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TSIVipul 6th March 2017 10:00 PM

Toyota Fortuner (2017) Review & Pictures: Transforming Fortunes
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Toyota Fortuner 2017 Review Synopsis:
  • Toyota Fortuner price tag starts from Rs.25.92 Lakh and Rs.27.52 Lakh for Petrol and Diesel respectively (Ex.showroom, Delhi).
  • This SUV was introduced in India on 7th November 2016. For the first time in India, it’s available with an option of Petrol engine.
  • The 2.8L Diesel churns out 175 BHP and torque of 450 Nm (AT) and 420 Nm (MT). ARAI mileage: 12.9 Kpl (AT) and 14.29 Kpl (MT).
  • The 2.7L Petrol engine is capable of delivering 166 BHP with torque figures of 245 Nm. ARAI mileage: 10.26 (AT) and 10.01 Kpl (MT).
  • Apart from significantly robust build and enhanced styling; space, comfort, performance, and snob value of ‘Toyota’ brand are a given to the Fortuner.
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TSIVipul 16th March 2017 03:21 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Introduction
The luck has always favored Toyota as far as the Indian market is concerned. First, the success story of Qualis, and then the Innova. Considering the ever-growing purchasing power of buyers in this segment, Japanese promptly recognized untapped potential to introduce a full-sized budget SUV, somewhere between the well-established Innova and the legendary Land Cruiser. It had to be a product biased towards the Innova in terms of pricing, but with the styling, ruggedness and reliability that is heads and shoulders above its direct competition. Yes, 2009 was the year when Indian customer got to taste the first Toyota body-on-frame SUV that was (relatively) affordable for a bit higher number of people, as compared to the premium Land Cruiser.

What a success story the Fortuner emerged out to be. Customers virtually queued up outside the Toyota dealerships to get home a Fortuner. Soon this 'Mini Land Cruiser' became the 'Netaji ki gaadi' (politician’s car) along with a household name for anyone who was in the market for a Rs.25 Lac SUV. Just to give you an estimate of the shockwave that the Fortuner created back in 2009, let me tell you that it virtually wiped the competition (Ford Endeavour and Mitsubishi Pajero) out of the market and turned out to be the market leader commanding the waiting periods ranging as long as six months. In fact, Fortuner sold in such numbers, those were unheard for any vehicle at this price point in the industry back then, just to give you a rough idea; in December 2010, Fortuner sold 922 units, while the competitors sold only 107 and 115 units for Endeavour and Pajero respectively.

With the time, Toyota kept on updating their ageing warhorse by adding more features, power train options and facelifts. Still, with the time and after the arrival of the much accomplished new Ford Endeavour; Fortuner started feeling awfully outdated and the need of a new version was much needed. Market asked for it and Toyota did it. Although the new Fortuner was launched internationally in 2015 itself, but it was only in November 2016 that Toyota formally launched the new Fortuner is India. Indians love Toyota. Any doubt? Well, the way the Fortuner is welcomed, I am sure that it may have stunned even Toyota itself too. We spent over 1500 kilometers with this all-new SUV in both diesel and petrol guise. Did the new Fortuner managed to impress us? Well, the answer follows. [Top]

TSIVipul 16th March 2017 05:52 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Exteriors Design
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At the risk of being called a sexist, let me tell you the easiest way of differentiating between 'he' and 'she'. Look at the above image, the one on extreme left looks like a sure shot 'he'. Masculine, straight forward, plain but robust clothing and yes, it has got a beard too. The one on the right is a ‘she’; I need not to explain why. Don't get me wrong, this 'she' is not a Bollywood love story heroine. 'She' is the tough partner of Dwayne Johnson, who will take you for surprise by her precision, strength and action capabilities. Who is the one in between then? Well, it’s a 'he' who is not sure if he is a 'he' or 'about to ‘she'.

Tipping scales at 4,795 mm in length, 1,855 mm in width and 1,835 mm in height, the new Fortuner is already longer and wider than the outgoing model, it sits lower though. It looks smaller than its arch rival: Ford Endeavour and actually is smaller too (on the outside, interior part later). Where the older Fortuner used to look a lot like a sure shot truck with 7-seats, rugged, simplistic and made out of straight lines. The new Fortuner is more sober, softer and definitely has an air of modernity surrounding it. Still she manages to look imposing and claim its piece of respect on the road with a wonderful road presence.

Indians do love chrome and Toyota very well knows this. Chrome and its usage is the first major difference between the new Fortuner and the outgoing model. While the front of the previous gen SUV was dominated by that huge chrome grille, the newer iteration is more aerodynamic, softer and more modern looking with smaller headlamps, smaller grille, more rounded of edges and a lot of chrome. But this time it is more distributed around, than being concentrated at only the grille. Yes, the car looks very imposing and contemporary. More aerodynamic front may not look as imposing as the one it replaces but it is more neutral in terms of overall appeal, if many won't love it for those lost butch looks (which it hasn't actually), it will definitely not be hated by as many as did to the older version. Hood scoop is now missed and the pillars are also more aerodynamic.

