The Toyota Fortuner is a bit of a monster. It's success in Thailand has been remarkable, dominating the SUV market, which also pinching sales from the luxury passenger car segment. On paper the Fortuner seems hard to beat for around 1 million baht. And for those looking for a big "impressive" machine need look no further.
When I first saw one on the road in Bangkok last year I was impressed by it's size but now I would ask a question: Why is it good to own a big car?
Why is the Fortuner so popular?
Some of the reasons given in answer to this question are valid. Some will argue that they need the space the Fortuner provides to transport their family and friends. Some say that they require the 4WD abilities for when they want to go off-road.
The most obvious answer has little to do with practical reasoning however. Many choose the Fortuner because it is the biggest lump of metal for the money. And this is also entirely valid. Thailand's vehicle tax system is stacked in favour of pickup trucks. The Fortuner sits on a pickup chassis and enjoys the same favourable 3% tax rate. This allows the Fortuner to undercut CR-V, Escape and other SUVs while providing more. Honda's CR-V comes with a 2 liter engine for around the same money as the 3 liter Fortuner, and the CR-V has only 2 rows of seats. Not surprising then that the CR-V sales figures are dire since the launch of the Toyota giant.
So there are a few good reasons for the Fortuner's popularity.
So, what's the problem?
This is not a review of the Fortuner, but if it was I would not be recommending the machine. My reasoning is based on something simple: Parking!
Just to remind you that registered users on bkkAutos can also have blogs on this site. You are welcome to join (free) and begin posting your own experiences of motoring in Thailand. You can include pictures, funny stories, anything you might think interesting.
Naturally we don't want to see anything illegal, or that is generally considered offensive. We don't want to put up a heap of rules at this stage, but please be aware that we will do so if we need to, and we can remove posts (and accounts) if there is any abuse of the service.
Blogging might not be that exciting, but sometimes it can be useful. We hope that the blogs on this site will prove useful or entertaining, or even both!
As you may know there was a lot of rainfall in Bangkok in the last 48 hours, although it appears like a nice dry day today which is good. Good for the traffic for one thing! Yesterday was a nightmare on the roads.
Yesterday evening I got a craving for some Japanese food. Sashimi dipped generously in wasabi diluted in soya sauce was crying out my name from our local Zen. My wife shared my enthusiasm when I suggested a Japanese evening. We ignored the news of traffic chaos, and decided to set off as soon as things looked reasonably quiet on the main road running past our apartment. At around 8 o'clock we ventured out of our home to make the 20-minute journey to Central Bang Na.
I'm going to blog here about my experiences driving in Thailand. The purpose is to give the reader an idea of what it's like to drive here. I'm also going to post up information about the cars that I drive, not really reviews, but comments and observations.
Eventually it would be my hope that bkkAutos.com would build up to have many interesting blogs that would collectively provide a useful resource to other motorists in Thailand, Asia, and beyond. At this point bkkAutos.com is a shell, and doesn't have very much content. Obviously there is a lot to do. Blogging is only one area of the site, which will eventually include many sections, including news, forums, reviews, and other features.