A few days ago, we all were excited about the launch of the Big Daddy Of All SUVs. However, everyone did forget – Harr Baap Ka Ek Baap Hota Hai… Aur Voh Baap Fortuner Hai!
The Toyota Fortuner is a well-known name in the 4X4 SUV segment and not only boasts commendable capabilities, dominating looks, and power-packed performance, but also outshines most of its rivals with its great long-term reliability and a sorted cabin. This SUV continues to bring a majority of the sales for the brand and is definitely the undoubted king of the segment. However, what makes this so special? To find the answer, I got behind the wheels of the Toyota Fortuner Facelift Diesel Automatic and here are my impressions of the mighty T-Fort.
What I Loved-
- Strong Road Presence
- Powerful And Smooth Diesel Powertrain
- Impressive High-Speed Manners
- Promising Safety Kit
- Great Off-Road Capabilities
Should Have Been Better-
- Not So VFM Price Tag
- A Dated And Not So Great Infotainment System
- Missing Features (More On This Later)
- Heavy Steering – Yes, You May Skip Your Arms Workout On Some Days
- Body Roll – Lots Of It
2022 Toyota Fortuner Facelift Review
It Looks Fantastic
With the launch of this facelift iteration, Toyota is now offering the new Fortuner with many subtle changes that have made it look much better than before. For starters, the new headlights at the front not only look premium but also gel in well with the sharp design of the SUV and give it a great stance. Complementing these new LED headlights is the new grille in the centre that looks elegant yet is in line with the overall dominating front fascia. Likewise, the front bumper too has been tweaked and in all, the changes give the Fortuner a fresh look and an even better road presence.
The side profile remains similar, save for the new alloy wheels. Those opting for the RWD variants will get dual-tone R-17 wheels while the 4X4 variants are offered with multi-spoke R-18 wheels. Move to the rear and you will notice that the LED taillights are now similar to the ones being offered with the new Legender. The chrome bar with Fortuner branding in the centre has been retained while you now get rear foglamps as standard.
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A No-Nonsense, But A Dated Cabin
No major changes are being offered inside and the Fortuner facelift continues to be offered with a similar dashboard layout that we saw in the earlier iterations. The buyers of the diesel variants however have an option to opt for a dual-tone Chamois interior colour scheme that looks much better in my opinion when compared to the all-black scheme.
The centre of the dashboard, just like before, continues to get a touchscreen system in the centre while the automatic climate control console sits right below it. The buttons to control the front seat ventilation and the 4WD system are also housed here and in all, while it is a no-nonsense layout, you won’t find any wow factor here. The top of the dashboard continues to feature hard plastics but the fascia does get a soft leather finish.
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The storage console in front of the gear lever is generous and I did appreciate the closing lid for the front cup holders. Moving on, the steering wheel is great to hold while the leather wrap further makes it slightly premium to look at. The instrument console continues to feature two large analogue dials and looks a little too busy in my personal opinion. However, I have seen many of my friends appreciate this layout.
Cutting things sort, the cabin of the Toyota Fortuner offers impressive practicality and comfort but is not as premium as many of the rivals at this price. However, what I did appreciate were the extremely comfortable seats, great visibility, and an ergonomically sorted layout. The build quality too is great and I do feel confident that it will age really well over time.
It Is Comfortable. Period.
Another thing that made me fall in love with this SUV is the overall comfort that the seats have to offer. To start with, the front seats offer sufficient support, especially for your lower back while the under-thigh support too is great. You can easily find a comfortable seating position with multi-way electric adjust while the cushioning is spot-on. I did do a Delhi-Jim Corbett run in the Fortuner and was extremely happy with these seats.
The second row is as comfortable and there is no dearth of space. You do get an option to slide the seats forward or backwards while seat recline adjustment is also available. In all, the second seat bench, just like the front ones, is comfortable and spending long hours here won’t be an issue. The third row may not offer great legroom but the headroom is decent for an average-sized adult. You do get dedicated AC vents and bottle holders for third-row passengers.
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But before I wrap this section up, let me remind you that the ride quality is not as great as you would want, all thanks to a ladder-on-frame setup and you will notice some movements inside the cabin at higher speeds, even on the finest of the roads.
Does it Lack Features?
While a first look at the features list did make me a little apprehensive, I was decently happy with the overall in-cabin experience after spending a few days with the Fortuner. Yes, it may not fancy features like seat massage, sunroof, luxurious captain seats for the second row, 360-degree camera, or other modern bells and whistles, but it does offer almost all the necessary features that you would want to use in your day-to-day commute.
