The Toyota Fortuner is an iconic vehicle that is firmly entrenched in South African culture. There are many haters out there, but there are far more drivers that simply love this SUV. It has literally sold thousands of units, and it has been a segment leader for some time. And now finally in 2016, the all new Fortuner has arrived.
Often when a car has dominated a segment like the Fortuner has, it is almost a done deal that the new generation car will be an anti-climax. Well in this case, that could not be further from the truth. The Fortuner is alive and well, and is hugely improved, to say the least. It has a longer, wider stance than the outgoing model, and it has the capability to bridge the gap between being an urban warrior, and an off-road champion as well. The marketing team has coined the adage ‘’Find Freedom with your Fortuner’’ and this sums it up perfectly.
With the Toyota SA dealer network, specialised training for staff, very aggressive pricing for the car and parts, as well as a much more modern look about it, the Fortuner seems set to further dominate its competitor’s. And this in a hotly contested mid size SUV segment where strong competition abounds, from the likes of the Everest, Pajero and the Trailblazer.
The Fortuner is a handsome, strong looking car, from the trapezoidal front end, to the new LED tail lights which look very modern modern. The lines are sharp and sculpted like an athlete, and the rounded upper body is highlighted by a chrome-plated moulding (selected models) that wraps around from the sides to the back glass. The overall effect, with the Fortuner’s black pillars and pronounced rear spoiler, is of a floating roof that gives the vehicle a dynamically striking stance even when it’s stationary.
The Fortuner is hugely improved inside, and soft touch accents, with a faux wood grain which surprisingly fits it perfectly, as well as space & comfort gives it a look of elegance. It has an attractive centre console and dash area that has all information needed at the touch of a finger.
It is essentially a 7-seater with three rows of seats which of course can be removed if necessary. A very large boot area is available, and two large bags can be fitted even with the third row of seats in play. A 60/40 fold down option can increase the space exponentially.
The Fortuner has a variety of engine variants from the 2.4 & 2.8 GD series , to the the 2.7 VVT-i and course the big kahuna, the 4.0 V6. The 2.4 GD produces 110kW @3400 and delivers 400Nm of torque between 1600 and 2000rpm. The 2.8 GD offers owners a stout 130kW and effortless 420Nm from 1600 to 2400rpm in manual guise. Automatic transmission versions will receive a boost to 450Nm over the same rpm span.
Fuel efficiency is a hallmark of the diesel engines and figures of 7-8L/100km are achievable. The maximum towing capacity is rated at 2.5 tons for the 2.4 GD and 2.7 VVT-i models and at 3 tons for the 2.8 GD and 4.0 V6.
The petrol engines output is 122kw& 245 nm for the 2.7 and 175kw/376nm for the bruising 4.0 V6 respectively.
The Drive & Transmissions
The Fortuner has the new 6-speed auto transmission as well as a newly adapted manual transmission. The latter has smoother gear shifts, especially with heavier loads. We drove the Fortuner off-road in heavy beach sand and engaging low range without diff-lock, it handled the course with aplomb.
The new Fortuner has a double-wishbone front suspension and four-link coil-spring rear suspension, both with stabiliser bars. The undercarriage carries anti-corrosion strategy to minimize damage. The cabin is made more quiet with anti dampener improvements.
Improved Interior Tech
All Fortuner models have audio systems with four to six speakers, an auxiliary/USB port, AM/FM radio and a CD player. Audio systems on the 2.8 GD and 4.0 V6 models boast a DAB+ digital radio and a 7” screen with DVD compatibility and a reversing camera display. The range-topping 4.0 V6 is equipped with satellite navigation.
Bluetooth is available, as well as touch button audio & phone controls on the steering wheel. It has numerous storage compartments, and a cooled glove compartment is quite novel. All models feature three 12-volt accessory sockets – under the centre cluster, in the rear of the centre console for second-row passengers and in the rear luggage area.
Retail pricing for the new Fortuner is as follows:
2.4 GD-6 Raised Body Manual: R436 400
2.4 GD-6 Raised Body Automatic: R453 400
2.7 VVT-i Raised Body Automatic: R429 400
2.8 GD-6 Raised Body Manual: R513 400
2.8 GD-6 4×4 Manual: R571 400
2.8 GD-6 Raised Body Automatic: R531 400
2.8 GD-6 4×4 Automatic: R589 400
4.0 V6 4×4 Automatic: R633 400
All retail prices include a three-year/100 000km warranty and five-year/90 000km service plan.
The Fortuner is going to be an attractive buy for the masses of fans out there, who will not be disappointed at the improved version. It could also convert a number of new buyers in its segment with the improved and modernized look, and the attractive pricing currently.