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Old 8th October 2010, 23:53   #31
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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
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@veedub89: CRV has less ground clearance than my SX4, is a 5 seater, and primarily a smooth road vehicle. I would shudder to take it to the jungle trails where I take my SX4. Don't like its looks. Feel it is not worth the money after price increase due to Rupee depreciation. Thirsty petrol is another negative. Need any more reasons? :-)
I am in complete agreement sir. those reasons cannot be argued with.
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Old 9th October 2010, 08:48   #32
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Originally Posted by SUV_offroading View Post
Congrats Nilanjan,

Even I got my black fortuner 2 weeks back; absolute delight to drive and turns heads everywhere you go!

Enjoy.

Cheers!
Congratulations! Do post some pictures, and share your initial thoughts.
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Old 9th October 2010, 09:03   #33
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Congrats Nilanjan, on your purchase ! Your vehicle looks stunning, to say the least.

Some pics of the interior please, including the boot area, if possible
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Old 9th October 2010, 13:02   #34
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I second Mooza. Your photography is excellent, so give us more! And of course, congratulations!!
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Old 9th October 2010, 21:51   #35
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I second Mooza. Your photography is excellent, so give us more! And of course, congratulations!!
Sure, will take some pictures tomorrow and post.

Put on the Team-BHP sticker today (got-bhp?). Love the 'live to drive' one, but somehow the yellow is looking loud against the vast black background.
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Old 9th October 2010, 23:58   #36
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Default First road trip

Friday afternoon last weekend. Had wound up work early, and was getting the urge to take out the Bison (decided to call her that, since my trip was full of Gaurs... I do know that India doesn’t have bisons, but I somehow didn’t want to call her Bos Gaurus). Asked my wife whether she could join for a spur-of-the-moment trip, but she declined because she had some office work on Saturday. So wife and daughter stayed home.

Finished calls by 4:45, and packed the bags in 15 min. Changed the lens on my camera, put camera charger and the other lens inside, had some black coffee and said goodbye. Wasted 5 minutes cleaning my boots and the driver’s mat after I stepped on some fruit that had fallen from the tree beside our house (the whole road was full of fallen, ripe fruit – and I hadn’t bothered to watch my step). This is why I am glad that I had opted for rubber mats. Besides, during the trip, at least 10 times I had to get on the vehicle after walking on muddy/wet surfaces.

5:15 PM – filled diesel, withdrew money. The 4-wheeled started its journey to meet its 4-legged brethren.

I usually go to Masinagudi, but that forest checkpost closes at 8 PM, so this time I decided to stay at Bandipur. From where I stay, I can take a short cut to NICE Road. Reached NICE Road in 20 min, and then started cruising. Was trying hard to vary RPMs and not take her over 2500, but once or twice I touched 2700-2800. She is a great cruiser, as I keep mentioning. Reached Mysore Road quickly, and then it was the usual drive. I hate overtaking from the left, but there is no other option on Mysore Road if you want to pass slow mobbing buses and trucks. I haven’t see this north of Bangalore e.g. on the Pune Highway, and have found North Indian highways more disciplined in terms of slower traffic (long distance trucks and buses) travelling on the left lane. Anyway, this time more big vehicles were giving way to me – one advantage of driving the Fortuner.

It soon started raining – and raining heavily in spurts. The Bison handled the situation much better than my SX4 – the vehicle felt sure on wet roads decent speeds. I usually reach the Gundlepet Cafe Coffee Day in 3.5 hours from my house, but this time it took more time because of my self-imposed speed limit, and the rain. I was surprised to see a number of wineshops open after Mysore. I stopped at a pretty shady looking one to stock-up for the nights. The loitering and weaving blokes in front of the shop – a few kms before Nanjangud –were about surprised to see a Fortuner stop in front, and a single guy get down. It was pretty dark, and I got a few funny looks. Anyway, after some shoulder pushing, I got my stuff and drove off.

I always perk up after I cross Nanjandud. The road is great, and the scenery is beautiful. This time, it was pouring, and there were very few vehicles. Empty dark road, the Bison on high beam, thunder and lightning every few seconds, wiper on high speed, hundreds of frogs hopping across the road (due to rain) – makes one come alive. I reached Bandipur around 9. I would have loved to take a drive inside if I had reached earlier, but they don’t allow traffic inside the forest after 9. On the way, I had decided to stay at Jungle Lodges, mainly for the bundled safaris. Usually weekends are fully booked, but I walked in, was lucky to find vacancy, and managed to waive of the single occupancy charge after negotiating with the manager (the room would have gone empty otherwise).

So this is what I see after entering the room – covering one entire wall:
Attached Thumbnails
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_2746.jpg  


Last edited by Amartya : 10th October 2010 at 02:43. Reason: Corrected some minor typos.
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Old 10th October 2010, 00:44   #37
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Default The Bison meets the Bisons...

