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Toyota Fortuner
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 9/10
Warranty
: 3 Yrs / 1,00,000 Kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
27.27 Lakhs-32.97 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Stylized demeanour 
  • High safety features
  • Rugged build quality
  • Excellent ride quality 

 

Weak Areas

  • High price
  • Spartan interiors
  • No sunroof
  •  Mediocre handling
 
Toyota Fortuner
 
 

Toyota Fortuner Expert Review

Toyota Fortuner comes with 2.8 litre diesel engine mated to 6 speed manual and 6 speed automatic gearbox. It also gets 2.7 litre petrol engine coupled to 5 speed manual and 6 speed automatic transmission. Ecardlr reviews the changed looks and performance.


Author

By

ecardlr.com National

The sales trends over the past two years show that SUVs sell more than sedans in the D2 segment. When Toyota introduced its Fortuner to India in 2009, it enjoyed immediate success and easily took over Ford Endeavour and Mitsubishi Pajero. It became the best selling sports utility vehicle in the 20 lakh price segment. Toyota service network was also well set by then and it helped the car to reinforce its presence. 

Like most other cars, the Fortuner too started to feel dated with time. We saw no changes in design and powertrain for 10 years. To push up the sales, the company had to launch a full-fledged new version instead of a mere facelift. And while the second generation was introduced in Thailand in mid 2015, it did not happen in India, thanks to the proposal of ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi. The new Fortuner was not even exhibited in Auto Expo 2016.

          Toyota Fortuner Expert Review

Toyota later made the move and launched its new generation Fortuner in last quarter of 2016.  Even though it was priced higher than the Endeavour, the bookings picked up soon and crossed the 10,000 mark.

This second generation Fortuner is inspired by the Hilux pickup truck. It has a body on frame set up like its predecessor. Like the Toyota Innova Crysta it is based on the Toyota New Generation Architecture.

The older 3.0 litre diesel engine has given way to a smaller yet more powerful 2.8 litre unit that generates 175 bhp. The torque specs are 450 Nm in the 6 speed automatic variant and 420 Nm in the 6 speed manual version.

          Toyota Fortuner LED Light Guides with Aero Fins

For its petrol model the Fortuner gets 2.7 litre motor that churns out 167 bhp and 245 Nm of torque. You can choose between the gearbox options of 5 speed MT and 6 speed AT. 

The line up includes both 4x4 and 4x2 variants.


The External Impression

Fortuner is now 4795 mm in length, 1855 mm in width and 1835 mm tall. It is bigger than its forerunner but the ground clearance has reduced.  Ford Endeavour is bigger in terms of dimensions.

Let us check its look. On the face the sweptback headlamps have gone slimmer and comprise self-levelling, bi-beam LED projector lights and LED daytime running lights. They also have a follow-me-home functionality. The grille has become narrower and wears lot of chrome. The two slats bordering the grille and headlamps are particularly thick.

            Toyota Fortuner Tough and Urban Cool Alloys

There are cuts for detailing on the broad front bumper and the wide air dam has horizontal black struts. The round halogen fog lamps placed at the extreme ends of bumper get prominent housings underscored by chrome lining.

The big bonnet has two creases and the air scoop seen on the old Fortuner has gone now.  The wiper on the driver’s side is tad longer than the other one. Build quality is good and they manage to sweep the windscreen effectively with their split blades. The washers are concealed neatly into the bonnet.

When you view the new Fortuner from a side angle its bulging fenders are noticeable. All 4WD variants of this SUV get 18 inch alloys with 265/60 H/T tyres. The rear wheel drive variants have 17 inch alloy wheels and the tyre size here is 265/65 which was unexpected. There had been complaints about the drum brakes on this expensive SUV. Toyota has finally addressed the concern by providing ventilated disc brakes for all wheels.

             Toyota Fortuner Electronically Controlled Power Back Door with Memory

The dual tone body coloured outside rear view mirrors (ORVMs) have integrated turn indicators. These mirrors also have puddle lamps. Chrome dipped door handles look rich in quality. Request sensors are provided on both driver and front passenger’s door handles. There is a running board for ease of ingress and it is well integrated with the design of the car.

To enhance the floating roof effect, the B, C and D pillars have been blacked out. But the thickness of these pillars and the consequent smaller glass area on rear windows will obstruct visibility. For structural integrity, the roof is ribbed. Stubby radio antenna is provided at back. The sturdy roof rails have a satin finish.

At the rear the wrap-around tail lamps are LED optimised and look better designed than the units on older Innova. They slightly protrude out of the body surface and look good when lit. A chrome belt marks the lower part of the rear windscreen – this is the continuation of the chrome lining for windows.

The high mount stop lamp (HMSL) sits on the spoiler and has red LED in white light. It also has a washer that is well concealed from the view. All trims of the Fortuner get this feature.

