The big SUV craze has caught up with almost every manufacturer here. Now, even luxe brands are meeting consumer demand with it. Plenty of them want to have an SUV in their portfolio, and the ones who already have it, are bringing in tweaks or updates to the existing ones. The Toyota Legender is also one such example that is based on the Fortuner SUV and boasts few enhancements. Here, we list out the advantages and disadvantages of the same, for you to gauge if these are worth the premium the carmaker is asking for.
1. Dressed to the teeth
The Legender has managed to grab some attention even if it's more or less like the Fortuner. All thanks to its remodelled bumpers, new headlamp clusters with quad LEDs, DRLs, sequential LED indicators, and new alloys. You've got to admire its on-road presence and eye-catching design that helps it stand out from the crowd.
And Toyota hasn't changed much of the Fortuner's interior, save for features like wireless smartphone charging, ventilated seats, powered tailgate, and more. A horse-high view, high seating position, and big windshield like the Fortuner give a commanding position. Then, the interior trim is revised with black leather, red accents, and some smooth materials to make it feel a notch more premium. This has helped strike an optimal balance of sportiness and a premium feel.
2. New vigour
An increased power output was expected with the Fortuner facelift, and the carmaker provided it. In fact, the Legender is also powered by an updated 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine, which is tweaked to the tune of churning out 201bhp and 500Nm of torque. This is up from the 175bhp and 420Nm power output the current Fortuner offers. With more power, the engine has gotten better now as it feels more responsive. And there's no abrupt surge or boost in power, but it builds up nice and smoothly. If you plan to fill your Legender's seven seats or often do plenty of long journeys, this frugal and smooth engine is well-suited for the job. The SUV is fast enough to cope with traffic and cruise along happily at triple-digit highway speeds. Even if the vehicle is not the most agile, its engine feels quite refined and with its mile-munching capabilities, makes for an excellent cruiser.
3. Convenience of an automatic
While the regular version of the Fortuner is available with a six-speed manual or automatic, this Legender comes equipped only with a six-speed automatic to give your left leg rest in heavy traffic. This torque converter transmission is a tried-and-tested gearbox that is fairly smooth and actually competent. It never feels lethargic and unresponsive and responds to commands considerably well. It's tuned rather well as you don't need to keep modulating the throttle input in bumper-to-bumper traffic and it creeps ahead discreetly. Apart from feeling it downshift a gear or two when you floor the accelerator pedal, the transmission continues doing its work effortlessly. Nevertheless, there are paddle-shifters if you feel the need of taking over the gear changes whenever you want.
4. That invincible feel
Most ladder chassis vehicles are robust and exceptionally strong. They are considered to be long-serving horses and the Fortuner is one SUV that has always had this trait. It is still one amongst the body-on-frame SUVs that have a tough build and owners have used them for years. Its tough build, load-bearing capacity, rugged nature, and more, have given it commendable long-term reliability. This goes on to lend it a good resale value as well, which stands true even for the previous-gen Fortuners in our market.
5. Brand and service contentment
The Toyota brand has been catering to the myriad demands, aspirations, and needs of its customers with the focus always being on delivering the highest 'Customer Satisfaction'. In fact, the service motto of Toyota Kirloskar Motor has been 'Customer First', and hence they have been able to gain the trust of their consumers. The Legender also is backed by Toyota's exceptional after-sales service quality, low service costs with extended warranty coverage, all that leading to hassle-free ownership experiences.
1. Pricier than the Fortuner
While the ex-showroom launch price of the diesel 4x2 model of the Fortuner starts at Rs 32.48 lakh, the Legender sits right at the top-of-the-line with a price tag of Rs 37.58 lakh. Current on-road prices have increased quite a lot, and potential buyers will certainly not appreciate this. And, not only is the price hike quite high, but even the difference between the two feels quite a lot as not many upgrades have been made. In fact, there's no big difference in the interior craftsmanship of this and the Fortuner. And nothing very exquisite as well. The interior quality of materials, touch, and feel is the same. It doesn't feel as rich or a worthy upgrade for more than Rs 40 lakh on-road price that you'll pay. On the other hand, the Fortuner does provide almost all that's required, in fact, even comes with a 4x4 system at a slightly lesser price.
2. Only single trim available
Now, having a diesel mill is fine if your mileage is quite high, but then, if short trips around town are more of your thing, a petrol version is more suitable and cheaper to buy. Unfortunately, you'll not be able to pick one as the Legender is a diesel model only. Then, it cannot be had with the choice of a manual gearbox or even an optional 4WD. Another limitation is that prospective buyers cannot choose any other exterior or interior shade apart from this pearl white exterior with a dual-tone black and maroon interior.
Eventually, it's all about buyers getting over the fact that the Legender is much the same SUV as the Fortuner that costs a bit less. And for that premium that they pay more, they do get a little more exclusivity. After all, the Legender is also a good people-carrier, has a spacious cabin, with room for seven on-board, and does look a little sleeker and more stylish than its elder cousin.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi