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Toyota Fortuner’s interiors are plush and driving dynamics refined

The long-awaited Toyota Fortuner is finally making its way to India. The buzz surrounding the Fortuner has been growing over the past few years, but the fact remains that Toyota wasn’t focusing on this project — a lack of manpower and capacity in the Bidadi factory had kept it on the back-burner. Then Toyota was waiting for the face-lift, which has just been launched in Thailand. The headlights and grille merge into each other, while at the rear, clear lenses have been used for the tail-lamps. The rest of the car remains unchanged.

Toyota will assemble the Fortuner at the Bidadi from completely-knocked-down or CKD kits. Only one engine – a 3.0-litre D-4D diesel from the same family as the Innova – will power the car. This unit produces 163 bhp, but more importantly 25 kgm of torque, since it has to shift the Fortuner’s considerable 1.8-tonne bulk. This engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, with the option of four-wheel-drive.

The interiors are a plush place to be, and the driving dynamics, refined. It will be available fully loaded with climate control, AC vents for all three rows of seats, and a 2-DIN audio system with steering wheel-mounted controls. Coil-spring suspension at all four corners promises to provide a comfortable ride and sure-footed handling.

The Fortuner can pack in seven people, although the last row is best reserved for kids or Fido.

The Fortuner should retail for Rs 18 lakh, on-road. Its most obvious competitor will be the Ford Endeavour Thunder+, but don’t be surprised if it makes a dent in CR-V and Captiva sales as well.

This SUV promises to be a pucca off-roader, people-carrier, and soccer mom wagon all rolled into one. Toyota has ambitious plans to sell 5,000 units a year in India.

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