With a huge Toyota ring in the center, the upper part of the grille has three horizontal slats affixed between two thick chrome slats which are running down in a 'V' style (cut the lower section of that V :biggrin:) and the lower grille is made up of four parallel running plastic slats which smoothly emerge and then become invisible again at the opposite side in same fashion. All this with a distinct and very strong crease separating the upper part and the lower part of the front grille. Just to check if everything is well put together, I literally had a boxing session with the front bumper and grille. After delivering some quality punches, I was assured that everything is very well put together and is not going anywhere in those city speed hits. And yes, now the round fog lamps have also got their share of chrome. I must accept that this time Toyota has not done any kind of unfair treatment with fog lamps; they have made sure that even the headlamps are also sized similarly. I am an old school type person and I like huge grilles, hood scoops and large headlamps, hence the older car was more imposing to look from front for me. Don't get me wrong again, repeating the same point, new model is subtle but still carries a brilliant road presence.

Come to the side and you will realize how serious I am when I remark "it is a subtle but more contemporary SUV". Those who have seen the teaser shot released by the Toyota prior its launch will understand that the side is actually more of a plain job with 2 creases mainly doing the job of breaking the bulk. Upper one starts right at front headlamps in a soft fashion (no strong creases here), passes through the window line straight till the beginning of the quarter glass on middle row door, where it rises steeply till C-Pillar, after which it again gently slope downwards till the D-Pillar, after which it passes through the boot door and repeats the same pattern on the opposite side. This crease is highlighted by the chrome inserts, once it is on the window lines, while on the front quarter panel, it’s just a gentle crease.

Second one is a mild crease running at the lower section of the doors. As compared to the outgoing Fortuner, that had thick plastic cladding on the doors as well as wheel arches, the newer iteration has way lesser drama on the side profile. Yes, the wheel arches are flared a bit and have a thin plastic cladding too, but none of the lever of the older car. Well, we still liked it. What makes for actual design element in new Fortuner is the window line and the larger glass area coupled to the wrap around head and tail lamps. The C-Pillar is virtually concealed and hence Toyota has managed to put out the floating roof effect near perfect. And it looks good too; at least we were impressed how Toyota managed to break the monotony by smartly using the glass area and not adding too much fuss in form of cladding etc. Doing their duty are stylish 17” alloy wheels in 4x2 trims and 18” on the 4x4 trims, which do their part quite well in terms of adding to overall presence.

The rear is arguably most impressive section of new Fortuner. The tailgate is neither very bog nor is too small, feels right sized. The new design LED tail lamps look totally delicious, especially when illuminated at. Toyota has now used the new market norm of engraving the name on chrome garnish above the registration plate area, but there is a design element. This garnish is not just another addition, it seamlessly integrates with tail lamps and looks beautiful (I tell you, I don't like chrome - but I loved this one). The rear bumper looks a bit on the thinner side, but when I bumped it with knees, I found that it is indeed strong enough to crush the front of a light built hatchback, quite easily. The bumper, on the side rises all the way to tail lamps and has some really strong creases as well.

The mid lower section of bumper is a black insert and reflectors are placed at both the ends. Well, there are just two parking sensors, and we don't appreciate it. You listening Toyota? Do add two more at corners and make it more functional overall. Yet another highlight is the overall build and high consistency of panel gaps. It feels really well finished but still robust and long lasting at the same time. Paint finish, on the other hand, is nothing exceptional and orange peel etc. was well evident. Overall we are impressed with what is on offer in terms of exterior build, fit and finish. [Top]

TSIVipul 16th March 2017 10:16 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Interiors Design

Keyfob in pocket, request button pressed, you’ll hear mild click. Well, the vehicle is unlocked. Open the door and a surprise awaits you. As much impressive the exterior is, the interior does more than enough to compensate every single shortcoming the exterior have, if any. You can never walk straight into a Fortuner, new model is no exception. Get hold of the grab handle mounted on A-Pillar and then climb into the Fortuner. The front doors are big and wide, but have a light build and shut with a tinny sound. On the inside, first impressions are awesome. The well-supportive seats, chunky steering wheel and an overall design which will eclipse even D-segment sedans in terms of plush feel. This is where the new Fortuner feels like it’s not only a new generation, but even a notch above too.

For anyone with a medium frame and 5’10” height like me, the driver’s seat (feels like that of Crysta. Fortuner shares the same set of seats now, please correct me if I am wrong) is supremely comfortable, the cushioning is just right and bolstering is good enough that you never sit on the seat; you actually sit ‘in’ it. What actually appealed to us is that Toyota decided to shift from the beige. Therefore, interiors including the seats mainly comprises of shades of brown, grey and black. So are the seats, finished in light brown and black, these 8-way electrically adjustable seats are supremely comfortable and what I particularly liked is the under thigh support. I personally end up craving for under thigh support in many cars, not an issue with Toyota Fortuner. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is amongst the most comfortable driver’s seats on this side of 40 Lakh, at least for me. The pedals are well placed, gear lever is ergonomically situated, and armrest is just at the right position. Ergonomics are something Toyota never goes wrong with and Fortuner is just another example of same. There are many thoughtful touches to enhance driver’s comfort, which we’ll discuss in pictorial review.

The well-chiseled dashboard is indeed the most attractive part of entire package. There is no soft touch plastic (but there is a lot of leather), the black plastic is hard and a bit shiny too but still it exudes quality. One would hardly find anything to complaint. People are frequently found complaining that the black interiors feel claustrophobic; well, not with the Fortuner. The huge glass area makes sure that there is a lot of light inside, additionally the upper section along with pillars and entire roof liner are shaded in light grey, hence there’s very less to complaint, at least unless one is obsessed with beige. All in all what grabbed my attention is generous use of leather; the light brown and black leather looks high quality and actually feels very inviting too. In fact what added more to the feel-good-factor is that you can actually experience leather with your knee while resting the foot on dead pedal (especially in automatic).