The number plate has thick chrome garnish. Rear view camera is tucked into it. With poor visibility due to thick pillars, this equipment will be often used in the Fortuner.

Rear bumper has a layered look and seems like its floating towards the tail lamps. It has black plastic inserts on its lower end and carries the reflectors. There are no fog lamps at the rear!

The body colour options include Phantom Brown, Attitude Black, Silver Metallic, Grey Metallic, Super White, Avant Garde Bronze & White Pearl Crystal Shine.


In the Cabin 

The front doors do not feel as heavy as you will expect in an SUV weighing over 2000 kg. They open in 3 stage action but even though they open wide enough, stepping inside and out of the Fortuner take some effort. The running board and the grab bar on the A pillar will be frequently used for ingress and egress especially by the elderly.

           Toyota Fortuner Aux in, USB and Accessory Socket

Toyota has renewed the cabin of the second generation Fortuner for a more contemporary look. This is a black and brown interior with piano-black and silver inserts at different places. The roof lining and pillars are in whitish grey and the cabin feels large despite the dark colour theme.

The leather used on the dashboard and on door panels is soft but the quality of plastics used at other places does not feel very rich. Yet, the overall fit and finish is fine and buttons do look sturdy.

Steering wheel is leather wrapped and its exposed part on the top has wooden layering. It is thick and thumb contours are provided. But the leather cladding gives it a hard feel. Audio controls mounted on the steering have an apt size for ease of use. To toggle between the displays on MID, you can use the buttons on the right hand side of the steering wheel. Automatic variant of Fortuner has paddle shifters on the left (to downshift) and right (to upshift) side of the steering wheel.

             Toyota Fortuner Cooled Uper Glove Box

The instrument cluster comprises a big tachometer (with analogue temperature gauge) on the left and speedometer (with fuel gauge) on right. Fonts are easily readable from the driving position. The coloured MID is also well sized.

The front seats are big and firm. Although they offer adequate support, the upholstery feels hard. Headrests are adjustable. The driver’s seat is 8 way electrically adjustable. You can increase/decrease the height and also adjust the seat base for thigh support but there is no lumbar support. Front passenger can manually adjust the seat but it is not adjustable upwards / downwards for height. Centre armrest is structured well for ease of using the handbrake. Seat belts have pretensioners and load limiters. They are also adjustable for height.

ORVMs are wide enough to offer a good view of the scenes behind. Internal rear view mirror is also wide but the thick pillars of this car restrict some visibility. This mirror is not auto dimming.

The floating centre console contains 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system. There are 6 speakers including 2 tweeters. Climate control system functions as expected and its blower has 7 levels of adjustment.

You will find two cup holders on the centre console and there is storage space under the centre armrest too. Glove box is shallow but wide and it does have cooling functionality. Fortuner’s cabin lights are bright with LEDs.


Rear part of cabin 

The rear doors open wide enough but again because of the sheer height of this SUV, ingress / egress is tad tricky. Fortuner does not get captain seats like its sibling Innova and comes only in 7 seater versions. Three adults can comfortably sit on its bench seat. As the wheelbase has not been changed from the old model, the legroom is same and it is sufficient. All three occupants have point seat belts. The centre armrest is towards the seat on the left. It contains 2 flip out cup holders.

The two sides of this split rear bench seat can be reclined and pushed forward individually. This helps in using multiple configurations to adjust the seat for people, pets and luggage.

            Toyota Fortuner 7 SRS Airbags

Passengers at the rear can control the settings of AC in their part of the cabin. Vents are mounted on the roof. And a small storage space good enough to hold a phone is provided at the back of front centre armrest. It also has a 12 V power outlet.

The second row seat can be fully pushed forward with a flip & tumble operation that is easy to use. This “one touch access” as Toyota terms it, will allow you to get to the third row of seats. 

Two people can sit in the third row and as expected children will be more comfortable here. If the second row seat occupants push their seats slightly ahead, there will be more legroom creating space for adults but they will not be comfortable on long journeys. Under thigh support is practically absent and headroom is less than what was given in the first generation model. The Tata Hexa offers more room than Toyota Innova in terms of third row seating space. 

A couple of bags can be kept in the boot even when the third row of seats is in place. To create more cargo area you can push the entire third row down. And to get a more spacious flat for an enlarged boot, there is a mechanism to fold the third row split seats onto the sides. Then, if you wish to get even more space, tumble down the middle row seats. Haul in the cargo for your house moving trips. That is what utility vehicles are for.


Engine, Gearbox and Performance 

2.8 litre Diesel Manual Transmission

The 2.8 litre diesel engine of Fortuner is paired with 6 speed manual gearbox and this is a combination will be preferred by enthusiastic drivers who like more manual control than the ease provided automatics. In this set up the car also gets more torque from the engine than in the AT variant.

