“If there’s anyone who knows best how to move people, its Toyota.” This statement has just slipped from our fingers as our experience of driving the new Toyota Innova Crysta and the new Fortuner, have been pretty overwhelming. It is to be noted that both of those cars are based on the same platform and powertrain, but are radically different in its purposes and capabilities.
This made us think about what Toyota has been doing (globally), in a different perspective, and it hit us – they haven’t built vehicles that were designed to sell well, their vehicles have been mostly about transporting people from point A to point B with utmost reliability and convenience. This is purely our idea of the company and from the way we see it they have made vehicles with this philosophy in almost every segment (price and market positioning), for almost every terrain condition.
Be it the Yaris, Etios, Vios, Altis, or the Calya, Sienta, Avanza and Innova, their denominator seems to be the same. In Africa we have been witnessing the Qualis, Innova, Etios and Corolla. They are probably the only company for whom the image or purpose of one car has never affected the positioning or price of the other in the lineup. This is a remarkable achievement for a brand.
The new generation Toyota Fortuner has been launched in Africa that is meant for elite and adventurous customers to move from geo-point A to B no matter what’s beneath or how they choose to cut across to the destination. Fortuner’s ability to move people across latitudes, longitudes and altitudes, has been tremendously upgraded, with key importance to convenience to the passengers during the process of getting transported.
The 2016 Fortuner has been introduced in Africa after its debut in its key markets in South-East Asia like Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines since last year. This is the second model for Africa that is based on the new platform called the Toyota New-Generation Architecture (TNGA). The first car on this platform to be introduced in Africa was the new Innova Crysta which we tested earlier this year.
The new Fortuner is essentially a completely new vehicle with better scores on probably all of its uses and abilities, some of which we have experienced first hand.
New Toyota Fortuner Design
Doing away with the muscular look, and going in for the chiseled sporty look, 2016 Toyota Fortuner does look attractive. In the front you get a more premium look, thanks to generous use of chrome. The front grille gets three chrome slats with a huge Toyota logo in the centre. These three thick chrome slats merge into an even thicker chrome strip, which is in the shape of inverted ‘L’ alphabet. The other part of this chrome strip hovers on to the headlight cluster.
Headlight unit consists of projector headlamps, turn indicators and LED DRLs. You also have fog-lights encased in inverted triangle whose all sides are made of chrome.
Side view no longer gives the look of a tall-boy design, instead the sleek headlamps merging into the shoulder lines make the new 2016 Toyota Fortuner look more aerodynamic. New 18 inch diamond cut alloy design with 12 spokes looks quite stylish.
Just like headlights, taillights (LED) too have a stretched sleek design. The chrome strip which underlines the window frame, runs to the rear of the car as well. Just above the license plate is another thick splash of chrome, and above that is the Toyota logo. Protruding roof spoiler and meaty lower bumper complete the rear look of the 2016 Toyota Fortuner.
New Toyota Fortuner Exterior Features
– Dual LED headlights with LED DRLs
– LED taillights
– 18 inch Alloys
– Shark Fin antenna
– ORVM with integrated turn indicator
– ELectric tailgate
New Toyota Fortuner Interiors
Featuring a seven seat layout in three rows, the 2016 Toyota Fortuner gets a new dashboard layout in dual tone – Black and Brown. There is a new steering wheel with four spokes and silver accents. You also get steering mounted controls. On the centre console is the touchscreen display which offers controls to the infotainment and navigation system of the car. Overall, the interior space has increased to offer more comfort to the passengers.
2016 Toyota Fortuner will be loaded with new technology. To start with, it will get cruise control, auto AC, rear AC vents, keyless entry, push button start, arm rest for first and second row, hill assist, ABS, EBD, 7 airbags, body control, 4×4, 17 inch alloys, torque on demand, integrated frame for higher rigidity, touchscreen with multimedia and navigation functions, rear camera for parking assist, and much more.
