THE TOYOTA FORTUNER seems like the obvious answer if you’re looking for a big butch seven-seater SUV for around `30 lakh. As far as big and butch go, there are few SUVs that can match the machismo of this Toyota SUV. There are three rows of seating making this a genuine seven-seater (perfect for typically large Indian families) and in its new avatar you also get a nice seven-inch infotainment system with integrated sat-nav, two engine options – a 2.7-litre petrol engine and a 2.8-litre turbo diesel, two different configurations – 4x2 and 4x4, and a choice of transmissions – 6-speed manual or auto for the diesel and 5-speed manual or 6-speed auto for the petrol. As a matter of fact, the Fortuner package was strong enough to be declared the SUV of the Year at the Times Auto Awards last year.
This talk of value and package and all that however is for a different magazine. Here, we only delve into the real deal. An SUV must be able to tackle any kind of off-road situation. Over here the SUV must prove its mettle and earn its name. So can the Toyota Fortuner do that? Well, on paper the 4x4 Automatic that we have here has everything it takes to tackle any kind of offroad situation that you can throw at it.
The Fortuner has a tough frame with exceptional torsional and bending rigidity,