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Old 24th June 2014, 10:44   #1
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Default Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

Likes:
- Space: Even after the third row seating 2 normal size suitcases can be put in the back with two duffle bags in top of them
- Power: The 3L diesel engine is a workhorse with ample power on tap always and invisible turbo lag. Just shoots like a rocket at start
- Visuals: Although a personal choice but I like the classic front grill, the back and the sides. I don't find any other better looking SUV around
- Robust built: It does feel like a tank and one feel absolutely comfortable taking it anywhere
- Luxurious interiors: I feel the interiors pretty luxurious with the upholstery to the plastics used.
- 80L fuel tanks gives a range of about 800 kms
- Road presence: It is huge and is noticed on the road
- The driving stance is additive with the overhanging view for the driver

Dislikes
- No option for >2 airbags
- No navigation in the touch based HU
- No rain sensing wipers
- No hill hold assist
- Slight body roll on speed breakers at slow speeds but it is expected of an SUV

Background:

I am a fast motorbike person and was never much into cars leave alone relatively slow moving SUVs. My tryst with cars started when I learnt to drive one on my dad's maruti 800 ("mere dad ki maruti :P") which was more a formality so that if needed I could drive one. Later I got a chance to drive my brother's Maruti Zen (old one). This is when things started to pick up for the better. I enjoyed driving it. Then came my friend Mithun's Toyota Corolla when I started feeling the need for higher capacity engines. Still I never felt like owning a car and used to drive occasionally. In 2007 I thought of buying a 4 wheeler and since I had been to Ladakh on my bike was looking for a vehicle which could reach there hence took a test drive of the tata safari but unfortunately I had to travel overseas for my job and that plan just went down the drain.

I returned after a while and on the suggestion from a friend attended a one day dirt rally training on an Esteem and an SX4 where I learnt the art of drifting which hooked on to me. I wanted to buys an SX4 and I booked one but had to cancel the booking as there were other pressing financial needs (buying a house). I finally decided to buy a pre-owned Maruti Baleno in 2009 and own it till now. It is a gem of a machine and I have been relishing driving it around.

2009 also saw the launch of the toyota fortuner. I loved the vehicle back then but it was beyond my budget. Later around 2012 I was thinking about getting a new car and thought of looking at the fortuner which had become even more expensive and I was dejected. Then the Renault Duster was launched and I liked it as a crossover especially the fact that it has more space for stuff but is not all that bulky and is easier on the pocket too. My wife also wanted to go for something other than a car. I arranged for a test drive and liked the car like maneuverability. However, the seating in the rear felt cramped and the smaller engine, suddenly it did not make sense as a 13 L vehicle.

We started looking for a car now. I increased my budget to 16L and was considering cars like the elantra petrol, skoda octavia, VW Jetta and zeroed in on the Elantra SX. Again I had to go to the US for work and decided that I will book the car on return. When I came back, my wife again suggested me to reconsider going in for a car and look at other options in SUV/crossover category. Nissan Terrano was about to be launched. But the same issues with the duster were here too. I looked the XUV as the next step but was not convinced with it. It is a good car but somehow does not come across as a tough SUV. After a lot of thought and my love for fortuner, I thought about going for a pre-owned fortuner as I am already aware of the benefits of pre-owned vehicles like not getting the initial depreciation hit and not bothering about the vehicle getting scratches etc along with the lesser price tag and lower insurance premium. I did find couple of option but again was not convinced about going for a pre-owned vehicle from someone I did not know.

Nissan Terrano launched and I thought lets close the chapter and book the Terrano. It will be lighter on my pocket and will look for an upgrade 2-3 yrs later. We went to the showroom to book the terrano, looked at it one more time at the showroom and somehow could not give the booking amount at that time. We decided to book it later after some thought. We discussed this with some friends and again the confusion began. I was back again looking for a pre-owned fortuner. Alternately, I started my calculations of what if I decide to go for a new fortuner. Booked a test drive and loved the vehicle. Then all the research on SUVs started.

I started comparing the Fortuner, Sante Fe, Captiva, Pajero, Koleos and Outlander. More on the comparison later on. After all the comparisons it turned out that the Fortuner is the best one for us but I was not able to find a good deal for a pre-owned one. Tried buying it from a army major but he back tracked. We went to Toyota Utrust who were selling a 2010 model for 17 L which had an insurance value of 12 L so decided against it. Finally, we took the plunge and decided to go for a new one and I started doing my calculations to get the adequate funds.

