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The Fortuner nameplate has been around in the Indian market for more than a decade now. Since its inception, the Fortuner has cleared its way to become the most wanted SUV in the Indian market. The company has been updating the SUV at regular intervals to keep its market position strong. At the start of 2021, Toyota introduced the facelifted Fortuner in India.
Along with the facelifted version of the SUV, the company also launched the range-topping ‘Legender' version of the SUV. The Legender is a sportier version of the standard Fortuner. We got our hands on the SUV for a couple of days and drove it around the city and on the highway and here is what we have to say about the all-new Toyota Fortuner Legender.
Design & Style
At the front, the Fortuner Legender gets a sporty appearance. The grille is styled differently and the usual Chrome elements at the front are missing, except for the Logo. With its X-shaped pattern, the grille seems to have been inspired by Toyota's sister brand Lexus. The designers have used several blacked-out elements up front to enhance the sportiness.
The Legender also gets a redesigned headlamp cluster. The DRLs look awesome and Toyota calls them the ‘waterfall DRLs', because of the shape. The headlamp cluster features two projectors for the low beam and two reflectors for the high beam. Right below the headlamps are the fog lamps and underneath that, there are the parking lights (or the second DRL) that also double up as dynamic turn signal indicators. The Fortuner Legender features LED lighting all around.
When viewed from the side profile, one's attention is immediately grabbed by the 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels that carry a slight deep-dish pattern and this gives the SUV a sporty stance. It also gets a floorboard that eases the getting in and out of the vehicle. At the sides though, there is some Chrome present on the door handles and strip that runs along the shoulder line also is made of Chrome.
Also, the roof is wrapped in Matte Black and that gives a good contrast with the overall White colour. However, the finishing of the wrap could have been smoother as at some edges the wrap seems to be folded very untidily. The SUV also gets functional roof rails and a shark-fin antenna to complement the sporty look.
Moving to the rear end, the SUV gets a pair of sleek-looking LED tail lights that is split into two sections. It also gets a glossy black strip that connects both the tail lights with ‘FORTUNER' branding across it. There is also a ‘LEGENDER' badge that is finished in black with chrome outlines.
Cockpit & Interiors
On the inside, the Legender gets dual-tone (Black and Maroon) upholstery that makes the interior look sporty. There is a lot of soft-touch material on the dashboard and door panels. The SUV also gets white ambient lighting all around that gives the cabin an upmarket feel.
Centre stage is taken by an 8-inch infotainment system that features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The touch response is good and there is no lag in the system. Right below that is the automatic climatic control with an LED screen to display the temperature and fan speed.
Right in front of the gear lever, there are two cup holders and it also gets a wireless smartphone charger, which is a really good feature. It also gets a USB charging point and an AUX cable connector.
The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and has a really good feel to it. The steering mounted controls come really handy when you want to change the soundtrack or increase/decrease volume or even receive/reject calls. The steering wheel is both tilt and reach adjustable.
The instrument cluster of the Toyota Fortuner Legender is similar to the one seen on the standard Fortuner. It features two analogue dials for the speedometer and tachometer. It also gets a TFT MID screen between the dials that help read out a lot of information about the vehicle.
Both front seats can be electrically adjusted. Toyota has also provided the front seats with a ventilation feature (for cooling only) with three levels of adjustments that are present below the climate control.
The second row is comfortable and has plenty of leg and headroom. The rear AC controls are present on the roof. One can always deploy the centre armrest with two cup holders to travel in more comfort. However, the third row is best suited for children as it can get a little too uncomfortable for adults over longer distances.
The tailgate can be opened in many ways and one of the features is the handsfree one. After you have opened the boot, with the third row up you only get 300-litres of boot space. To get more space for luggage, the rear seats can be folded up to free up more boot space.
Engine Performance & Driving Impressions
Under the hood of the Toyota Fortuner Legender lies a 2.8-litre turbocharged diesel engine. The unit is capable of producing 201bhp of power between 3,000 and 3,400rpm and 500Nm of peak torque between 1,600 and 2,800rpm. The Fortuner Legender is capable of doing the 0-100km/h run in under 10 seconds. The standard Fortuner can be had with a 4X4 setup that makes it quick off the line, but the 4X4 hardware adds around 125 kilograms in weight.
However, the Legender is only available in a rear-wheel-drive setup making it lighter than the regular model. Also, the Fortuner Legender is only available with a six-speed automatic gearbox.
This isn't the quickest gearbox around, but once you get the hang of it, overtaking becomes easy. However, the engine braking isn't particularly strong with this gearbox. There are paddle shifters also present just in case you want to switch to manual mode and take control of the gearshifts..
The engine also comes with three driving modes — Eco, Normal and Sport, which not only alter engine and gearbox response but also changes the steering response at higher speeds. The throttle response is pretty noticeable in the different modes but the steering response in the different modes is a little harder to notice.
The suspension setup of the Fortuner Legender felt slightly stiffer than the one on the regular model. Though the SUV still has body roll it can still pull through corners better than the standard Fortuner.
With 225mm of ground clearance, the SUV can go almost anywhere without any hesitation. The NVH and the insulation levels are decent but post the 2,500rpm mark the noise from the engine starts creeping into the cabin and stays there all the way to the redline, which is set at 4,050rpm. We did feel the Fortuner Legender could do with better insulation levels.
As far as the fuel efficiency is concerned, the Fortuner Legender gave us between 9-10 km/l in the urban jungle. Out on the highway, we got around 13-14.5 km/l. On a full tank, the SUV can easily go past the 550 kilometre mark.
The Fortuner is the best-selling SUV in its segment, having been in the market since 2009. The new Legender version will build on the SUVs popularity across the country. A few things that the Legender is missing, is a sunroof and the hill-hold and hill-descent control features.
Other than these features, the SUV is loaded with pretty much everything else. The Fortuner Legender carries an expensive price tag of around Rs 46 lakh on-road. The 2021 Fortuner Legender will go up against the likes of the MG Gloster and the Ford Endeavour in the Indian market. The Legender is the perfect SUV for those who want something more unique than the standard Fortuner.