheel drive variant. Both four wheel and two wheel drive variants are almost a second slower to the automatic transmission. This engine is faster than many SUVs in its segment but it can’t pass Hyundai’s Santa Fe which is more responsive in comparison to Fortuner .The biggest advantage of this engine is its level of refinement which beats every possible competitor in its segment. Its low band pulls out massive amount of torque and it makes it an enthusiastic off roader.
Toyota Fortuner Mileage
The 4X4 variant manages to return a fuel efficiency of around 9-10km/ltr in city conditions and on highways it gives a mileage of around 12-13km/ltr. The manual 2 wheel drive variant is more fuel efficient than its automatic variant and returns a mileage of 10km/ltr in city while on highways it can even reach to 13km/ltr. Its automatic variant is less fuel efficient due to its automatic transmission. It’s mileage in city ranges from 7-8km/ltr and on highways thanks to its longer gear ratios it manages to return around 11-12 km/ltr. For a vehicle which weighs nearly two tones, these numbers are not disappointing at all. Undoubtedly, Fortuner is one of the best fuel efficient SUV’s in India.
Ride and Handling
Toyota has not changed the suspension system of new Fortuner. Its front suspension is of top quality but few potholes and bumps can be experienced in third row seating as its rear suspension has some quality issues. Body roll is a universal problem with most of the SUVs, Fortuner is no different. Although it’s been given light steering to improve things but after a certain stage its bulky back and body roll are quite evident. Its gigantic ground clearance (220mm) along with fatty tyres and incredible power with four wheel drive system allows you to rule on almost every terrain and it handles brilliantly.
Braking and Safety features
Braking system has been improved in 2012 model of Toyota Fortuner. It now features larger and lighter ventilated disks at the front and leading-trailing drum brakes at the back. Additional braking features like ABS with EBD and Brake assist are appointed in this hefty machine to stop it accurately. Moreover this car has vital safety features like Vehicle stability control, immobilizer and dual front SRS airbags (driver and Passenger).
Toyota Fortuner is available in six shades: Blue Metallic, Silky Gold Mica Metallic, Super White, Silver Mica Metallic, Black Mica and Grey Mica Metallic.
Toyota Fortuner is available in three variants: 4x2 MT, 4x2 AT and 4x4.
Toyota claims to give unmatchable warranty on its cars. Fortuner comes with 3 years/100000 kms warranty.
New Fortuner is the cheapest SUV from Toyota in India. Toyota has managed to make it the best in its segment. It now also offers more economical two wheel drive variant. Its competitors have a slight edge over it due to its unavailability in 4X4 version with automatic transmission. Otherwise it’s the best looking SUV in its segment due to its high resemblance with premium SUVs in its family. Toyota Fortuner offers macho looks, ultimate refined engine and Toyota’s trust. These all qualities make it a complete value for money car. The kind of response Fortuner received originally is just going to get better with these new variants and changes. Watch out competitors; there is tough time ahead!