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The cosmetic changes are small, but it gets a much needed bump in technology!
The Toyota Fortuner has been around for a while now. It has an almost cult following among owners who laud it for its reliability and, there’s no denying it, the ability to bully almost every other car on the road. The current generation has gone largely unchanged since the last six years but with this facelift, Toyota has given it the equipment to take the fight to the Ford Endeavour.
Two iterations of the Fortuner have been unveiled, a standard model and a top-spec variant called the Legender in Thailand. Both the variants do differ quite a bit in their looks. We’ll start with the standard car, which looks closer to the outgoing Fortuner. However, it still gets some noteworthy changes — On the front, the grille has a new pattern and is black instead of chrome, there is a strip of LEDs under the fog lamps, the headlamps feature fresh detailing and there is a silver skid plate on the front, the latter might serve a cosmetic purpose only. At the rear, the changes are even more subtle with the refreshed taillights being the only noteworthy difference.
The Legender variant gets relatively more cosmetic updates — the headlamps have a similar shape but feature a complete redesign of the elements inside, lending a more sporty look to it. It also gets a much more aggressive front bumper with blacked out bits, instead of chrome. At the rear, the Legender variant gets the same treatment to the taillights and a redesigned bumper with L-shaped faux vents that also house the reflectors. It also features a two-tone finish with a black roof, giving a more sleek appearance to the Fortuner. The Legender variant definitely looks like more of an update than the standard car.
In terms of features, the Fortuner gets some vital updates over its predecessor. It finally gets Apple CarPlay, no mention of Android Auto yet, wireless charging and connected car features via the T-Connect suite. Not only that but the Fortuner also gets a 360-degree camera, hands-free tailgate operation and parking sensors. The MID display in the center of the instrument cluster can now show you the position of your wheels and a clearance sonar can detect obstacles, both of which are features that will aid the Fortuner’s off-road ability. The safety kit has been updated too — it gets a Pre-Collision System, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning. The interior is largely the same as the outgoing car, aside from the larger 8-inch touchscreen and a slightly refreshed instrument cluster.
In terms of powertrain options, the facelifted Fortuner gets a more powerful version of the 2.8-litre engine that the outgoing car has. Power is up from 174bhp to 201bhp while torque goes up by 50Nm to make a total of 500Nm. Toyota has reduced the idle rpm from 850rpm to 680rpm. Not only will that make the engine quieter but it will also aid in off-roading where lower rpms will allow for smoother inputs and more traction off the line. It is unclear whether India will get the updated 2.8-litre engine since Toyota recently tweaked the engine to meet BS6 norms. This engine is offered in both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive automatic variants in Thailand. A smaller 2.4-litre petrol engine is on offer in Thailand as well.
Expect the refreshed Fortuner to arrive sometime next year, with a price hike due to the breadth of features added to it. Has Toyota done too little too late to the Fortuner or does the Endeavour have something to worry about? We’ll find out soon enough.