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Old 22nd September 2009, 16:30   #256
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Nice review!!! In my openion the Fortuner is a great VFM SUV.
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Old 24th September 2009, 13:43   #257
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Talking resemblance to safari

Somewhere or everywhere the Tata Safari DNA is noticable or is it vice-versa.
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Old 24th September 2009, 15:40   #258
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Is an automatic version expected in the near future?
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Old 24th September 2009, 16:20   #259
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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Somewhere or everywhere the Tata Safari DNA is noticable or is it vice-versa.
u spoke my heart out
just place your hand on the picture to cover the bonnet and the windshield and top looks like safari,

the second row window looks like safari...just that the angle on the curve is placed differently which makes the rollable glass window bigger,

many other things remind me of Tata Safari....I may be wrong though but I feel Toyota did take clues from safari...or its just by chance that they look similar at places...

Tata might not have copied as it was launch way way back...
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Old 25th September 2009, 03:54   #260
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Ah. Finally. Got time to test the car yesterday. My observations;

Pluses:

A) S-U-P-E-R-B engine. Flat torque curve right from 1500 through 3500 odd. Doesn't run out of breath till 4000, & coarse to 4500.

B) Shift quality chunky & solid. Throw's long, but thankfully lesser than the Innova. Endeavour still has the best shifter, followed by the Pajero.

C) Uber-light clutch. For people used to Safaris & Scorpios, the clutch actuation would be a relief.

D) Effortless acceleration (deceptively quick; blows your mind away), good roll-ons, decent high-speed stability.
The best performing diesel SUV I've tested till date.

E) Very positive steering. B-U-T, I still feel the Endy handles better & offers more feedback. If you drive, nothing pampers you on-road more. Except the Outlander. Off-road, however...

Minuses:

A) The 4H/L shifter is too far off, and not easily reachable. The shifter actuation is notchy too. Pajero's lever actuation is better.

B) The driver/passenger seat didn't offer as much lateral & under-thigh support as I expected it to. A little disappointed there. Knee-room is scarce.

C) Middle row seats do not have enough space either. Not enough shoulder room too. Very disappointing. Safari still Emperor here, followed by the Scorpio & Pajero.

D) Third row thankfully not that bad. The best set of kid-seats in the segment. However, if you're looking for third row seat comfort, this is the wrong car. The ultimate has to be the Xylo, followed by the Innova.

E) Fuel efficiency. The real-time FE display showed about 6.5 kmpl on a stretch that I drove, and about 5 kmpl on another. A realistic 7 kmpl city & 9 kmpl highway is what one can expect. Of course, with sufficient restraint (below 2.2K rpm in all gears), one could expect around 10% more.

F) Brakes. They blow big time. Pedal feel is spongy, and brakes begin to fade real quick. 2 high speed stoppers are all it took to get the brake fluid boiling and elongate the pedal travel. I shudder to think of what would happen during the monsoons...! This reminds me of the initial lot of Scorpios...

G) Plastics. Not quite upto the mark. Especially the panels beneath the rear quarter panel and the jump seat armrests. The texture leaves something to be desired for.

And yes. Lest I forget. Toyota salespeople are a bit sensitive. Don't get me wrong, but the exec who sat with me was slightly "apprehensive". He was really scared to see the car do 110 on a small/cracked (empty) patch of road, who kept saying "Sir this is the only test vehicle we have, please be careful". This, compared to the lovely Mitsubishi executives who used to ask "Sir, try turning the knob to 4WD auto if want to drift the Outlander. You'll be able to step the rear out more. The previous customer tried with it 4WD locked, and the car didn't break traction...."

All in all: A wonderful car to drive around in. Want to be driven around? Wrong car for you. At this price, this is THE SUV TO HAVE if you're an enthusiast. Definitely not the most practical choice. But then, neither is the Endy...
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Old 25th September 2009, 10:21   #261
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I haven't read to many comments on the power steering, is it as effortless in traffic as the Altis? This may have drawbacks at high speed steering feedback but I am talking purely in traffic conditions.
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Old 25th September 2009, 10:37   #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veyron1 View Post
C) Middle row seats do not have enough space either.

