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Old 28th March 2013, 16:51   #1
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Default A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Hey Team !

I have been on the forum in the review sections with my F10 530D and i10 Asta AT. We had been contemplating getting a SUV back in the garage, especially since we have had excellent experiences with 2 scorpios previously. Somehow last 3 years we have not owned any SUV. Its a Sedan and Hatchback garage. The Laura was clocking Kilometres fast and i was a bit uneasy that this car needs to be sold now, before it exceeds 80K km.

I had tested the 4 speed AT Fortuner last year and found it okay really. Quite responsive, but somehow the absence of 5 speeds left me unconvinced. Especially in the wake of threats from mahindra (Rexton) , chevrolet (Captiva) the Toyota Beast was found wanting, at least on paper.

Well as luck would have it, the sales representative from DSK Toyota called me up saying that the 5 speed AT would soon be available and i should look at it.

That was all i was waiting for. I did not think i needed a test drive . I went ahead and booked the car with them happily and was assured that the first 5 speed AT would be mine. Mainly because Pearl White colour was launched with it and they had no bookings for it. so a car would be available in that colour faster than others. I of course chose Pearl White.

There really were no contenders in my mind while choosing this car.

Silver Jubilee motors had delivered 1 rexton in 2 months which wasnt confidence inspiring. I had no intention of being a Guinea Pig for the Rexton. So decided to skip it for its unknown quantity of pros and cons of ownership inspite of the fantastic value package on paper.

I thought the Endeavour was at the fag end of its existence in the current avatar and will be replaced sooner than later. Didnt want to stick with a dying model. In any case Fords are no match for Toyota's awesome reliability and after sales service.

Likewise for the Captiva, i did not feel it was worth any more money than the fortuner for similar reasons of reliability and service and overall brand appeal.

Koleos and the Santa Fe were non-starters in any case. Poorly priced and oddly styled.

Basically i was sure that this is the most value for money automatic SUV in the market currently in the 20-30 lakh bracket. Not in isolation by itself but as compared to its competition. The next best thing was a Q7 ! 7 seater and superb interior space was a must.

Its reputation of being bullet-proof (reliability) and DSK's Best in Town service were very important to me.

So on 31st January i took delivery of my Fortuner !

My car with the DSK Team (I'm behind the camera)

A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!-forunerdelivery.jpg


Buying Experience : 100/10 if thats possible

This has to be one of the smoothest , most efficient and most transparent buying experiences i have ever had. Hence the photo above ! Kudos team DSK !

I have used the car for 4300 km till date. I am very happy with the car and convinced that i made the right choice from amongst the cars available.


A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!-img2013013100300.jpg


Engine

This car has a workhorse like Engine. It gets the job done ! Without fail ! No Sweat !

Its not an exciting engine in any way. But it does have adequate power at most speeds and you do find the response you need almost everytime. Hence the workhorse analogy and not a stallion or a race horse!

It is at its best at lower revs and power tails off at high engine speeds. Ever since the 530d my threshold for excitement has been unfairly raised. But still i think this car would be quite a bit of fun with more power and torque. With the cubic capacity in place i think it does have potential, but then Toyota tune their car engines with the mass markets in their minds and i think i should not complain at all. It may not be exciting but its definitely not boring.

Low rev refinement and NVH is top notch. At city speeds the cabin is very silent. Much much more refined than my 2.0 PD Laura L&K. Even at highway speeds the refinement is excellent. It is only when you rev the engine that you actually hear it clearly. On tar roads at 100 kmph the car is superbly smooth and silent. The absence of any semblance of engine braking whatsoever can be disconcerting at times but I have learnt to use it to my advantage, especially in city conditions. It does assist in higher FE in my opinion.

Transmission

When driving this car in city traffic or highway conditions in a relaxed manner the transmission is a boon as it keeps the engine spinning at low revs always. This gives the car a very peaceful character and makes travelling in it a stress-free experience. You never really hear the engine much at all. You dont feel any jerks or jolts. FE in city is around 12 kmpl and highway is 15.5-16. Its an excellent car to drive or be driven around in a relaxed manner. In this area the 5 speed does make a much better case for itself as compared to the 4 speed AT.

Otherwise in demanding situations the 5 speed transmission is dim-witted. Sorry toyota, but i have to be honest about this. The gear changes are slightly noticeable, which is okay really, but the gearbox is very unintelligent in up and down shifts. It doesnt feel sharp. It is at its best when you start from standstill or at creep speeds and then floor the pedal to accelerate hard. Its almost like that is the only situation in which the gearbox clearly knows how to go about its job best.

In situations of "not-relaxed" driving, where you would expect it to shift or not shift, it does the opposite and makes you work the throttle that bit extra to overcome the misjudgment.

