Dilemma: Overhaul my Fortuner or replace with either a petrol or EV car

Would prefer a reliable and safe automatic SUV with a good ride comfort & rear seating to replace the Fortuner, mind you we have been spoiled by the Hexa and that too with captain seats.

BHPian curiosity recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Well this puzzle of what should be the next car (cars?) cannot be solved by me alone and I would certainly do good with advice from experts here.

Some background:

Here is the list of our existing cars:

  • 2010 Toyota Fortuner MT.
  • 2017 VW Polo GT TSI.
  • 2020 Tata Hexa XTA 6 Seater.

Since there is a decent amount of daily travel for work involved two out of these three cars are chauffer driven and the third would be self driven occasionally on weekends etc. Currently the Fortuner and the Hexa are chauffer driven and the GT TSI does the job for when we want to self-drive but occasionally we also drive the Hexa for outstation trips without the driver. You might be thinking why not drive the Fortuner for outstation trips? Well because we do not want to drive a manual anymore.

The problem:

Now the Fortuner is 12 years old and has started giving a lot of pain in terms of maintenance. I also have started feeling that the authorized dealership where the car always get serviced has started trying to milk us with major repair bills, hence the decision is made to replace the Fortuner. We looked at the NX350h and liked it. YOLO played its trick and with the urge to move to a “luxury SUV” we have made the booking but the car is expected in 2023 only. With time on our side, it has lead us to re-evaluate our car buying strategy. Anyways it will be self driven only so the problem of replacing the Fortuner still exists because the NX will replace the GT TSI if we finally decide to continue with the booking.

The requirement:

Would prefer a reliable and safe automatic SUV with a good ride comfort & rear seating to replace the Fortuner, mind you we have been spoiled by the Hexa and that too with captain seats. Hexa will remain in the stable since it is considerably new. One car out of the three will only be self driven, second car will be chauffeur driven mostly but should be good to take out for occasional outstation trips, and the third car will be chauffer driven only. Not keen on owning a badge, but the car should be reliable.

The confusion:

  • Should a sedan be added to the consideration? Considering Mumbai potholes and water logged roads during the rains, will it be a wise decision?
  • EV, if yes then which one? Or is it too early to jump in the EV bandwagon?
  • Should we cancel the NX350h booking, get a new Fortuner and continue with the GT TSI and Hexa? Mind over Heart!
  • Should we replace the Fortuner with another car based on recommendations here and continue with the NX350h booking and replace the GT TSI for self drive.
  • Come over the fear of owning a badge look at the BMW X3 or Audi Q5 to add to the confusion.
  • I did like the new Mahindra Thar.
  • Find a good FNG and get the Fortuner overhauled. Mechanically it is still doing good.

Looking forward to discussing with the group on ideas. Thank you!

Here’s what BHPian lamborghini had to say on the matter:

The Lexus NX is a really good choice for a chauffeur driven car that occasionally will see you behind the wheel unless the chauffeur is a poor driver who will mess up the vehicle / suspension.

If for any reason you don’t want to give such a loaded or expensive car to the chauffeur, you could look at options such as the:

  • Superb / Camry: I wouldn’t be worried about driving a sedan in Mumbai unless you live in an area with impossible speed breakers / prone to water-logging. The Superb has better ground clearance than the Camry from what I understand based on others experiences.
  • Pick up an Innova ZX 7 seater automatic and call it a day: The Hexa will still remain the better vehicle to drive but the Innova will be more comfortable than the fortuner and also gets the captain chairs.
    Not suggesting the Carnival as the long wheelbase makes ground clearance a touchy topic literally.
  • Mahindra Thar: Too bumpy and impractical unless you want it for self driving to replace the Polo.
  • EVs : Depending on your road trips, EVs may or may not make sense. Something like the MG could be a good city run-about to replace the Polo and also for longer trips to say Pune, etc. But if by road trips you mean stuff like Mumbai-Goa non-stop, an EV may not be the best idea.

The way I see it, your options are:

  • Replace Fortuner with NX. If the chauffeur is good, let him use it daily and it’s always there for weekends. Polo is a perfect city hatch for Mumbai – you would miss something that nimble.
  • Replace Fortuner with Superb / Camry : A good long test drive should ease all doubts about these cars capabilities.
  • Replace Fortuner with something like an Innova Crysta.
  • Replace both the Polo (with something fun, but also highway and city friendly like the Octavia / Mini / A4 / GLA), and the Fortuner (with a sensible chauffeur driven car like the Innova / Superb / MG Hector too is a good option).

I wouldn’t recommend keeping the Fortuner unless you’re happy with the ride quality as a purely chauffeur driven car (since you won’t drive manual).

With 12 years, even though the mechanicals are sorted – one cannot escape wear and tear related expenses and consequent service visits.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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