While we had a top heavy dashboard in Innova crysta, the one on Toyota Fortuner is a bit more balanced. With my seat placed at the lowest driving position and laid back style (seat positions explained in pictorial review section), I still could see the bonnet by slightly raising my neck. Well done, Toyota, you really know how to place the things and where. Absolutely nothing to complain when it comes to interior design, quality, fit and finish. Toyota has made sure that you get right ergonomics, right amount of storage spaces and a decent flexibility. You get a full “paisa vasool” treatment once inside. The interiors truly justify every extra penny the company is asking the customers to pay over outgoing model.

I literally had Toyota dealership folks 100% confirm that there’s no option of captain seats in the Fortuner. Well, I got the disappointment and nothing else at the end. Toyota has actually put a brilliant set of seats in the front (and in the Innova Crysta’s mid-row as well). But inspite of being priced higher, the Fortuner has to do with a tradition bench-like seating for middle row. Although placed right, well shaped and offers a near perfect amount of cushioning along with a decent under thigh support, but there is a catch, the seatback has slight contouring to hold you in place. The seat base is largely flat without any significant bolstering or contouring. That said, captain seats simply blow this bench out of the water in terms of overall comfort. In terms of storage space, there are front seatback pockets, door storage bins and hooks on the backside of both the front seats. Oh yes, there is no front passenger seat adjusting arrangement in the Fortuner, like we had in Innova Crysta where the rear seat passenger could push or pull the front passenger seat and adjust their legroom - some points lost, Toyota.

As compared to the outgoing car as well as the arch rival - Ford Endeavour, the middle row of new Fortuner feels more spacious and seems to carry a better amount of legroom, headroom and shoulder room. There is absolutely no scope of complain from passenger end in terms of space and its management - until the vehicle is overloaded. The armrest is placed at right height, sized right and offers the decent amount of support too. I personally don't like the AC vents blowing the cold air directly at my head (that gives me headache) and this is where I will reduce the marks of Toyota. They have given a brilliant ACC unit extension for the middle row (though it rattles, check in videos section) but no floor AC vents. Anyways, air conditioning is perfectly effective overall. Another thing I disliked is the middle passenger seatbelt, seriously the worst and most uncomfortable thing a middle passenger can have is this type of 3 point seatbelt that drops down from the roof and requires you to have an engineering degree, just to make out how to put this uncomfortable piece of strap around an unsuspecting and innocent middle passenger.

Third row access is exactly like the previous gen car and that is quite good. Seats fully tumble and fold and I tell you, you don’t need to be a yoga master to enter the third row. Not for saree clad women and elderly though. Third row, although better than the competition (Endeavour and Pajero - to be precise) but still is far from comfortable, for long journeys. Just like the third row is supposed to be, the third row of Fortuner also is tight on space, poor legroom, just acceptable thigh support and has poor headroom too, more info in pictorial review section. If you are 5'10", then better avoid the third row of Fortuner, you won't be able to survive it for even 1 hour until you are all alone there. We were 7 guys in the car and I had to make sure that the middle row is pushed all the way to front and front seats a bit forward to make sure that the occupants in all three rows get their decent share of space. Overall, the third row is better suited to people with height under, say 5'3" or the kids, anyone with a higher height will find it a bit tough, especially if he/she has to share the space with another occupant. [Top]

TSIVipul 17th March 2017 11:05 AM

Toyota Fortuner: Diesel Engine Performance

Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, the 2.8L engine (2755 cc precisely) is simply going to be default choice of the enthusiasts. This is the same block as available in Innova Crysta but the combination of 2.8L + MT is exclusive to the Fortuner. Where the difference lies? Well, it is the state of tune. This engine makes a higher peak power at 175 BHP @ 3400 RPM, with a peak torque output of 420 Nm for MT and 450 Nm for AT (1600 - 2400 RPM), with ARAI certified FE numbers ticking at 14.29 Kmpl for MT and 12.9 kmpl for AT respectively. Yes, the torque figures for the manual version are lower by 30 Nm as compared to its automatic counterpart, which makes a higher peak torque at 450 Nm. Don't be surprised, it's the dimwit slush box AT that works really hard to make sure the manual car feel and is quicker – Yes, it's a slushbox which just want to shift up as soon as possible. We have had a really short experience with the diesel AT; hence this report will primarily focus on the MT.

Press the clutch pedal, hit the engine start button and it's a car quake. You guessed it right, the entire car will shake and the gear lever will shake even more violently at its position (gearbox is a chassis mounted component after all and cab is separate) like any other body on ladder frame rear wheel drive SUV - Yups, it's absolutely normal. Like the previous gen Fortuner, the gearlever in this car too works as a vibration massage tool and you can enjoy a proper vibration massage while on the drive (again a normal behavior for RWD UVs with manual gearbox). What will plant a smile on your face is the way in which the gear lever moves to left when you release the throttle on the go and then again to right when you feed in the throttle again, you need to put your hand on the lever to feel it moving this way. Comparably, the AT version makes you feel a bit better, there are only some shakes with which the hulk tells you when he is waking up or going back to sleep (engine off); there are no vibes on gear lever etc - well, that's also absolutely normal for RWD AT's.

