By the look of things, Toyota India seems to be big on surprises and early releases. For instance, the newly-launched Innova Crysta facelift was first set to arrive early next year. However, the automaker went ahead and released it sooner than some of us expected. Following the same trend, it looks like the next in line will be none other than the facelifted Fortuner. Apparently, quite a few Toyota dealerships in the country have already begun accepting unofficial bookings for the upcoming Fortuner facelift. And although a confirmed launch date hasn’t been announced yet, one can expect to see the new SUV in showrooms pretty soon. In terms of the booking amount, that has been pegged at Rs 50,000.
It is no mystery how popular and admittedly profitable the Fortuner has been for Toyota in India. The mid-size, body-on-frame SUV pretty much covered most of the market, and it was only sometime back that newer entrants began to shake the boat. The Japanese automaker knows how important this segment is for their continued dominance in India – making this a fight they cannot afford to lose. As for the outgoing Fortuner, its prices range between Rs 28.66 lakh to Rs 34.43 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). And while it has always been an expensive car in India, the Fortuner could get away with it because its immediate rivals weren’t that compelling, and of course, the ‘Toyota’ badge.
However, India now has several new and better-equipped SUVs for buyers to pick and choose from. Add to that its aging and lackluster interior and low refinement, the Toyota Fortuner is now on the back foot. To prevent it from losing the war altogether, the Fortuner was in dire need of a facelift, ASAP. And that is precisely what it has got, at least in Thailand. The facelift, while not too detailed, has given this SUV a fresh lease of life. There is now a new design for the front grille and bumper, with the latter housing faux vents and a skid plate. Meanwhile, the LED headlamps have been revised as well and come with a new pattern for the daytime-running light. Their design has also been tweaked a little, so they now look more modern and sharp.
The only other real change on the outside of the Fortuner facelift has to do with its wheels. Toyota has fitted it with a set of new 18-inch and 20-inch alloys, though the latter won’t be coming to India. At the back, the only apparent design change exists within the tail lamp cluster. The Fortuner facelift now sports a slightly newer but more stylish design for its LED running lights. In its debut market, the new iteration also comes with two new colors. It remains to be seen how many of these tweaks and additions actually make it to our market. However, if you were hoping for an entirely new design for this upcoming Fortuner, you will be disappointed.
In the Fortuner facelift cabin, there are a few changes that should be visible right away. For example, there is a redesigned instrument cluster for the driver, and it gets different backlights than before. The driver’s seat itself comes with an 8-way power adjustment, while an all-new 9-inch infotainment display takes center stage on the dashboard. And just like in the facelifted Innova Crysta, the updated infotainment system now supports Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. In Thailand, the Toyota Fortuner facelift can also be had with LED ambient lighting, a wireless charging pad, and a 360-degree camera system. Overall, the styling and layout of the interior haven’t been changed over the pre-facelift Fortuner. Let us hope that Toyota has at least improved the quality of materials this time.
Under the hood of the Toyota Fortuner facelift is an updated 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. While it retains the same displacement as the outgoing engine, its maximum output has been bumped to 201hp and 500Nm. To give you a clearer perspective, the same motor found in the outgoing Fortuner in India makes 175hp and 450Nm. Just as its precursor, the Fortuner facelift will also be equipped with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox. It is difficult to predict whether Toyota has made any improvements on the NVH front in the upcoming Fortuner. Needless to say, prospective buyers will definitely appreciate a quieter cabin and better refinement levels.