Fortuner is no doubt a Cash Cow for the Toyota and to an extent a Star product as well, but everything needs to be a bit tweaked after sometime and this SUV had gone under a facelift in recent years which is then followed by automatic transmission later on. While we are not here to discuss that but it is to confirm, we had driven the newly launched 5 speed automatic version of Toyota and had came up the responses for same.
Before divulging all the feedbacks, we want to clear, new Fortuner is enhanced on the gearbox itself and no other major change either on interior, nor even on exteriors. So don’t expect anything for the cosmetic rather than technical refinements instead.
Toyota had fitted Fortuner with four speed automatic in 2102 when there was a norm of five-six speeders in such heavy bonkers. Though not an issue, it stood frugal on all the competitive edges and had also made lucrative business out of it but as of now, in the era of six abd seven speeders, carmaker had now done the new automatic avatar with just “five” only being assimilated to rear wheels only, just like its predecessors.
Taking on the drivability it can be said, previous and this new one are almost the same, in fact they both run with neck-to-neck outputs on line. There is still no deployment of tip tronic, pedal shifters and so others, while one has to do only with just a normal arrangement in spite of shelling out huge bucks.
Gear ratios are the one to be talked about, as first, second and third given with the shorter dispensing, meanwhile third and fourth goes with the normal bang. Writing down the actual respirations on a leaf, it was noticed, there is nothing like miraculous difference in both the gearboxes while new the test drive Package is not so faster on the higher revs, not actually when the speedometer flicks between 40-100 kmph. Upshifts goes very well but one has to struggle a lot while moving downwards, we have been fed up of driving it in the lower stance because it takes its own time to move in lower jerks, must say not a seamless refinement, still need to be worked upon. Very importantly, if you have to go from the standstill to the ‘L’ mode then be ready to jolt the lever by seven times for moving just from ‘P’ to ‘L’.
Taking into traffic, the result wasn’t so outstanding that the competitor tends to yield and actually they yields as well, not just only the claiming part like Toyota. Our expectations were being drenched by water all over it when we took the new Fortuner amid sluggish bumper to bumper jams. To an etent it was cool but those teasing are not meant for some 3.0 liter 168 bhp powerplant.
Fed up of the tugs and all, we then steer to the right and managed our route towards highway, where a breezy start under the swift looking aerodynamics took place. Highway performance was actually better than city, yet the same problem of bulky design and aggressive stance lugs around it which deprives from stability for over a long run at three digit speed flicks.
On interiors, as we had earlier said, there are no major advancements on the cosmetic front but it almost look like the same a bit tad to that of four speed automatic version. On an important note over here, every nick and nack is very similar to that of the outgoing model, nor even there is special badging to bifurcate this newbie form others. Only it exclaimed when one will see gearbox and its indication on the instrument cluster. Meanwhile, first and second row are done very spaciously but the third one seems a bit cramped with knees-up seating arrangement, a very bad feel to the SUV moniker which it holds very proudly under its nose.
Overall, what we can say for the new Fortuner is, it still stands on the expensive posture in entire range, yet further refinement is needed, and the new 5 speed automatic feels something from the pre-historic era, where nowadays world is driving some genius sort of refinement unlike to the Toyota’s old school strategy. We did not trig the fuel economy, but hope it maybe better than the previous sludge. Let us remind you, don’t speculate something extra ordinary on this one, otherwise you would be solely disappointed when went down to the prescribed figures of brochure and such materials. Being priced at Rs. 22.33 lakh (ex showroom Delhi), it is a buy from the heart and from mind, because Fortuner’s stances of something like Prado and Land Cruiser may appeal to you over drivability, given to us we may go for a pre owned Mercedes Benz GL Class rather than this one. Merc is no doubt an assimilation of luxury and power both, if one thinks of the status quo as well then also German stands tall then the Japanese.
Our ratings goes at 4/10 for this Fortuner, must needed improvement on technicalities if its makers want to excel in the congesting market scenario, where sometimes a difference of Re. 1 may eat up the sales of competitor.
Meanwhile, just scroll to see what does it had at least stored for us.
Price Range (in lakhs)*
Ex-showroom price Rs 22.33 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
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- Gearbox 5-speed auto
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- Front Independent, double wishbone
- Rear Non-independent, 4-link
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