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Old 29th July 2011, 10:05   #46
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

My take on the Sedan Vs SUV debate

An interesting episode happend when my sister and her doctor husband came visiting our place. Now doc. sahib loves cars and till now was sleeping with Fortuner in both the eyes. He was just fida over the Fort and was very excited to drive Maximus. Before this he had never driven an SUV. He drove the Fort extensively in the town. When i asked him whats your report card. He said 7/10 out of which 5 marks for looks only..!!

I have been driving a sedan since last 7 years and all i can say is that " a 7 year old 7lakh rupee Honda City is far more comfortable than a 22 lakh rupee SUV." There is no comparison between the two..its like comparing apples and bananas. My above statement is for any kind of city roads. Till the sedan is not bottoming out even the pot holed city roads are more comfortable in a sedan. The last 3 kms to my home can give Manali - Leh highway a run for its money. Till now the City has'nt bottomed out there. Any sort of vehicle cannot exceed 20-30 kmph on that stretch due to narrow and trafficed route. So the advantage of an SUV steamrolling these roads at high speeds is just not there. And at slow speeds the passengers are litrally thrown in the cabin of the Fort. Where as in the City the ride is much much comfortable.

On an expressways give me a sedan like Cruze any day. The Fort is great on expressways however you just can't drive an SUV like you drive a sedan. The ability to corner on high speeds, the superior braking, the low slung comfortable seats are just some of the advantages which a Sedan offers.
The equipment level a similarly priced sedan offers is far more than what is there in an SUV. Try comparing the equipment levels in a T Fort and a Skoda Superb and you will be pleasently surprised.

So where does an SUV fits in. Me thinks it bridges the gap between an offroad vehicle and a sedan. It offers all the comforts to you and your family and still gives you the ability to go deep into uncharterd territory.
The Fort gives me a peace of mind for those 3K+ kms trip we make where i do not know what kind of roads i will get. I no longer have to worry whether the City can take those roads or not. Now its like "Bring it on"

So if you are not wanderlust bitten, don't have that bug in you to travel to that remote and exotic place, or don't want to explore that trail where no one treads, and most important don't want the Macho looks of an SUV to boost your ego, my take is a sedan anyday.
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Old 29th July 2011, 10:50   #47
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

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Originally Posted by columbus View Post
So if you are not wanderlust bitten, don't have that bug in you to travel to that remote and exotic place, or don't want to explore that trail where no one treads, and most important don't want the Macho looks of an SUV to boost your ego, my take is a sedan anyday.
I think one more need that a SUV fulfills is to carry more passengers which a Sedan does not. So eventhough one might never go offroading or to uncharted territory only the need to have the entire family travelling together makes them shift to a bigger vehicle. Innova's, Xylo's though not SUVs fill up this need.
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Old 29th July 2011, 11:09   #48
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

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Originally Posted by columbus View Post
My take on the Sedan Vs SUV debate
Hi Columbus,
This is one point where I wouldn't agree with you...at all !
In my previous organisation I used to drive a company City, as a replacement car whenever my Scorp used to visit the garage. Once there was a service where it had to be docked for almost 4 days and I was using the City.
Now let's assume the City represents all the sedans in general. And I found it extremely uncomfortable after having been in SUVs/Semi SUVs - yes, the 2WD Scorp is one.
To list a few:
- My entry and egress (carrying of course my bulk) was rather painful. All other sundry users (read in-laws, animals etc) prefer the SUVs for the same reason.
- My hands couldn't be rested anywhere comfortably - no arm rest/s(at least in that model I guess) - upper shoulders used to ache and the neck too.
- The driving view was terrible. In the SUVs (Scorp or TFort) you have a commanding view that helps anticipate or see the other road users moves and plan your moves.
- I, for the world of me, wouldn't be able to drive a sedan for more than 250 KMs non stop. Can drive an SUV for hours on end.
- Overall driving comfort and freedom from fatigue is much higher in an SUV.
-On highways and treacly city traffic - size matters. And as you pointed out being a Moses helps reduce driving fatigue. I found the sedan a real pain there - with even the average Joe cyclist caring too hoots for your horn hoots.
- Being the SUV is a great help during low visibility conditions likes in the monsoons and during nights.
- And a controversial Q - wouldn't SUVs be safer ?!!
- Space ? Plays a major factor on long distance drives. The LoH, offspring and I have our own non intersecting zones and stay out of each others hair. I found that a little difficult in a sedan. Luggage space to carry everyone's fave things and therby buy peace during the journey ? Priceless !
- And so on...

