Why I sold my 2022 Fortuner MT & got a brand new Fortuner 4×4 AT
Initial impressions are quite good and while I do miss the MT once in a while, the sheer convenience of AT more than makes up for it.
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Having mulled over replacing the Fortuner with a smaller SUV (given the small family that we are), our recent drive to central India made it very clear that there is nothing else that combines power, performance, reliability, ruggedness, capability, and (very importantly) luggage capacity like a Fortuner does. So, the plan to replace it was dropped. That said, I had started to come to terms with the fact that traffic on our highways had increased drastically over the last few years, and was only going to grow. The premise of minimal gear shifts/clutch presses on highway drives – which was the basis of my decision to buy Fortuner in its MT guise – was starting to falter. The situation was aggravated by the fact that I was not getting any younger with time
All of this led to the thought of replacing my Fortuner MT with a Fortuner AT – there was simply no other SUV that came close, given my use case. A fleeting thought was to wait for the next-gen Fortuner, which could hit our shores by 2025 but there were a couple of nuances there too:
- It would be a mild-hybrid for sure, leading to increased complexity and possible drop in reliability quotient
- Knowing Toyota, the pricing would certainly be out of my reach
Current generation of the Fortuner is a well-rounded product, having been in the market for 2+ years now, and moreover, is the last big (pure) diesel engine that one can buy before hybrids and EVs take over. We had owned one for 1.5 years and had started loving it on long drives – yes, including the ride
Given all of the above, we sealed the (difficult) decision to replace our Fortuner MT with a Fortuner AT. Quick visit to my friendly neighborhood Toyota dealership was followed by evaluation of my 1.5 yr / 13,000 km old Fortuner by their UTrust division, a decent offer was made, and before I knew it, I had booked a new Fortuner Sigma-4 AT in Attitude Black. I really liked the grey color on my earlier Fortuner and would possibly have gone for the same on AT as well, but unfortunately, it was no longer available. Black has always been my weakness when it comes to SUV shades and despite being well aware of the super-high maintenance it demands, I succumbed to the charms of what is arguably the best shade for hulking SUVs.
So, long story short, we recently got our Fortuner 4×4 AT home. Initial impressions are quite good and while I do miss the MT once in a while, the sheer convenience of AT more than makes up for it. Paddle shifters are much more useful than what I initially thought them to be – one can achieve good amount of engine braking, not only on hills but also on plains, by using them appropriately.
With a busy schedule on both work and personal front, am yet to complete the run-in. Hope to put some good miles on the black beast this year. Signing off with a recent pic – just love that brute in black!
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