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Old 7th February 2017, 21:39   #1
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Talking One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga

(This is a very special post. About my first own car, about my first thread on Team-BHP and about my first year of relationship with this incredible beast. Requesting all to kindly pardon me for mistakes, bias, ignorance or any untoward deviation from the norms of posting on TBHP. I have referred to official TBHP review of Toyota Fortuner to cover as many points as possible. Link (Review: 2015 Toyota Fortuner 4x4 Automatic). A big thanks to fellow BHPians Varun, Joe and Tejas for some lovely pictures)

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-toyota-fortuner.jpg

ODO Reading at the time of writing the review: 45,080 km in 14 months

Things I Like
  • Dependable cruiser
  • Butch styling - Proper SUV looks
  • Strong presence
  • Build quality
  • High tolerance for abuse
  • Superior diesel engine
  • Offroad capability
  • Convenience of AT gearbox for city commute
  • Toyota badge
  • Consistent and extensive service networks - all major NHs
  • Massive greenhouse
  • Seating position - Commanding view of the road
  • Super comfortable seats
  • Fuel efficiency - 9-10 kmpl on highways
  • Auto climate control - AC is a chiller even when set at 25C
  • Traction, steering feedback and road mannerisms
  • Auto headlamps, throw of headlamps, auto-adjust low beam and headlamp washer
  • Convenient engine braking with D-4-3-2-L gears
  • Vehicle stability control, electric adjustment for driver's seat, GPS navigation and decent HU
  • Massive windshield washer liquid tank - Gulps down almost 4 Litres
  • Short service interval
  • Reasonable cost of ownership
Things I Don't Like
  • City speeds ride quality
  • Body roll
  • Low end torque in 2nd gear
  • Missing steering reach adjustment
  • Speakers
  • Stock Wipers
  • Foglights are useless
  • Missing auto up/down on all windows
  • No charging points for middle row passengers
  • Yellow interior lights
  • Not comfortable for senior citizens
Things I Can Live With
  • Utilitarian interiors
  • Average brakes - I am not an aggressive driver so I find braking acceptable
  • Two airbags
  • Missing rear lockable-differential - Central lock is enough for my usage

Last edited by ragh_bhushan : 25th April 2017 at 00:18.
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Old 13th February 2017, 22:49   #2
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Default How it happened

Background
I have always had a thing for big, bulky, brawny machines. Be it SUVs, pickup trucks or for that matter full-size trucks themselves. The Volvos, the MANs and the CATs cause my head to turn instantly. I have learnt my driving at a motor training school on a Tata Sumo and have driven Safari, Bolero, Scorpio and XUV500 from time to time. Ever since Fortuner was launched in 2009, it had always been on my crosshairs and I knew that someday I would own this beast. This was purely from the looks perspective. We did not have any car in the house at that time.

After my graduation in 2009, I had to travel to Taiwan for work. During this time Dad decided to bring home our first car. We really did not need it since his daily commute is a paltry 2 kms and he does not like going on long road trips either. It was more of a nice to have kind of a buy. He knew it had to be budget car and that it had to be a Maruti Suzuki. He went to SK Wheels, got a deal on Estilo LXi and booked it on the spot after a test drive. Got the car delivered in February 2011.

Eight month after the purchase, I returned back home and the car had done just about 600 kms. I took over and started clocking in some serious miles and accumulated about 50,000 kms in the next 4 years over countless long drives. This was also when my passion for driving came out of the closet. I used the car for my office commutes (25 km daily in bumper-to-bumper traffic) and weekend long drives. Honestly, I never liked the Estilo in any aspect but restrained myself from buying a new set of wheels only because I wanted to put our existing car to some use. If not for me then it would not have completed even 5,000 kms in 5 years.

Anyway, after trying to find a striking balance between clutch-brake-clutch in terrible Mumbai traffic for 4-years, my left leg finally gave up on me and that was the time when I decided that I had given enough time and efforts to the poor Estilo and it was time that I get myself my very own first car. It most certainly had to be an automatic. There was no two ways about it. Fortuner 4x4 AT had been launched less than a year back. It was probably the easiest decision really as far as answering the question "What car” was concerned.