In the MT version, what you will particularly like is that the gear lever is no longer a truck inspired piece as in the previous generation car, it looks a bit better now (but Toyota could have made it look beautiful). While the previous gen Fortuner used to make you move a bit with slightly longer throws, the current gen car will make sure that you remain a bit relaxed (still throws are on a longer side though). Rest what we liked in this gearbox is the precision of gates, I tried making many quick shifts and not even a single time I had to put any extra effort or the gear lever tried to get stuck at any point - 4/5 to Toyota for shift action. Where 1 mark got deducted? Well, the throws are still longer with that reverse gear going all the way up (again it's normal though, for 6 speed ones with reverse on the top left) and the clutch travel which I particularly found a bit on the longer side and not a very smooth affair, you will become habitual of it within 15 minutes though.

Coming to the driving experience, this engine is a bliss - enough said. Although the newer engine is smaller than the outgoing one, but you will never feel this difference while on the drive. This 2.8L block with MT makes a peak torque of 420 Nm from 1600-2400 RPM (BTW, Crysta has a wider peak torque band from 1200-3400 RPM, but with a significantly lower torque figure), hence overall the throttle response is very predictable, what we particularly liked is the way Toyota has managed to conceal the turbo lag. I just wrote that Crysta has a wider peak torque band, but I guess the Fortuner also has to offer similar figures for even wider rev range (the one we are talking is peak range after all). Want to feel it? Well, engage third gear at 25 Kph itself and slowly release the clutch, you will notice that the Fortuner will keep moving at around 25 Kph without any throttle input. Now hold your breath and bury your right foot. Wow! Initially, till say 1000 RPM, there will be slight vibes, between 1000-1200 RPM, the throttle response is a bit dull (You are not any ways supposed to drive at that rev range) but you can feel the power building up while the rev needle slowly goes past the 1000 RPM mark.

After 1200 RPM, you can feel power building up, 1300 feels decent and you can start the mission overtake. At around 43-44 Kph, you are at 1500 RPM. Back off the throttle, hold this speed and bury again - a blast follows! Suddenly the Fortuner starts surging ahead with a brilliant pace and you start laughing like a mad monkey. 2000 - 3000 - 4000, shift up and start moving ahead. That said, at 4000 RPM in third gear, you are nearly at 120 Kph (I can see the XUV owners laughing again and feeling good about the performance of their XUV). So what we discovered? Well, overall drivability is just brilliant and it is between 1500-3500 RPM that all the fun lies in. Redline is at a conservative 4400 RPM but you never get an urge to push till that point, simply shift up between 2500-3000 RPM and enjoy the 420 Nm of twist surging you ahead with a brilliant urgency.

On the other hand, the AT diesel has a higher torque on the paper, but it's the gearbox, which takes the fun quotient away from the equation. Na na, it is also a quick car and responsiveness is also good. Then what is wrong? Well, the only thing wrong about it is that it doesn't shift down as quickly as say, the one in Endeavour. Oh yes, the Endeavour with that massive 3.2L block is quicker than the Fortuner, be it in any iteration - Endeavour simply demolishes it with that sheer power out of its 3.2L engine which is nearly 18% bigger than that of Fortuner. Just like that in the Innova Crysta, the gearbox in the Fortuner too is a bit slow to respond. You press hard, wait a second and it shifts one gear down, then it decides to shift one more and then the car surges ahead with a brilliant urgency any ways, thanks to the heady power figures. Some may say that paddle shifters do help, well, yes they do and they do it brilliantly. They are nice when it comes to up-shifting or down-shifting, but expecting them to offer you the flexibility of the manual will be utter foolish, at times, they simply decide not to listen to you until the threshold speeds are reached - overall it is a smooth gearbox and owners who drive sedately will actually love it.

Cruising ability is the highlight of Fortuner diesel, the MT car had 100 kph speed attained at hardly 1600 rpm in sixth gear, while the AT one seems to have got even higher overdrive and hence 100 kph comes a shade above 1500 rpm itself. What is the best part is that, you are smack at the beginning of the meaty torque band and hence, you just need to press a bit and Fortuner will make sure that none of the highway overtakes are a cause of worry for you. Anyone who has driven the older Fortuner extensively, is definitely going to be caught by surprise here, looking at the relaxed cruising ability and the responsiveness of the engine even at the mad side of speeds. There are 3 driving modes too with ECO mode and PWR mode being common to both AT and MT, while the iMT mode is exclusive to the diesel manual.

iMT or Intelligent Manual Transmission is the actual party trick of the Fortuner MT diesel. What this mode does is simply matching the revs so that there is a smooth and jerk free transition while shifting the gears. In the turbocharged vehicles, especially the ones with heady torque figures like in the Fortuner, getting a jerk free shift; especially while trying to drive a bit hard (you can shift jerk free in any vehicle at 1500 RPM) or in higher mid range, one needs to be very careful while shifting to match revs so that there is a jerk free transition, but still that is not attained in every attempt. What if the ECU matches the revs for you? Well, this is something that both self as well as chauffeur driven customers will appreciate. With the iMT light blinking in the instrument panel, I shifted from 6th to 3rd at 90 Kph and voila, as soon as the lever was in place and I started releasing the clutch, the engine rpm went to 3000 mark - what a nice shift! Try this in any car and see if you can make a smooth shift in this condition. That said, iMT also needs time to help you and it's better if you release the clutch after the gearshifts in a gentle manner, if you are shifting quickly with abrupt clutch releasing, the iMT won't be able to help you much. Yes, it will still decrease the overall jerk that you would have got with the iMT deactivated. [Top]

