Big, burly, and road presence by the truck load. That’s the Toyota Fortuner for you. No wonder it sells so well, because when it comes to SUVs, no matter the gender, cast or ethnicity. We want something very similar to what Mrs Kakkar from Main Hun Na wanted. She wanted machoman, we want Macho SUV. If you are not a Bollywood fan, then that’s macho, if you didn’t get that. Now for all its visual presence on the outside, the Fortuner is also quite spacious on the inside. So, it can seat seven, 2 at the front, three here and two at the back. But comfortably, it can only seat six because this central row with this armrest in place and the A/C ducting, the space is really limited. For the remaining six passengers, there is enough kneeroom, shoulder room and head room, even in the last row. And, because the last row also has got a little bit of scooped-out roof, and you also have lots of adjustments. So you can adjust the backrest, and you can slide it fore and aft. Even at the back, the backrests and the headrests are all adjustable. What’s more, all occupants, all seven, including the central one here, get 3-point seat belts. That’s ace for safety. As is the case with the Toyota Innova, the Fortuner too has a decent array of features. There’s a multi-functional steering wheel that adjusts for reach and rake. There’s a detailed driver information system. You also get a touchscreen multimedia system, but, there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. here’s a single-zone climate control system with dedicated rear ac vents for both second and the third row, and there’s electric adjustment for the driver’s seat as well. Now another positive for the Fortuner is its ability to munch miles. Now, for a car to be able to do that, it needs to have at least three attributes. And those are – you need comfortable seating, you need good visibility and you need torque. Now, when it comes to visibility, the Fortuner offers a high seating posture and you have a very clear view of what’s ahead, you can also tell the edges of the car in front and then you’ve got these huge rear view mirrors. So you can really see what’s happening behind you. Then the seats, especially the ones at the front, are large, they’re supportive. I would have liked a little bit more cushioning in them, but even now you can spend long hours in them and you wont have your backside hurting. So that’s, like I said, it is in decent measure, it has that. And then there’s the torque. Now this is the automatic version, so it gets 450Nm of it, and it comes in nice and early. The only delay is when you get on the throttle, so it takes a little while for the Fortuner to get up and about. But you can correct that by shifting into power mode. Once you do that, the throttle response gets better. So, every time you get on the throttle from there on, the Fortuner just, its like it picks up its skirt and shoots ahead. Like that, so, that’s good. The Fortuner comes with a 2.8-litre, four cylinder diesel. It makes 175bhp and 450Nm of torque and though the SUV weighs close to two-tonnes, the engine does a good job of masking all that bulk. The Fortuner certainly doesn’t feel slow. Leave it in ECO mode and the progress is quite seamless. It isn’t lively, but it is the recommended mode when hauling family. For sportier driving, like we’ve mentioned earlier, there’s always the power mode. Now the Fortuner Now one of the main reasons to buy the Fortuner would be its ability to off-road. It is one of the really capable luxury off-roading luxury SUV’s that you can buy, we tried that on our off-road day, and it really never got stuck anywhere. Great departure angle, great approach angle and enough and more ground clearance to take you out of anything. Like now, so we are stuck. But this is in 2-wheel drive, what we do is we’ve got the option of going to 4-wheel high, this is what we’ve done now. And then let’s see if it is able to pull us out. And immediately, I mean it doesn’t even take any effort, I mean its got road-going tyres here. But you just put it 4-high, not even 4-low. There is an option of 4-low, and there, I mean its quite slippery, its got a clay sort of mud, you’ve got ruts, but nothings stops it. It just keeps going and going. Fantastic! The Fortuner uses more traditional hardware and comes with 2-high, 4-high and 4-low. The latter two have 50:50 torque distribution front and rear. The Fortuner also has something called the A-Trac, or active traction control. The system, instead of sending variable torque to wheels with maximum traction, applies the brake on the wheels without traction. The end result is the same. So the wheel with the maximum grip gets all the torque and since A-Trac is an ABS based system, it is also cost effective. Well, it is a Toyota. And like the Innova, the Fortuner too has the reputation going for it. So, even though one has to spend through their nose to buy the Fortuner, the ownership and resale experience is so good, no one really minds it! Now when it comes to negatives for the Fortuner, ride is one of them. Now you’d expect a car of the price, to ride flat, isolate its occupants well. The Fortuner doesn’t do that. Now, of course it will go over anything that comes in its path, but it moves around, I mean you can feel it jiggle all the time, you can hear it. And, I don’t know if you can make out on the camera, but there is bit of movement that goes completely to the passengers. And you don’t expect that in an expensive car, and you don’t really want that in a full-blown SUV in that sense. Yes, being a ladder-on-frame SUV does mean there will be some amount of jiggle, more so at slower speeds. But, the Fortuner jiggles over almost everything, it hops about over sharpish bumps, and it thuds through potholes instead of rounding them off. But thankfully, the side-to-side movement isn’t as pronounced. So driving dynamics is another area where the Fortuner suffers. It’s a heavy car and you can feel that, so it has a slow steering, it has lifeless steering, its vague and then, when you get to a set of corners, it rolls and the not only is cornering vaque, its also completely uninspiring, so you don’t enjoy that, you just feel happy it is over. And there’s body movement even in the pitch and squat department. So for instance, if you were to get on the accelerator, you will find or if you were to get on the gas hard, you will see that it will move, it will squat. And then, when you get on the brakes, there’s tremendous amount of dive. So its not a a flat sort of a car in that sense, you can feel its weight. That’s the other negative. The Fortuner isn’t the most inspiring SUV to drive around a set of corners. And though it can smother almost everything in its path, it fails to isolate its occupants from all that’s happening, which it should do for its price. But it has presence, it has this Toyota badge, it has space on the inside and it has a decent set of features. And if you want to go mile-munching which doesn’t involve too many corners, well the Fortuner can do that as well. And then, when you run out of road that’s when the Fortuner really comes into its own.