Driven: 2020 Toyota Fortuner
The Toyota Fortuner has certainly grown to become a local favourite, to the point of even taking the title as the most popular seven-seater SUV in South Africa. Toyota has made full use of 2020 despite the unfortunate circumstances and yes, a new Fortuner was on the list. The Fortuner will form part of the Innovative Modular Vehicle (IMV) platform and will share its mechanical components with the highly popular Toyota Hilux.
Slightly different exterior
The outside changes in the new Fortuner are minimal. At first glance, one can see a slight difference in the size of the blacked-out grille. The most noticeable changes can be seen in the new re-profiled Bi-LED headlamps which help provide a more modern look for the Fortuner. The Bi-LED headlamps come with striking scalloped DRL light guides and are further joined by LED fog lamps and strip-like LED turn-signal elements in the lower bumper. The Fortuner comes in seven different exterior colours with Avant Garde Bronze being my absolute favourite. In terms of wheels, the Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 models ride on their familiar 17-inch alloy wheels with 265-65-R17 tyres, while 2.8 GD-6 variants get a stylish new 18-inch alloy wheel with 265-60-R18 tyres.
Although exterior changes were not too much on the agenda, power certainly was. Not to say that the Fortuner is quick, but it does get 20kW improvement. The 2.8-litre engine now produces 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque. This may not seem like much, but keep in mind that this is a big 7-seater SUV, so the 20kW is certainly welcomed and can be felt off and on road. The new Fortuner also gets an increase in towing capacity, with the 2.4 GD-6 4x4 models now being capable of doing 3.3 tons and the 2.8 GD-6 4x4 models, 3300kg.
Apparently a more modern interior
Stepping inside, the Fortuner certainly has some modern tech, but for the most part, it still does feel a bit dated. The all-new black interior and contrasted silver stitching does help modernize the SUV. There are also some tech updates, this is thanks to the all-new 8-inch infotainment system and it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Passengers are also able to mirror applications off their mobile phones and will have access to navigation apps such as Google Maps and Waze. Of course, the 2.8 GD-6 models (mid and VX) does make getting around even easier as it comes equipped with embedded Audio-Visual Navigation (AVN). The new Fortuner does come with the Toyota Connect telematics system which will include an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15Gb data.
The new Toyota Fortuner will be benefiting from the all-new Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). This package comes with features such as a Pre-collision system, Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, and road sign recognition. It will also include the standard offering of 7 airbags, ISOFIX, seatbelt pre-tensioners, and a full suite of active safety aids. If you own a 4x4 model, then you will also get Downhill Assist Control (DAC).
The new Toyota Fortuner does offer its fair share of improvements but pinpointing them may be more difficult than you think. The Fortuner is still a very comfortable seven-seater SUV, with superb build quality and driving it was pleasant. There is some noticeable improvement in terms of the overall ride quality as well which makes for a great ride on and off the road. It does seem that Toyota is working on maintaining its number one position.
All Fortuner models will come with a 3-year/100 000 km warranty, a 9-services/90 000 km service plan as standard (service intervals of 10 000 km or 12-months). Customers can also purchase extended service plans and warranty packages through their Toyota dealer.