Powerful diesel engine, strong build and good looks are some of the aspects that buyers have always appreciated about Toyota’s Fortuner. Its automatic variant when initially introduced in 2012 came with a four speed transmission unlike most contemporaries that were 6 speeders then. But the four-speed Fortuner Automatic earned its brownie points with its reliability and durability. It was effortless to drive and also came loaded with some special features.
To ensure that it does not get overshadowed by competition Toyota introduced five speed automatic transmission to the Fortuner in 2013. And what are the design and special functional features of this SUV powered by 2982 cc 4 cylinder, common rail turbo diesel? Here’s a review:
The brawny Fortuner has a Land Cruiser like front end that makes it look quite mature. The wide chrome grille has three horizontal slats and it meets the edges of the headlamps seamlessly. These self levelling projector headlamps also get washers that prove useful for long highway trips along dusty roads. Wider air dam looks distinct on the bumper and round fog lamps are housed within the plastic claddings. On the hood there is a prominent air vent scoop that feeds air to the top mounted intercooler.
A crease line running on door panels and the flared wheel arches add more muscle to design. Toyota Fortuner stands tall and rides on 265/65 R17 tyres mounted on 12-spoke alloy wheels. Outside rear view mirrors (ORVMs) have integrated side turn indicator strips. The side step board has a ribbed design. The roof rails span the entire length of car’s top.
A big glass panel between the C and D pillars enhances visibility. The two-part tail lamps have a staid design. Chrome garnish on the tail gate and a broad, well chiselled bumper are the better features at back.
The two tone interiors have a roomy feel and this is partly due to the generous glass area. Considering the balance between design aesthetics and ergonomics, it feels that Toyota has prioritised form over function. Chrome and faux wood inlays have been used for highlighting sections of dashboard and door panels. The new instrument console has an altered design for its three hoods and they come with blue back lighting effect.
Integrated music system has touch screen double DIN head unit with a DVD and MP3 player, USB port, and Aux input. Bluetooth connectivity information and reverse camera view is also displayed on the screen. The head unit displays your mobile’s battery status and signal strength. An MID screen is also provided above the music system. You can toggle between outside temperature, compass, real time fuel economy, average fuel economy, average speed, distance to empty and time spent on road. A digital clock is also integrated in here.
This spacious SUV has comfortable three rows of seats. The driver’s seat is 6 way electrically adjustable but the steering wheel can only be adjusted for tilt in Fortuner 4X2 AT 5 Speed. Audio and multi information display controls mount the steering wheel. The middle row is optimum for only two people because of the armrest housing that creates a very hard backrest. On the third row the legroom is not sufficient for tall adults but kids will be pretty comfortable. All seats feel supportive and well contoured. Useful grab handles are provided on the A pillars and all windows are powered.
Electrically adjustable ORVMs and headlamp leveller aid in better visibility. Cruise control is a standard feature with Fortuner Automatic. The rearward visibility is also optimum thanks to well planned glass area. Automatic climate control works well to chill the cabin and separate vents with controls are provided for the rear. There are cubby holes and spacious door pockets for stowage of knick-knacks. With the third row of seats folded up, there is ample space in the boot. You can also fold the 60:40 middle row to load extra luggage. The cabin lights have also gone intuitive and are push-to activate / deactivate type.
SRS airbags have been provided for the driver and front passenger. The Fortuner has Toyota’s ‘global outstanding assessment’ (GOA) body that makes it quite safe against collision impacts. Other safety features in this 4x2 AT 5 Speed variant include anti lock braking, shift lock system and engine immobiliser. The day and night rear view mirror provides glare-free view of the vehicles behind. A stop lamp has also been mounted on the rear glass. Self levelling projector headlamps have xenon lights for clear visibility.
The diesel powered Toyota Fortuner 4x2 AT 5 Speed trim has a fuel economy range of 7.8 to 12.5 km/litre. It costs Rs 22.79 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi). While peppy performance and superior build quality have always been its plus points, the automatic transmission adds more convenience and practicality to the Fortuner package.