Toyota Fortuner has been the undisputed segment leader since its launch. Prior to this, there was no clarity if the Rs 20-30 lakh SUV segment should exist or no? With the Japanese manufacturer entering the Indian car market, it made space for itself and soon others followed. However, the Fortuner wasn't offered with a 4x4 automatic version, until now. We lay our hands on this new SUV and find out if it still the one to pick?
The Toyota Fortuner 3.0 4x4 AT doesn't look any different from the other Fortuner. It has the same design like the current Fortuner, however one difference are the new matte black alloy wheels. These do stand out and Fortuner looks a lot more rugged with these alloy wheels. The shift has been towards making it sporty than premium. There are the smoked headlamps and even tail lamps get the same effect.
The Fortuner has always been considered as a premium product and has become a status symbol. Somewhere in this, the attraction towards the younger audience had gone missing. With this, Toyota has addressed this aspect this generation too.
The biggest change on the inside is the new black upholstery. This is something that makes the car look a lot more appealing and as it a 4x4, beige will get dirty easily, while black won't. The black dashboard with the grey-ish wooden trim does look a lot more stylish. In terms of features, it still retains touch-screen infotainment system with navigation and reverse parking camera, cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity.
One thing worth a discussion is the space and the seating. If you slide behind the wheel, you sit in a very commanding position with high road visibility. The seats too are large and comfortable. The Fortuner has been known for this and it is one of the biggest USPs of this SUV. The second row of seating too is comfortable and good enough for long journeys. This row of seats can slide and even recline. The third row is spacious if you slide the front seat a bit and also recline the third row. There is headrest adjustment for all the rows. The boot isn't very large once the third row is up, but if you fold the third row there is sufficient space to load your luggage.
The Fortuner retains the same 3.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 168bhp of power and 343Nm of peak torque, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Now if you keep the numbers aside, this is the perfect to drive in city or cruise on highway. The power is sufficient for that instinct driving pace from a red light. Driving in traffic is easy, but zipping across isn't possible considering its size. The engine has the punch but it won't push you back into your seat, rather it is more linear. The weight of the body might just not go in its favour.
There is one downside to this engine, which is the noise. Else this is a gem of a engine. The five-speed auto-box has smooth shifts and upshifts quickly while you are cruising. The downshifts are tad slow but they aren't jerky. With a large engine, permanent four-wheel drive, automatic transmission and a heavy kerb weight, the Fortuner returns a fuel efficiency of 8-10km/l in city and on the highway.
The ride of this SUV is a bit on the stiffer side, but there are no two ways that it is still very pliant and doesn't feel harsh when driven through potholes or broken tarmac. This is a ladder on frame chassis, and for its size it does perform well. Even the turning radius is decent but the steering wheel could have been lighter at low speeds. I'm not a big fan of SUVs, but I fell in love with this one.
At about Rs 32 lakhs (on-road price), the Fortuner seems to be expensive, until you compare the competition. The Fortuner is a great product to opt for. It has the space, features, decent power and the presence. With the 4x4 AT, Toyota adds another choice for its buyers.
Source : MotorOctane