Its not serious as the engine does have enough reserve torque at all speeds. But you dont feel like your mind and the car's mind can be completely in sync in quick decision times. Its almost like the gearbox is confused with the extra ratio is has and doesnt know what to do with it and how to use it best.

The 4 speed AT i drove was responsive and felt more so as if it knew all that it had and how to use it (ratio-wise)

My biggest grouse about this gearbox:

when you start down a slope, you release the brake, but your foot is off the accelerator pedal. But when you tap the pedal you expect the car to pick up more speed and not slow down. Expecting to accelerate further after having dead rolled down a slope, when i press the accelerator, the gearbox is still in its own world and it engages first gear instead of second and the car get bogged down and you end up revving it unnecessarily. So it actually feels quite odd when you roll off a slope say at 20 kmph and then you press the pedal and the car feels like it slows and revs up.

All in all the gearbox can be disappointing when driving a bit hard. More than disappointing it makes the car pretty unengaging to drive hard.

Ride and Handling

The ride is stiff at low speeds and flattens out as the speed increases. Body roll is present but not discomforting. All in all this part of the car remains as reviewed by everyone else on this forum. I find this ride and handling package very acceptable.

But i do think that adaptive suspension could be the key for this car to go from good to great ! Maybe an upgrade ?? People would pay extra for the hardware if toyota offers it as a factory fitted option. this alongwith some extra power (Maybe a sportier gerbox would also be necessary) would seal the deal in favour of this car against many competitors in even the 40 lakh segment.

In an all new Fortuner maybe they have the room in the market to add another 2 lakhs in price and stay below 30 lakhs but yet offer a better new dashboard, higher state of tune engine, improved transmission and adaptable suspension. I would still go for it.

Brakes

I have never found any shortage of stopping capability in this car. At full load i was more than happy with the braking. Maybe Toyota has improved it, maybe i have never had to brake hard enough to test its limits.

Interiors, Seating & Features

Interiors of this car are good. The similarity to the Innova has been spoken about too much everywhere and i will avoid that path and largely as i dont think the dash deserves the flak it gets.

The leather seats are comfortable. Ample leg room on front and middle rows and a usable third row make this the right car for our family at the moment.

Features:
Reverse camera, HVAC with multiple outlets at rear, average touch screen interface, decent sound output, cruise control, auto lams and wipers, head lamp washers, EXCELLENT HEADLIGHTS, Bluetooth hands free, USB


All in all my take on this car is that its a car with street presence and for all its PROS i think it is the car to buy in its segment and maybe even in one above it. Frankly the competition is not as well rounded as the Fortuner in my books. The Fortuner itself might not make a compelling case for itself, but the other help you to select it.

Last edited by Dieselite : 29th March 2013 at 19:06.
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Old 29th March 2013, 19:51   #2
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Default re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th March 2013, 21:08   #3
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Interesting review.
Thanks for sharing.

I test drove Nissan X-Trail once and that gear-box is just A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!
Interestingly that car does not figure in you considerations list at all...

12 kmpl in City and 15 kmpl on highway? Really??? Come on .
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Old 29th March 2013, 21:32   #4
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Hey Anand,

Am dead serious about the fuel consumption. As I have written, the car has a newfound ability to potter around at low revs in city and deliver realistic figures of 12 kmpl in city and 15 kmpl on highways. I stay on sinhagad road and commute to khadakwasla everyday.

Also I really didnt consider a nissan x trail as i have seen only 1 or 2 on the road. It is also a non starter.

Cheers
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Old 29th March 2013, 22:35   #5
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Congratulations on the great buy ..

The Fortuner is a great SUV, having driven the manual extensively i can only believe the Automatic(a 5-speed none the less) to be even better.

P.S. Some more pics of the interiors and a side-by-side pic with the 530D would be much appreciated.

Drive Safe.

Cheers
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Old 29th March 2013, 23:29   #6
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Congrats!

My friend just got the same one last week. We too had trouble selecting the right SUV ( Rexton/Pajero Sport/Storme). Ended up with Fortuner due to the peace of mind and the 5 speed auto.

He went a step ahead and got the Fortuner with a BMC and Spider kit from day one!
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Old 29th March 2013, 23:37   #7
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Congrats!

My friend just got the same one last week. We too had trouble selecting the right SUV ( Rexton/Pajero Sport/Storme). Ended up with Fortuner due to the peace of mind and the 5 speed auto.

He went a step ahead and got the Fortuner with a BMC and Spider kit from day one!
JKdas !

Thanks and thanks again ! Please do give a detailed account of the upgrade -teins suspension kit and spider box ! Does it transform the character of this relaxed cruiser ? Was the fitment done by Nippon Toyota ? Do toyota really keep vehicle warranty intact?

