The Toyota Fortuner has been the bestselling premium SUV in the Indian car market for the last seven years. The SUV sold close to 1800 units a month at its peak in 2013, when the overall sales of the whole Rs 25 to 30 lakh bracket including the sedans were not twice as much.
The new for 2016 Toyota Fortuner is the next generation car that is built on a new platform and gets new powertrains as well. It gets modern looks and a new set of interior. The Ford Endeavour, launched earlier this year, has already set a new benchmark for this segment with an all-new design. So here is how the Fortuner fares against the Ford Endeavour and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
What works in this segment are road presence and the Endeavour scores by being the larger of the two. The Endeavour’s interior is premium and a notch above the Fortuner factoring in the materials, touch and feel and finish. The Fortuner’s touchscreen system does not feel premium and also loses out on features like Apple Car Play. The all-black interior though would be easier to live with than the beige interior of the Endeavour.
In terms of equipment, the Endeavour comes with a 197bhp, 3.2-litre engine as compared to the 174bhp 2.8-litre engine on the new Fortuner. But in real world, the responsive Toyota engine works well and should give the Ford a run for its money. The automatic gearboxes on both the Fortuner and the Endeavour aren’t the best in the business but do just enough to serve their purpose. When it comes to the manual transmission though, the Fortuner has an edge. Its iMT feature, which matches the engine rpm for smoother shifts, makes driving smoother and less stressful.
Both the Fortuner and the Endeavour are available with 2WD and 4WD options, and with manual and automatic ‘boxes. As an off-roader, the Endeavour will perform better than the Fortuner thanks to its independent rear suspension setup and cleverer electronics. In terms of pricing, the Fortuner is priced at a premium of almost Rs 1.5 lakh over the fully loaded Endeavour, which might tilt the scales in favour of the latter.
The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is a generation older when compared to the other two. The new Fortuner is a league ahead in terms of almost everything including the engine, gearbox, interior, equipment, and cabin space et al. Also, the Mitsubishi is not known for its service reach and after-sales, which is where Toyota is the market leader. Reliability and resale are two other aspects where the Toyota runs ahead of the Mitsubishi.
But like the Endeavour, the Pajero Sport will turn heads. And it should prove to be the better SUV off-the road compared to the Fortuner owing to its sturdier mechanicals. But unless you are focusing on off-road capabilities, the Fortuner wins this battle hands down. More so when you factor in the on-road abilities. The new Fortuner is better set up to handle corners and higher speeds. It should also fare better under braking given its newer ventilated brakes and a suspension setup that is more resistant to both rolling and pitching.