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Toyota Fortuner Legender vs Mahindra Scorpio N Feat. Scorpio Classic: Go For One Japanese Or Two Desi SUVs?

Published On Apr 07, 2023 By CarDekho for Mahindra Scorpio N

Both the Toyota Fortuner Legender and Mahindra Scorpio N are extremely desirable SUVs with all the qualities you’d expect from their segment. But should you spend that extra premium to get the much more expensive Toyota?

Toyota Fortuner Legender vs Mahindra Scorpio N vs Mahindra Scorpio Classic

Let’s assume you have a budget of Rs 50 lakh and are looking for a pehalwan of an SUV – the Toyota Fortuner Legender is one of the most sought after SUV to consider. It’s got the looks, has enough space to carry your family and pooch and packs in a punchy diesel engine. But let’s admit that the Fortuner is now really expensive and for much less, the Mahindra Scorpio N does almost all those things equally well.

So the question is, do you really need to spend that extra Rs 20 odd lakh to pick up an SUV that’s more premium? Or, get yourself the new Scorpio N and use that money you save to pick another SUV -- the Grandpa of SUVs - the Scorpio Classic?  

Road Presence Matters

Toyota Fortuner Legender

Spending big money for Indians means equivalent road presence and in this regard, the Fortuner does it the best. It looks beefy and butch and has plenty of road presence. And in this Legender guise, the Lexus-like fascia, dual-tone alloys and the Audi-like dynamic indicators add to the premium look. Another card playing support for the Fortuner is its size: it is the longest SUV here.


Toyota Fortuner 

Mahindra Scorpio N

Mahindra Scorpio Classic

Length (mm)




Width (mm)




Height (mm)




Wheelbase (mm)




*Without roof rack and antenna

^Excluding ORVMs

Mahindra Scorpio N


The new Mahindra Scorpio N looks rather tame in comparison. Mind you, its upright design and plenty of elements like the slatted grille and squarish headlamps remind you it’s a Scorpio. But the softer lines and curves make it look more toned down. That said, we do like this approach as it gives the SUV a perfect balance between ruggedness and modernity. 

Mahindra Scoprio Classic


Want something bullish yet affordable? It’s the Grandpa of SUVs that does it better. The Scorpio Classic’s design is still purposeful with a nice rugged design. And the Grandpa has also recently visited the mall, getting himself new dual-tone alloy wheels and the carmaker’s new logo in the process to keep things fresh.

Premiumness Matters On The Inside

Toyota Fortuner Legender

The Fortuner’s dashboard design is rather straightforward and minimalistic. Controls are ergonomically placed and operate with a nice heft, giving it a built-to-last feel. And in this Legender trim, the interior is finished in black and red, giving it a sporty premium look. That said, the use of more premium materials would have been nicer at this price point. Also, the infotainment graphics aren't befitting of its price tag, but the unit is fast and responsive.

Mahindra Scorpio N

The same can’t be said about the Scorpio N’s unit, which, though upmarket looking, is sometimes laggy. Its reversing camera resolution is not up to the mark and the feel also needs to be smother. However, the material quality is good for most of the parts, with soft-touch plastics padding on the dash making it upmarket. Also, the black and brown theme gives the cabin a plush look. As for its dashboard design, it’s once again very straightforward with all controls expected to be present where you need them.

Scorpio Classic Interior 

This is really an improvement over its predecessor, which we have brought to the test. Accessing bottle holders are tight in the Classic, especially when the doors are shut. Also, the Grandpa, though stylish on the outside, is showing its age on the inside. The layout looks old school and the 9-inch Android-based infotainment system looks aftermarket. 

Perfect For Shifting Homes 

Fortuner Legendar Boot Space

All three models have boots good enough to shift homes with, but in the interest of comparison, it’s no doubt that the Fortuner is the perfect choice for this task. Even with all three rows up, there is enough space to store small suitcases and soft bags. And thanks to the 50:50 split and tumble third row, it’s more flexible. The seats can also be stowed away on the side, which opens up space. And with folding down the second row, you don’t need a packer and mover to shift home. 

Mahindra Scorpio N Boot Space

Despite the Scorpio N having a large boot, it isn’t the most flexible in terms of space. This is due to the fact that there’s no tumble of 50:50 function for the last row, eating up crucial space, as it eats into the trunk. 