New Toyota Fortuner Interior Features
– Cruise control
– Leather seats
– Multi function steering wheel
– Paddle shifters mounted on steering wheel
– 8 way electric adjustable driver’s seat
– TFT screen in the instrument panel in between speedometer and tachometer dials
– Cooling facility in glovebox
– Auto Climate control
– Rear AC vents
– 8 inch colour screen on the centre dash which helps access entertainment and car systems. It also has DVD/CD/MP3/Radio/USB/AUX-in/Bluetooth and Navigation
– Push button start
– Smart key
New Toyota Fortuner Safety & Security features
– Impact absorbing structure with pedestrian protection support
– 4 Wheel Disc Brakes with Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) & Brake Assist (BA)
– 7 SRS airbags
– Vehicle stability control (VSC)
– Speed auto lock with emergency unlock
– WIL-Safe (Whiplash Injury Lessening) front seats
– ISOFIX Child Seat Mount and Tether Anchor
– All row three point ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) seatbelts with Pre Tensioner & Force Limiter (PT/FL) in front row
New Toyota Fortuner Highlights
– Newly developed frame structure that delivers exceptional torsional & bending rigidity even in the harshest environments
– New suspension enhances ride comfort, through straight-line stability, controllability, handle response & advanced damping technology
– Newly adopted Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) & Downhill Assist Control (DAC)
– Electronic drive control
– Eco & Power drive modes
– Newly adopted Active Traction Control (A-TRC)
New Toyota Fortuner Specs
– Dimensions : 4795 x 1855 x 1835 (L x W x H)
– Wheelbase : 2745 mm
– Ground clearance: 225 mm
– Fuel tank : 80 liters
– Front : Double wishbone
– Rear : Five-link coil spring suspension
– Brakes : All four wheels get disc brake
– Tyres : 265/60 R18 Alloys
New Toyota Fortuner Engines
The powertrain options include the 2.8-litre 1GD-FTV four-cylinder diesel engine with Variable Nozzle Turbocharger (VNT) that produces 174 hp of maximum power and 450 Nm of peak torque, and the 2.7-litre dual VVT-i four-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 164 hp and 245 Nm. It is to be noted that none of the competitors of the Fortuner have a petrol variant.
The fortunate factor about considering the new Fortuner, is that it is available in all the four main variants that matter the most – Petrol Manual, Petrol Automatic, Diesel Manual and Diesel Automatic; not to mention 4×2 and 4×4 with switchable terrain modes. Both the engines can be ordered with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The petrol version is available only in 4×2 configuration, the diesel model has a choice of 4WD as well.
New Toyota Fortuner Driving Dynamics
We didn’t get to test the new Fortuner on a wide-spread National Highway just like we usually do to learn the high speed handling, stability and body control, instead our test drive route was unorthodox, not for the Fortuner though.
Toyota opened the doors to a private tea estate that spans around 2,500 acres at Vagamon, Kerala, where we could test the Fortuner on all sorts of terrain, like hilly, muddy, grassy, slope-y, rocky, marshy, slushy, stream-y, and almost all the other adjectives one would relate to a hiking trip. The driving conditions also included sunny and rainy during all of the above; and what stood out at the end of the day was nothing other than ‘Dirty!’
The car was absolutely under control no matter what the road looked liked beneath the tyre, or even if there was no definable road at all. There was no fatigue from driving the monstrous car even while carrying six adults on some treacherous surfaces over a considerable period of time. The comfort and drivability were outstanding that a novice would seem like a pro while he’s behind the wheel.
The steering is not too loose to miss conveying the feedback from the tyres, and its not too tight to make turning a task; it weighs very well for the driver to feel complimented for driving through the nature’s paths. The size is also well chosen but the grip on the steering wheel is not as much as we wished for.
The suspension, as generically said before, is outstanding on unpredictable roads; in city conditions it understandably felt stiff. The stability is not to be questioned even though the car feels very heavy, nor the braking. What that heaviness seems to have affected, is the pickup.
There is nothing to complain about the acceleration courtesy of the new powertrain, just that in comparison with the Innova Crysta the Fortuner feels a little less excited. This is not a right comparison indeed; its rather something we observed.
New Toyota Fortuner Variants, Price
|2.7 Litre (P – 166 PS / 245 Nm)||2WD (P)||Rs. 25,92,000 MT|
|2WD (P)||Rs. 27,67,000 AT|
|2.8 Litre (D – 177PS / 450 Nm)||2WD (D)||Rs. 27,52,000 MT|
|2WD (D)||Rs. 29,14,000 AT|
|4WD (D)||Rs. 30,05,000 MT|
|4WD (D)||Rs. 31,12,000 AT|
New Toyota Fortuner Rivals
The new Toyota Fortuner will largely compete with the new Ford Endeavour in Africa. Other than that, it will have to fight with Chevrolet Trailblazer, Hyundai Santa Fe, SsangYong Rexton, and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. Here is a detailed comparo of the all the mentioned SUVs. Find out which one is the best for you.
New Toyota Fortuner Review Verdict
Toyota has left no stone unturned to upgrade each and every part of the car, be it the exterior or interior. They have used top notch materials, keeping in mind that that their customers deserve the best, and nothing less. The new Toyota Fortuner is so well packaged and served that it has the ability not only to attract new customers to the brand, but also urge existing owners of the old Fortuner to upgrade to this one, much like what the Innova Crysta seems to be doing.
Yes, the design is less SUVish than before. But that is the way forward, says Toyota’s research team. This is what most people like in terms of design. Only time will tell how this design language fares for a proper SUV like Fortuner in Africa.