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-what-car.jpg

Must Haves
  • Diesel - For long and frequent highway drives
  • Automatic transmission - For daily city commute
  • Decent off-Roader - For occasional sand, slush and fun aspects
  • High tolerance for abuse - For not being bothered about road conditions, pot holes and speed-breakers sprouting overnight
  • Comprehensive service network - For getting out of the comfort zone of home city and explore India and beyond without worrying about the service coverage
  • Low cost of ownership - I am ok to rip the band-aid off at the time of purchase if there is no constant pain of worrying about service costs
All of the above boxes must tick. Everything else including the budget was negotiable.

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-requirements.jpg

Cars Considered / Not Considered:
Mine is a classic case of a decision truly made from the heart and was a pure impulsive buy like most of my unaffordable possessions. Total time starting from the itch to actually owning one was less than a month. A shortlist of cars was prepared only from finance perspective and maybe to give my “head” a fair play at the decision making process. The heart already knew that it’s going to be the mighty Fortuner.

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-1.jpg
Creta Diesel - Friend had just booked it so gave it a thought. Good engine and gearbox, loaded with features, decent road presence, but off-roadability very much limited and interior is not that bright or spacious. Took a test-drive for namesake.

New Ford Endeavour - Superior truck, checked almost all the boxes but reliability and consistency in service experience was a question mark at that time. Also I am not a big fan of Ford as a brand. I would rate Fortuner looks and road presence higher over the Endy. The features that the Endy is loaded with are all good to have but certainly not must-haves for me except the sun-roof. So Endy was out. Also I am not a huge fan of Ford as a brand.

New Fortuner - Recently launched in Thailand and Australia. Was expected to be launched in India soon. I read all the reviews and data available. Everything looked good except the looks itself. I did not like the design one bit from the pictures and videos. It was only when I started seeing them on-road in India many times that I started to acquire the taste for its design. Paddle shifters was a nice addition but with no significant changes to power, ride quality and suspension, I decided against waiting for the launch of new Fortuner and went for the tried and tested existing one.
I did not consider Pajero Sports due to its poor service network.

Car Booking
November 2015 manufactured car was available in January 2016 at a discount of Rs. 1 Lakh. After talking to 3 dealers in Mumbai, I finalised Lakozy Toyota, Andheri because I could negotiate a further discount of Rs. 1 Lakh. Only conditions set by the dealer were that I take Toyota Protect insurance and loan financing from their banking partner (SBI). I agreed with my own condition that I will do a comprehensive PDI at the yard before paying the booking amount. Having read so many ownership reviews on TBHP I was sure that 2 months is barely any time in the life of a Fortuner. The car came out flawless on all parameters of Team-BHP PDI (ARTICLE: Pre-delivery Inspection (PDI) & Check List) and the booking amount of Rs. 50,000/- was paid on 10th Feb 2016. Loan was also applied for, which got sanctioned and disbursed within 4 days.

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-first-click.jpg

Since the car was already at the dealer’s stockyard, the only thing remaining to be done before the car became mine was the registration which I was informed will take at least 3 working days. I got a call from Sales Advisor within couple of days that the number has been allotted to us and we could take delivery anytime we want. I must mention here that Lakozy Toyota was very accommodating about our demand for changing the delivery date 2-3 times due to personal reasons.

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-day-0.jpg

Delivery Experience
The car was finally delivered on February 17, 2016 after yet another PDI and brief paper work session. It took couple of hours for the paperwork and the explanation about the features of the car. The handover ceremony was very well arranged and we enjoyed every moment of the experience.

Dad performing pooja
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-delivery.jpg
Left the dealership with a wide and evil grin on my face which continues to come back every time I crank up the engine. Headed straight to the nearest bunk for that very special first tank-up. The beast gulped exactly 80 Liters of diesel. I was informed by the dealership that 5 Litres of diesel was already there in the fuel tank, so was surprised to see further 80L going in as the rated capacity is 80L. Dropped the family at home after a small drive on the Bandra-Worli sea link and headed straight for the Mumbai - Pune expressway. Drove about 250 kms that day and finally called it a night at around 11PM. Could not sleep at all and drove away again at 5 in the morning.

