With SUV sales making up an increasingly large segment of the new vehicle market (where sales in 2015 were up over 20% on 2014), Toyota’s ruggedized, seven-seat Fortuner joins RAV4, Highlander, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser Prado and Land Cruiser 200 series in Toyota New Zealand’s SUV arsenal.
Pricing starts at $70,990 for a GX manual (add $2000 for auto) then goes to $75,990 for the GXL auto and $78,990 for the Ltd self-shifter.
Fortuner is both shorter and narrower than Highlander (Everest as well) but longer and lower in the roof (if not to the ground) than Prado and and shares the Hilux’s double wishbone suspension in the front with a four link coil-sprung suspension set up at the back.
New Fortuner shares the Toyota’s smooth-revving and refined new 1GD-FTV 2.8-litre diesel engine with the latest Land Cruiser Prado and new Gen 8 Hilux. And like new Hilux drive to the wheels is now switchable by rotary dial (rather than lever), on-the-fly if it is between 2H and 4H, but only when you are stationary and in neutral if you want to select 4L.
There is a braked tow rating of 2.8 tonnes for the automatic models and three tonnes for the manual, all are fitted with trailer sway control.
Fortuner GX models feature an engine immobiliser and horn alarm, smart key and smart start, cruise control, tilt and telescopic steering column with a leather and wood steering wheel design, manual air conditioning with a rear cooler, two ISOFIX attachment points and three top tether child restraint anchors, automatic bi-halogen headlamps with manual levelling, front fog lamps, a large rear spoiler with shark fin antenna, roof rails, rear privacy glass and sit proudly on 17” alloy wheels.
The GXL variant gains chrome door belt mouldings, door courtesy lamps, leather parking brake handle, automatic air conditioning with an automatic rear cooler, a 220V power point, LED bi-beam headlamps with automatic headlamp levelling, daytime running lights and puddle lamps.
Limited buyers, meanwhile, get to enjoy 18” alloy wheels with leather door trim, leather seat material and a powered driver’s seat with slide, recline, height and tilt adjustments.
The Fortuner is available in Glacier White, Crystal Pearl, Silver Sky, Graphite, Eclipse, Cosmic Brown and Nebula Blue.