TSIVipul 17th March 2017 12:14 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Petrol Engine Performance
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The 2.7L Petrol

Mated with an option of 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic, is the 2.7L Petrol engine, which has a peak power output of 166 BHP @5200 RPM and a peak torque output of 245 Nm @4000 RPM with ARAI certified FE numbers ticking at 10.01 Kmpl and 10.26 Kmpl for its manual and automatic versions, respectively. The old, proven, not very rev happy and VVT-I equipped 2.7L block was first offered in Innova Crysta and I returned fairly impressed with the overall package. Now this engine has been offered by Toyota for the Fortuner petrol buyers. Although this is an old block, it is internationally renowned for bulletproof reliability. Added with Variable Valve Timing, it’s all set to pull the Fortuner. When I drove this engine in Innova Crysta, I was quite impressed with the overall performance, smoothness of operation, NVH and yes - FE too. Not the same case here, I expected Toyota to up the power and torque for the Fortuner which is not just heavier, but is less aerodynamic too, but Toyota decided to carry the engine forward in the same state of tune; maybe it made sense since the sales are mainly going to come in from diesel versions only.

The first question that comes into mind is how will a petrol engine perform in a 2+ tonne SUV (loaded with passengers)? You’ll be surprised, trust me. This high displacement petrol is the engine that packs a good number of surprises. In fact, for a customer who lives in NCR, has a running of 500 kilometers per month or 750 kilometers per month, planning to keep the car for a long term (diesels have a life of 10 years now) and buying the Fortuner petrol for the comfort and some occasional touring. If you belong to this category, then Fortuner petrol is the car for you. NVH is awesome and the diesel motor feels crude in front of this creamy petrol in terms of NVH as well as smoothness of operation.

The NVH is definitely not Hyundai level, but it is way better than the diesels. This 2.7L petrol is one with a proper big bore, hence torque is not an issue. This engine has enough guts to pull like a diesel and keep the enthusiast inside you happy with its power delivery, handling and engine note. Slot the gear selector into D mode and let the car crawl, all good for city traffic. Hit highway or hills and it won’t let you down anywhere. Just like the 2.8L, this engine also is let down by a slow automatic, which takes a second or two to convert the order that you gave by the heavy foot into actual performance. The gearshift pattern while downshifting is also exactly same for this automatic too. Put your foot down and it shifts one gear down, then one more and this road liner starts moving ahead with some arrogance. 100 Kph can be seen at around 1750 RPM in sixth cog and there is absolute silence at that time, for an instance, Innova Crysta does 100 Kph at 1900 RPM in sixth cog. We saw 120 Kph coming at around 2100 RPM.

While in Innova Crysta, the 2.7L petrol was at par and even quicker than the diesel in top end, the story is completely opposite in case of the Fortuner. Fortuner has a higher kerb weight, additionally the huge 420 Nm of torque of diesel manual as well as the 450 Nm of diesel AT, makes the Fortuner diesel a way quicker and more responsive vehicle as compared to this petrol powered UV. Just to put the performance figures into perspective, it was impossible for the Fortuner 2.7 AT to overtake an enthusiastically driven VW Polo TDi even after we made numerous drag attempts, only after the speed of 120 kph was crossed, that Fortuner tried to get back into the game - but then the drag strip was over. On the other hand, in the same conditions, the diesel Fortuner demolished even the Figo TDCi. So one can make out how far apart is the performance from both the engines. Overall, the 2.7 is well up to the mark and offers all the required and even more grunt that is needed for commuting on our Indian city and highway conditions. [Top]

TSIVipul 18th March 2017 01:26 PM

Toyota Fortuner: 4x4 and Off-Road Performance

With iMT being exclusive only to the diesel manual, other two drive modes are PWR and ECO mode, what we get out of these drive modes? Read on to find out.
  • Normal Mode: When none of the drive modes are selected, it’s normal mode by default. Normal mode is just about a fine balance between power and economy.
  • ECO Mode: When engaged, can be seen on the MID as in the image above. Irrespective of the engine and transmission, ECO mode just does makes two changes. First it reduces the air con blower speed; secondly it dulls the throttle response. Before negative thoughts start coming to your mind, let me tell you that the air con still is effective enough and since the engines are big enough, even with the dull throttle response, you still can be faster than most of the traffic except some full throttle enthusiasts in a 100 BHP hatch or sedan. Overall, I personally spent most of the time in normal or ECO mode as the grunt on offer was already more than adequate for our roads and traffic. Effect on FE? Well, check the last part of the same post.
  • PWR Mode: When engaged, can be seen on the MID just like the ECO mode. PWR mode is the one which makes its presence most evident. Where the ECO mode dulls the throttle response and hence makes the Fortuner more livable in the dense traffic, the PWR mode adds a distinct sense of urgency to the engine. Throttle response becomes much sharper and the gearshifts in the auto versions start holding for longer, resulting in a significant rise in overall performance. AC blower again starts working like normal and FE numbers on the MID start looking dismal, single digit? 9? Na, I am talking about 6-7-8 at max. If you switch off the engine in ECO mode then the same mode is retained when you switch it ON again, not the same with PWR mode. Every time you turn the engine off in PWR mode, it is back to 'normal' mode again.