My views. Let the battle begin !
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Old 29th July 2011, 11:52   #49
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Well, to add my 2 cents to this debate -

If I had to live with only 1 vehicle in my family, I would never go in for a SUV, because I am not a wandering minstrel type. It would most probably be a practical hatchback. But in today's world minimum 2-3 vehicles in a family are more often than not quite common. So in my case I segregate my vehicles as follows -
1. A compact hatchback for local city driving or my Bike for those morning Tennis runs
2. A luxury Sedan for those short highway runs
3. A SUV for the uncharted road/longer highway runs

If a single vehicle choice needs to be made, it needs to be made on the basis of driving habits/lifestyle of a person. When I got married, I went on a riding trip on my honeymoon in my Maruti 800 and was more than happy with it. It traversed the length and breath of the country (including my Manali/Rohtang trips) without giving any cause for complaint. Now I have 4 vehicles in the family but I still miss those moments in the 800.

In the end I would like to conclude then as you grow older and have richer stock of experience (and moolah) you do progress to a Luxury Sedan/SUV after having driven all those compact hatchbacks and saloons all your life. And, Life is short, so fulfill all your desires and dreams (even if impractical at times) before time runs out and all the practicalities are just left behind...
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Old 29th July 2011, 14:29   #50
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Wink Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Wow!! This is one of the most unbiased reviews of the T-Fort I have ever read. Congrats, drive safe; and what a way to start a thread - Ladakh ! Great to see that you have painstakingly noted each and every plus/minus points with the SUV. Just keep aside the niggling points and enjoy the rides (which I think you already are).

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Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs
Took a "Unilateral" decision to up the budget to 20+. Unilateral means witout the consent of the home minister. Had some very tense moments with the minister.
I can imagine the tough time you must have had !! But happy in the end; alls well that ends well !!! O.T: I think you should give your wife special thanks for supporting you through all this ! Has she driven Maximus yet?
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Old 29th July 2011, 21:15   #51
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
I think one more need that a SUV fulfills is to carry more passengers which a Sedan does not. Innova's, Xylo's though not SUVs fill up this need.
Innova is by far the best vehicle if people movement is important. Heck it almost drives like a car. Xylo has some lightyears to go before it touches innova.


General saab.. my replies in bold

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guderian View Post
Hi Columbus,
This is one point where I wouldn't agree with you...at all !
To list a few:
- My entry and egress (carrying of course my bulk) was rather painful. All other sundry users (read in-laws, animals etc) prefer the SUVs for the same reason.

Well in my case its exactly the opposite. Parents like the ingeress in the City than the Fort. Simply because old people have bad knees and they don't like to climb a step to get in a car.

- My hands couldn't be rested anywhere comfortably - no arm rest/s(at least in that model I guess) - upper shoulders used to ache and the neck too.

Well the Fort too dos'nt has an arm rest. The box in the centre dos'nt qualify as a proper arm rest. The neck might be aching because you may be straining to find out where the hell the bonnet went.

- The driving view was terrible. In the SUVs (Scorp or TFort) you have a commanding view that helps anticipate or see the other road users moves and plan your moves.

Nope i don't agree here too. View is important upto a certain extent. Rest is all driving dynamics. Try achieving the same speeds which a sedan can on any twisty road, in a T Fort. I can guarantee you will have some ruffled nerves.


- I, for the world of me, wouldn't be able to drive a sedan for more than 250 KMs non stop. Can drive an SUV for hours on end.

Me drove from Haldwani in Uttarakhand to Bhopal direct (1000 kms) in 20 hrs in the City. The fatigue was the same as doing Bhopal - Delhi (750kms) in 20 hrs.

- Overall driving comfort and freedom from fatigue is much higher in an SUV.

Nope me thinks its sedan which is rather fatigue free because of enormous body roll a SUV has when compared to a sedan.

-On highways and treacly city traffic - size matters. And as you pointed out being a Moses helps reduce driving fatigue. I found the sedan a real pain there - with even the average Joe cyclist caring too hoots for your horn hoots.

Well i am more carefull in driving the Fort simply because it gives me goose bumps only to imagine the repair costs. I think this benefit is rather risky too. Its make you a bit over confident.

- Being the SUV is a great help during low visibility conditions likes in the monsoons and during nights.

While returning from Delhi night had fallen with fair amount of rains and i was 75 kms short of Guna. The road was like 100 m of smooth turmac and suddenly craters that would swallow a truck. And with trucks oncoming like fleas it was a litral blinding situation. After couple of nasty thuds in the ditches i tailed a truck for the last 50 kms. Have done the same thing in the City also. So for me no advantage..


- And a controversial Q - wouldn't SUVs be safer ?!!

