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Old 7th October 2009, 07:32   #1
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Took a Fortuner for test drive through the outback. Was impressed with performance through rocky slopes, sand, river bed, elephant grass and slush. Inside comfort was good. It was raining but high speed highway driving has two draw backs - Brakes and body roll
With four people on board and 800 kilometres of drive in a day cabin was comfortable. Engine noise is only heard when you reach higher RPM's. Gear lever sends vibrations through.

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Climbing the river bund seemed easy as the angles of approach and departure was reasonable. This needed crawls speed approach so was done in 4L as 4H did not offer enough torque.

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However the breakaway angle did not let the vehicle get to the top and we had to get in from another location

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Start of trail was through farming country following tractor tracks

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Rain on the day meant lot of water splashes. This part of trail was through river bed - now mostly dry despite rain

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Tried some tilt and articulations tests. Overall the car kept its cool and showed willingness to pull from low RPM's

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O.E. Tyres were biggest let down as they spun helplessly at least of slushy conditions.

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Through the tall elephant grass with no tracks

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Overview of the country which was traversed

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Through tall grass and narrow track at night. Headlights are good and later on the highway also had no cause of complaint.

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Last edited by Dippy : 7th October 2009 at 09:35. Reason: Aligning pics
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Old 7th October 2009, 08:24   #2
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Sudev - saab, excellent pics! They do most of the talking! How would you compare it with Vitara that you own?

Cheers,
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Old 7th October 2009, 08:48   #3
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Excellent pics. Also, apart from GV, how do you compare it to Pajero when it comes to sheer off-roading? Because I hear often that Pajero, inspite of being old workhorse, holds its own in off roading department. Is it true?
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Old 7th October 2009, 10:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Was impressed with performance through rocky slopes, sand, river bed, elephant grass and slush.
Sweet report, Sudev! Everyone was asking for offroad comments on the Fortuner and here it is! Thanks for sharing.

Look at that spare wheel.

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However the breakaway angle did not let the vehicle get to the top and we had to get in from another location
Typical problem with SUVs and their long wheel bases

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Rain on the day meant lot of water splashes. This part of trail was through river bed - now mostly dry despite rain
Quote:
Through the tall elephant grass with no tracks
Nice picture, the Fortuner looks to be in its element here.

How did it compare to your Grand Vitara?

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how do you compare it to Pajero when it comes to sheer off-roading
For sheer offroading, all of these big SUVs are good in sand etc. As the level of difficulty rises, their weight, size and long wheel base are restrictors. A Paj had joined us on a Mumbai OTR recently and got bogged down in places where we crossed in 2WD. They are great in horsepower climbs and the like though.
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Old 7th October 2009, 16:02   #5
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Two invaluable tools in attempting such trackless cross country drive

#1 GPS - having it is not knowing to using it
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#2 Locals - ignoring them is costly and interacting is source of knowledge
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The car came with running boards/step boards that have been removed by the owner. This reveals that the Fortuner's fuel tank is mounted along the length ahead of rear left wheel. Although the bottom side of tank is covered with protection sheet we felt it still the weak point. This is what was going to get dented (or worse) if path has to be negotiated with higher break over clearance.

@GTO: Yes the spare wheel and exhaust were almost touching the road surface. Vis the GV it is equally able although shorter wheel base of GV would give it advantage in break over angle. Torque here is definitely more - have not tried 2.4 GV but still.

On the highway it pulls effortlessly up to 120~130 range. Beyond which I found it a bit unstable compared to GV. High speed stability aways went to GM's Foresstor. Oddles of power and acceleration on tap in this one.

Last edited by Dippy : 7th October 2009 at 17:16. Reason: Merging back to back posts.
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Old 7th October 2009, 21:27   #6
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A capital event would be to line up Pajero, GV, Tuscon, Safari and Fortuner at a go to do cross country traverse. May be add Xtrail, Outlander and Endy too!!
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Old 8th October 2009, 10:44   #7
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Quote:
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T#2 Locals - ignoring them is costly and interacting is source of knowledge
Classic, and so true. Locals can give you the best direction & spots of interest in rural India.

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This reveals that the Fortuner's fuel tank is mounted along the length ahead of rear left wheel. Although the bottom side of tank is covered with protection sheet we felt it still the weak point. This is what was going to get dented (or worse) if path has to be negotiated with higher break over clearance.
Invaluable tip. Fortuner owners would do well in reading this thread before any offroad activities.

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On the highway it pulls effortlessly up to 120~130 range. Beyond which I found it a bit unstable compared to GV.
The torque is addictive, isn't it? I'm not surprised that the GV feels better at speed than the Fortuner.

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A capital event would be to line up Pajero, GV, Tuscon, Safari and Fortuner at a go to do cross country traverse. May be add Xtrail, Outlander and Endy too!!
In the pipeline? When?
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Old 8th October 2009, 11:12   #8
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@GTO: No not in pipeline but I wish I was able to review them together or get a bunch of friends with these diverse vehicles on on more outback negotiation trip. Some what similar to line of what we did here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1492516-post19.html
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Old 8th October 2009, 11:15   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
@GTO: No not in pipeline but I wish I was able to review them together or get a bunch of friends with these diverse vehicles on on more outback negotiation trip. Some what similar to line of what we did here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1492516-post19.html
I hope I'm able to accompany you on this one, missed the last!
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Old 8th October 2009, 11:18   #10
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As long as the track does not involved thorny bushes.. I am game, so you have a safari to compare and observe.
BTW does the fortuner has rollers under the rear diff like the safari. They are very useful in ruts with raised center hump. So if the hump get too high, the rear diff does not get damage, and the rollers will take over.
They lower the GC slightly, but protect the diff very well.

As for fuel tank in such a place, most SUVs have fuel tanks here, but they sit higher up, and before the fuel tank other things touch
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Old 8th October 2009, 16:17   #11
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@Tanveer: Can not guarantee absence of thorny bushes. Whats it that you got against thorny bushes?

So now we have possibility of a GV/Fortuner/Safari2.2/???

I think I can get a Pajero guy to string along. What else is available?
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Old 8th October 2009, 16:19   #12
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Quote:
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@Tanveer: Can not guarantee absence of thorny bushes. Whats it that you got against thorny bushes?
Body colored bumper and side cladding on his Safari!
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Old 8th October 2009, 16:23   #13
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Quote:
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So now we have possibility of a GV/Fortuner/Safari2.2/???
Mine is a Safari 3.0
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Old 8th October 2009, 18:05   #14
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Thorny bushes can actually scratch the body also above the cladding, thats why I prefer places like Rajasthan where all you find is elephant grass or places like Sambhar lake
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Old 8th October 2009, 23:33   #15
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little bit off topic. One of the test drive conducted by a news channel, he/she commented on the two gear lever, They said "this sort of things remind them of willys and jonga and isme acha nai lagta hai"

they best feature on this was, hold a breath "the hood scoop" lolz .

i can only say, Grow up, please!
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