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-2.jpg

On Road Price & Discounts
  • Ex-showroom - Rs. 28,28,095/-
  • Toyota Protect Insurance - Rs. 1,07,666/-
  • Road Tax - Rs. 3,67,653/-
  • Toyota Genuine Accessories - Rs. 41,458/-
    Fabric floor mats - Rs. 5281/-
    Cargo net - Rs. 3,191/-
    Vanity sun visor - Rs. 771/-
    Scoop cover - Rs.2,813/-
    Side cladding - Rs. 27,800/-
  • Registration Charges - Rs. 24,300/-
  • Total Quoted - Rs. 33,69,172/-
  • Discount - Rs. 2,00,000/-
  • Final on road price - Rs. 31,69,172/-

Added Later
  • External tyre pressure and temperature monitoring system
  • Dual USB Charger - 2.1A rated
  • Magnetic mobile phone holder
  • Active charcoal deodoriser
  • Bosch clear advantage wipers
  • Fastag. Highly recommended
  • ETC Tag for Mumbai entry points
  • Michelin tyre inflator

Planned Upgrades
  • Speakers
  • Under body coating

Last edited by ragh_bhushan : 25th April 2017 at 00:26.
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Old 13th February 2017, 22:51   #3
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Default Exterior

Typical Usage Pattern

25-30 km in heavy city traffic 5-6 days a week and random long NH drives whenever time permits. 70% Highway and 15% city and 15% Off-road driving till now.

Exterior Styling & Design

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-side-profile.jpg

Proper Truck
Yes. That's what it is. And there are no two ways about it. It looks like a truck, sounds like a truck, drives like a truck and also behaves like a truck. Push it by prodding the accelerator and it pulls like a mighty locomotive with a grunt of an angry beast.

Feels like you are sitting on a bison that is raging forward with an intent. Intent to destroy anything in its path. It does not care about the ground it is standing on. Whether it is a paved grassland or slush pit or pure concrete. It will charge and it will charge as if it is the most natural thing to do.

Personally speaking, I am not a huge fan of the new design of the Fortuner because I feel it has lost its truck looks to a large extent and is more like a refined luxury wagon. Although I feel that the new Fortuner looks much better in person and the design grows on you. More of an acquired taste.

Coming back to the previous generation.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-7.jpg

The truck looks least butch from the backside.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-backside.jpg

All other angles brings out emotions like raw, mean, beast, brute, power etc.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-profile.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-20.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-side-4.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-side-7.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-side-2.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-side-8.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-side-3.jpg

A look at the headlamp cluster. Smoked effect with generous use of chrome all over. Headlamps provide decent illumination both in the low/high beams. Although some prefer much higher rated lamps but anything higher simply blinds the oncoming traffic.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-14.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-15.jpg

Headlamp washer in action. Very handy feature. This has been shockingly removed from the new generation model.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-headlamp-washer.jpg

Large trapezoidal grille with a large T badge. The scoop adds to the butch looks. Everything on this truck comes in an XL size.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-16.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-17.jpg

Scoop cover adds some character to the hood. I am not a big fan of chrome but this one looks nice IMHO
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-19.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-21.jpg

Chrome accents on the Foglamp housing. The lights themselves are grossly inadequate and do not serve any purpose other than enhancing the looks.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-22.jpg

Good underbody protection. This was also put to test during one of the late night drives and few parts have been replaced. More on it later.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-25.jpg

Wiper blades have been replaced to BOSCH Clear Advantage. Factory wiper blades were although good but lifted during high speed operations under windy conditions. The spread from the washer pump is excellent and almost covers the entire windscreen.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-26.jpg

You can't miss the chrome even if you want to. I don't understand Toyota's fascination with chrome. Latest Fortuner continues to get copious amounts of the shiny treatment. Panel gaps are more than necessary and look ugly.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-31.jpg

Although they are quite consistent.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-32.jpg

Smoked tail lamps as well
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-45.jpg

Chrome fascination continues in the rear. Also visible are XL sized panel gaps.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-46.jpg

Meaty exhaust pipe. Yet to see any black smoke coming out of it.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-66.jpg

All available badges on my truck. 3.0. D-4D. FULLTIME 4WD. AUTOMATIC.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-67.jpg

Spoiler integrates well with the overall design.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-52.jpg

Rear windscreen washer is well hidden out of sight. The flow from it is utterly disappointing.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-53.jpg

Last edited by ragh_bhushan : 24th April 2017 at 23:11.
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Old 13th February 2017, 22:54   #4
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Default Exterior Continued

Large door handle.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-43.jpg

Enormous greenhouse all around.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-47.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-50.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-51.jpg

Radio antenna printed on the quarter glass.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-49.jpg

Reversing camera well hidden above the number plates. No guidelines for steering position though. Would have been a great feature for off-road driving.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-62.jpg

