So, you’ve owned the Toyota Fortuner for nearly 5 years and are seeking an upgrade. Just the other day, you were getting back from the airport in one of those Uber Black Toyota Innovas and this put you off. No, not the Innova, but the Fortuner parked in your driveway. You were surprised that your Fortuner’s interiors felt similar to that of the Innova.
What hurt more was the fact that you were more comfortable in the Innova than your Fortuner, especially on that section of road with too many potholes and speed breakers. And you paid more than double the price of an Innova for your SUV. That thought really pinched. You now want to upgrade from your Fortuner in the next six months. What are your options?
Land Rover Discovery Sport
If you want a serious upgrade from the Fortuner, both literally and figuratively, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is just around the corner. This luxury SUV is a replacement to the Freelander2 and assembly from completely knocked down (CKD) kits has already begun at the Land Rover factory in Chikali, off Pune. The Discovery Sport is larger than the Freelander2 and also offers a seven seat layout for those who want flexibility. Prices are likely to start from the 45 lakh rupee mark.
In terms of engines and gearboxes, the Discovery Sport will be a solid upgrade to the Fortuner, what with its 2.2 liter turbo diesel motor making 187 Bhp-420 Nm, a decent increase over the 170 Bhp-343 Nm outputs of the Fortuner. More importantly, performance will be sprightlier on the Discovery Sport, which gets a 8 speed automatic gearbox. Now, we don’t need to tell you about badge values. ‘Premium’ Land Rover wins hands down over mass market Toyota.
In the past, Toyota India highlighted the Fortuner’s capabilities by conducting off road boot camps, leaving many Fortuner owners hooked to this leisure activity. However, the ladder frame equipped Fortuner does have its limitations off the road, what with its long wheelbase and many low hanging bits.
Now, the Jeep Wrangler is one off roader that will soon arrive into the Indian car market. For the well heeled, this SUV represents a perfect upgrade opportunity, from the Jeeps, Gypsys and of course the likes of the Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. By the end of this year, the Wrangler should be in India, with a price of under 40 lakh rupees. Petrol and turbo diesel engines are likely to be on offer.
All-New Toyota Fortuner
For those who want to stay in the Toyota brand but don’t want to shell over 50 lakh rupees on the Landcruiser Prado, or even more on the Land Cruiser, the upcoming next generation Fortuner is a logical upgrade. The new Fortuner promises to be larger than the current version in terms of space while the luxury and feature quotients are expected to be bumped up by a few notches. The new SUV will also get downsized turbo diesel engines, albeit with higher power and torque outputs. In design terms too, the new Fortuner, which should be here in early 2016, is likely to look sharper than the outgoing model. For a small price premium, the next-generation T-Fort is what many current owners of the SUV will be looking forward to.
All-New Ford Endeavour
Before the next-generation Fortuner arrives, a big Ford is due for a launch in India. The 2015 Ford Endeavour is a big step up from the current generation Fortuner in terms of how luxurious its interiors are, or the kind of features that it comes loaded with. The new SUV manages to look butch, while packing in a lot of segment leading technology. An illustration of this is the terrain response system that Ford has endowed the new Endeavour with. The SUV also gets the Ford SYNC infotainment package, which is better than the one that the current Fortuner comes with. If you belong to the crowd that is simply bored of seeing in a vehicle that’s more popular and commonplace than budget SUVs – in other words the Fortuner, the 2015 Endeavour is a good bet.
The Trailblazer is larger than the Fortuner and looks meaner too. But this is only half the story. The rest of it of course, is that the Trailblazer is likely to pack in a 2.8 liter turbo diesel engine with a mammoth torque output of 500 Nm. Peak power is rated at 200 Bhp. The SUV will soon be launched in India, with the CKD assembly route likely to be taken. This also means that the SUV could be price much lower than the Fortuner, somewhere near the 20 lakh rupee mark. Now, that’s solid value, and one that leaves you with spare cash for a couple of nice vacations. The Trailblazer in a cinch, is for those who want the biggest SUV that money can buy for under 30 lakh rupees.