The SUV segment has consistently seen the most diversification in the recent times. International markets are taking to these big, burly beasts like never before and car majors are more than happy to oblige with new products being launched across the spectrum.
In India, the premium SUV segment has also seen a similar outburst of new products. Right from the Tata Hexa at the lower end to the highly competitive Ford Endeavour at the top, every product makes a strong case for itself. However, there is one product that has ruled the sales roster and been the benchmark for every other SUV in India ever since its launch in 2009, the mighty Toyota Fortuner. We try to find out what sets it apart from the competition.
Active Traction Control System (A-TRC)
Toyota’s patented Active Traction Control constantly measures the level of traction available at each wheel and automatically applies brakes on the wheels which are on the verge of slipping. Correspondingly, it automatically transfers the driving torque to the wheels with better grip, thereby ensuring that the vehicle doesn’t skid and can make steady progress.
We have heard legends about the inter-galactic mileages people have clocked on their Toyotas, especially the erstwhile Qualis that established the Japanese marque in India. The Fortuner, however, is based on the indestructible Hilux pick-up truck – a vehicle which people claim can take endless abuse without giving way. Even the TG trio had tried their hand to kill a previous-generation Hilux and had to go a long, long way to be able to make it happen – a testimony to just what makes Toyota the unmatched king of reliability.
There is something which is just so satisfactory about paddle shifters. The feeling of being able to shift through cogs without having to take your hands off the wheels feels special. And when you are in the mood for some aggressive, solid driving, paddle shifters are your best mates to achieve those instant lightning-fast shifts.
Manually Controllable 4WD Modes
Call us old school but we like our off-roaders to feel raw and mechanical. Even though many new SUVs like the Ford Endy feature smart automatic 4WD selectors, it just feels wrong to allow computers to take over while you are out in the wild. Going off the beaten path should be about the man and his pure understanding with his machine and somehow, the possibility of messing up is what makes the trail exciting. Don’t get us wrong, Toyota does equip the Fortuner with many electric gremlins to make off-roading effortless but on the face of it, the ability to be able to choose the basic settings yourself make it that bit more rewarding when you get it right.
Unmatched Resale Value
We are a country that still places economy above all else. So even though this is not something we should base our decision on, the resale value of the car is something that we definitely consider before making a purchase. While most INR 30 Lakh cars are reduced to less than INR 5 Lakhs after just 5 years of use, your Fortuner will easily fetch you above INR 12 Lakhs in the resale market. The sheer trust that people have in the Toyota brand and the mechanicals of the car means that you can rest assured about the money you have invested in the car.
PWR and ECO Modes
The T-Fort also gets smart power and eco modes to aid drivers focus the SUV towards outright performance or for improved mileage. As the name suggests, the ECO mode dulls engine response and allows the driver to extract more fuel economy from the car and makes it ideal for regular use in the city. Similarly, the PWR mode can adjust the throttle response to make the engine feel sprightlier for those fast highway runs.
Feature Packed Luxurious Interiors
The previous generation Fortuner was criticized for its rough, un-refined interiors. With the update last year, however, Toyota gave its premium SUV the interior it deserves. A big, 7-inch touchscreen, 8-way electronically adjustable driver seat, detailed 4.2-inch MID, convenient one-touch tumble access for the rear seats and nifty storage spaces around the cabin make it a very practical space to live in. The dual-tone leather upholstery with sharp contrast stitching found at virtually all surfaces that you are likely to contact on a daily basis makes it feel extremely premium.
Our Comprehensive Review: New 2016 Toyota Fortuner Review [2.8 Diesel MT / AT] : Groomed Savage