Number plates illumination is quite poor.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-63.jpg

Independent double-wishbone suspension. Front flaps. Front tow hook.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-33.jpg

Whole front left side suspension assembly was replaced after an accident. Details in the service section.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-60.jpg

Naked and ugly wheel well.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-34.jpg

Look at all the space there. Lots of room for tyre upsize. I will consider this once I have more trucks in my garage.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-35.jpg

Alternately thick and thin spoked black alloys. Super white body with black alloys seem to be favourite of many including yours truly. Also visible door cladding which add to the muscles of the truck. A Toyota Genuine Accessory, it integrates well with the design.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-36.jpg

Made in Japan Dunlops. No puncture, no pressure loss and a lot of tread depth still left after almost 45,000 km. Should be able to cross 60,000 kms easily.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-44.jpg

Non-independent 4-link suspension for the rear.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-56.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-59.jpg

Full-sized alloy for the stepney.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-58.jpg

Central differential lock. Rear diff locks would have been nice. It is standard in some other markets but has been omitted for India.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-61.jpg

Last edited by ragh_bhushan : 24th April 2017 at 23:38.
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Old 13th February 2017, 22:57   #5
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Default Interiors

All black colour does add a sliver of luxury to this otherwise utilitarian interiors. The dash is neatly organised and is very ergonomic. Frequently used things are more easily accessible than not so frequently accessed things like Rear AC or Traction control switch.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-70.jpg

No complaints about visibility in all directions although A pillar does create some blind spot.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-72.jpg

Chunky and large steering wheel. It's pretty direct and offers excellent feedback on the road conditions. At parking speeds it does weigh pretty heavy.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-76.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-74.jpg

Look at all that spacious footwell.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-75.jpg

Simplistic AVN as well as AC control panel. I like the two holes provided for keeping the mobile phones. However it is only for small sized phone. Larger than 5.5" phones come out of the hole. That air conditioner is an absolute chiller. Maximum ambient temperature tested has been 45 degree celcius.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-77.jpg

Two gear levers. No tiptronic or paddle shifters. All you can do is downshift or hold the gears upto a maximum number set by the gear nob. D-4-3-2-L allows good amount of engine braking. 4x4 lever vibrates a lot all the time. It's usage has been limited to less than 10% of total running till date. I plan to use it more often now onwards.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-80.jpg

I use these spaces to keep the coins and wallet.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-82.jpg

Very handy feature for munching those NH miles. Roads in India have improved significantly over the last few years. Automatic transmission with cruise control means that doing 800-1000 kms a day in solo drive is absolutely stress free.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-85.jpg

Nice place to put your cup of coffee. As you can see it has been used to the fullest extent.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-87.jpg

Simple instrument cluster. Nothing fancy. All that you need is there. All that you want is not.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-90.jpg

A small touchscreen. MID is from the ancient times. Very basic. Would have been nice to see more data from the trips instead of standard temperature, mileage, elapsed time, range and heading direction.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-93.jpg

Activated charcoal deodorizer. It has been doing its duty for more than 13 months. It works as claimed. No foul smell or odour in my car till now although it is well past it rated life. Highly recommended for people who don't like air fresheners or perfumes.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-94.jpg

Ashtray is backlit.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-96.jpg

A look at the lit up instrument cluster.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-97.jpg

Switching ON the AC with the Auto button puts the blower in max mode which gets very noisy. Hence, I switch the Auto mode only after the temperature inside the cabin has settled down.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-99.jpg

That's front passenger leg room. A 5'10" person will never need more legroom in life.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-105.jpg

Minimum achievable temperature of AC is 18 Degrees
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-106.jpg

IRVM offers good rearward visibility. Auto dimming mirrors would have been nice.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-108.jpg

ORVM visibility. No complaints there. It accumulates a lot of bug spatter on highway drives due to its squarish and non-aerodynamic design.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-109.jpg

Door pockets can barely hold the 1L sized bottles. Their size is inadequate.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-127.jpg

ORVM adjustment panel, instrument cluster brightness adjustment knob and headlamp washer switch. Not sure about the purpose of "Security" indicator.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-131.jpg

Only driver side window gets auto up/down feature. Should have been provided for all windows. Sorely miss this one.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-128.jpg

Ignition keyhole is lit in white color.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-126.jpg