I thought about looking at the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 as well just to check if I am not missing anything in the near range which is better. Both of them felt more like a car than an SUV, did not have traditional 4x4 with lock differentials and were small in size hence we decided and booked the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 super white. Thus ending our roller coaster journey of deciding our next vehicle after owning a pre-owned Maruti Baleno for 5 years. Got it delivered yesterday. Thanks to everyone who aided in the decision making and to my wife for the support in going through with the decision.

By the way I never had a problem in deciding my bike upgrade in 2010 when I went for a Kawasaki Ninja 250R from a Bajaj Pulsar 180 classic. As I told you I am a motorbike enthusiast




The selection Process:
First the non contenders:
BMW X1, Audi Q3 Quattro : More car like feel than an SUV, do not give a built tough feel, 4x4 absent, space is very cramped.
Renault Koleos: Above issues plus trust in Nissan badge in India, resale considerations
Hyundai Santa Fe: The above issues without the space issue.
Chevrolet Captiva : 4x4 absent plus trust in Chevrolet badge in India, resale considerations
XUV500: Mahindra badge, does not give a built tough feel, 4x4 absent

Now the contenders:
Ford Endeavor: Too bulky and lethargic.
Tata Safari: Tata issue of long term ownership and lethargy in the engine, 4x4 technology questionable
Mitsubishi Pajero: Future of Mitsubishi in India is doubtful, service support doubt and do not like the new Pajero Sport look.

The selection
Toyota Fortuner 4x4: Built tough, solid toyota quality and service support, true 4x4 with lock differentials, spacious, good residual value.


Booking and delivery experience:

Booked the car at Galaxy Toyota Chattarpur in New Delhi. The staff was courteous. My sales advisor Sunny Bora was very patient and courteous. After the booking applied for the loan and then the agonizing wait started. Used this time to read more about the car and finalizing on the accessories to go for and the color to opt for. I initially wanted to go for the super white as it looked awesome in that color. My wife did not want to go for the white simply because the politicians cars are in white. So I thought about the black or the grey and settled for the grey. However, after much rethinking and discussion finalized on the super white only with my wife agreeing too to it. I was intimated that I will get the car by end May 2014 and I had planned a trip to my hometown Lucknow in the new car with me and my brother's family on 18-Jun-14. However, as luck would have it, the car did not arrive in Delhi as late as the 17-Jun-14 and they needed another day for the temporary registration. They told me that they would deliver the car on 19-Jun-14. I had to travel to Lucknow on train. The car was ready on 19 Jun but I was not there to collect it. I was to return on 23-Jun. Meanwhile the dealership kept calling me to pick up the vehicle as soon as possible since they were getting inquiries for the ready vehicle from other prospective buyers. I reached back to Delhi on 23-Jun and confirmed the delivery in the afternoon. We reached the dealership at around 4 pm and were ready with the new car at around 5 pm with all paperwork in order. They explained the features to us, then the customary photograph was clicked and we were off on our way to Gurgaon to visit my brother.

The odo was already showing 52kms. I was slightly nervous as this was my first experience with an SUV (I had driven a Chevy Captiva in the US but driving an SUV on Indian roads and traffic was a different ball game). I was very conscious while driving on the road specially thinking about not to get it hit by anything. Refueled at the petrol bunk at Chattarpur and then drove to Gurgaon focusing a lot on the driving. At Gurgaon my brother took a test drive and it was his first SUV experience as well but was driving it like a toy. He then gave me the golden advise that "
Cars are meant for our convenience and should never become a reason for worry. Drive naturally without worrying about it getting hit or anything. There is an insurance for that." After those magic words I was driving like I had been driving an SUV for a while.

On Road price:

No discounts given, not even the floor mats were given free. The cost breakup
Ex-showroom (New Delhi) : Rs. 2306309/-
Registration (U.P.) : Rs. 191000/-
Insurance (Toyota) : Rs. 81397/-
Logistics : Rs. 6250/-

On road price : Rs. 2584956/-

Accessories:
Floor mat : Rs. 4151.25/-
Trunk mat : Rs. 1248.75/-
Rubber mats (bought later when the fabric mats started getting soiled due to rains): Rs. 1799/-
Muffler Cutter : Rs. 1361.25/-
Auto folding mirror : Rs. 4320/-
Car cushions(2) : Rs. 1035/-
Vehicle Tracking Device (Amsaki) : Rs. 9000/-

Ownership Experience:

I have opted for the 4x4 manual variant in super white color.