In terms of 4x4 and off roading, only the diesel versions get the off road stuff, and is a lot different from what was on offer in the outgoing car. While the older Fortuner was a full-time 4X4 with a limited slip central differential, that could be locked while going off road. The new generation has got a more common layout in which there is a part time 4WD system, which can be engaged when needed. So, the Fortuner, now, like traditional jeeps etc, rides in 2WD or RWD mode while on tarmac, with 4WD system meant strictly for slippery/off road conditions. With a decent ground clearance of 184 mm while carrying full load (Expect 30-40 mm rise with driver or just 2 passengers - who goes off road with seven passengers and luggage after all?), and over 220 mm of ground clearance available with only driver or two on board, and a lot of electronics for assisting you off the road, new Fortuner is indeed a capable SUV off the road.

There is an irony, the 4x4 versions get H/T tyres while the 4x2 ones get the A/T tyres - maybe this is the Toyota way of making the 4x2 ones also quite capable, what is available for making sure that the Fortuner remains competent off the road (BTW it has got a proper metal under engine protection too) is reflected in this list:

  • Active Traction Control (A-TRC): No locking for differentials, the A-TRC will make sure that the slip is well controlled ad your vehicle doesn't get stuck. After all, distributing equal power or stopping the one which is slipping, the overall result is going to be more or less same, reduce the slip and keep the vehicle moving.
  • Hill Assist Control (HAC) is more or less of a hill hold assist that makes sure that you don't roll back and keep climbing, even if you have given negligibly low throttle, couldn't experience it thoroughly and without throttle inputs, but it works decently. Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is also more of a Hill descent Control system that takes care that once you let go off the pedals, the Fortuner will very slowly and at a steady pace, come down the steep incline. Yes, something you can do in any 4x4 which has the low ratios available, but wait - it can be done in 4H too.
The approach and departure angle of 29 and 25 degrees make sure that you won't rub your nose or hips anywhere, but wait, even while going to slightly wild course, we rubbed both, but in a sedate manner (Isuzu D-Max had the rear bumper shovel the mud at the same place while Fortuner had only very slight touch).

There is an electronic selector provided for selecting the mode out of the following:
  • H2 or RWD mode is your regular drive mode for smooth to broken tarmac; it will simply power the rear wheels.
  • H4 or 4WD with high ratio is your 4x4 mode meant for off-roading on slippery surfaces, nonexistent muddy roads, sand trails etc. This mode can be engaged using the shift on fly lever at any speeds below 100 kph. Yes, you can have some real fun in Rajasthan or Kutch while driving at 80-90 Kph in this mode, the engine will make sure that you maintain the momentum.
  • L4 or 4WD with low ratio is meant for serious off-roading and mud plugging. Engage this mode, take a tow cable, tie a Tata 1210, and engage first gear and slowly release the clutch without any throttle input - yes, the massive torque of Fortuner will pull the full size empty truck. Even more needed? Do the same in second gear and Fortuner will pull that again - without any throttle input, will even cross speed breakers too. [Top]

TSIVipul 18th March 2017 10:49 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Fuel Efficiency and Verdict
1 Attachment(s)
Coming to the favorite question of the Indian buyers, 'kitna deti hai'. We drove the car under various conditions (Petrol car even went to Nainital and had been through hills too) and reached the conclusion that it's the diesel manual version that is most efficient, followed by the diesel automatic with the petrol car being a sure shot guzzler. Just to give you a slight example, the Fortuner petrol consumed more than 30 liters of petrol for a drive of 287 kilometers which consisted 50% 4 lane highway, 15% around city and Delhi drive and rest 35% being slight hilly terrain and some single carriageways - all with a light foot. Yes, the FE is any ways acceptable and better than those 6-7 kpl figures those the likes of CR-V 2.4 etc do deliver. Anyway, the FE figures as per the MID under various conditions of driving for 20 kilometers each as as shown in the table below:

Do we recommend the petrol AT as compared to diesel AT? Well, it is very smooth, better NVH and hence better feeling of comfort and is a cool 2.5 Lakh cheaper too. Additionally, it comes with a 15 years of registration life in Delhi. Still, if you are planning a short term >5 years of ownership, then the resale of diesel will be more than enough to compensate everything. If you plan a 10 years or longer ownership with a running of >10,000 Kms per year, the petrol definitely makes more sense.

The new Fortuner has addressed one of the biggest complaints the older generation Fortuner owners had: A bumpy ride. Suspension setup is similar double wishbone setup doing duty up front with a 4 link setup with a solid axle at the back, where the difference lies is the way it has been tuned. The new Fortuner is softer as compared to the car it replaces. In the previous Fortuner, bumpiness in ride was the biggest complaint, especially from the occupants of middle row (though carrying 7 passengers used to address this issue to some extent), now the travelers will feel a bit better. Don't get overjoyed, the Fortuner is still the bumpiest of the lot. For instance, the road between Rampur to Rudrapur en route Nainital is filled with lots of potholes and I was doing speeds upto 60 kph there whenever a clean section appeared, yet all six of us (my friends and I, Safari Storme to older Fortuner owners) had to complain a thing or two (we go faster on this stretch in a Safari Storme, even 90-100 at times). This way we concluded that the ride is definitely better than the car it replaces, but still far from being plush. Toyota claims to have used something called pitch and bounce control in the Fortuner, we tried hard to feel if it can make any difference but we couldn't notice any while going at moderate to fast speeds on the broken tarmac.