Both driver and passenger seat recline completely and offer good comfort for a quick nap.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-120.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-122.jpg

Sparsely used second row seats. Ingress and Egress are not very comfortable for senior citizens. Cup holders in the central arm rest is sorely missed when chauffeur driven. The ones available at the foot level. Absolutely useless they are.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-middle-row.jpg

Third row is comfortable only for kids on long journeys and adults for shorter than 2-3 hours trips. Cargo space available with all rows up is decent.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-third-row.jpg

Last edited by ragh_bhushan : 25th April 2017 at 00:03.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 15:38   #6
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Default Driving the Truck

Engine and Drivability

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-engine.jpg

There has been enough discussions on TBHP regarding the Fortuner’s Engine performance and I don’t have anything significant to add. Turbo kicks in pretty early, although low-end torque in second gear seems inadequate sometimes. Can become bothersome in slow moving traffic.

Driving on highway is absolutely stress-free and the truck adapts to your driving style very gracefully - be aggressive on your overtakes or just lay-back and munch those miles all day long - the feeling is just pure bliss. The pedal-to-metal kick down reaction is madness IMHO. There is a lot of Engine “music” in the cabin at 2500+ RPM which I just love. Feels like a proper truck. Engine revs 2000 RPM at cruising speed of 100 kmph.

Front bumper and ORVMs attract a lot of bugs during night highway drives.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-bug-spatter.jpg

Cabin refinement is not that great and road noise does get into the cabin especially at high speeds. Thanks to the naked wheel wells and plastic sheet damping in the doors. Dunlop Grandtrek tyres have performed flawlessly till now. Never felt loss of traction or nervousness in the braking.

Fuel Efficiency

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-tankup.jpg
  • Fuel efficiency in city is about 8 kmpl and on highways I have achieved upto 11 kmpl
  • The average has been mostly 9-10 kmpl.
  • Maximum distance between two tankfuls was 876 km at the end of which the truck quenched its thirst with 89 Liters of Diesel. The rated capacity is 80L only.
  • Average distance between tankfuls is about 750 km with 75 Liters of Diesel going in. Reserve is a good 15 Liters with a range of ~150 kms
Brakes
Brakes on old Fortuner has been much debated upon and criticised for effectiveness and lack of bite. My experience till now has been satisfactory though. Many on the forum have reported faster wearing-out of brake pads / discs in AT variants. My truck’s brake pads were replaced at 30,000 kms service when it was found to be completely worn out. I use a lot of engine braking by shifting down from D to 4 to 3 as often as possible. I understand that brake pads on automatics have shorter brake life compared to their manual counterparts but wearing out completely in less than 30,000 kms is bothersome. Will be interesting to see the reports of other BHPians who have bought new Fortuner with all-round disc brakes.

Lights & Wipers
I would rate the lights of Fortuner as 8/10 for both low beam and high beam. Fog lamps are only for aesthetic reasons and I have not found any use for them in any condition till date.

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-150.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-151.jpg

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One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-fortuner-162.jpg

Wiper rubbers died pretty early (8 months) and I have recently changed them to Bosch Clear Advantage of which initial impressions are great. OEM wipers at high speeds lose traction and need a spoiler to keep them working fine. Bosch wipers are yet to be tested for monsoons.

4x4 and Off-roading Experience
Ground clearance (225mm) is superior as far as off-roading is limited to medium level. I am yet to push my truck to its off-roading limits. Terrains explored till date have been:
  • Beaches of Goa, Konkan and North Mahrashtra
  • Sand dunes at Jaisalmer (Required low range Engagement)
  • Grasslands at Rajmachi
  • Slush at Lonavla
  • Gravel at various under construction roads in India

Some Captures

Near Pali on a dry river bed. LL Mode engaged.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-offroad.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-offroad1.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-offroad2.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-offroad3.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-offroad6.jpg

Fun with water.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-offroad-copy.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-rajmachi-2.jpg

Shower after some fun with slush.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-offroad8.jpg

Deserts of Jaisalmer
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-offroad10-copy.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-desert-donuts.jpg

Delighted after some sand dune bashing. Jaisalmer. LL engaged.
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-offroad12.jpg

Fun in Sand
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel-23.jpg

Since I am a newbie to the practical aspects of off-roading and my knowledge is only limited to text-books and technicalities, I am being cautious and slowly learning the capabilities of my truck. However, I have no intentions of pampering my truck though and would like to graduate to some serious off roading this year. Keeping a close tab on 4x4 forums on TBHP. I am also working on a comprehensive report about 4x4 Automatics which will be published soon.

