Toyota launches the new Fortuner in India

Any which way you look at it, the Toyota Fortuner has been a textbook success in the Indian automotive industry. Ever since its launch, this macho Toyota SUV sold in numbers unheard of for a vehicle priced above INR 20 Lakhs. And the less said about its competitors, the better it is for them. The Fortuner was so dominant that it sold more than the cumulative sales of all of its competitors. The launch of the new Ford Endeavour earlier this year finally proved to be a real challenge for Toyota and here they are wasting no time in launching the new second-generation Fortuner here.

The first-generation Fortuner made a name for itself with its butch looks and macho appeal. The new model tries to accomplish the same, albeit in a completely different way. Sleek Bi-beam projector headlights, funky character lines in profile, wrap-around rear windows with the unique kink and sharp LED taillights have transformed the Fortuner into one modern-looking SUV. The aggressive grille gets a healthy dose of chrome as do the foglamp surrounds and tailgate. Other traits like the extra large dimensions and imposing stance are carried over from the previous model.

Just like the exteriors, the interiors have underwent a complete transformation. The cabin appears to be better built, better finished and more luxurious than the outgoing model. The feature list has expanded significantly as well with the Fortuner now getting automatic headlamps, smart key with push button start, fully automatic powered tailgate, leather upholstery, 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, paddle shifters (automatic only), cruise control and dual zone climate control as standard. Top notch safety kit include seven airbags, ABS with EBD, Whiplash injury protection, ISOFIX anchorage points and 3-point seat belts for all passengers.

Built on Toyota's New Global Architecture, the Fortuner shares its underpinnings with the Innova Crysta MPV and the Hilux pick-up truck. Two engine options - a 2.7-liter petrol developing 164 horsepower and a 2.8-liter turbo diesel churning out 175 horsepower - are on offer. The petrol variants are available in 2WD configuration only with the option of a 5-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission. On the other hand, the diesel variants can be had with 4WD configuration as well. Transmission options in the diesel variants include a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearboxes. 

The petrol variants are priced between INR 25.92 to 27.61 Lakhs while the diesel variants are priced from INR 27.52 Lakhs for the 2WD MT variant to INR 31.12 Lakhs for the top-end 4WD AT variant. 

The new Fortuner's main rivals include Ford Endeavour, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Ssangyong Rexton, all using body-on-frame construction like the Toyota. By virtue of being in the same price point, monocoque crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Hyundai Santa Fe might also be cross-shopped by some. 

While the old Fortuner just started to lose a bit of its sheen to the new Endeavour, the arrival of the new Fortuner should bring Toyota back to pole position. Keep a close eye on this potential slug-fest between Toyota and Ford!

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