If you’ve been reading up about the new HiLux, much of the new Fortuner’s juicy details will be the same. The new 2.8 litres 1GD-FTV motor, six-speed auto and manual gearbox is the same. Like the MU-X and Challenger 4X4s, the Fortuner is based on the Hilux as a platform. But, there is tonnes of new development that has gone into the Fortuner.
Much of that development has come from Australian shores. In fact, along with being the largest international R&D project that Toyota has ever undertaken, it is also the biggest ever undertaken by Toyota in Australia.
Like other ute-based wagons, the Fortuner has spurned it’s coil-sprung cousin, in favour of a five-link suspension setup. We haven’t driven it yet, but will soon. So stay tuned. The front suspension (double wishbone) is the same, but has been tuned differently for the Fortuner, for Australian conditions. Drums have lost favour to ventilated discs all round, which is a welcome addition.
There’s seven airbags standard across the range, and Toyota are fairly confident that they’ll romp home with a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Where lots of the underpinnings of the Fortuner are the same as the closely-related HiLux ute, the interiors for the Fortuner are new and different. Depending on your spec level, you get a plush and contemporary cockpit, with soft-touch surfaces, and a similar level of specs to the HiLux.
To give you an idea about the size of the Fortuner, it is similar to the Kluger overall. It’s a little bit taller, but is shorter in length and width, compared to the softroader. Obviously, the Fortuner offers true 4X4 and diesel power, compared to the Kluger.
Toyota Genuine accessories will take the fight to the aftermarket guys, with steel bullbars, Warn winches, a snorkel and side rails available from factory. The picture presented to us of the steel bulbar looks remarkably smart and ARB-esque, perhaps indicating that Toyota has taken a lot of inspiration from the Australian aftermarket scene.
We were happy to hear that as a part of standard accessories across the board, Toyota have included a rear locking differential. The ‘pov pack’ GX is the only model that sports steelies, and also comes with an all-terrain tyre (compared to a highway-terrain on alloys in other models).
Off road capability of the new Fortuner should be solid. It has a 700mm wading depth, along with a 30 degree approach angle, 25 degree departure angle, and a 23.5 degree rampover angle. Towing is 3,000kg, which should be enough for your average camper trailer. We’ll know more on this soon.
Who does Toyota think will buy a Fortuner? They those who aspire to buy a diesel 4X4 Tojo, but can’t stretch to a Prado or ‘Cruiser. The Fortuner slots in at $47,990 to $59,990, making it much more accessible from a financial point of view.
The new Fortuner offers seven seats, which operate similar to a GU Patrol. An underslung spare means the seats don’t recess into the floor, but rather are folded up towards the window to clear the load space.
We are about to jump behind the wheel of the Fortuner, so stay tuned