The engine note was just like new, no oil leaks, underside showed no abnormality, tyres were good for at least 20,000km.
BHPian vigsom recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
“In this age of extended warranty, there exists a brute that can go on and on without a warranty policy. That’s because its very name stands guarantee.”
“The intent behind these posts is to showcase the virtues of this car, the legendary Toyota quality and also to help readers appreciate how an ageing Toyota Fortuner AT looks like – Hi handsome!”
– quoted from my thread on a 2014 Fortuner AT
This story dates back to Nov-2021, dwelling on the hunt, the purchase experience and how all this culminated in a 2012 Fortuner AT arriving home and lighting up the life of bhpian @RAHS and family in Bengaluru.
What’s so special about this acquisition?
- Comes with its dose of daredevilry viz. picking up a one owner owned 2,42,000km done Fortuner 4 speed AT.
- In unbelievably good shape, all along maintained only by Toyota.
- Fulfilled @RAHS’ aspiration to own a behemoth
Why I am writing this review:
My thread on a 2014 Fortuner AT triggered BHPian @RAHS to reach out to me and clarify queries on his target purchase – a Fortuner automatic. His hunt led him first to a 2014 Fortuner AT and another 2012 Fortuner AT, both of which slipped away, but he ended up with another even better 2012 Fortuner AT that turned out to be the best deal of them all. While the review should have ideally been penned by him, @RAHS was keen that I should set the ball rolling; so here goes. Thank You, @RAHS for letting me set the tone of this review.
BHPian @RAHS was extremely happy with his 2016 Renault Duster that has given him trouble-free service over the 45,000km covered this far. Like most of us, he was also bitten by the upgrade bug, and a big bug at that – wanting to move to the mighty muscular Fortuner AT. Top on his wish list was a 2014 Fortuner for a weird reason – the dark grey (almost black) dashboard as against the grey dashboard of the 2012 Fortuner.
He decided to look only at examples showcased at Toyota U Trust since he wanted to be absolutely sure of the service history and upkeep. Like most searches, this search also started off with some disappointments with both the following vehicles disappearing in no time of being announced for sale:
- A 2012 Fortuner AT, one owner owned, that had done 1,50,000km.
- A 2016 Fortuner 4×2 AT that had done some 1,25,000km, owned by a TKM employee.
After two disappointments, @RAHS reached out but I told him to play the patience game, as the right car would not materialize in the first shot. Although he would be looking at a car via U-Trust and service records, I advised him to perform his own inspection on the engine, engine compression, coolant, tyres, the glass all around, oil leaks, steering, timing belt replacement, overall drive etc. While all this was happening, a two owner 2014 Fortuner AT had just arrived at U-Trust but was awaiting some refurbishment.
A 2012 Fortuner AT enters the fray:
While the 2014 Fortuner was still awaiting refurbishment, here comes a wild card entry – on the 5th of Dec 2021, @RAHS sent me pictures of a 2012 Fortuner AT that has just arrived at Toyota, and the owner was trading this in for a new Fortuner.
I observed the following from the pictures:
- Neat bodyline.
- Excellent interiors for a 9 year old car.
- Yokohama Geolandar G015 tyres all around of mid-2020; condition of the tyres seemed to suggest they had approx. 30,000km of life left.
- Windscreen was not the original.
The following day, @RAHS got to inspect the documents and here is what he found:
- One owner KA-05 registered car.
- Insurance valid until end Mar-2022, and had been renewed every year without a break; current NCB was 50%.
- Original Road tax receipt also visible.
- Valid Emission certificate.
- The second key was also available. The owner manual could not be traced, though.
There was just one element that was proving to be concerning – the odo reading that was shown as 2,42,000km. Although @RAHS was convinced that the car was good, he was not sure if he should consider a car with such a high odo reading.
Rear left view:
The co-driver seat – a little compressed:
View from the driver door:
View of the second row:
One of the wheels:
Insurance – 50% NCB:
RTO tax receipt:
Decision Making – Go-NoGo?