Straight line stability and highway dynamics is where the new Fortuner shines. Doing 100 kph on a smooth section of highway, the Fortuner is completely at home. The engine noise and overall NVH levels are well controlled and really low as the engine itself is spinning at a lazy 1500-1800 RPM for any fuel type, be it diesel or petrol. Cross winds won't even let their presence known to you and the Fortuner confidently take care of the wide highway corners being taken at 100-120 kph along with the sudden lane change maneuvers which you may need to carry out in an emergency. That said steering wheel may be is a bit on heavier side in city driving, but is well weighed on the highways (the turning radius is large though, for U-Turns). We tried to simulate many sudden maneuvers like hard braking from 100-0, hard braking + lane change and hard braking + lane change + back in lane. Overall we felt that braking is definitely better from the older generation, and body control is indeed way better than how the older car used to behave. Still, braking could have been better or maybe the massive kerb weight is the culprit here. Also the peculiar thing is that when we simulated hard braking + lane change and then return back (around 50 kph speed then, under hard braking), it felt like the inner wheels either lost the grip or were on the verge of (petrol car), after even recording the video and slow playback too, we couldn't find any of the wheels losing contact with the surface. This assured us that the new Fortuner can handle the emergency maneuvers, albeit the harder ones too; until the conditions are up to the limits.

So the main question, did we come out impressed? Well, the Fortuner now looks more modern, has got better interior, better seats, better comfort and a better set of engines too. Park both parallel to each other and the outgoing car feels ages older as compared to this new offering which is better in all the aspects. Yes, some minor grime still remains like the ride quality, and it has got pricier too. Still, the Fortuner now feels more VFM, even if it has got pricier, as compared to the outgoing model. Yes, we are impressed and would say that if the Endeavour simply pushed the previous Fortuner out of the game, Toyota has then returned to claim its leadership and even surpasses the Endeavour in many key areas (and lose in many). That said, Indians have got new reasons to love their already favorite SUV even more. [Top]

TSIVipul 19th March 2017 03:53 PM

Toyota Fortuner: You'll Love, You'll Loathe & Star Ratings

You’ll Love: [thumbsup]
  • Long list of features like powered tail gate, bi-xenon headlamps etc.
  • Extensive after sales support and network of Toyota throughout India.
  • Set of powerful and reliable engines. Particularly 2.8L Diesel and 2.7L Petrol.
  • Safety kit on offer, 7 airbags, ABS, ESP & TCS, Hill hold and hill descent assist, ISOFIX etc
  • Imposing exterior with decent interiors, plush feeling and user friendly cabin with decent fit, finish and material quality.

You’ll Loathe:
  • Price! Toyota Fortuner is a now costlier (even more than well-equipped Endeavour).
  • The ride quality is still far from plush. Even though improved, but it still feels bumpy.
  • Sound quality of the standard in-car entertainment system is nothing to write home about.
  • Features like sunroof, auto dimming IRVM, adjustable lumbar support and middle row captain seats are missing.
  • Low fuel efficiency of automatic model. Expect single digit figures in city drives. Petrol specifically is a gas-guzzler.

Toyota Fortuner Star Ratings:
Here's how to interpret above ratings: [Top]

TSIVipul 19th March 2017 04:13 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Price, Specifications, Comparison & Brochure
1 Attachment(s)

Toyota Fortuner Price (Ex.showroom, Delhi):

  • 4x2 MT: Rs.25,92,000
  • 4x2 AT: Rs.27,61,000
  • 4x2 MT: Rs.27,52,000
  • 4x2 AT: Rs.29,14,000
  • 4x4 MT: Rs.30,05,000
  • 4x4 AT: Rs.31,12,000

Toyota Fortuner: Specifications:

  • Engine: 2694 CC
  • Power: 164 BHP
  • Torque: 245 Nm
  • Transmission: 5 MT / 6 AT
  • Fuel Efficiency: 10.01 / 10.26 Kpl
  • Engine: 2755 CC
  • Power: 175 BHP
  • Torque: 420 Nm (450 Nm AT)
  • Transmission: 6 MT / 6 AT
  • Fuel Efficiency: 14.29 / 12.9 Kpl
General Specifications
  • Front Brakes: Disc
  • Rear Brakes: Disc
  • Front Suspension: Double Wishbone
  • Rear Suspension: 4-Link Coil Spring
  • Fuel Tank: 80 Liters
  • Length: 4795 mm
  • Width: 1855 mm
  • Height: 1835 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2745 mm
  • Tyre Size: 205/65 R16
  • Turning Radius: 5.8 m

Toyota Fortuner Exterior Colors:
  • Grey Metallic*
  • Silver Metallic
  • Super White
  • White Pearl Crystal Shine*
  • Avant-Garde Bronze
  • Attitude Black*
Note: Asterisk (*) denotes our preferred choice of colors. [Top]

TSIVipul 19th March 2017 04:46 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Video Review
Toyota Fortuner (Diesel) Engine NVH
Toyota Fortuner Diesel Exterior NVH
Toyota Fortuner (Diesel) Driving NVH
Toyota Fortuner Diesel In-Drive Interior NVH
Toyota Fortuner (Petrol) Interior NVHToyota Fortuner Interior NVH
Toyota Fortuner MID Walkthrough
Toyota Fortuner MID Walkthrough
Toyota Fortuner Remote Tailgate
Toyota Fortuner Remote Tailgate
Toyota Fortuner Rear AC Rattles
Toyota Fortuner Rear AC Rattles

TSIVipul 19th March 2017 09:16 PM

3 Attachment(s)
When parked against the Toyota Innova Crysta

Attachment 222844

When parked against its own predecessor

Attachment 222842

Attachment 222843

Huge ground clearance helps a lot, even in 4x2 variants.