But when you can buy two cars the size of the Fortuner, it’s obvious that you'll have another car to carry the rest of your stuff if it doesn’t fit into the Scorpio N: the Scorpio Classic.  

The Most Gizmos To Play With 

Toyota Fortuner Legender Toucscreen

In terms of features, both models here get all the equipment that covers all bases. Both models come with a touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a minimum of single-zone climate control, wireless phone charger, tilt adjustable steering wheel, cruise control, a multi-info display, auto headlamps and powered driver’s seat. Sorted, considering all the features you use on a daily basis are covered. 

Mahindra Scorpio N Sunroof


It’s only when you pitch in the niceties that both models lack some certain features. For instance, the Scorpio N packs an extra zone of climate control (dual-zone) and more importantly, a sunroof, both of which the Fortuner misses upon. 

Scorpio Classic

On the other hand, the Fortuner gets one useful feature – ventilated seats – which the Scorpio N doesn’t. Also, the Toyota SUV comes with a powered co-driver’s seat, telescopic (reach) adjustable steering wheel and a powered tailgate. 

Shielding You!

Mahindra Scorpio N Global NCAP

In terms of safety features, both the Fortuner and Scorpio N almost come neck and neck. Common ones include electronic stability control, ABS with EBD, hill start assist, front and rear parking sensors and hill descent control. 

One area where the Fortuner beats the Scorpio N is in the airbags count: the Toyota gets seven, while the Mahindra gets six. None of them have ADAS features, which is becoming more mainstream. That said, it’s reassuring to know that the Fortuner and Scorpio N have got five stars in the ASEAN NCAP and Global NCAP safety tests, respectively. 

Which One Punches On The Road? 

All three cars get large diesel engines and have ample power on the road. However, it’s the Fortuner, with its large 2.8-litre diesel engine that makes more noise here with its 204PS headlining figure. It feels the punchiest of all three SUVs and has ample power, especially out on the open road. Plus, the engine’s tall sixth gear means it’s an excellent cruiser, chugging down the miles without any effort. But there’s one big downside and that’s refinement. The Fortuner engine is loud and gets even louder as you push it hard. 


Toyota Fortuner 

Mahindra Scorpio N

Mahindra Scorpio Classic 


2.8-litre four-cylinder

2.2-litre four-cylinder

2.2-litre four-cylinder

Power (PS)




Torque (Nm)

420Nm (MT) / 500Nm (AT)

370Nm (MT) / 400Nm (AT)


Transmission Options

6-speed MT / 6-speed AT 

6-speed MT / 6-speed AT 

6-speed MT 



RWD / 4WD 


The Scorpio N’s diesel engine note also makes its presence felt inside the cabin, but its all-aluminum build makes it more refined than the Fortuner’s unit. The Scorpio N’s unit also doesn’t lack grunt, serving up power responsively and in a linear fashion. In fact, according to our tests, the Scorpion was just slightly over a second slower than the Fortuner. Also, the N’s long-legged nature gives it excellent cruising abilities, allowing you to travel many miles without breaking a sweat. 

And surprisingly, with the least amount of horses, the Scorpio Classic’s 132PS diesel engine also offers a very similar driving experience. A nice responsive low-end and ample enough power to keep you moving with fast flowing traffic. It’s only available with a manual gearbox, but the shifts don't require much effort and the clutch is npw lighter, but with a long travel. 

The Comfy Cruiser… 

Mahindra Scorpio N

Both SUVs are built tough and can attack potholes with a poise. But this is a comparison and the finer details matter. In this case, the Scorpio N has the better ride quality on the road. Potholes are dealt in a plusher manner with the shocks on the roads making their way into the cabin less than the Fortuner. 

And when driving over undulating roads and expansion joints, it’s the Scorpio N that settles down quicker than the Toyota. Even over driving on bad roads, the Mahindra SUV has less side to side body movement. It’s only on really bad surfaces and while off-roading where the Mahindra SUV suffers by getting a tad more unsettled. 