A good designed car like City with Air Bags and ABS is equally safe. In fact i have observed that many T Fort drivers are over confident about this. During my visit to the ASC i noticed that 75% of the Forts which had come for repair were due to turning turtle because of high speed cornering. I personaly know a case where the guy turned turtle when he turned his Fort at 120kmph where he used to turn his Fiesta at that speed. Bill was approx 5 lakhs..

- Space ? Plays a major factor on long distance drives. The LoH, offspring and I have our own non intersecting zones and stay out of each others hair. I found that a little difficult in a sedan. Luggage space to carry everyone's fave things and therby buy peace during the journey ? Priceless !
- And so on...

You would be amazed to know the amount of luggage that can be stashed in NHC's boot. Went to Rajasthan for a 2 week tour with brother' s family. Lets say the weight of luggage was more than the occupants..!!


My views. Let the battle begin !
Oh..I am raising the white flag. Can't win the battle with a General of the German Army.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Well, to add my 2 cents to this debate -


If a single vehicle choice needs to be made, it needs to be made on the basis of driving habits/lifestyle of a person. ..

Very correct Master Yoda..


Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
O.T: I think you should give your wife special thanks for supporting you through all this ! Has she driven Maximus yet?
Oh you missed my thanks to her in my previous posts. Also mentioned in post 44 about her trying hands at Maximus. She now is having some sinister plans about daily driving Maximus..!!
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Old 29th July 2011, 22:30   #52
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

@columbus - It does seem that you loved your NHC very much, and rightly so too. I too had a HC, but somehow its build quality was nowhere that of the Toyota's that I upgraded to after that. We all love the Qualis so much that my brother is not in a mood to let it go at any cost and says that if it will go for 3-4L, its better to retain such a flawless vehicle (though a ugly duckling). Of course, when I drive the Qualis, I never try to corner it like my Corolla; its just not possible. So when you drive the Maximus, the constraints of an SUV should definitely be in the back of your mind.

It wont and cant handle like a sedan but what it can do, a NHC or Corolla can only dream about. See the attached video for some of its capabilities -



So keeping expectations realistic would be the best option to enjoy such a fantastic vehicle.

Last edited by dkaile : 29th July 2011 at 22:31.
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Old 29th July 2011, 23:28   #53
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
@columbus - Of course, when I drive the Qualis, I never try to corner it like my Corolla; its just not possible. So when you drive the Maximus, the constraints of an SUV should definitely be in the back of your mind.

It wont and cant handle like a sedan but what it can do, a NHC or Corolla can only dream about. See the attached video for some of its capabilities -

So keeping expectations realistic would be the best option to enjoy such a fantastic vehicle.
I am very well aware of the ablities and disabilities of the T Fort. As i said earlier its like comparing apples and bananas. They are different vehicles meant to excell in different areas. My debate with the General is about comforts in a sedan "excluding" the offroad conditions where the T Fort has a rather unfair advantage.

BTW your qualis might fetch you about 5-6L in Leh. They are mad about Toyota vehicles in Ladakh. And rightly so. Ladakh offers harshest conditions for vehicles and Tatas have failed miserably there, Mahindras have been a mixed bag but Toyota simply rules over there.
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Old 30th July 2011, 00:06   #54
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
See the attached video for some of its capabilities -
The Video rather shows it's shortcoming here- The Open Rear Axle. A Pajero or Endeavour with Rear LSD might have crossed the hurdle in one go without backing up.

In other markets Fortuner comes with a locking rear Differential and ESP.

Last edited by .anshuman : 30th July 2011 at 00:08.
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Old 30th July 2011, 08:33   #55
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Smile Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Wonderful thread columbus! I just went through all the pages in one go and its highly insightful, truly impartial and really funny. Wish Maximus serves you and your family for years to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus
" Needless to say a lady driving a T Fort parts ways like Moses .
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Old 30th July 2011, 09:17   #56
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
The Video rather shows it's shortcoming here- The Open Rear Axle. A Pajero or Endeavour with Rear LSD might have crossed the hurdle in one go without backing up.

In other markets Fortuner comes with a locking rear Differential and ESP.
Thanks for chipping in sir. I was looking forward to have discussion on this topic vis a vis the T Fort.

Now i have gone through this interesting discussion here

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...sd-suvs-8.html (Center Differential and LSD in SUVs)

On page 1 Samurai san mentions that the Fort has a rear LSD too. However the video above clearly shows that its not there. Since the left rear wheel was free the right rear wheel was not getting any power. Hope I am interpreting it right..?

This means that if my 1 front wheel is up in the air and 1 rear wheel is in the air then i am stuck...??

Does the above handicap valid for all the three drive modes H, HL & LL.
What is the torque bias in all the above 3 modes..?