Kms done till now: 1050

My daily usage pattern is very erratic. My office is around 12 kms but I don't take it to office on a daily basis as I use my kawasaki ninja 250r for the office commute as well but the weekends generally end up travelling either to Gurgaon (50 kms one way) or Ghaziabad (15 kms one way). I have not yet taken her on the highway except for a short ride on the Taj expressway till the Budh circuit. The average on the MID is 9.5

Exterior styling:
I am an admirer of the fortuner since its launch in India in 2009. I haven't seen any other SUV with a better back, side and front as that of this car. The new front grill looks classic. The bonnet scoop and the rear spoiler adds to the character. The huge tires along with the overall huge body gives it a royal presence on the road.

Build quality:
This toyota reeks of quality. The built is like a tank and fit and finish is impeccable all around.

Interior design and quality:
Though the quality in the interiors is also as impeccable as that of the exterior the design is very down to earth and simple especially the dash. I would have like something more vibrant but I can't complain about what is there as of now.

Interior space and comfort:
There is no dearth of space in this vehicle. Climb up in front and you feel like sitting on an elephant in a royal chair. Ample leg room. The driver seat is 6 way electronically adjustable. Although there is no memory function for the setting but nothing to complain here. Go back to the middle row and you are treated even more royally. 3 people can sit in comfort here and you can still fit in another if you want. The middle row seats are recline-able to provide even more comfort. It can also slide forward and backward as needed to provide even more leg room in the middle or in the third row of seating. In fact push the middle to furthest back and push the front passenger as forward as possible. Now remove the front passenger headrest and recline the front passenger completely and you get a complete bed to stretch your tired legs. The middle row is also 40-60 fold-able to provide an access to the third row or make way for more storage.
The third row is a proper seat which can seat 3 people if needed whereas 2 can sit very comfortably. It has seat belts in the third seat provided and there is enough height for the seat to sit properly. In fact if you push the middle row in front, there is good legroom in the third row and the second row does not feel too much reduced. I haven't gone on a long journey yet to provide and all round feedback but have traveled around 15 kms with 2 adults (my wife and her sister) and my 1 yr old son in his carry cot in the third row and they told me they were very comfortable.

Air conditioning:
The air conditioning is spot on, whether it is because of the large engine or not, it cools the interior in a very short time. I have used it in the extreme hot month of Jun and July and have been in absolute comfort in the car even if the car was parked in the hot sun for hours in which case it takes a bit longer to cool down like 5 mins or so. The dual AC is a boon although there is no independent temperature control for the rear but we can switch off the rear AC when not needed. The overhead rear vents in the middle and third row provide enough cooling. The middle row has its independent blower control which is basically for middle and third row both. The rear AC is for the second and third row. Apart from this the automatic climate control is a useful feature. I can set the desired temperature and set the automatic climate control and it will control the blower speeds as needed for the front row only.

Other equipment level:
The plastics used are very good in quality. The leather upholstery is also very fine. There are enough cubby holes, cup holders and bottle holders provided. There is a storage compartment with a large space on the left of the driver side which also acts as an armrest. The glove box though is small as compared to the vehicle. Also if I raise the driver seat the arm rest is not of much help so in order to enjoy the armrest I have to keep the seat height low. There are 2 twelve volt outlets other than the cigarette lighter socket, 1 in the front and 1 in the back (could be used to keep a small refrigerator there).

The equipment levels are sufficient although few extra would have been cherished like rear discs, in dash navigation, rain sensing wipers, cooled glove box, ventilated seats.

Engine performance:

I have driven it for around a 1000 kms and have enjoyed each one of them. The engine has loads of power available on tap. There is no noticeable turbo lag. The car launches on the first gear. The third gear is of great utility while driving in traffic as we can drive in this gear at slow speeds and speed up whenever needed. I haven't taken the car beyond 105 kmph so can't talk much about the high speed performance but the 3.0 L engine does keep you pretty satisfied and feels a lot refined. The diesel motor sound is audible inside the cabin but gives a good feel to the overall experience. It has been pretty easy to drive in the city traffic. The only difference been keeping in mind the extra dimensions otherwise it is easy and fun to drive. I haven't taken it on a highway so more on it later.

Transmission:
The gear shift is a long throw one but smooth and the long throw kind of goes with character of the fortuner. I have not struggled while changing the gear till now. The gears slots in very easily.