Step on the clutch pedal and press the engine start switch to crank up the engine. After the ignition, there is noticeable vibration on the gear lever stick and also in the cabin. Even on the go the gear lever continues to shiver. 

           Toyota Fortuner Gasoline Engine

And how does the drive feel? The manual variant of Fortuner works well in the city. It responds nicely to throttle inputs and turbo lag is under control. The peak torque comes in the rpm band of 1600 – 2400 rpm. You can easily drive at speed of 50 km/hour in third gear. As per the traffic conditions, the third gear can be used for extended time without frequent downshifts.

On the highways, there is adequate power and torque output from the engine to drive at speed of 100 km/hour. Using the sixth gear at such speed, the motor revs at 1600 rpm. It may be mentioned here that the sixth gear is best used in speed over 80 km/hour because the cabin will begin to vibrate if it is engaged earlier.

Fortuner has Normal, Eco and PWR (Power) modes to change the engine, throttle behaviour. The Normal mode is activated by default when the other two are not being used. In the Eco mode biased towards fuel economy, the AC works less hard but does keep the cabin sufficiently cool. Throttle response gets little dull. On engaging the PWR mode, you will feel instant change in the engine behaviour. There is stronger power delivery and response to throttle inputs is sharper than in Normal mode.

            Toyota Fortuner Diesel Engine

A slight improvement is noticed in the gearbox. Its shift actions have become lighter although they are not car-like yet. The throws are tad shorter and gates are better defined than in the older Fortuner. Slotting in reverse is problematic because it is positioned on extreme left and upwards. Clutch is light as per SUV standards.

The Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) is a nifty feature in the Fortuner and is segment–first. It can automatically increase or decrease the engine rpm as per gear shifts to make shifting jerk-free. You can slot in a gear and even before you take your foot off the clutch pedal, the engine revs get ready for the speed. Intelligent Manual Transmission works while shifting up and also shifting down. This feature is exclusive to diesel driven Fortuner.

The diesel powered manual variant of this SUV is also most fuel efficient in the entire line-up. The ARAI rating is 14.24 km/litre.


Ride and Handling 

Toyota Fortuner has double wishbone suspension upfront and 4 link solid axle for rear. Its ride quality has improved over the previous generation model. It has lost the truck like bumpiness that spoiled the ride experience earlier. But the ride is not yet plush. It gets disturbed by road undulations and sharp bumps are felt in the cabin. That is a concern in most other body-on-frame utility vehicles. Although the suspension works silently, the ride quality is still not as good as in Tata Hexa. The ride gets little better with increase in speed because of the firmer suspension. The excessive bouncing movements on uneven tarmac have gone. On the whole ride can be rated as compliant but not plush.

Composure of new Fortuner has also improved – its straight line stability is good and the body roll around corners is more controlled than the older model. But it is strongly recommended that you drive conservatively around the corners considering the height and weight of this utility vehicle. It cannot be treated like monocoque SUVs that are comparatively easier to take around winding roads.

          Fortuner Pitch-and-Bounce-Control-with-Stabilizers

The 265 mm tyres offer good grip. Excluding the 2WD manual transmission variant, all other versions of Toyota Fortuner have ESP / VSC for additional safety during sudden maneuvering. The hill start assist that holds the vehicle on inclines and prevents roll back in bumper to bumper traffic is another practical feature. The all wheel drive trims also get downhill assist control.

Fortuner has a hydraulically assisted steering and while it does not feel as heavy at the 
Innova Crysta’s, it is not light by any standards. To park this huge car you will need to apply effort and this may feel cumbersome if you have using the new EPS systems.

With the increase in speed, the heavy steering wheel feels better to use on the highway. Its 5.8 metre turning radius is at par with competitors. While the ride and handling package is balanced, driving such a big SUV responsibly does need extra effort.

Fortuner has disc brakes for both front and rear wheels. It can stop from high speed without any fuss. That said, remember the size of this car and always maintain a proper distance from other vehicles for safe braking. There is some nose dive too under braking.


Verdict 

Priced between Rs 25.92 and 31.12 lakhs (ex showroom, Delhi), the Fortuner is styled like a modern UV and has enormous road presence. It is more expensive than competitor Ford Endeavour and misses some features such as auto dimming internal rear view mirror, front parking sensors and lumbar adjustment on seats. The ride quality though better is still far from plush. But then it has several good points too. The tough build quality, the powerful diesel engine (and a smooth petrol), the driving modes and the iMT make it an impressive utility vehicle. Big families travelling together will find it an ideal car for long journeys. The off roading capability is also pleasing. All of this is further supported by a decent after-sale service network of Toyota. 

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