Last edited by ragh_bhushan : 25th April 2017 at 00:35.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 15:40   #7
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Default Service and Maintenance

Extended Warranty & Service Packages

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-warranty.jpg

Not opted for extended warranty as I may not keep the truck for a very long time. Will opt for this at the end of third year / 1Lakh km if I decide otherwise. Did not buy Toyota smiles service package either as it is dealer specific and my usage takes me to dealerships in different cities so don’t want to be bound by single dealer.

Here is a link for people interested in Toyota Extended Warranty. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...-coverage.html (Toyota India's Extended Warranty Plans & Pricing - Up to 7 years of coverage)

After Sales Service

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-service-2.jpg

Many have complained about the short service interval of 5,000 kms but I find it quite reassuring that my vehicle has frequent checks by the TASS personnel for any potential problems especially because I do lots of solo highway runs

Service History
One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-maintenance-history.jpg
I have preserved all service bills and are available if anyone needs further info.

BHPian Manuuj had prepared an excellent report on service costs of Fortuner about 4 years ago. Link (Obelix, the Invincible Toyota Fortuner! 1,67,000 km and going strong!).
Compared to that for the first 40,000 km, the service cost has gone up from Rs. 20,026/- to Rs. 44,821/-. More than double in just 4 years. It is clearly not as cheap to maintain this truck as it used to be but still is reasonable IMHO.

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-service.jpg

The truck in its 45,000 km first year adventure did have its share of bruises. Some minor, some major ones.

Repair 1:
While parking the truck went over a 3 Feet long metal pipe in the left most lane of a major road in Mumbai. The bumper came out and was replaced under insurance at Lakozy Toyota Malad. I had to pay a compulsory deductible of Rs. 2,000/- while insurance company took care of the remaining amount. Seamless experience at the dealership. Dropped my truck at the dealership, signed some papers, provided the documents and after 3 days the truck was ready to be picked up.

Repair 2:
While going from Chennai to Kolkata and at the outskirts of Chennai, a bike carrying three drunk men and without helmets slammed into my truck from the left side while trying to cross the highway at a point where there was no opening at all. The impact was significant and the bike driver fractured his hand and also had some bruises. Other men on bike also had major bruises. Luckily all involved in the accident were safe and everyone inside the truck were unhurt. My friend was driving the truck at the time.

Entire left hand side of the truck had a huge impact and the front left tyre bursted. All panels including both doors, window glass on front door, ORVM, fender, front bumper, FR suspension and tyre, windshield fluid tank and motor were replaced. The truck was towed to Lanson Toyota Ambattur. The whole experience at this particular dealership left a very unpleasant taste in my otherwise excellent experience with Toyota dealerships. Handling of paperwork was poor. Had to submit same documents multiple times. Service advisor ripped me off with a fancy car wash of Rs. 6,336/- without taking my consent. When I questioned him about the same he informed me that insurance company will take care of it which did not happen. They changed some consumables which was not required and was ultimately rejected by insurance company worth about Rs. 10,000/-.

There was no communication from their side about the progress of the work and the promised delivery date was extended 4-5 times. I had to raise an internal complaint for them to provide me updates and a final delivery date as the service advisor and the service manager were both not even receiving my calls or replying to my messages. Finally, the service centre and the insurance company agreed to deliver the truck after post-repair inspection and before receiving the liability from insurance company but asked me to pay a deposit amount of Rs. 8,000/- and a compulsory deductible of Rs. 2,000/- which I agreed. They promised me to refund Rs. 8,000/- once they receive the liability from insurance company. It took me 3 months and involvement from Toyota to get them to refund me this amount. Total bill amount was Rs. 5,77,127/-

Work done was also sub-standard. The paint quality on bonnet was bad, side cladding was pasted shabbily and one of the bracket of side-step was welded to the underbody instead of using a bolt, which was not informed to me and was found during the third repair. Terrible workmanship, customer service and these guys were absolutely money-minded. I would rate this particular service centre worst among all my experiences at multiple Toyota service centres. Best to avoid in my opinion.