Waiting to hear from you !
Cheers
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Old 30th March 2013, 01:27   #8
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Congrats - Fortuner is one hell of an SUV; but you know what, when I had taken the TD of 4-speed model here in Bangalore, the gear-box was quite shaky. I guess there was a prob with the test-drive machine, but it was literally vibrating at 120kmph, and as you rightly pointed, it's pretty weird down the slope, and overtaking on highways can be a little tricky, when someone is trying to accelerate next to you!

I knew Fortuner is supposed to be a nice powerful SUV, but in reality I didn't like the TD variant as much, and decided against it.

Interesting that Nissan X-Trail, and Mitsubishi Pajero/Outlander weren't in your consideration list at all!

At that price, folks often consider BMW X1, Merc B Class and Honda CRV (of course, still there's no diesel) too, but good that you had your thoughts clear that you wanted only Fortuner

And, on a side-note, my friend has a Fortuner and he gets like 8kmpl - are you sure of such great figures?
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Old 30th March 2013, 02:15   #9
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Many congratulations!


Good color and an awesome car!

Some more pictures will do justice, Happy motoring!!
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Old 30th March 2013, 03:50   #10
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Congratulations!! Honestly speaking I have never driven a Fortuner. The road presence of this beast is a treat to the eyes. Please post some pictures of the interiors.
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Old 30th March 2013, 08:38   #11
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Congrats diesel. Welcome to Club Fortuner. The mileage figures you have posted are indeed very good, its the 5 speed auto doing its thing I guess. I have consistently got 10.7 till now on all kinds of driving styles.
Overtaking is a breeze on the 4 speed, I just came back from a Delhi Manali trip and the sheer power in the low range is just phenomenal. Just tapping the accelerator and the car would leap forward. I guess the 4 speed gets the low range power whereas the 5 speed gets the higher range so you win some you lose some.

Any modifications or accessories planned do share.

Happy driving.
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Old 30th March 2013, 10:37   #12
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OmThoke View Post

Interesting that Nissan X-Trail, and Mitsubishi Pajero/Outlander weren't in your consideration list at all!

At that price, folks often consider BMW X1, Merc B Class and Honda CRV (of course, still there's no diesel) too, but good that you had your thoughts clear that you wanted only Fortuner

And, on a side-note, my friend has a Fortuner and he gets like 8kmpl - are you sure of such great figures?
Hey OmThoke,
Thanks. Yes buddy, my choice was made ! Considered nothing else. The FE is definitely up there and I do drive it very sedately. No sudden acceleration and I use the absence of engine braking to roll the car a lot when possible. 12 kmpl is a very realistic figure for the roads I drive on.
[/quote]



Quote:
Originally Posted by eq24 View Post
Congrats diesel. Welcome to Club Fortuner. The mileage figures you have posted are indeed very good, its the 5 speed auto doing its thing I guess. I have consistently got 10.7 till now on all kinds of driving styles.
Overtaking is a breeze on the 4 speed, I just came back from a Delhi Manali trip and the sheer power in the low range is just phenomenal. Just tapping the accelerator and the car would leap forward. I guess the 4 speed gets the low range power whereas the 5 speed gets the higher range so you win some you lose some.

Any modifications or accessories planned do share.

Happy driving.
Hey eq24 !

Same to you buddy ! Am waiting for jkdas 's feedback from his posts above. Watch this space !

CHEERS !
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Old 30th March 2013, 11:12   #13
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Congrats on the purchase and the good choice!
My family is also contemplating on this model as well as many other options. It's all so confusing - Rexton also looks good, Pajero of course is great, etc etc...

Waiting for more pictures..
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Old 30th March 2013, 11:32   #14
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Congratulations and welcome to the Fortuner Club. If I am not wrong - this might be the first 5-Speed AT around on this Forum. Going by the dates that is. I have seen this color in flesh at showroom here in Aurangabad and it really looked nice. Rather it looked better than the white one.

I guess its the high range and the 4x2 option that you are getting these mileage figures. Impressed with that indeed. These days I am getting 11.2 in (tank full method) city and around 13.5 on highways revving between 2K to 2.5K RPM. I got 12.1 while driving fast, however I don't care about the mileage figures as long as the drive thrills me all the time.

Happy Smiles !
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Old 30th March 2013, 11:58   #15
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Default Re: A Toyota Fortuner 5-Speed AT comes home!

Congratulations for the purchase! The Fortuner is a lovely vehicle indeed. Interestingly, even with its intimidating stance all the Fortuners I've seen till date have been driven sedately, unlike Scorpios.

Why is it that all I see are White Fortuners? If I ever buy a Fortuner it'd be in blue metallic or the grey mica colors. Drool!

... and we need more pictures!
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