We drive the latest Toyota Fortuner
Toyota has launched the latest version of the Fortuner into ever demanding South African market, and it promises to be just as popular as ever. The new Toyota Fortuner is a perfect blend of ruggedness and luxury, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a versatile and reliable vehicle. In 2020 the Fortuner took a staggering 57% of the market. Toyota aims to maintain its lead with this latest model. Here is what you need to know.
The new Toyota Fortuner features a more muscular and aggressive design compared to its predecessor. The front fascia is dominated by a large grille, flanked by sleek LED headlights, giving the vehicle a modern look. Toyota’s reimagined Fortuner takes a decidedly more striking design direction with catamaran-inspired elements. These are particularly noticeable at the extremities of the vehicle which mimic a catamaran’s twin hulls.
The all-new, sharply angular front and rear bumper treatment featuring exclusive, aero-corner moulding is complemented by black trapezoidal fog lamp housings upfront and L-shaped reflector inserts at the rear, thus reinforcing this new-found style aggression.
The rear of the vehicle features redesigned taillights and a new bumper that enhances the sporty appeal of the SUV. Reworked elements include the aforementioned bumper treatment, a new design for the tail light clusters and a piano black number plate garnish. Another touch of class is the black badge treatment offered across the model line-up.
Inside, the new Toyota Fortuner boasts a spacious and well-appointed cabin. The dashboard features a modern design, with a large infotainment system. The seats are comfortable and offer excellent support, making them perfect for long journeys. Leather is standard across the Fortuner range, but the package is elevated even further for 2.8-litre customers with the adoption of a new dual-tone colour palette, which sees the harmonious pairing of black and maroon leather.
Matching maroon stitching adorns various surfaces providing a striking counterpoint to the predominantly black trim.The Fortuner's three-row seating configuration makes it an ideal vehicle for families or those who require extra seating.
This new Fortuner offers a few updated features which makes ownership and everyday driving a bit better. On the inside you will find dual-zone climate control on all 2.8 models. This specific car that I had featured heated and electric front seats. The VX also gains a Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) with selectable view which my wife loved as it made parking so easy. I however enjoyed the infotainment system which offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as an impressive 11-speaker JBL Premium Audio system.
Toyota has also added extra convenience and safety which is always a good thing. All Fortuner models now also feature a Smart Entry system with additional security measures. I also found the powered rear tailgate to be a benefit. In addition the VX variant receives additional functionality to the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) system in the form of Blind- Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). Lane-keep assist and active cruise control also came in handy when we hit the long road for the holiday.
Under the hood, the new Toyota Fortuner comes with two engine options: a 2.4-liter turbodiesel engine producing 110 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque, and a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine delivering 150 kW of power and 500 Nm of torque. We sampled the latter and it remains a great motor, so much so that Toyota is rumoured to be dropping it into the updated Land Cruiser 70 Series later this year. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic gearbox and are available in either 4x2 or 4x4 configuration.
Our test unit featured the auto, which does its job well however in today's day and age 6-speed automatics are so 10 years ago. The Fortuner does however offer steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Safety is always a top priority when it comes to Toyota vehicles, and the new Fortuner is no exception. It comes equipped with a host of safety features, including anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and hill-start assist. The Fortuner also comes with seven airbags, including curtain airbags that protect all three rows of occupants.
A particularly significant safety upgrade was made for the 2022 model year (2.8 models only). To further bolster active safety, a Lane Keeping System with Land Departure Alert (LDA), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Adaptive Cruise Control and a brake-synchronised Pre-Crash System were added as part of the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance technologies. Additionally, at that time all Fortuner models received an enhanced Smart Entry system with additional security measures.
In conclusion, the new Toyota Fortuner is a significant improvement over its predecessor, with a more refined and stylish design, a comfortable and spacious interior, and a range of powerful and efficient engines. It is an excellent choice for those looking for a versatile and reliable SUV that can handle any terrain. The competitive pricing makes it an attractive option in the market, and it is sure to give its competitors a run for their money.