Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 20 Aug 2016
Over the past couple of years, the Toyota Fortuner has concreted its reputation as being South Africa’s best-selling SUV. People love its go anywhere practicality, seating for up to seven passengers and wealth of features at an affordable price. Now Toyota has a new Fortuner on the block, so I decided to take it for a drive.
What is most notable about the new design, in my opinion, is its now much sharper creases and pointed lines. The latest generation Fortuner appears to borrow much for its design inspiration from its more expensive Lexus cousins. Not exactly a bad start on the exterior design front.
From every angle both inside and out, the all-new Fortuner provides a major leap forward for the Toyota brand in terms of refinement. Owing to its now further increased ride height, re-engineered suspension (front double wishbones and four-link coil springs at the rear) and redesigned body, the Fortuner is now better equipped than ever to take on the rough stuff.
In terms of power delivery, the new engines from Toyota’s Hilux range have been carried over to the latest generation Fortuner and they are simply excellent. The 2.8-litre engine which I spent the week driving, produces 130Kw of power and 420 Nm of torque coupled with its manual transmission. The 2.8-litre engine manages to offer a wealth of power throughout the engine’s overall power range and couples this with very impressive combined average fuel economy claims of just 7.5-litres/100 km, a believable figure as I was able to average 9.1-litres/100 km purely in urban traffic cycle surrounds.
The interior space and comfort of the latest generation Fortuner have been improved dramatically from that of its predecessor. With an overall increase in interior cabin space, particularly evident in the rear compartment. The third row of seating makes the Fortuner a full seven seater SUV however, these seats are small and realistically designed for younger children. The Third row of seats can be folded away in just a single action, which makes loading the Fortuner a breeze from any perspective.
Standard features, multimedia, and entertainment were certainly not forgotten when this latest generation Fortuner was being developed. The new vehicle now features a large touchscreen display upfront. Media is delivered through the option of USB, 3.5mm Audio Jack, Bluetooth Device Streaming, and a front loading CD, or DVD when delivered on the 2.8 GD6 version which I had for review. The system remains simple to use, intuitive and overall blends well into the overall sophisticated and clean cabin layout.
The Toyota Fortuner has always made a name in South Africa largely due to the fact that it offers 7-seater capacity, a wealth of features and creature comforts and does all of this at an unbeatable price. The Fortuner’s closest competitor comes in the way of the Ford Everest, but Ford’s lineup come through on average R40,000 more expensive per model engine spec respectively, when placed next to the Fortuner equvialent.
To date, Toyota has sold around 100,000 Fortuner’s to South African households and this speaks volumes about the Fortuner, its popularity and its thriving future success which I am certain will follow with this all-new model.
SA Models & Pricing:
Fortuner 2.7 VVTi RB 6AT – R438,000
Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 RB 6MT – R454,000
Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 RB 6AT – R471,800
Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 RB 6MT – R534,200
Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 RB 6AT – R552,800
Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4×4 6MT – R594,500
Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4×4 6AT – R613,200
Fortuner 4.0 V6 4×4 6AT – R659,000
Watch my video reviews and driving impressions of the all-new Toyota Fortuner by clicking below: