An interesting report on Economic Times states that despite falling sales volume of passenger cars in India, Toyota Fortuner has been doing good, great in fact! So great that 7 out of 10 SUVs sold in the country (between 15 to 25 Lakhs) are Fortuners. So, what clicks for Fortuner then?
We Indians love our big, butch SUVs. This may be so because the Fortuner has those attributes in bucket loads. The car has the dimensions of a main battle tank and on our road where size matters, Fortuner naturally rules. Even increasing fuel prices, expensive loans and bearish economy seems to have a little or no impact on the sales figures of this SUV.
Toyota launched the Fortuner in the country in August 2009 and the most recent data shows that a total of 57,500 units have been sold thus far, this despite the Fortuner being labelled as an overpriced car for what it offers.
While more Fortuners are now scaring the wits out of small hatchbacks and sedans on our roads, it is interesting to note that it has not been a walk in the park for the SUV all these years. Fortuner is stacked up against the likes of Hyundai Santa-Fe, Ford Endeavour, Chevy Captiva, Mahindra Rexton, Mitsubishi Pajero, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Renault Koleos and Skoda Yeti.
Besides these formidable foes (some of these at least), Fortuner has also been subjected to increased tax rate of about 30% forcing buyers to look for cheaper, smaller alternatives like Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport. Despite all this, Fortuner has shown 12% increase in the sales volume during April-November the last year. That’s commendable any which way you look at it.
Fortuner is powered by a 3.0L D-4D diesel engine producing 171PS and 360Nm of torque which is not segment-leading but scores topmost on durability. There have been rumours about the possibility of Toyota considering a smaller 2.5L diesel engine for the SUV but there has been no concrete evidence on the same till now.
Nonetheless, for long, Fortuner has been ruling the roost and it remains to be seen how will it stand its ground against the renewed upcoming competition in the form of new Koleos and Next-Gen Santa Fe.