Spending plenty of time recently with the Toyota Fortuner clarified the reasons why this tough, top selling SUV, launched in 2006 is so popular.
by RUBIN VAN NIEKERK
Superb resale value, space, versatility, off-road prowess, fuel efficiency and practicality ensure that demand remains high.
In 2020 comprehensive updates on core attributes, like sharpening, styling enhanced specification levels and improved performance significantly improved the driving and tactile experience.
The new 2.8 GD-6 VX flagship now joins the line-up and the VX suffix denotes the top level as in all the SUV ranges.
A larger, blacked-out grille with wave-like mesh pattern (gloss finish on VX) changes the façade and a silver-accented “skid-plate” gives a butcher image. New, sleeker Bi-LED headlamps has t chrome accent strips between the grille and headlamp assemblies and LED fog lamps and strip-like LED turn-signals all contribute to a more striking appearance.
The VX-grade has a thin, chrome belt-line which accents the profile towards the rear, which ties in with other chrome detailing. New tail lamp units present a more striking night-time signature and a roof spoiler and Fortuner-emblazoned centre garnish complete the rear view.
Black interiors, requested by the market has silver contrast stitching on the leather seats and bright accents, resulting in an upmarket ambiance. A new instrument cluster has metallic-blue dial faces, white needle pointers and an expanded, centrally mounted Multi-Information Display.
A new 8-inch system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing users to mirror their mobile phone for seamless connectivity. Google Maps and Waze are included, and occupants can access their own music and streaming accounts via apps like Apple Music, JOOX, Spotify and SoundCloud.
The 2.8 GD-6 engines have been boosted to 150kW and 500Nm with a larger, heavy-duty turbocharger and a new common-rail injection system. The six-speed automatic transmission has been recalibrated for improved acceleration and cooling performance – especially while towing. Impressively towing capability increased by 300kg to 3,3 tons, matching that of the 2.8 GD-6 4×4, which can now tow 300kg more than the outgoing model.
Town driving and parking is easy due to a new variable-flow control (VFC) power-steering pump that offers a high level of assistance while parking and less assistance at cruising speeds. A specific mode for low-range, off-road driving is included which makes a huge difference.
All new Fortuner models come comprehensively equipped with Park Distance Control (PDC) cruise control, touchscreen infotainment and a new Multi-Information Display (MID) screen with steering wheel angle indicator for enhanced off-road usability.
Besides just about everything that you need from power front seat adjustment, climate control and rear fog lamps. You also get a leather steering wheel, leather dashboard accents and front seat heating and welcome lighting.
The Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) safety system makes its debut in the Fortuner, integrating a Pre-collision system, Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and road sign recognition, joining the existing array of airbags, ISOFIX, seatbelt pre-tensioners and a full suite of active safety aids. As before, 4×4 models also include Downhill Assist Control (DAC).
All models are equipped with the Toyota Connect telematics system which includes an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15Gb data.
Clearly Toyota is very confident about the proven reliability of the Fortuner as it’s one of the only cars on the road with a 9-year/90 000 km service.
The Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4X4 VX 6AT sells for R 790 500.