Toyota Fortuner Review: Highway Beast with Bullet Proof Reliability
We test drove the Fortuner 4×4 Automatic and took a long route away from busy Bangalore city and ended up at the popular Nandi Hills. But not before getting ourselves lost and discovering a newer non-toll-paying way to get there. The terrain was just right to put the beast to test and we did get a couple of opportunities to use the 4×4 and hence got a genuine feel of the feature.
Exteriors and Design
Since the launch, the Japanese automaker – Toyota has maintained a very aggressive front design for its Fortuner SUV. Fortuner’s massive chrome grille in the front and large headlamps adds to the aggressive front stance. The 2015 Toyota Fortuner model gets smoke painted headlamps and Fog Lamps with Silver Bezel that gives a sportier and captivating look for the SUV.
The new 12 spoke 17 inch dark grey alloy wheels complements the SUVs appeal. Even at the rear, the car gets smoked tail lamps and chrome garnish with “Fortuner” embossing adds to its premium look. In terms of design, the Fortuner can be regarded as one of the most handsome SUVs in its class with a substantial road presence.
The interiors is a little old fashioned but rich when compared to some of the newer cars. The leather seats add a touch of class to the overall feel and are incredibly well designed.
The centre console has a large LCD touch screen with Navigation. The leather wrapped steering wheel with wooden finish is pleasant to hold and offers a good grip. Faux wooden trimmings are added on the doors, steering wheel, gear knob and centre console complements the overall design.
The interiors are spacious and the Fortuner allows 8 people took seat comfortably. The large windows provides a good view and gives an airy feeling while seated inside. The driver seating is high, thanks to which, the effects of high beams from oncoming traffic is vastly reduced.
Performance & Handling
The Fortuner 3.0 4×4 Automatic is powered by the trusted and reliable 3.0 D-4D diesel engine which churns out 171 Ps of max power and 360 Nm @ 1400-3200 rpm. Performance is good for 2 tonne SUV needs some time to touch the 100 kms mark. The accelerator needs to be floored when getting over steep obstacles If the 4X4 is not enabled.
The 5 speed automatic gated gear box is quick and if you are looking for quick shifts, it allows you to drive in manual mode in D, D4, D3 and D2. The Fortuner cruises comfortably on the highways and has good high speed stability. In the city, the SUV can be a challenge. Handling a big car in narrow lanes requires some mastery. It was definitely easier to drive on the 3rd day as compared to the first.
We had our fair experience of off-roading mainly to allow oncoming traffic on small roads. The Fortuner manages to drive through the diffident platforms effortlessly and getting on and off road was never bumpy.
Comfort & Convenience
In terms of comfort & convenience, the Fortuner does have a decent list of features. The driver seat is 6 way power adjust while the co-passenger seat can be adjusted manually. The middle row seats can slide and recline, or can be completely folded in case one is looking for more cargo area.
The Automatic Dual air-conditioning is quite powerful and the large SUV cools in few minutes. The day we ended up at Nandi Hills, had an average temperature of 38 degrees and the ac needed to be put on full swing while reentering the car. It took about 5 minutes to bring the temperature under control and it was then reduced to normal speeds.
Key Comfort & Convenience features
- Steering Wheel with Audio, MID, Tel Switches
- 2 DIN Display Audio with LCD Touch-screen, DVD
- Bluetooth, USB, Aux-in & 6 Speakers
- Audio with Remote NAVI with Voice Recognition (VR Switches on Steering Wheel)
- Printed Antenna
- Keyless Entry
- Rear Camera with Display
- Cruise Control
The Fortuner is a safe vehicle but at Rs. 33 lakhs you get only 2 air bags (Driver + Passenger) while most competitors offer 4-8 airbags. Braking performance is enhanced thanks to Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution & Brake Assist. The 4×4 Automatic also gets vehicle Stability Control and Shift Lock System.
Toyota has maintained a very good reputation when it comes to its after sales service and has its presence in almost every city and town.
What is the purpose of power, if you cant use? The automatic gear system make it a joy to drive and a go-to car for long distance but for a strictly city driven car, the Fortuner would feel like a beast in chains.
At Rs. 30 lakhs plus the Fortuner seems a bit pricey, but the SUV comes with Toyota’s bullet proof reliability, excellent after-sales service and a good diesel engine making it the best buy SUV in this segment.
Do drop your comments below!