Also went through the 4x4 system notes in the manual. In the HL mode it does not talk about any limits on the top speed of the vehicle in any gear. Its the same as in H mode. It does talk about speed reduction in LL mode.
I understand that the central diff. gets locked in HL and LL. I also undersatnd that Torque is supposed to increase with reduction in RPM through gear ratios. Then why isn't the manual saying anything about it for HL mode..?

Now i am aware that HL and LL modes are NOT to be used on Turmac. However the Fort's manual does not say much about it and especially for HL mode where there are no speed restrictions also.

Please do shed some light on the 4x4 system of the Fortuner.
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Old 30th July 2011, 09:22   #57
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
The Video rather shows it's shortcoming here- The Open Rear Axle. A Pajero or Endeavour with Rear LSD might have crossed the hurdle in one go without backing up.

In other markets Fortuner comes with a locking rear Differential and ESP.
I feel the backing up was more due to the driver's ineptitude rather than the vehicle's capabilities. A more steady hand would have easily rolled it in one go.

Last edited by dkaile : 30th July 2011 at 09:34.
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Old 30th July 2011, 10:37   #58
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
General saab.. my replies in bold
Yo Columbus !
Before we start the flag meeting after raising our respective white flags (which I did too a few minutes ago - couriered to you) two, only two, points from my side:
- My experience has been totally contrary - may be it is a case of what you are used to for a better part of your driving experience. Also things like arm rest comfort etc depends from person to person and body size to body size. I for one love the 'purported arm rest' of the TFort. Though not anywhere close to the Scorp's captains chair arm rest. But if you pad the lid top with a matching insert - voila - its heaven.
- About the drive dynamics. Even with a pitching, rolling, yawing Scorpio (a vehicle that helped me get my sea legs !!!) one has to understand its limitations and drive accordingly, which to me was delightful as compared to a sedan. Once you know the trick of cornering etc - nothing beats it. Of course be sure that you can drive a SUV round the corner like a sedan.
And also that no way is the view and drive dynamics comparable I still hold.
Two long points indeed.

Let me know when the courier with the white flag reaches you.

Last edited by Guderian : 30th July 2011 at 10:39.
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Old 30th July 2011, 11:08   #59
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Now i have gone through this interesting discussion here

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...sd-suvs-8.html (Center Differential and LSD in SUVs)

On page 1 Samurai san mentions that the Fort has a rear LSD too. However the video above clearly shows that its not there. Since the left rear wheel was free the right rear wheel was not getting any power. Hope I am interpreting it right..?
Even i had a debate earlier in one of the similar threads with Samurai where i said Fortuner has rear LSD, but i was wrong, the center differential in Fortuner has LSD which works in AWD mode when center differential in not locked. Both Front and Rear differential are Open.

Quote:
This means that if my 1 front wheel is up in the air and 1 rear wheel is in the air then i am stuck...??

Does the above handicap valid for all the three drive modes H, HL & LL.
What is the torque bias in all the above 3 modes..?
Exactly, One front and one rear wheel in air and it will not transmit power to other wheels. AFAIK it should be 50:50 split with Locked modes.

Quote:
Also went through the 4x4 system notes in the manual. In the HL mode it does not talk about any limits on the top speed of the vehicle in any gear. Its the same as in H mode. It does talk about speed reduction in LL mode.
I understand that the central diff. gets locked in HL and LL. I also undersatnd that Torque is supposed to increase with reduction in RPM through gear ratios. Then why isn't the manual saying anything about it for HL mode..?
HL= High Range Center Diff locked
LL= Low Range Center Diff locked

Torque multiplication works only in low range.

Quote:
Now i am aware that HL and LL modes are NOT to be used on Turmac. However the Fort's manual does not say much about it and especially for HL mode where there are no speed restrictions also.

Please do shed some light on the 4x4 system of the Fortuner.
Topics already discussed in 4x4 section. Please Search.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
I feel the backing up was more due to the driver's ineptitude rather than the vehicle's capabilities. A more steady hand would have easily rolled it in one go.
Even a 2wd SUV can clear most of these obstacles shown if momentum is maintained, obviously it will suffer lot of damage. Similarly if Fortuner has rear LSD it might have crossed it slowly in first go without rushing through it, making it easier and less prone to body damage in tougher obstacles(not these calculated pseudo obstacles custom made for Fortuner by Toyota.)

Even Crossovers like Yeti can be made to look good on custom obstacles. See this:

Last edited by .anshuman : 30th July 2011 at 12:20.
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Old 30th July 2011, 11:28   #60
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Default Re: Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & U

Some of the markets abroad sell this car with a lockable rear diff. So you can always special order the part and retro fit it.
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