Drove the Toyota Fortuner – SA’s top-selling SUV – recently, except this time I was in the new Fortuner Epic. Built on the rock-steady foundation of its Hilux stablemate, this 7-seater SUV has proven that its blend of style, off-road competency and people-hauling ability, perfectly suits the South African lifestyle.
Toyota have upgraded the Fortuner with a host of exterior additions and created the latest iteration – the new ‘Fortuner Epic’.
Two variants of Epic are on offer, both based on the 2.8-litre GD-6 derivatives: the ‘standard’ Fortuner Epic and Fortuner Epic Black. As the name implies, the Epic Black utilises black accents to up the ante visually. The Epic package will be applied to 100% of Fortuner 2.8 models, thereby offering customers enhanced value.
The exterior (and utility) has been enhanced with the fitment of a branded nudge-bar and tow bar. Epic Black models feature a bi-tone design with black roof, black roof rails, black side-view mirrors and unique, all-black 18-inch alloy wheels.
These high-contrast elements are exclusively combined with Glacier White paintwork on the Epic Black to create a bespoke model that is certain to make an impression on both bush and boulevard clientele. Epic variants can be had in Glacier White, Chromium Silver, Graphite Grey or Avant-Garde Bronze.
A touch of class is added with metal scuff plates and Epic-branded carpet set. The usual Fortuner luxuries apply here, such as the leather interior and soft-touch dashboard trim. The interior layout remains as per current, with elevated 2nd and fold-up 3rd row seating. I had the extra seats, but did not need them this time, but are handy to have. Boot space is compromised when you do have them though, and is cavernous when you do not use them.
The usual array of 2.8 Fortuner specification items apply, including dual-zone climate control, smart entry and push start, touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, reverse camera, TFT Multi-Information Display (MID), blue Optitron instrumentation, cruise control, steering switches, power-adjustable driver seat and power back door. Love the high drive feel, which adds great visibility.
All Fortuner models are equipped with ABS, TRC, VSC, BAS, EBD and Hill Start Assist (HAC). The four-wheel drive models additionally feature Toyota’s A-TRAC off-road traction control logic and Downhill Assist Control (DAC), to make navigating obstacles a breeze. ‘On-the-fly’ selectable 2WD/4WD/4WD Lo modes further add to overlanding convenience.
Model range and Pricing*
Fortuner 2.8 RB Epic 6AT – R 660 000
Fortuner 2.8 Epic Black 6AT – R 670 100
Fortuner 2.8 4X4 Epic 6AT – R 729 000
Fortuner 2.8 4X4 Epic Black 6AT – R 739 100
Fortuner models are sold with either a 6-services/90 000 km (2.7 VVTi model) or 9-services/90 000 km (diesel) service plan and 3-year/100 000 km warranty. Service intervals for the diesel models are 10 000 km, while the petrol model is set at 15 000 km. Customers can also choose from a variety of service plan extensions at their local dealer.
There is a reason that the Fortuner is the premium SUV, and that embodies the feeling of space & comfort, great media & tech, and coupled with a good drive feel and fair economy rate with fuel.