D) Third row thankfully not that bad.
If you didn't find the middle row that good, but the third row satisfactory (our report was opposite), it says a lot of how the middle row was adjusted. It slides back and forth!

Quote:
E) Fuel efficiency. The real-time FE display showed about 6.5 kmpl on a stretch that I drove, and about 5 kmpl on another.
That's way too low man. We saw 9ish in the city, 10 on a spirited highway run, and 12 if driven normally (highway).

Quote:
F) Brakes. They blow big time. Pedal feel is spongy, and brakes begin to fade real quick. 2 high speed stoppers are all it took to get the brake fluid boiling and elongate the pedal travel. I shudder to think of what would happen during the monsoons...! This reminds me of the initial lot of Scorpios...
Spot on. Spongy pedal + easy fade.

Quote:
The texture leaves something to be desired for.
Innova like?

Quote:
Want to be driven around? Wrong car for you.
Yup, the similarly priced Accord & Superb make way more sense for chauffeur driven / back seat comfort.

No comments on firmness & suspension pitch?

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Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
I haven't read to many comments on the power steering, is it as effortless in traffic as the Altis? This may have drawbacks at high speed steering feedback but I am talking purely in traffic conditions.
Isn't the Altis' PS super light? The Fortuners does the job. I found it surprisingly easy to drive in the city. Light controls and 2nd / 3rd gears are all you need in the city. You can effortlessly start from 0 kph in 2nd gear itself (thus one shift less sometimes).
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Old 25th September 2009, 11:14   #263
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GTO,

Belated congratulations on a terrific feedback - just read the full review (page 1 only till now).
I am curious to know why the Fortuner is doing so well in terms of bookings ( what drives, pun intended, consumers to book a Fortuner over a Captiva or a CRV or an Endeavour- is it a combination of the Toyota brand image recall, looks, marketing strategy, the build quality or is it something less tangible?).

The Forester was a fine SUV which was almost completely ignored by the Indian car buyer five years ago. Is the Fortuner frenzy due to greater disposable incomes and greater propensity of Indians, five years later, to buy macho SUVs?

Expecting bhpians to give their views...

Regards
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Old 25th September 2009, 12:11   #264
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Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
I am curious to know why the Fortuner is doing so well in terms of bookings ( what drives, pun intended, consumers to book a Fortuner over a Captiva or a CRV or an Endeavour- is it a combination of the Toyota brand image recall, looks, marketing strategy, the build quality or is it something less tangible?).

The Forester was a fine SUV which was almost completely ignored by the Indian car buyer five years ago. Is the Fortuner frenzy due to greater disposable incomes and greater propensity of Indians, five years later, to buy macho SUVs?

Expecting bhpians to give their views...

Regards
1. Brand Toyota: From a cab driver to executive, Toyota is known for dependability and reliability. This doesn't mean other brands like Ford, GM and others are non-dependable but our thinking is different. Apart from that, it's a powerful diesel machines meant to carry 7 - exactly what we like.

2. Looks - This is one of the best looking SUV's of all time. IT has everything what Indian SUV wannabes want - Tall, Big, Butch. Athough it's not loaded with features, but these 3 qualities are need for success. Captiva LTZ on the other hand dwarfs Fortuner when it comes to safety front but it lacks behind in these 3 departments. Our people want form over function most of the time.

3. As GTO rightly remarked before, Toyota made a great move to launch it heavily overpriced Land Cruiser to create a super luxurious SUV brand image amongst all and after that launched Fortuner at a price to a customers liking. The initial euphoria and hype was beyond belief.

