IAB Exclusive - 26 images + First impressions of the India-spec Toyota Fortuner
Shakti Budhiraja, Forget about love, I Dream, Sleep and Eat with cars...
Before going in for that explanation let me take you 5 years back. Year 2004 - engineers from Thailand and Japan conceived a skeleton called IMV (Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle) to have 3 offsprings but all of different attitudes and behavior.
Now you must be wondering why I am discussing about what has been formed by Thailand and Japan in 2004, because 2 of the siblings were destined for our very Homeland, which will turn the market around and set new benchmarks.
Year 2005 -India is counting to see one of the biggest offering from the Japanese Global leader “Toyota”, for the Indian market, here comes the Toyota Innova. This MUV was a super hit from the day it was launched; it was the perfect replacement for the Qualis which had earned million hearts for being one of the best people mover in India. Innova takes the game to the next level with its comfortable drive, solid chassis, spacious interiors & robust and frugal drivetrain.
Fortnight success of the Innova made the Toyota to announce the Fortuner, the sibling which shares it platform with Innova. Innova’s success fueled the impatience of Indian SUV enthusiasts’ for the Fortuner, but Toyota never listen to their plight. Monday (tomorrow) the 24th of August Toyota will answer the wishes of all the people crying for the Mud machine.
First Glare of the Indian spec Fortuner:
See it and you say “Hunk”, looks like this is directly coming from Gold’s Gym after a hard workout. Profound wheel arches, massive grill, chunky headlights, big bonnet scoop all shout muscularity. This massive machine can stand shoulder to shoulder with its bigger siblings Land Cruiser Prado & Land Cruiser 200, leave alone comparing it with the soft roaders Honda CRV, Suzuki GV & Outlander who look a touch smaller in front of her.
This car can really have a bully with the likes of Pajero & Endeavour. Big Chunky OVRM’s & Roof rails all shout that it hails from the old school of SUV’s. With those massive wraparound tail-lamps it gives you the glimpses of LC 200.
Fortuner leaves a huge grin on your face with those head turning looks and you start building the expectations of it touching the same levels inside also. All your expectations go into vane the moment you step inside the cabin, the first word you utter from your mouth is, I stepped inside the cabin of Fortuner and how come I landed in Innova.
The Fortuner simply shares almost everything from Innova top-spec. Remove leather seats, some plastic to differentiate clocks and a 4X4 lever and you can run a million dollar competition to spot the difference between the Fortuner and Innova. Interior is too basic to be called premium, at least Toyota could have added the large touch screen which comes in Thai version, which could have helped break the boredom a bit.
All the music lover’s and tech savvies must be disappointed as the provided system doesn’t entertain your ask for carrying music in your i-Pods, system doesn’t have an auxiliary port leave the USB. Ask any luxury feature and you will not find it, the front seats are not powered and the A.C doesn’t have dual zone settings.
Like Innova there’s air conditioning for all three rows of seats but what missing is the space of the Innova which was required the most unlike all other similar features. Glove box is too small to put anything other than Fortuner papers, tall persons will also feel a bit of problem as the head room is nothing exceptional.
Summing up - it’s a big let down after those drooling exteriors.
Fortuner comes with massive 17” six spoke wheels wearing 265/65/R17 Dunlop AT shoes. These add extra flair to the impressive looks and will feel home on the express ways, tough Indian roads full of potholes & mud catching off road activities.
Verdict - With the larger 3.0-liter D4D engine, its relationship to the Innova should end with this article. The extra power and torque might muscle it ahead of the Endy and Capti, and another success story from the house of Toyota is predicted to happen. We heard that Toyota already has 2,500 bookings in its kitty, even before its arrival.
Login tomorrow for more details on the Fortuner, its pricing, features, images and information right from the launch function.