Toyota Fortuner now more at home on and off Aussie roads

TOYOTA has expanded the appeal of its seven seat Fortuner SUV, adding more power and torque, better fuel consumption, increased braked towing capacity, higher equipment levels, easier parking and a freshened design.

An upgraded engine delivers an extra 20kW of power and 50Nm of torque from Fortuner’s 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine, lifting maximum outputs to 150kW and 500Nm, all thanks to a larger water cooled heavy duty ball bearing turbocharger.

A newly developed variable nozzle vane mechanism inside the turbo has also had an impact, as has measures to increase engine rigidity, cooling and efficiency.

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Yet the substantially higher outputs, applied to the road through a six-speed automatic transmission, do not come at the expense of economy, with fuel use cut by 11.6 per cent on the official combined cycle.

Consumption is now at just 7.6-litres/100km and provides a theoretical range of more than 1,000km from the 80-litre fuel tank. The improvement is even better on the urban cycle at 9.1-litres/100km, a reduction of 17.3 per cent.

Combining the beefier yet frugal engine with Fortuner’s rugged frame, all coil suspension and strong upper body has enabled maximum braked towing capacity to be increased by 300kg to 3100kg.

Handling has also benefited from a new variable flow power steering pump that offers more assistance at parking speeds, while delivering a more direct feel at highway speeds. A rear differential lock continues to enhance off-road performance.

Expanded safety features include the addition of front parking sensors that, along with the existing rear sensors, warn the driver of nearby objects.

Advanced Toyota Safety Sense technologies include a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian (day and night) and cyclist (daytime) detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, and high-speed active cruise control.

All three Fortuner equipment grades; GX, GXL and Crusade, benefit from exterior styling changes, including a revised front end that centres on a larger black grille. A restyled lower front bumper has been divided to produce a skid-plate under-run.

It makes for a tougher, more integrated look. Slimmer Bi-LED headlamps also contribute to the ‘meaner’ look, while the Crusade benefits from high-grade headlights and a stylish new taillight design.

The GX and GXL retain their 17-inch alloy wheels, while the Crusade receives a newly designed 18-inch alloy with a flanged spoke design. Inside, the GX and GXL interiors have changed to a dark grey fabric.

The leather accented Crusade interior is available in either black or fawn. Instrument dials have a new font and a satin finish to the outer rings while the 4.2-inch multi-information display now provides front-tyre angle and DPF status.

New range wide features include an 8-inch multimedia screen, operated by buttons rather than by touch. The system now incorporates access to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the myToyota app, as well as enhanced voice activation.

Other standard equipment includes an air-conditioned cool box, audio and phone controls mounted on the steering wheel, soft-touch instrument panel, 60/40 tumble and slide second row seat, and tilt and telescopic steering column.

The GX can be specified with satellite navigation and DAB+ digital radio for $1,000. These features are standard on GXL, which also gains automatic climate control air-conditioning.

Other standard GXL equipment includes key-less smart entry and start, roof rails, fog lamps (now LED), privacy glass and downhill assist control. A $2,500 option pack for GXL includes leather accented seats and eight way power adjustable front seats.

Both of these are standard on Crusade. The range topping model now also sports an electro chromatic rear-view mirror and darker wood grain look trim on the centre console, in addition to a power tailgate and an 11-speaker premium JBL sound system.

Despite the significant technical and equipment upgrades, the Fortuner’s recommended retail price continues to start under the $50,000 threshold, at $49,080 plus on roads, with the new range arriving in local showrooms from 27 August.

The GXL starts from $54,350 plus on roads, and the Crusader can be had for $61,410, again, plus on roads. The Fortuner shares much of its underpinnings with the new Toyota HiLux. More information is available from Toyota Australia’s website.

Mick Glenn
Mick Glenn
Mick is a car fanatic, with petrol pumping through his veins. With a deep love for cars, and what makes them tick, Mick likes things that go fast, very fast. But he also appreciates a Sunday cruise in the Rolls...... who are we kidding, he'd drive the wheels off that too.


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