Toyota Fortuner Legender

This is where the Fortuner does things better. The butch SUV offers a better ride when you’re crossing over some really bad stretches of tarmac, thanks to the longer travel suspension allowing it to take a better beating. But when it comes to on-road usage, the ride is acceptable, though it simply isn’t as plush as the Scorpio N. 

In terms of handling, both these SUVs are based on a ladder frame chassis and are well, really not corner carvers. They are stable and one can do three digit speeds all day long. But if you indeed wish to attack corners in a more aggressive way, the Fortuner has a much better turn-in, allowing you to corner better. The Scorpio N also feels similar, but due to the ESP kicking in sharply, it breaks mid corner, running you wide. 

Price And Verdict

First things first, if you pick either of these two SUVs, you wouldn’t go wrong. They are great SUVs in their respective segments and have the charm to tickle your heart. 

Toyota Fortuner

The Toyota Fortuner. It’s not just known for its Toyota badge that definitely does offer you a very reliable ownership experience and exceptional resale value. The Fortuner has very good looks, a punchy diesel engine, very good cabin comfort and can do a 1,000km long road trip in a day without breaking a sweat. Yes, it’s missing on certain feel-good features and the ride could’ve been a tad better. And yes, it could’ve been a tad more affordable, but the Fortuner has built its name in such a way that most viewers are ready to accept these conditions. So that’s a testament to its name. 

Mahindra Scorpio N and Classic

On the other hand, the Mahindra Scorpio N offers all the traits of the Fortuner at a much more affordable price point. Yes, its interior quality could’ve been a bit better and Mahindra could have fine tuned certain bits like the infotainment system. That said, the Scorpio N’s plush ride quality, refined in-cabin experience and decently long enough features list does give it all the appeal. And the fact that you can buy another SUV with the money you slave over the Fortuner, only makes this deal sweeter. 

Mahindra Scorpio N

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
Z2 Diesel (Diesel)Rs.14.25 Lakh*
Z2 Diesel E (Diesel)Rs.14.75 Lakh*
Z4 Diesel (Diesel)Rs.15.90 Lakh*
Z4 Diesel E (Diesel)Rs.16.40 Lakh*
Z6 Diesel (Diesel)Rs.16.86 Lakh*
Z4 Diesel AT (Diesel)Rs.17.55 Lakh*
Z4 Diesel 4x4 (Diesel)Rs.18.01 Lakh*
Z8 Select Diesel (Diesel)Rs.18.09 Lakh*
Z4 Diesel E 4x4 (Diesel)Rs.18.51 Lakh*
Z6 Diesel AT (Diesel)Rs.18.55 Lakh*
Z8 Select Diesel AT (Diesel)Rs.19.09 Lakh*
Z8 Diesel (Diesel)Rs.19.20 Lakh*
Z8 Diesel AT (Diesel)Rs.20.73 Lakh*
Z8L Diesel (Diesel)Rs.20.78 Lakh*
Z8L 6 Str Diesel (Diesel)Rs.21.12 Lakh*
Z8 Diesel 4x4 (Diesel)Rs.21.37 Lakh*
Z8L Diesel AT (Diesel)Rs.22.24 Lakh*
Z8L 6 Str Diesel AT (Diesel)Rs.22.48 Lakh*
Z8L Diesel 4x4 (Diesel)Rs.22.98 Lakh*
Z8 Diesel 4x4 AT (Diesel)Rs.23.09 Lakh*
Z8L Diesel 4x4 AT (Diesel)Rs.24.54 Lakh*
Z2 (Petrol)Rs.13.85 Lakh*
Z2 E (Petrol)Rs.14.35 Lakh*
Z4 (Petrol)Rs.15.49 Lakh*
Z4 E (Petrol)Rs.15.99 Lakh*
Z4 AT (Petrol)Rs.17.05 Lakh*
Z8 Select (Petrol)Rs.17.09 Lakh*
Z8 Select AT (Petrol)Rs.18.59 Lakh*
Z8 (Petrol)Rs.18.74 Lakh*
Z8 AT (Petrol)Rs.20.25 Lakh*
Z8L (Petrol)Rs.20.37 Lakh*
Z8L 6 Str (Petrol)Rs.20.62 Lakh*
Z8L AT (Petrol)Rs.21.79 Lakh*
Z8L 6 Str AT (Petrol)Rs.21.98 Lakh*

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