Its never too late to fulfill a wish and for me the wish was to drive an automatic SUV. Whether my dad will permit me to buy it is another story but yes I can proudly say that today I fulfilled my wish of driving an automatic SUV. I called my friends in Toyota Dealership from which I began my corporate life for a Test Drive of the newly launched Fortuner AT. Since it was the top end model hence was kept by the dealer himself and it was difficult to arrange for a TD of the D4D giant. As I had promised to Vibhor 2-3 days back that I'll get a TD of the new Fortuner 4x4 AT so it was a matter of fulfilling a commitment in friendship. Then my dad came in and since he is very good friend of the owners of dealership finally the TD was arranged and the executive bought the vehicle to my house today afternoon at 1pm.
The Toyota Fortuner 4x4 with AT was launched recently at INR 26.49 Lacs and honestly I would say this revamped version of Fortuner is definitely improved in terms of looks but a lot of things needs attention from Toyota.
If I talk of the initial pick up, the Fortuner 4x4 AT needs a whole lot of improvement. The 360 Nm torque simply looks minuscule figure in front of such a humongous looking gigantic SUV. The SUV felt really sluggish and I felt as if it is making effort to gain speed. The response is not up to the mark I would say. This car does not increase in Torque and the 3.0 L engine with 170 PS power feels under-powered while driving. The executive admitted to the fact that this 3.0 L engine does lack the much needed pick-up power. He said, the D4D technology is designed on a flat torque basis so there is lot more to ask for in terms of torque delivery.
If I talk about the transmission, its a 5 speed AT and quite simple to change and fuss-free. The other option is provided as 5 speed Manual. I feel the 5 speed transmission is unjustified for this Fortuner and nothing less than 6 speed auto box should be provided. Lack of a powerful transmission leaves a lot to desire in terms of the driving pleasure of the Fortuner AT. Even though there is a Cruise control but really without a enhanced transmission I felt it cant do much difference. Anyways, can be seen as a decent provision.
Talking about the steering wheel, the steering integrates the audio controls and voice command controls. It is a 2 tone steering wheel with leather and gloss wood finish and silver accents. Though when driving, the steering feels a lot stiff in comparison to other power assisted steering. This is one of the major flaws I found in this SUV. The excitement of driving an SUV can surely be marred by this type stiffness.
Coming to the seating, New Fortuner AT is all about space. Big spacious cabin with all Black interiors can seat 7 people with ease and as it is an SUV then the egress and ingress also is really comfortable and foot boards give much needed support.
Tyres of the new Fortuner come with Dunlop rubber and smoked 12 spoke alloys which looks decent. The tyre specification of the new Fortuner is 265/65/R17 and tube-less.
# Continued in next post