4. CKD Route - Toyota (unlike GM, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki) did a great job by assembling this SUV here in India due to which the pricing factor/INR-$ exchange factor) will not going to be an issue. CRV, today at 17 Lacs would given a tough fight to Fortuner but because of these vehicles are CBU's, their pricing went hayward once the $ became strong.

There may be some factors too, but these are the major ones IMO.
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Old 25th September 2009, 12:12   #265
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Had a chance test drive on Fortuner as a friend was interested in buying - his decision is still pending. I was surprised that he was being given a reasonably quick delivery without booking and despite 6 months wait time hoopla!

Most of the plus have been discussed here including VFM including total cost of ownership (which considers super resale value too).

Two things were negative to me:
At speed of 40kmph in fourth gear there is distinct vibration from the prop shaft (long term this will mean worn out UJCrosses) which I did not expect given the torque of vehicle on paper. Ofcourse you could drive keeping in third or second.

Why 40kmph fourth combo? This is what most of us would be doing in this vehicle most of the time a.k.a. city driving. Same holds true for 30kmph third combo. Those who have driven Gypsy's or other 4x4 drives long term would appreciate this point.

Second was the feeling of rear end "rolling" too much at high speed turns (perfect to test this on DND flyover exits with no traffic around) to inspire confidence. Even Scorpio did not give this much feeling of roll. Maybe it is the square vs rectabgular wheel touch pattern of Scorpio vs Fortuner.

Any one else felt this?
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Old 25th September 2009, 14:37   #266
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Had a chance test drive on Fortuner as a friend was interested in buying - his decision is still pending. I was surprised that he was being given a reasonably quick delivery without booking and despite 6 months wait time hoopla!
How fast were they willing to deliver? Which color?
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Old 25th September 2009, 14:49   #267
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@Sahil: Within this week. I did not check on colour choice.
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Old 25th September 2009, 14:54   #268
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@Sahil: Within this week. I did not check on colour choice.
What? That seems highly unlikely. I am ready to drive the car down to Mumbai if he gives me delivery this week. Can you get hold of the chaps number?
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Old 25th September 2009, 15:09   #269
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Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
GTO,

I am curious to know why the Fortuner is doing so well in terms of bookings ( what drives, pun intended, consumers to book a Fortuner over a Captiva or a CRV or an Endeavour- is it a combination of the Toyota brand image recall, looks, marketing strategy, the build quality or is it something less tangible?).
Regards
Indians like butch diesel SUVs. The proof is in sales numbers. Even before fortuner was launched, Endy & Pajero put together were outselling CRV, Captiva, Outlander, GV and X-trail put together. So, Indians like traditional macho looking diesel SUVs as opposed to Softroaders.

Both Endy and Pajero have a major flaw each. Endy has a bone jarring ride quality and Pajero has the combo of anaemic engine and dated interiors. However, inspite of that, they were sellling reasonably well.

Toyota launched a butch looking diesel SUV (which Indians like) without the shortcomings that Endy and Pajero have. The result, a perfect SUV at 20L for Indians. Ofcourse add to it the fact that Toyota is very reliable and you have people queueing up to pay 20L to buy Fortuner.

It is that simple actually!


Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
The Forester was a fine SUV which was almost completely ignored by the Indian car buyer five years ago. Is the Fortuner frenzy due to greater disposable incomes and greater propensity of Indians, five years later, to buy macho SUVs?
Forester is perceived as softroader. The fact that it is probably as or more capable than Endy/Pajero doesn't matter. The only softroader to succeed in India was CRV. However that was before the 5L price hike. That price hike pretty much took CRV out of competition.

Last edited by hondadude : 25th September 2009 at 15:11.
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Old 25th September 2009, 15:15   #270
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Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
What? That seems highly unlikely. I am ready to drive the car down to Mumbai if he gives me delivery this week. Can you get hold of the chaps number?
Agreed, Fortuner is so much in demand that if you post the contact details here the number will be flooded with calls.

@sudev- Which dealership?
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