Toyota did acknowledge that the Fortuner needed a thorough makeover and decided to develop an all-new car with everything reworked. Consequently, the new Fortuner sits on a new ladder frame that has been redesigned and made stiffer, and it has a new 2.8 litre diesel motor to power it. While it looks less like the Prado now, the designers have used various elements to maintain some sort of resemblance with the rest of the Toyota line-up. It sits high up and the waistline is pretty high too, with a prominent kink at the C-pillar adding a bit of flair. All the chrome and clean lines makes the new Fortuner look very different from the previous generation and less macho, more chic. Even the lamps have a far more sleek design with LED elements in them.
On the inside, the Fortuner still feels familiar. A large dashboard, leather upholstery for the seats and steering mounted controls. There is a large touchscreen that sits in the middle of the dash now with the aircon controls sitting below it and off-road assist aids sitting at the bottom. Four-wheel-drive is selected via a rotary switch now and you have the option of leaving it in regular two-wheel-drive for everyday use (not full-time four-wheel-drive anymore). There are plenty of practical touches as well to make the cabin superbly functional. There are two glove boxes, cup holders, bottle holders and even baggage hooks behind the front seats for your carry bags. Although Toyota has managed to pack in all the essentials, there isn't any bit that particularly catches your eye. The materials used also vary greatly in feel and aren?t consistently plush. It also misses things like dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming mirror, power seat adjustments for the passenger seat and parking sensors up front.
Get past 2000rpm and you can feel a surge of power to get things moving at a brisk pace. The six-speed manual gearbox has well matched ratios and you can leave it in a higher gear while you cruise, no problem at all. However, push the motor hard and it gets very noisy. Beyond 3000rpm there is little action from the motor and a lot of noise filling up the cabin to make things rather bothersome. Shift up a gear and let the engine turnover at lower revs and peace will return to the cabin.
oyota also has a 2.7-litre petrol engine on offer. This is the same one that goes into the Crysta and makes 164bhp along with 245Nm of torque. Unlike the diesel, this comes with a five-speed manual ?box or a six-speed automatic. We were offered the automatic version for a drive and it is safe to say that this is the one you leave alone when you go to the showroom.
It is safe to say that the petrol motor is just a case of Toyota hedging their bets against any sort of ban situation. The diesel is the obvious choice although the manual/ automatic debate is open for the sort of driving you prefer doing and, funnily enough, how strong your arms are ? try engaging reverse in the six-speed manual, you?ll know what I mean. It won?t be surprising to see the two-wheel-drive diesels to be the pick of the lot at Rs 27.5 lakh (manual) and Rs 29.1 lakh (auto), ex-showroom Delhi. But the four-wheel-drive versions at Rs 30 lakh (MT) and Rs 31.1 lakh (AT) are the ones you should look at if you enjoy weekend adventures away from the city.
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