For those wondering, the new Toyota Fortuner Facelift gets features like an electric tailgate, front seat ventilation, wireless smartphone charger, ambient illumination, automatic climate control, cruise control, push-button start, rear USB ports, automatic headlights, new Smart Playcast Touchscreen Audio with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and many other features that make your everyday rides great and stressfree.
It Is Fast And Smooth
I will here talk only about the diesel automatic version here as I am yet to spend some considerable time with the Fortuner diesel manual and petrol variants. Having said this, the Fortuner Diesel AT comes with a 2.8L turbo-Diesel engine that churns out 204PS and 500Nm. It comes mated to a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox and boasts a stronger performance when compared to the earlier versions of the SUV. Another thing that did strike my attention was the improved NVH levels and the engine now feels smoother at higher RPMs. What you will also get with this new facelift model are three drive modes as compared to two in the last iteration. These include the Eco, Normal and Sport mode.
With the launch of the updated model, the engine not only boasts better refinement but has also improved in terms of acceleration and fuel economy. This has been achieved by using a more powerful variable nozzle turbo that is now controlled by an electric motor. The maximum torque now comes in from as low as 1,600rpm while the new turbo setup also ensures sufficient airflow at higher engine speeds as well. The new setup helps the Fortuner do a 0-100kmph run in a little over 11 seconds.
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It’s Big, Heavy, And Tall!
While the new Fortuner is faster and smoother than before, the dynamics too have improved by a fair margin. The small but significant tweaks made to the suspension setup ensure that the ride now feels more supple and slightly better than before. However, the body-on-frame setup means that the ride is always busy and you will notice small amount of movements inside the cabin almost all the time. Do not take me wrong here and the Fortuner facelift is much better when compared to the previous iterations of the SUV and despite a heavyweight and body-on-frame construction, will offer a comfortable and smooth ride on the highways.
Having said this, the body roll inside the cabin is prominent, as is the case with most of the body-on-frame SUVs. Push it into a corner and you will feel it leaning over. This, in addition to the heavyweight and a tall stance, will ensure that you will not be very confident behind the steering wheel on those twisties at higher speeds. The high-speed manners and straight stability is great though. It should also be noted that despite being an extremely heavy and bulky vehicle, the Fortuner will impress you with its braking performance and sheds speed in no time. While I liked the feel and feedback from the steering at higher speeds, what I did not appreciate was the heavy weight of the unit at slower speeds. This not only makes it cumbersome to park but also extremely tiring to drive inside the city for long hours.
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In all, if you are someone who loves to push their cars hard and hit those ghats very often, the Fortuner, just like any other ladder-on-frame SUV, will leave you wanting more. However, for those looking for a powerful and well-built machine for highway mile munching, the new Fortuner Facelift will definitely be a great choice.
The Toyota Fortuner Facelift, just like its previous iterations, not only impressed me with its looks but also with its no-nonsense and comfortable cabin, smooth and powerful powertrain, and a much improved ride-handling balance. The SUV not only boasts strong long-term reliability but will also be a great companion for anyone looking for a tough and capable SUV with strong mile-munching abilities and a dominating road presence. The new powertrain and a capable 4X4 setup ensure that the driver stays happy and stress-free in almost all scenarios while the occupants too are left undisturbed because of improved NVH levels.
The Toyota Fortuner Diesel price in India starts from Rs 34.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base 2.8L 4X2 MT variant as of today and at this price, the SUV definitely lacks the VFM price tag that a buyer would want. However, for this price, you do get segment best reliability levels, low maintenance costs, a powerful and good-looking package that does justify the higher price. With the Ford Endeavour now gone from the market, the buyers are not really left with an alternate option over the Fortuner.
To sum things up, I must say that despite being slightly expensive, the Fortuner does offer a commendable experience and is backed by sorted after-sales support. In addition to this, the new and improved diesel powertrain along with a comfortable cabin definitely helps the Fortuner have an edge over many of its direct rivals as well as other cars on sale in this price bracket.
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What are your thoughts about the new Toyota Fortuner Facelift? Do let us know in the comments box below. Also, do not forget to join our exclusive AutoHunters Auto Enthusiasts Whatsapp Group (click via mobile to join) to be a part of interesting automotive discussions.
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