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On day four of the Toyota River Drive with the Toyota Fortuner we decided to take the Fortuner to some off-roading trails. Our local contact took us to Maldevta, a small town on the banks of the Song river in the Doon valley of Uttarakhand. It is a tributary of the Ganga. Its dried up rocky river bed makes for a great off-roading trail, consisting of big and small rocks, boudlers and some steep inclines and declines.
A bunch of adventure driven Toyota Fortuner customers joined us in Dehradun. After a brief session on better driving, defensive driving and off-roading by assistant ed Aninda Sardar with the customers, our drive was flagged off and we drove straight to Maldevta, which lies about 20km from Dehradun. Most Fortuner owners drive their SUVs in cities or on expressways and are unaware of their vehicle’s full potential. So it was finally a great opportunity to showcase the car’s strength.
We first drove through a small loop filled with medium sized stones crossing a small stream flowing through the valley. The Fortuner glided over this in rear wheel drive itself. Following that we headed to a more challenging trail that even required spotting on a few narrow turns. Though, the SUV has a ground clearance of 225mm and the approach and departure angles of 30 and 25 degrees make it a very capable off-roader. Moreover the 4WD system can be electronically engaged with a rotary knob on the centre console. And after putting it in 4WD with the four low (4L) setting, the car just encourages you to tackle every boulder, large stones and any kind of scary undulation. It was by no means hard core off-roading but the customers, nonetheless, got a taste of Toyota’s flagship SUV’s real characteristics and were extremely proud of their decision of buying the Toyota Fortuner.