The Toyota Fortuner returns in a sleek, feature-packed avatar, writes Joshua David Luther.
The Toyota Fortuner was launched back in 2009 and was an instant hit with the masses. After witnessing mild updates and tweaks over the years, it lost steam and the company faced massive competition from the likes of Ford’s new Endeavor and other compact options that offered class and finesse. Now, with the new Fortuner, the company has made an impactful comeback.
The new Toyota Fortuner sports a sleek design with crisp and clear lines defining its silhouette. If you were a fan of the old variant, then the new one will catch you off-guard. It is nothing like the old variant, except maybe in proportions that are marginally similar. But then the sleek look disguises its bulky proportions well.
The façade sports angular headlamps sitting besides the bold chrome grille, giving this SUV an imposing look. At the rear, it is almost the same, with wrap-around tail lamps and ample chrome adoring the boot. The head lamp cluster features bi-beam LED and projector lights, while the tail lamps come with LED light guides and aero fins.
On the inside, the cabin is plush. Exquisite soft touch materials have been used generously with the dash getting a healthy dose of piano black finish.
The new Fortuner is armed with features: push button start/ stop ignition, touch screen infotainment with Bluetooth, AUX, USB and navigation integrated into the system, steering mounted controls, reverse camera with sensors, eight-way power adjusted driver seat, dusk sensing headlamps, electrically adjustable and retractable outer rear view mirrors, cooled glove box and plenty of storage spaces.
The cabin is roomy and can comfortably accommodate seven individuals. The seats provide adequate support and ample bolstering to keep occupants well ensconced. You also get easy access to the third row of seats with the provision of one-touch tumble second row seats that have a 60:40 split.
The SUV has a 2.7-litre, VVTi, four-cylinder, in-line petrol engine and a 2.8-litre, GD, four-cylinder, in-line diesel engine. Both engines are similar to the ones found on the Innova Crysta. The 2.8L diesel, which is also available with a six-speed automatic transmission, has been re-tuned to put out more torque. The petrol motor is available with a five-speed manual transmission and a six-speed automatic with sequential shift, paddle shifters and shiftlock. The diesel mill is available with a six-speed intelligent manual transmission and a six-speed automatic.
The petrol motor is smooth to drive as it provides a gradual climb up the power band. It is ideal for city driving and caters to almost seamless up-shifts. The diesel is for a peppier drive and can really throw you back in your seat. The turbo on the diesel kicks in rather quickly and the surge of power is enough to get you going.
The gear shifts on the manual transmission are crisp and easy to slot, with decent throws of the gear leaver promising a comfortable driving experience. The Fortuner also comes with eco and power drive modes along with an option for cruise control.
With the high point of view it offers, driving this mammoth is easy. Unlike the previous version, this one has ventilated discs on all four wheels. The brakes do lack a bit of feel, but they get the job done well and inspire confidence during emergency situations.
The new Fortuner also gets a vehicle stability management with brake assist, along with features like hill assist control and downhill assist control as well as an active traction management system. The suspension setup is mildly stiff and soaks in most of the shocks from bumps and potholes with ease.
The Fortuner also has bounce and pitch control, which makes for a more comfortable journey. It also gets wide 265/65 R17 (two-wheel drive) and 265/60 R18 (four-wheel drive) tyres for enhanced grip and stability, making cornering and driving on winding roads a real treat.
The many driver aides that have been incorporated into the Fortuner assist in various on and off road functions while also ensuring the safety of the occupants.
Other safety features like anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution, seven airbags and child restrain ISOFIX mounts also put the Fortuner in a league of its own.
Report: Motown India; www.motownindia.com