Repair 3:
While driving on a major highway at night, I could not see four big boulders that appeared suddenly in front of me. I must be driving at around 80 kmph. Avoided three of them but the fourth one had to be taken between the two wheels. This caused a major impact on the front cross member, the muffler and rear differential box. The truck was ok and I could drive normally without observing any issues / leakages. No alignment or steering problems either. Built tough I say. Drove the truck to DSK Toyota, Hadapsar, Pune next day as the 35K service was also due.

The service advisor informed me that it will take at least a month to repair. After keeping the truck for almost 15 days and not starting the work, they told me that they have no idea on when they will be able to order parts for my truck. I realised that there must be some serious issue with the dealer as even the new Fortuner which was launched 2 months back was not available with this dealership. I immediately demanded the truck to be released and took it to Lakozy Toyota Vasai, Mumbai. Got the complete estimate within couple of hours and the entire repair work was completed in 2 weeks. Paid compulsory deductible of Rs. 2,000/- from the total bill of Rs. 3,13,647/- The truck has been running like a brand new ever since.

Niggles
Inspite of 1 minor and 2 major incidents in the first year of ownership itself, I am happy to report a total of zero niggles till date.

Last edited by ragh_bhushan : 24th April 2017 at 23:26.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 15:52   #8
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Default Other Points

Running Details
  • In the 1-year of ownership, the truck has been in the garage for about 40 days for repair work and I was out of country for about 14 days
  • Places traveled to include Pune, Nasik, entire Konkan stretch, Goa, Coorg, Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai, Pondicherry, Solapur, Hyderabad, Ongole, Surat, Ahmedabad, Jaisalmer and many other destinations within 300 kms of Mumbai
  • Average running when the car was with me has been 119 km per day or 3500+ km per month.
  • There have been months when the running was over 5000+ km.
  • Expected running will be more this year as I have planned at least 3 major road-trips of ~8,000+ kms

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel-3.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel-15.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel-17.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel-18.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel.jpg

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One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel11.jpg

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One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel-21.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel-22.jpg

One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga-travel-24.jpg

Toyota Protect Insurance
Although Toyota Protect insurance premium is about 40% more expensive than other similar policies outside of Toyota, I will still recommend it to prospective buyers especially first timers and the ones who travel length and breadth of the country for hassle-free insurance claims and cashless settlement pan-India. I have renewed my insurance policy with them for second year as well. Premium paid was Rs. 1,02,412/-. Engine protect cover was added this time.

Toyota Road Side Assistance
I have used their services on 3 occasions and found them to very useful. Service was free of charge and they even arranged for cab along with towing of the truck to the service centre of my choice. Only issue I faced was when they arranged for towing in Chennai and I could not communicate with the driver due to language problem.

Impressions About Toyota
Dealing with different service centres across cities, I can now see why people swear by the Toyota badge. It has been a delight owning this truck, dealing with dealerships, service centres, Toyota road side assistance and the company itself. Exceptions, of course are there but I am sold to the brand Toyota. I am closely watching their activities and cars they launch in India as well as abroad. When the time comes for an upgrade, I will certainly consider their over-priced Land Cruiser and cars from their other brand. Lexus - I am watching you.

Views on New Fortuner
  • Initial looks from pictures and videos were unimpressive for me but I am slowly acquiring the taste for the design of new Fortuner.
  • I like the bi-beam headlamps but the missing washer is shocking.
  • LED tail lamps look awesome
  • Wiper blades are better
  • Interiors look very premium
  • Missing sun-roof is almost a deal-breaker for me
  • Looking back over the year, I am glad that all "Must-haves" in the first post above have clicked quite nicely and they click for the new Fortuner as well
  • I have considered an upgrade to the new Fortuner but after giving a lot of thoughts I feel that if I upgrade I should go for the premium segment.

Last edited by GTO : 25th April 2017 at 09:28. Reason: Removing point on high speed. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd April 2017, 15:54   #9
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Default Epilogue

Epilogue
I am aware and have accepted the fact that most of the cars in India are ridiculously overpriced. Some of them much more than the other. Case in point being Crysta, Montero, Jeeps or recently launched Honda City facelift to name a few. Fortuner is no exception to this. It was under 20 lakhs when launched in 2009 from where the price has steadily climbed to almost 40L now. Double in less than 8 years! Only silver lining for the existing owners like me is the lesser depreciation of the car expected at the time of sale / upgrade.