Suspension & ride quality:
The ride quality is excellent. It eats but bad roads in speed and just glides on smooth roads. I have yet to take it out for a proper off road experience but on proper tarmac it rides very well. The suspension set is on the stiffer side which I believe is to handle the off road situations as well but is well balanced. There is some body roll at slow speeds on big speed breakers or large broken roads but that is expected out of a stiffer suspension. The grip on the road is very good, thanks to the broad and large tires and the full time 4 wheel drive. Cornering does not throws up large amounts of body roll hence it gives much more confidence while taking a turn at a decent speed.

Others:
The steering is not very heavy. I can drive with one hand on the wheel most of the time. I like the part faux wood portion of the wheel. Braking is fine. The headlights throw enough light and the auto head lights are a good feature to have especially if travelling a lot on roads with tunnels. The touch based HU has good sound quality. I am yet to test the video. Navigation is a miss there and I have not been able to make the mirrorlink work with my phone. Bluetooth phone connectivity is spot on. The handles in front to climb up are very useful and the ramp on the side is useful for people climbing up in the rear. It is slightly tough to close the boot otherwise the central lock starts to complain.

The only issue faced so far is the smaller middle row seat is stuck and does not lift up to make way for the third row seat. I have to get it checked at the first service. Apart from this I managed to scratch the left side view on a side view mirror of a mini bus and another lady in a baleno banged on the left rear bumper near the tire. The muffler cutter is also started to lose its shine.

Service and after sales:
Yet to be experienced

Cost of upkeep & maintenance:
Yet to be experienced

Some more drama:
After 3 weeks of ownership, an incident happened. I generally take the fortuner to office as I need to complete the 1000 kms for the first service but one day on the 11-Jun-14 I decided to leave it in my apartment basement parking and take my old car to the office. That day a fire broke out in the lower basement of our apartment. My wife and kid evacuated and went to another friend's place but the car was stuck in the basement as there was a lot of smoke and no one was able to go in. I reached back only to find the fire department trying to control the fire. It took them around 5 hrs to control it. There was still a lot of smoke in the upper basement where the car was parked. Somehow we managed to reach the upper basement and upon activating the central lock I could make out the car was not far but there smoke everywhere and we couldn't see anything. I inquired from a person from the security if I could quickly go in and get the car out. Seeing the proximity of the car he asked for the keys and darted towards it. Within minutes the car was out. I parked it in the open and inspected it. Apart from the black soot all over, I could only find a minor scratch on the right side of the bonnet. I cleaned up the whole car with water and it was shining again as a brand new car. I hope the few minutes the car ran in the dense smoke would not have affected it in any way.
Attached Thumbnails
Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140624_000223.jpg  

Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140624_000257.jpg  

Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140624_000311.jpg  

Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140702_084903.jpg  

Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140624_092439.jpg  

Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140711_165308.jpg  

Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140711_165255.jpg  


Last edited by TorquePeedo : 18th July 2014 at 23:27.
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Old 19th July 2014, 16:45   #2
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Default Re: Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th July 2014, 16:57   #3
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Default Re: Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

Congratz on your purchase mate, and that's some way to start off an ownership report, straight on to 'Likes & Dislikes'
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Old 19th July 2014, 17:08   #4
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Default Re: Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

Congrats on your Fortuner!
Do take it off-roading sometimes. But while off-roading take car of the side footsteps. Because I have seen many broken footsteps and front no. plates.
All the best!
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Old 20th July 2014, 11:53   #5
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Default Re: Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

Each time I see a new Fortuner ownership thread, my love for this SUV comes back to trouble me. Right from the day I read its official review way back in 2010, I have admired it. Many many congratulations on your new ride. I really hoped you had opted for the grey colour. Somehow I feel that shade looks best and moreover white has just become too common.

You could have tried taking the insurance quote from outside. Would have easily saved you around 20-25k from what you paid now. Anyways enjoy your vehicle now. And do post some more pictures.
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Old 20th July 2014, 16:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiGOD View Post
Congratz on your purchase mate, and that's some way to start off an ownership report, straight on to 'Likes & Dislikes'
Thanks RiGOD

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks GTO!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean5545 View Post
Congrats on your Fortuner!
Do take it off-roading sometimes. But while off-roading take car of the side footsteps. Because I have seen many broken footsteps and front no. plates.
All the best!
Thanks dean. Off-road trials are still some time to go. First I will take it on the highway for a trip. Will keep the thread posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Each time I see a new Fortuner ownership thread, my love for this SUV comes back to trouble me. Right from the day I read its official review way back in 2010, I have admired it. Many many congratulations on your new ride. I really hoped you had opted for the grey colour. Somehow I feel that shade looks best and moreover white has just become too common.

