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New Toyota Fortuner: Remains a go-anywhere SUV

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It may not be the case, but Toyota Fortuner looks ‘virtually indestructible’. Possibly that’s one of the reasons this full-size SUV has been the favourite in its segment for more than a decade. The new model of the Fortuner has been launched and we drive it on all kinds of terrains—from highways to sand and hilltops, and most things in between.

What are the changes?

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Changes include a new front grille and bumper, new headlamp design with LEDs, and new alloy wheels. Inside the cabin there are 11 JBL speakers (including subwoofer) in top-end variants. While the cabin of the new Fortuner is spacious, it doesn’t look plush. For instance, the speakers (or are these subwoofers?) on the bottom-end of the A-pillar look after-market. The plastic quality is average (it doesn’t belong to a Rs 30-lakh-plus vehicle), and the overall fit-and-finish is just okay; nothing remarkable.

How does it drive?

But as far as driving the new Fortuner is concerned, everything is ‘remarkable’. I drove the top-end four-wheel-drive variant and this can cross oceans. As always, the Fortuner is great to drive and get driven in—the 4×4 variant can go almost anywhere, from sand dunes to dry river beds, and from expressways to urban traffic. The driving position is perfect, the view from the seat is all-encompassing, the rear seating area is spacious (and very comfortable), and even the third row is decently spacious and comfortable for inter-state road trips.
The 4×4 variant can get you out of loose sand or slush just at the flick of a switch—going from 4×2 mode to 4×4 mode is a ‘rotation’ of a knob. I briefly got stuck in sand on a particular section of the Aravalli hills, and after switching into the 4×4 mode, I could get this heavy vehicle manoeuvre out of the terrain in a matter of seconds.

How much is it priced?

There are two engine options—the 2.7-litre petrol (only in 2WD variant) and the 2.8-litre diesel (in both 2WD and 4WD variants). Both engines are mated to manual and automatic gearbox options. I drove the automatic option and the gear-shift is smooth. The 2.7-litre 2WD (petrol) is priced Rs 29,98,000 for manual gearbox and Rs 31,57,000 for automatic; the 2.8-litre diesel is priced from Rs 32,48,000 to Rs 37,43,000 (ex-showroom). This clearly means that the new Fortuner is expensive, quite expensive. But for the real estate you are getting (and rupees per cubic metres), it’s a decent deal, and yes, virtually indestructible.

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