From Wikipedia: "The gaur is the largest species of wild cattle, bigger than the African buffalo, the extinct aurochs (the ancestor of domestic cattle), wild water buffalo or bison....an adult male can stand 7 feet high at the shoulder, and the largest can exceed 2000 kgs."

They say that the African Cape Buffalo kills almost as many people as the Hippo (far more than lions and elephants). I have read stories about killer wild buffalos from Bastar, and killer Gaurs from the Nilgiris. But nowadays the Gaurs seem to have mellowed down - or perhaps it was love at first sight after seeing my girl.

I wouldn't want to face one on foot though - certainly not at these distances.
Attached Thumbnails
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_2869.jpg  

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_2863.jpg  

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Old 10th October 2010, 03:20   #38
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Nilanjan,just went through your posts, and it's been a pleasure.

I have a couple of questions about the Fortuner:

a. Has anyone used the rear bench for more than a couple of hours? If yes, what's the feedback for the ride quality? I guess the datum can be the SX4.

b. Since the SX4 too has enough ground clearance to tackle most roads in India, which car would you and your family prefer for a roadtrip (say a minimum 6 hour drive one-way). Basically keeping NVH, ride quality, driving pleasure taken into account.
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Old 10th October 2010, 09:38   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
I have a couple of questions about the Fortuner:

a. Has anyone used the rear bench for more than a couple of hours? If yes, what's the feedback for the ride quality? I guess the datum can be the SX4.

b. Since the SX4 too has enough ground clearance to tackle most roads in India, which car would you and your family prefer for a roadtrip (say a minimum 6 hour drive one-way). Basically keeping NVH, ride quality, driving pleasure taken into account.
a. Not yet. However, people have traveled in the middle row, and found it comfortable - even the middle seat was 'alright'.

b. The Fortuner. One just has to drive it like a SUV instead of driving it like a sedan. Driving pleasure depends on the roads. On US like smooth and straight roads (wishful thinking in India, except for stretches), would prefer the Fortuner. On typical Indian roads - mix of NH and SH, would prefer the Fortuner. On European type of roads (smooth, fast but twisting), would prefer a low slung, fast sedan (that I don't have) if I need to drive fast.
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Old 10th October 2010, 21:47   #40
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Drove the SX4 after almost a week. After driving the Fortuner, the steering feels light (less feedback), the gears feel smooth ( I used to crib about them earlier), the brakes feel great (instant feedback), the car feels rather light, pickup seems low and the highbeam seems weak (in spite if using Philips XtremePower). And the car overall doesn't feel so solid.

Just in case someone is interested in the comparison.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 10th October 2010 at 21:48.
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Old 12th October 2010, 12:12   #41
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Hi nilanjan,
congrats on the Bison.
Great first outing with her in the jungles, and nice write up too!
Glad to know that you are using the beast the way its meant to be, and not just for urban rides.
Do keep us updated on your adventures with the Fortuner.

cheers

p.s. - I had also written to you on the other thread (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/suvs-m...ml#post2091575), since this thread was frozen by the mods for a while.
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Old 12th October 2010, 12:58   #42
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Congrats Nilanjan for a fantastic buy. The Fortuner looks menacing in the rear view mirror of any car.Enjoy the Toyota's service and wish you a million miles of happiness with your prized possession.
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Old 15th October 2010, 15:52   #43
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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Sorry guys for the absence. Was too busy with work, and with running in the vehicle. Finished the 1000 km servicing. Changed oil + oil filter, and fitted the fender mirror. Want to change the seat covers (put good leather) and ICE, but that will have to wait. Wife will kill me if I spend 60-80K on new seat covers and ICE now. But am planning to put sun-film next week – V-kool 70 for windscreen, and economy versions with 50% or more VLT in the sides and back.

Here a quick summary of what I liked and what I disliked during the first 1000 kms of ownership:

Didn’t like
  • ICE set-up
  • Leather quality (but, as I said, I can rough use without being careful about dirt, spills and stains)
  • The low beam and the fog lights – totally inadequate
  • Driving within 2000-2500 rpm during the first 1000 km
I have stopped thinking about the price of the car, and plan to use it the way it is meant to be used. Was seriously thinking of driving down to Kolkata for the pujas, but too much workload.
At the outset let me congratulate you for the wonderful start to your thread. It was very well written and brought a huge smile to my face when I saw your Black Bisons pic.

In case another recession comes around (God Forbid) you should have no need to worry as you can always be a writer!

You have done the right thing by changing the oil and oil filter in the 1000 kms checkup. As i said earlier in my reply to your question in my Thread that while you may not notice any sudden or noticeable improvement, it will have a long term impact on the health of your Fortuner.

