The 2015 Toyota Fortuner is just a minor update to keep sales going as the next generation model is in the pipeline with a launch set for early 2016, notes Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com
The love for big SUVs in India has resulted in the Toyota Fortuner becoming the champion in its class, outselling every other rival by a huge margin.
Launched in 2009, the Fortuner has been very successful for Toyota in India and to keep things going, the Japanese automaker recently gave it a minor update.
We drive the 3.0L 4x4 AT to see if the soon to be discontinued model makes much sense or not.
There is no denying the fact that the Toyota Fortuner has a lot of presence on the road.
Toyota has made minor changes to the exteriors to further boost the appeal of the vehicle and that includes chrome add-ons, revised tail light and matte black finish on the alloy wheels.
In this new shade of grey, the Fortuner does come across as fresh but the TRD kit should have been offered as standard.
The design of the dashboard remains the same too but the interior is now all-black instead of dual-tone black and beige. While we like the new sportier looking all-black cabin, Indian customers always prefer beige for the airy feel it offers.
The big update is to the audio system which gets a touchscreen unit, it supports navigation, Bluetooth, AUX and USB but isn't the easiest to use as saving radio stations can take some time. There is also a reverse camera to make parking this giant vehicle a ease.
The Toyota Fortuner has ample amount of space in the front two rows but the seats aren't the most comfortable. The last row is best used by kids as there is space lacking.
One can fold up the seats to use the last row for luggage, which gives the vehicle a very big boot. Good amount of storage spaces make the Fortuner practical but the lack of equipment is surprising at this price point (no side airbags, keyless GO, push button start and rear disc brakes).
Toyota hasn't tweaked the engine of the Fortuner and the 3.0-litre motor produces the same 171 PS and 360 Nm, our test car being a 4-wheel drive with a 5-speed automatic gearbox which we found decent enough for the job but a bit slow with shifts when you get going quickly.
NVH levels are far from impressive but the car is quite quick taking under 11 seconds to do the 0-100 km/hr sprint.
There is good punch for driving in the city with adequate performance for highway duties. Real world mileage is around 8 km/l. There is also a 2.5-litre diesel engine on offer, the motor being sourced from the Innova but retuned for higher output than the MPV.
The Toyota Fortuner is a heavy vehicle and uses an old-school body on frame layout.
All this means, handling isn't exciting with a lot of body roll on offer. The steering is neutral but isn't feedback rich.
What is disappointing is the ride quality, in spite of being an SUV with high profile tyres, it has a stiff ride and won't keep occupants comfortable over bad roads. Brakes too aren't very strong and the vehicle uses drum brakes at the rear.
Priced between Rs. 29.75 lakhs to Rs. 32.59 lakhs (on-road, Mumbai), the Toyota Fortuner no longer offers bang for your buck.
While it does score highly when it comes to road presence, space and proven reliability, it lacks excitement and features, feeling very dated in spite of the visual updates to inject freshness.
If you aren't among the herd and want an SUV which is fun, you are better off stretching your budget to buy the Hyundai Santa Fe.