- @RAHS was willing to let go of his desire to own a 2014 Fortuner with a dark grey dashboard.
- I advised him that picking up a 2,42,000 km car came with risks, but picking up a well kept Toyota with full service history came with a much reduced risk.
- His capital outflow for this 2012 Fortuner vs a 2014 Fortuner would save him a cool INR 4 lacs.
He did his due diligence, checked the service history, had the car inspected by Toyota for a fee.
D-Day in Dec-2021:
The car was finally his in just four days from when he saw her first; I must compliment @RAHS for not hurrying through the purchase, but making an informed decision.
Smart car with a smart owner alongside:
Seeking God’s blessings:
Heaven’s choicest blessings showered on the car:
At the new home:
First cosmetic changes:
Although the interiors were good, with no wear, he decided to get the front and middle row seats’ upholstery re-done. Reason: The co-driver seat was all compressed probably because a bulky person used to be seated there.
The seat in its compressed state:
After beefing up the seats at Imperial Leathers:
Steering leather before:
Steering leather after – excellent job by Imperial Leathers:
He ended up getting the first two rows of seats re-done for INR 30,000, plus the steering leather for INR 2,000. Next in line was reverse parking sensors with progressive gap warning beeps; he got this done at Toyota for INR 4,500.
Surprise #1 – Jan-2022:
One cold winter morning, the car wouldn’t start. I asked him for a video, and told him that the battery had gone dead and wasn’t able to crank the engine. He called Toyota who jump started the car for him, and then advised a battery replacement. A new Exide battery was put in; post battery replacement, no issues whatsoever.
My encounter with this 2012 Fortuner AT:
I was in Bengaluru last weekend, and set up a quick meet with @RAHS to see him, and his mean machine for the first time. After a good breakfast at Paakshala @ J P Nagar, I spent a good one hour looking at the Fortuner in person. What surprised me was the overall condition of the car at the current odo of 2,48,000km.
Inspection and first drive:
The engine note was just like new, no oil leaks, underside showed no abnormality, tyres were good for at least 20,000km. Yes, the bumpers and a few other panels had been touched up but wasn’t something to be hugely worried about. After all, who’d want to see scratch marks on a Fortuner. I could spot just two minor visible signs of wear on this ten year old car – a small wear on the driver door panel, and weathering of the T logo on the steering wheel.
Post inspection, I drove the car up 11th Main Road at Jayanagar, and found the power delivery and gear shifts absolutely perfect. An automatic transmission in good health means smooth gear shifts with no jerks. The brakes were surprisingly better than my last experience with a Fortuner of this generation. When I asked @RAHS about how the brakes behaved at highway speeds, he mentioned that he had never faced scary situations during emergency braking. He narrated an incident where, on his way to Mantralayam, he encountered a bull that suddenly broke away from the herd, and stood in the middle of the highway. The car was able to stop abruptly with no fuss.
- Easily navigable through dense traffic.
- Felt like a boss in the driver seat.
- Cosy front seats.
- Chiller of an Aircon.
- Simple, yet functional dash.
- Denso stock horns sound sweet, yet warn road users that a Toyota is coming. These horns go on and on and on.
What could have been better:
- Average brakes – although much better than a 2010 Fortuner that I’ve driven.
- High floor = uncomfortable seating for second and third row passengers.
- Under-thigh support in the second row, although better with the beefed up seats, was still short of “best in class”.
- I’d have liked the engine bay to be cleaner (this and the wheels are the two most important areas to spot for tell tale signs of something going wrong).
Front view with the headlamps and LED foglamps (upgrade by earlier owner):
The odo reading:
View of the centre row seats:
View from the front left door:
Slightly weathered T logo on the steering:
Minor wear on the driver door panel:
Expenses in the approx. 6,000km of ownership so far:
- Seats (were done just for making them look like new) INR 30,000.
- Steering leather INR 2,000.
- Battery INR 7,000.
- Reverse parking sensors INR 4,500.
- Headlamps buffing INR 2,000.
Total INR 45,500.
Except the battery, the other expenses are only for the feel-good factor.