The fender Mirror is a welcome and necessary addition to your vehicle as it is a great help while parking or navigating tight spaces and even Off-roading.

I am surprised you want to replace the factory fitted leather interior with leather seat covers. I suggest you go over the whole interior with a good leather polish and protectant like Armour All or Eagle/3M once thoroughly.

You will immediately notice a marked improvement in the feel and suppleness of the leather and may save a handsome amount by not having to buy the leather seat covers which may not even fit as neatly as the factory seat covers..this may be invested in a good ICE instead.

I hope you will reconsider this decision.

I have fitted the Pioneer P4250 DVD 7" Touchscreen system and the sound quality and visual appeal of the dash have gone up considerably.

You may view the pics on my thread "White Toyota Fortuner TRD Kit"

I agree with your views on the illumination provided by the low beam and Fog lamps being below par. Though the high beam really is fantastic.
I suggest you use the high beam at all times BUT you must adjust the headlight leveler (next to the ORVM adjustment switch) to its lowest setting..at least while driving within the city.

This will not blind oncoming traffic while giving you a fantastic view of the road ahead.

Your impromptu trip to Bandipur has inspired me to take a trip to Corbett Park in the near future once the school holidays end and the tourists are gone. I am longing to use my Fortuner on the jungle trails of Corbett.

Congratulations once more on joining the ever growing Fortuner Club and i wish you a million miles of happy motoring.

Please keep your thread updated regularly with pics and in your case nice write-ups too.
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Old 19th October 2010, 21:58   #44
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Manuuj, thanks :-)

I have been keeping track of your thread. Great inputs - will try out the leather polish option. I have black Karlsson leather seats in my SX4, and had found the Fortuner seat leather to be of inferior quality and finish, but your suggestion makes a lot of sense. I have passed through Corbett, but never stayed there. Would love to stay for a few days, and drive around. I am a huge Jim Corbett fan, and actually think of his stories (imagine what things were like in his time) whenever I visit Kumaon (which I have done many times).

Monaro: Great decision. Reading your posts, I had got the feeling that you were swaying towards the Fortuner :-). The Fortuner comes into its own outside the city.

Zoom Vroom: Thanks - but not sure that 'menacing' is the image I want to convey - unless you are hinting about the 'average braking' of the Fortuner lol. Certainly, after reading about the braking, I used to give way to a Fortuner when i would see one in my rear view mirror on the highway :-). But it sure does look good, especially when washed and shining in the morning, and especially in the night. I feel it is the best looking SUV below 25L OTR (the Grand Vitara comes second in terms of looks). It would looked even more impressive if the wheel was at the back, but the length would have increased too.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 19th October 2010 at 22:04.
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Old 19th October 2010, 22:32   #45
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Default First trip to Bandipur…continued

My 70-300 lens helps me get close and tight to animals that are too shy, or are too dangerous (e.g. a 1 ton male Gaur - see the pics above). So next day at 5:45 AM, armed with my D90 and the 70-300, I landed up at the morning safari pick-up area at Jungle Lodges. Had a couple of other photographers with me – one seemed to be a quite dedicated bird photographer, and was carrying a Canon 7D + 150-500 Sigma. After formalities at the Bandipur Tourist Centre, we got into the jungle. It was nice and chilly in the morning (I was wearing just a t-shirt), but not too bad. Came across various birds, and a mongoose couple. Some of the other folks in the Bolero were hoping for elephants, but I am least interested in seeing elephants at Bandipur, since I have experienced wild male tuskers at 5-10 feet distances pretty often (will share those stories later). Suddenly after turning a corner, we saw a big herd of bisons running across the road, and then stop to look to our left. I have never seen so many bisons before. The driver/naturalist whispered that they were running from a predator, and stopped the car. So we waited with eyes and ears straining.

The bisons (I am using Gaur and Bisons interchangably) had taken up defensive positions – females and calves at the back, and the biggest males in front. Some of their expressions looked surprisingly human. I could smell them - a sweetish smell, somewhat different from typical cattle smell. After 5 minutes a huge male went forward to do recce. It started sniffing the bushes, but all the other Gaurs were still on alert. The naturalist said that whatever it was, has moved away, but could be hanging around nearby. So we slowly started moving ahead, almost forcing the Gaurs to move out of the way. We could see another small group – with a few calves – about 50 m in front. As we near them, they scatter to the left, moving into the bushes. And then I see IT, crouching...
Attached Thumbnails
Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-csc_2850.jpg  

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_2753.jpg  

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_2800.jpg  

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-csc_2851.jpg  

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_2887.jpg  

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_2809.jpg  

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-dsc_2812.jpg  

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