The Toyota Fortuner remains the top player in the SUV segment

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The Toyota Fortuner remains the top player in the SUV segment

Murali Naidu

Dominating the sales charts and being a fan favourite amongst fellow South Africans, the all-new 2023 Fortuner now exudes a more assertive and bold design. This latest iteration brings minor enhancements that make a more significant difference.

Overall, the 2023 Fortuner presents an edgier look, aligning with Toyota's global SUV design trends and crossover models.

The silhouette has sharp, seamless lines that contour neatly from the front to the rear, which makes it a site to marvel at. Upfront, black trapezoidal fog lamps are present, harbouring the L-shaped reflector inserts at the back, bringing together a newfound styling.

The 2.8L models incorporate a new headlamp design featuring split-quad LED; these headlamps, combined with the LED L-shaped daytime running lamps and apron-framing LED indicator lamps, contribute to the modern aesthetic.

It rides comfortably on new two-tone black and metal 18-inch multi-layered alloys, now standard across the range. 

For another style choice, Fortuner 2.8L customers can opt for the new bi-tone colour option featuring a black roof, spoiler, outer mirror housings, a shark fin antenna and an exclusive platinum pearl white exterior. This colour pallet is also available across the range.

A re-vamped interior colour palette for flagship models and some updated features have been brought to the party.

Across the Fortuner range, leather upholstery is now standard. However, the 2.8L models receive additional interior appointments, such as a new dual-tone colour palette that blends elegantly with the black and maroon leather. 

Dual-zone climate control for 2.8L models is offered, and the range-topping VX grade now features a panoramic view monitor with selectable views, leather seats and a multifunctional steering wheel. At the same time, an optional extra spec is the 11-speaker JBL premium audio system.

One notable change in the interior is removing the on-board satellite navigation function, as the preferred choice for navigation is now Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, which comes as a standard feature.

Boot space with all seats up offers 200l; with the third row of seats tucked away, it yields an impressive 716l of cargo space; taking it a step further with the second row of seats, you have 1080l available.

Furthermore, all Fortuner models received an enhanced intelligent entry system with additional security measures during that time. These features complement a comprehensive safety kit, including a complete set of airbags, driver knee and curtain airbags, totalling seven.

To enhance the safety aspects, the Fortuner comes equipped with all modernities, such as a lane-keeping system with lane departure alert, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and a brake-synchronized pre-crash system were added as part of the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance technologies.

Equipment such as ABS with electronic brake force distribution, vehicle stability control, and traction control are present, too.

VX models feature electronic active traction control, automatically detecting wheelspin and distributing torque between the front and rear wheels to suppress unnecessary wheelspin and control skidding. Additional Fortuner-specific features on the standard menu include hill assist control and trailer sway control, which detects excessive trailer movement and uses brakes and engine power to reduce sway.

All 4x4 grades offer a low-range transfer case for enhanced off-road capability. The 2.8 4x4 variants also come equipped with downhill assist control. Furthermore, all Fortuner grades incorporate a rear differential lock as standard, enhancing their off-road prowess.

The Fortuner offers a choice of two engines, with the standout option being the robust 2.8L turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, which we sampled.

This powerhouse produces 150kW of power and a decent 500Nm of torque. It's exclusively mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, ensuring a smooth and responsive driving experience. Power was enough; providing effortless overtaking capabilities with the additional torque made it a breeze and might benefit towing. The maximum towing capacity for the Fortuner is 3.3 tons. I achieved 8.8l/100km in fuel economy, which impressed me. 

For those seeking a different powertrain, the 2.4 GD-6 engine is available, delivering a healthy 110kW of power and 400Nm of torque. Customers can opt for a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, depending on their preferences and driving style.

In conclusion, the 2023 Toyota Fortuner delivers a  comfortable driving experience and comes equipped with many safety features. Its striking exterior, refined interior, and enhanced features make it a strong contender in the medium SUV segment.

The Fortuner has a three-year/100,000km warranty and a nine-service/90,000km service plan. Service intervals are set at 10,000km, and customers can purchase various service plans and warranty extensions from their nearest Toyota dealer, with 220 dealerships available nationwide.





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