Before I began my review I should make one thing clear. This review is based on my experience of 2009 fortuner. So, what I write may not hold true for new 2016 Fortuner. In 2009 , Toyota unleashed a beast on Indian roads. This beast was powerful, ruthless yet quite lovable. Frankly , like many it was love at first sight for me. This car really revolutionised the 4*4 SUV segment forever. Before 2009 if you wanted a good premium SUV below 25 lakhs , you were stuck with only 2 choices( ford's Endeavour or Mitsubishi Pajero). Both were good car but honestly not good; so there was always a void in Indian SUV segment. But, thanks to Toyota finally this big void was filled in 2009 with launch of Fortuner. Okay, now time to dive a little deep with in depth review.
1. Exterior "First impression is last impression" I believe this is something which especially holds true for cars. And i think this is something in which fortuner really excels. With a chest level high set bonnet and a huge scoop on bonnet for intercooler, it's not only imposing but also a little intimidating. The bumper is also set high which really shows it's off road capability. It really has a massive waistline with big beautiful arch for those huge 17 inch alloys, which have capability to take you almost anywhere. Now, as far back is concerned. In place of that traditional boxy design you get a refreshing curvy design with beautiful fused tail lights. And spare wheel is mounted under the booty and not on the tailgate, which is really helpful and welcoming change.
2. Interior Okay, let's get to the elephant in the room. Unfortunately , you will get a sense of deja vu if you previously owned a Innove like me. Which is really shamefully considering a staggering 10 lakhs difference between them. And it really gets worse because in place of music system. You get a rather cheap looking CD player with no AUX or Usb port. So, long drives can be quite boring. But whereas space and comfort is consider, fortuner does a good job. It's really comfortable thanks to those huge leather seats. Still, I feel they are a little too stiff which is not comfortable for long 5-6 hour journey. There's plenty of legroom at second and third row. It's really a true 7 seater. Though, my advice it's better to keep last row reserved for children only. Plus, there's enough of space in booty even with third row up.
3.Mileage 9-10 km/l in city. 12-13 km/l at highway. ** lower if travelling 4*4 But seriously, I don't think anyone buying a big 4*4 SUV like fortuner should even worry about these things. If you want good mileage get Innova.
4.Performance/Power It has D4D engine. It's common rail dIesel engine. Which in turns means that it's pretty awesome. It's on par with petrol engine in terms of performance if you can forget the alittle slow acceleration. Thanks, to the direct injection 4 cylinder engine you get 100% power from the start. Engine also ages quite well with time. I have drove almost 95,000 km in last 7 years and still engine holds quite well even today. **Go manual if you want to exploit its full power. Handling is quite good. It's actually quite easy to turn around sharp corners.Plus, it's really good for off road driving mostly due to high ground clearance and a solid suspension. But as in case of all big SUV it's a little troublesome to back or while going through cosy alleys. Theoretically it can reach a speed of 180 km/h and it holds quite well till 120. But, it's better not to push it beyond 130 as then it becomes a little hard to handle and quite shaky.
5. Conclusion Yes, I think it's safe to call fortuner KING OF SUVs. Overall driving a fortuner is really a great experience and I can safely and happily recommend it over Endeavor and Pajero. Even though it's interior is really not that appalling, still I don't think you will ever regret buying it. Plus, I also believe it's the best sounding SUV.
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