Probably the best looking quarter profile of the SUV

17" alloys for all the variants other than 4x4 ones, which get 18 inchers.

Foglamps are surrounded by thick chrome

Headlamps are Bi-xenons

Probably one of the most beautiful tail lamps around on an SUV

Headlamps and taillamps look classy in dark.

The wheel cladding is fairly thin, looks better on light exterior color shades.

Toyota claims that these small extrusions help with aerodynamics.

Just like Crysta, there is a shark fin antenna now.

Roof rails are strong and sturdy, they have screw holes too for fitting the roof carrier.

The roof is ribbed for additional strength

High-mounted stop lamp consists of LEDs and neatly conceals the rear windshield washer.

Headlamps offer a good throw of beam for night driving.

TSIVipul 19th March 2017 09:32 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Pictorial Review
3 Attachment(s)
Chunky door handles. Toyota has decided not to compromise with chrome.

Doors open wide but you climb into Fortuner and not walk into it, it gets a good side step though... this one.

We would have preferred key-operated child-locks. Kids are smart nowadays.

Only thing that differentiates the 4x4 variant is this badge.

Attachment 222951

No wheel-well cladding. You get to hear the small pebbles hitting the wheel well while traveling through uneven surface.

Strong double wishbone suspension on front can take a lot of abuse.

Bonnet it very heavy and surprisingly Toyota hasn't offered any gas-struts.

This holding stick looks strong, still I shiver imagining the stick breaking and hood falling off on someone. BTW all variants get a decent amount of insulation.

These days people have started suspecting Toyota's quality too. The quality-control folks better pull up their socks.

Yes, the ground is visible from under the hood. There is no under-body covering.

Under the front bumper is this metallic under run protector.

Attachment 222949

Strong boot struts work real well for auto opening or closing. Be careful not to get trapped under them while they are closing up.

Yes, they will stop on sensing load - but they will give you enough pain till that moment.

Attachment 222950

TSIVipul 19th March 2017 09:50 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Pictorial Review
4 Attachment(s)
Keyless entry with engine start-stop button is a standard feature

Wonderful looking steering is nice to hold. It's heavy to operate at city speeds though.

Attachment 222953

On the left are ICE and Bluetooth telephone controls, while on the right are the MID controls.

Behind lies the cruise control, which, I must admit, works flawlessly.

Attachment 222955

Reach and rake adjustable steering and this flap covers what's behind, we wish Toyota paid a bit attention here.

Similar kind of finish under the wheel too, but it's a concealed area. Notice the knee airbag print on the plastic panel.

Attachment 222952

Automatic variants get the option of paddle shift too.

Stalks also feel well built and have decent quality, same as those of Innova Crysta.

Automatic variants get a proper dead pedal, while...

...the manuals get just some plastic piece stuck on the mat, rest the pedals are overall well placed.

Attachment 222954

On the lower right of steering, you get controls for boot operation, park assist on / off button and ergonomically placed hood and fuel lid opener.

ICE on the top with climate control under it. This is indeed nice looking and very ergonomic center console. The leather on sides add a lot to feel-good factor.

The automatic climate control air-conditioner works very effectively.

Horizontally and really high placed central AC vents blow the air directly at your face, better direct them towards back. They can shut fully.

Side air-con vents can also shut but air will leak through.

High quality leather on door armrests makes them very plush.

Top notch safety with total seven airbags. You are virtually surrounded by soft surfaced in case of any uneventful situation.

And the safety of ISOFIX for the seat of your most invaluable asset.

Abundance of storage spaces.

A 5.5 inch smartphone can easily fit here.

Glass holder under side AC vent, can be used as a glass or mobile holder. Nice flexibility.

Upper glovebox can store only cold drink cans etc and offers 5 levels of cooling. Lower one is big enough too.

Notice the 'Fortuner' embossed button to open the lower glovebox. Neat.

Even the interior door latches are chrome-finished.

TSIVipul 19th March 2017 10:15 PM

Toyota Fortuner: Pictorial Review
3 Attachment(s)
Handbrake is wrapped up with high-quality leather.

Gear lever shared with Innova Crysta. We wish it was a bit better to hold. Markings are all well illuminated.

Well-illuminated power window controls. All offer one touch up and down with anti-pinch functionality.

Roof lamps are one at front and one in middle, with LED lights. Additionally, the middle and last row passengers get the roof mounted AC vents.

Front roof mounted lamps in action.

Attachment 222958
Well shaped and cushioned driver's seat offers brilliant comfort and space. You sit in it, not on it.

Legroom is enough to sit cross legged, with front seat pushed to front position - not fully though.

The middle row armrest is well positioned, there are two cup holders - don't try putting much flexible cups there.

Attachment 222956

The view of back you get from front seats.

Attachment 222957

Third row is tight on headroom and legroom both, best suited for kids only.

Middle row tumbles, warning to prevent injury.

Only front row gets adjustable seatbelts.

Middle row, middle passenger seatbelt is a tricky affair and is uncomfortable too.

Third row passengers get storage space on either sides.

Middle row passengers get coat hook with grab handles.

As well as hook for smaller shopping bags etc on front seatback.

Hook to hold luggage inside the boot.

Tool kit is neatly tucked in on the left hand side of the boot.

Considering power available on tap, it’ll be too late by the time those behind can read what’s embossed on chrome garnish.

Like its going off now. All the best Toyota, we're truly left impressed with your new offering. [thumbswink]

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