You could have tried taking the insurance quote from outside. Would have easily saved you around 20-25k from what you paid now. Anyways enjoy your vehicle now. And do post some more pictures.
Thanks. I had followed your thread for the decision making and while you opted for the German, I got convinced about this one

I had thought about the grey and agree that white it very common but somehow the grey or the black or the rest of the color do not do justice to the car. The white combined with the black portions and the glass has a different effect on road which was hard to resist but then again it is my personal opinion.

About the insurance I did thought about taking from outside but was advised that the outside insurances though 0 dep have a limit on how many times I can claim in a year whereas the toyota one does not have any such limit hence I went for it as this is the first time I will be driving an SUV and I wanted to be prepared.

Got the first service done yesterday. The experience was as below
- Appointment was made for an express service.
- I reached on time and was greeted by a service representative w
ho listened to all my inputs very intently.
- After that I was explained what all to expect in the service.
- I then waited in the waiting room and could watch my car being serviced below.
- Normal express service is 1 hr but since the middle row seat in my car was stuck and had to be screwed open so the service rep informed me that there would be additional couple of hours for the service.
- I waited but they managed to do it earlier than expected.
- I made the payment and left.

Since my 1000 kms run was not without events I opted for 3M paint protection and underbody anti-rust coating costing me around Rs. 11014. Rest the service was free as it was in warranty.

The car came out shining again. The following blemishes were taken care of:
- slight scratch on the right side of the bonnet when there was a fire in my apartments.
- a long line on the left front door probably due to a bag rubbing against it by myself
- A large scratch on the left rear mudguard near the tire which was presented to me by a lady in a baleno who decided to kiss my new car when I was negotiating a slow turn.


Overall very satisfied with the service experience.
Attached Thumbnails
Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140719_094425.jpg  

Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140719_132344.jpg  

Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140719_132407.jpg  

Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4-20140719_134801.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 21st July 2014 at 15:17. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 20th July 2014, 16:40   #7
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Congrats on the purchase of your mighty beast! It looks great in white colour. Good to know that you went for the fortuner as it feels and looks much better than its competition.

Do post some more pictures of the beast.
Regarding the smoke, I dont think it must have affected the car in anyway.

Drive safe and wish you a very happy and peaceful ownership.


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Old 20th July 2014, 17:22   #8
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Default Re: Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

I wish I could afford one of these. By far the most sensible vehicle if you love outdoor in its price range.
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Old 21st July 2014, 08:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohitj92 View Post
Congrats on the purchase of your mighty beast! It looks great in white colour. Good to know that you went for the fortuner as it feels and looks much better than its competition.

Do post some more pictures of the beast.
Regarding the smoke, I dont think it must have affected the car in anyway.

Drive safe and wish you a very happy and peaceful ownership.


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Thanks. Pictures will keep coming as I will get the opportunities to click them

Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
I wish I could afford one of these. By far the most sensible vehicle if you love outdoor in its price range.
Thanks extreme_tourque. Hope you get yours sooner than later
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Old 21st July 2014, 09:01   #10
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Default Re: Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorquePeedo View Post
Thanks. Pictures will keep coming as I will get the opportunities to click them r
Congrats on a brilliant purchase.

It was your title that caught my attention. No offense, but I wouldn't call a Fortuner as a white elephant. Reason:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_elephant I'm sure you will agree...

Last edited by vinjosep : 21st July 2014 at 09:02.
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Old 21st July 2014, 10:06   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinjosep View Post
Congrats on a brilliant purchase.

It was your title that caught my attention. No offense, but I wouldn't call a Fortuner as a white elephant. Reason:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_elephant I'm sure you will agree...
wow I didn't know that ... that's completely in contrast.
will think about something new. Thanks for the information though
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Old 21st July 2014, 10:10   #12
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Default Re: Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

A correction in cost breakup.

The registration cost was Rs. 184806/- The cost I had mentioned was at the booking time but later on this is what was actually paid for it. The further breakup of this is

New registration fee: Rs. 200/-
One addition of hypothecation : Rs. 100/-
Road Tax: Rs. 184506/-

Request the mods to update the original post if possible.
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Old 21st July 2014, 14:35   #13
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Default Re: Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

Many many congratulations TorquePeedo for the Fortuner.
Wish you many many miles munching with the fortuner.
Enjoy your ride and drive safe.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 16:00   #14
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Default Re: Coming home of the white elephant...Toyota Fortuner 4x4

Hi Torquepeedo,

Many Congratulations on your wonderful ride!

Wish you many miles of happiness and Fortuner is indeed a SUV for keeps!

Happy Motoring!!
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