Conviction > Consensus
I come from a typical middle class background with sole family member who has passion for cars. From financials perspective it was really a stupid and terrible idea to buy a car considering the savings that I had (practically none), the income that I generate and the monthly expenses that I incur. Everyone I knew was absolutely against me buying this truck and they tried really hard to convince me to get something that I could afford at that time. I went against the consensus because I had the conviction.

The only silver lining for me was no liability on my head. All financial gurus would have shook their heads in despair and strongly advised against buying a car, let alone an expensive one, if they looked at my books at the time of buying the car. Unfortunately, I am a kind of person who likes to throw the hat in the ring of fire and then try to figure out a way to get it back. So I went ahead against the advise of many experts and got myself one thing missing from my books - Liability of EMIs.


But oh boy, what a decision it has been! Fortunately, my books look much better now and I also have my own first car! My whole perspective about pushing yourself and your boundaries has changed. Apart from creating tons of memories, the one year of this truck's ownership has boosted my morale and changed my outlook in life. As for the truck, the honeymoon period has just started!

Thanks for reading guys. Keep revving!

Threads That Helped Me Decide
Comprehensive reviews of
GTO (Review: 1st-gen Toyota Fortuner)

Tushar (Review: 2015 Toyota Fortuner 4x4 Automatic) and others on the official review posts.
Ownership threads
karan561 (My BRUTE-FORT: Toyota Fortuner 4x4 M/T [Upgraded Brake Booster & A/T Tyres])

Manuuj (Obelix, the Invincible Toyota Fortuner! 1,67,000 km and going strong!)

Nilanjanray (Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!)

Late Guderian (RIP) (Fleet Admiral Togo Heihachiro - Toyota Fortuner. Life Sails On...)

Ahmed ('Megalodon' - 2012 Toyota Fortuner 4x4 MT Silver Mica Metallic)

getsurya (Got Fortune'd: White Toyota Fortuner)

.anshuman (Toyota FORTUNER Ownership report.)

Wanderers (Toyota Fortuner 4X2 MT: Miles to go before, but I have promises to keep)

Last edited by ragh_bhushan : 25th April 2017 at 00:44.
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Old 25th April 2017, 07:23   #10
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Default re: One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th April 2017, 08:32   #11
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Default re: One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga

Wonderful review Bhushan sir. You are some serious writer. I don't think there is any point which you have left out in your review. Loved the attention to detail and the droolsome images.
There are many folks out there (including me) who would buy an SUV for home to office commute and then the occassional highway ride thrown in. But you, you have definitely put the beast through its places extracting full bang for buck. Like they say, if you have an SUV, E-X-P-L-O-R-E.
All the best to you and your white fortress!
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Old 25th April 2017, 08:40   #12
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Default re: One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga

Excellent ownership review. Fortuner is basically Hilux with an SUV body on top. These things are known to survive harsh conditions day in and day out for years with minimal maintenance. I am not surprised that Fortuner is tough and reliable.

I am curios to know what was the damage when you ran over the boulder. I am surprised that the car was driving fine and yet the repair bill was over 3 lakhs!
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Old 25th April 2017, 09:04   #13
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Default re: One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga

Very well written buddy. Knowing you in person, I know every word is from the heart. Happy and safe miles crunching!
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Old 25th April 2017, 09:07   #14
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Default re: One year with the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 AT : My Furteela Ghonga

A very detailed write-up and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I can relate to the sleepless night on the first day

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragh_bhushan View Post
Things I Like
  • Short service interval
Can you explain why you have mentioned this in likes? Usually people prefer a longer service interval these days.
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Old 25th April 2017, 10:39   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragh_bhushan View Post

Repair 1:
While parking the truck went over a 3 Feet long metal pipe in the left most lane of a major road in Mumbai.

Repair 2:
a bike carrying three drunk men and without helmets slammed into my truck from the left side while trying to cross the highway at a point where there was no opening at all.

Repair 3:
Avoided three of them but the fourth one had to be taken between the two wheels.
Great review Raghavendra. Very nicely put together with good detail. Wishing you many more happy miles with your car.

Regarding the incidents you have mentioned, it would be great if you attach pictures of the car after impact. I believe this will help to get a rough idea as to how well the car has borne the impact. How expensive are the body parts? 5.XX lakhs for the repair is scary and it may be an important factor for people considering buying a used Fortuner that is over 5 years old - as insurance companies do not offer the cushion of zero depreciation cover.
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