The Toyota Fortuner has been the highest-selling SUV in its segment. The current-gen Fortuner has been averaging more than 1,700 units on a monthly basis (February 2018 – July 2018). Internationally, there are at least 6 Toyota Fortuner rivals that we think should come to India.
6 Toyota Fortuner rivals we’d like to see in India
1. Nissan Terra
The Nissan Terra is an NP300 Navara pickup truck-based SUV that was first launched in China and made it to Thailand and Indonesia this year. Instead of a 2.5-litre petrol engine available in China or the 2.5-litre diesel engine in the Philippines and Indonesia, the Thai-spec SUV gets a Renault-derived 2.3-litre twin-turbo-diesel engine that produces 190 PS at 3,750 rpm and 450 Nm between 1,500 to 2,500 rpm. All models offer Navara’s seven-speed automatic transmission. The Terra is on sale in 2WD and 4WD variants.
The Foton Sauvana made its public debut at the 2014 Guangzhou Auto Show. It’s currently on sale in a handful of global markets, including Australia, Kenya and in the Philippines where it is called the Foton Toplander. This Fortuner-type 7-seater vehicle has a ladder frame construction. The SUV is available with a 2.8-liter turbocharged petrol and a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine. Transmission choices include 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, and 6-speed automatic. 4WD is optional.
Foton planned to enter the Indian market with a plant in Pune to manufacture commercial and utility vehicles, but the project appears to have been shelved.
3. Maxus D90
The Chinese Maxus D90 is on sale in Australia as the LDV D90, and it shined with a five-star ANCAP crash test rating. Powering the Maxus D90 is a 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol engine that produces 224 hp. Four-wheel drive is optional. The D90 is based on a ladder frame chassis that comes from the LDV T60 pickup truck. It’s available in 5-, 6-, and 7-seat variants.
With MG Motors now operational in India, the company has a wide selection of SAIC brands like Roewe, Maxus and Boajun to pick cars from, to compile its Indian portfolio, be its UVs, sedans or hatchbacks.
4. Mazda CX-5
While the previous generation Mazda CX-5 was spotted in India in 2012, it was here as a part of the company's global testing program. The second generation, which came out in 2016, is a globally-acclaimed monocoque SUV that would rival the Fortuner on the pricing front. Internationally, the CX-5 is on sale with three engine options - SKYACTIV-G 2.0 petrol, SKYACTIV-G 2.5 petrol and SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel. All the engines come mated to a 6-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission. An all-wheel-drive system is available with the 2.2-litre diesel and 2.5-litre petrol engine options.
Earlier this decade Mazda was reported to have studied the Indian market and could have held discussions with Indian business houses for its foray, but plans remained plans.
5. Kia Sportage
Kia Motors is said to be evaluating the Sportage for the Indian car market. The Korean C-SUV, which made its Indian debut at the Auto Expo 2018, recently received some styling changes along with a mild-hybrid diesel powertrain. The Sportage shares its monocoque chassis with the Hyundai Tucson. Globally, the SUV gets two engine options -1.6-litre U3 CRDI diesel and an ‘EcoDynamics+’ mild-hybrid powertrain that includes a 2.0-litre diesel engine, a 48-volt battery and a mild-hybrid starter-generator.
If launched in India, it would get the same 2.0-litre diesel engine and 4WD hardware that is offered on the Hyundai-counterpart.
6. Ford Kuga
The second-generation Ford Kuga (Ford Escape) has been serving global markets since 2012, and received its mid-life refresh in 2016. The C-SUV is available with a range of engine options - 1.5-litre TDCi diesel, 2.0-litre TDCi diesel, and 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol. All the engines are available with an optional AWD. A report from early-2018 suggests that the Blue Oval would launch a Kuga-based SUV in India. However, the manufacturer is yet to confirm this.
The Kuga is fast approaching the end of its lifecycle, and the next generation is already under development. If the Kuga nameplate appears in India, it would unlikely be through an older generation.