A few days back Toyota invited us to be a part of their 2016 Fortuner boot camp. For the ones unaware, Toyota organized this camp to demonstrate how potent the new Fortuner is when it comes to extreme off-road conditions. The car was launched a few weeks back and was introduced with a serious number of upgrades inside out. We already drove the car earlier but couldn’t really take it off the tarmac to experience its adventure capabilities, so perhaps, boot camp is one of the best places to put new Fortuner’s mettle to test.
Our test track comprised of everything needed to put the car to its ultimate test. The track started with the speed zone, it was the only zone on the track where the car was allowed to go full throttle. Here we did a quick test of the car’s braking on sandy ground, starting a storm of dust that swallowed the car for a few seconds. After this zone, everything else on the track got our hearts pumping at triple the normal pace.
The rotary knob on the dashboard is used to select three modes on which are H2, H4, and L4. The first mode is for tarmac, the second is when the car goes on sandy, gravel roads while the third, L4 mode unleashes the car’s potential in all forms. Before hitting the steep decline, we got the Downhill-Assist Control (DAC) turned on and all we had to do was hold the steering wheel straight and rest of the stuff was taken care by the car itself. It automatically applied brakes coming straight down gently.
The car has been given a slightly mature, plusher look than the previous version. It simply looks more prodigious when seen in the flesh as compared in pictures. The headlights, as well as tail lights, have gone sleeker and the overall body lines are different, giving a more upmarket feel to it. Don’t go by the gentleman disguise of this brute as what lies beneath is made to combat the most rugged terrain of all. Hill Hold Assist works brilliantly keeping the car at a stand still on the steepest grounds, and when it comes to climbing it, just put L4 mode on with light foot on the pedal and it will climb like it’s a spider!
Showing incredible balance and stability through wheel articulation zone, the car held its tricky looking hurdles for as long as we wanted. During this test, at any instant of time, two of its wheels were always up in the air, it may look scary but Fortuner’s performance was exemplary here as well. It feels rock solid doing all the crazy off-road stuff you’d expect from it. Also, it feels significantly less bouncy on the inside compared to the previous generation as chicken holes didn’t seem to hamper smooth progress when driven on creeping speeds. After covering all the zones our drive ended and we had absolutely new paint schemes on our cars which we liked more.
Dirt, dust, slush, gravel or spine chilling climbs, the all new Fortuner looks ready for almost everything that comes before it. Like we were told, this really is an idiot proof car that comes with a host of safety driving features to make your off-road experience a joy. The track offered almost everything and even a level above of craggiest of surfaces. It might have been much trickier if it was not for the all-new Toyota Fortuner. It is already one of the most famous SUVs in the Indian market and now it gets even more poised than ever.
Also read: Our test drive of the 2016 Toyota Fortuner!