Truck-based SUVs may be losing ground to car-based crossovers in the United States, but in some markets overseas, sport-utes like the new Toyota Fortuner pictured here still reign as king. Launched simultaneously in Thailand and in Australia, the Fortuner is the SUV version of the HiLux pickup you might recognize from Top Gear expeditions. It’s now entering its second generation, to replace the first-gen Fortuner launched in 2005 and the HiLux Sport Rider before it.
Slotting in between the RAV4 and the Land Cruiser Prado (which we know as the Lexus GX), the Fortuner is Toyota‘s challenger to the new Ford Everest, which is similarly based on the Ranger pickup. To put it in relative terms, though, it’s a bit smaller than the 4Runner that Toyota offers in the US, and a bit bigger than the Nissan Xterra, but with decidedly more streamlined styling.
The midsize SUV boasts seven-seat capacity and packs a 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-four with 174 horsepower and as much as 332 pound-feet of torque. Part-time all-wheel drive comes standard, paired with either an automatic or manual a six-speed transmission. The new Fortuner is capable of towing up to 1,650 pounds on a trailer without its own brakes, over 6,600 lbs on a braked trailer, and features a trailer-sway system that keeps a towed load in line in adverse conditions.
The truck rides on double wishbones at the front and a five-link, coil-spring setup at the back, with front and rear stabilizer bars to minimize body roll. It also boasts a locking rear differential, hill-start assist, and all the electronic systems you could need on the road or off. All of which ought to help Toyota further cement its SUV offerings – particularly in Australia, where it sells far more trucks than any other automaker.
16 July 2015
WORLD PREMIERE FOR SEVEN-SEAT TOYOTA FORTUNER
Toyota today staged the simultaneous global reveal of a new seven-seat family SUV that will arrive in its Australian dealer showrooms towards the end of October.
Known as Fortuner, the new SUV will expand Toyota’s market-leading SUV line-up to six vehicles – joining RAV4, Kluger, FJ Cruiser, LandCruiser Prado and LandCruiser 200 Series.
Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the world premiere, staged simultaneously in Australia and Thailand, heralds a stylish and refined vehicle that is remarkably tough and offers genuine 4WD ability.
“Fortuner’s strength and refinement ensures it is equally at home on the school run as on the toughest off-road trails found in Australia,” Mr Cramb said.
“Fortuner shares the rugged underpinnings of the ‘unbreakable’ HiLux, allowing owners to travel to – and return from – places many other SUVs simply can’t go.
“At the same time, Fortuner’s unique design suits the advanced tastes of modern SUV buyers while being equipped with a comprehensive list of features appreciated by families and business owners.
“Fortuner provides a diesel alternative to the petrol-only Kluger range as the new entry point for customers looking to purchase a large Toyota diesel SUV.”
Toyota sells more SUVs in Australia than any other brand, having delivered more than 50,000 in each of the past three years. No other company has sold 40,000 SUVs in a single year.
Fortuner will be offered in Australia in three grades – GX, GXL and Crusade – all powered by Toyota’s new 2.8-litre direct-injection four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that develops up to 450Nm of torque^.
A new six-speed manual gearbox includes ‘intelligent’ technology on GXL and Crusade grades to ensure smoother shifting by matching engine speed to transmission speed. A newly developed six-speed automatic transmission is also available.
All variants are fitted with trailer sway control, which is designed to assist if a towed vehicle becomes unsettled by crosswinds, bumpy roads or sharp turns of the steering wheel. Maximum braked towing capacity will be three tonnes for the manual and 2.8 tonnes for the auto*.
A part-time 4×4 during day-to-day driving, owners can turn a dial to access Fortuner’s impressive four-wheel-drive ability in high or low range.
The suspension package was developed and tuned by local engineers to meet Australia’s harsh conditions, with double wishbones at the front and a five-link, coil-spring configuration at the rear for impressive handling stability and ride comfort on all surfaces. Front and rear stabiliser bars suppress body roll.
The vehicle’s off-road prowess is enhanced by a rear differential lock with the componentry placed within the differential housing for greater off-road protection.
Significant local development was also applied to ensure optimum tuning of the stability and active traction control electronics for local conditions, particularly for use on gravel. Drivers can disable the electronics for specific off-road situations, such as driving in slippery mud or sand.
A reversing camera is standard across the range, as are seven airbags, hill-start assist control and an emergency stop signal. Toyota expects Fortuner to attract the top five-star safety rating.
All variants will feature front and rear air-conditioning, large touchscreen audio displays, Toyota Link connected mobility#, side steps, 17 or 18-inch wheels, disc brakes front and rear, and an air-conditioned compartment that helps keep drinks and food warm or cold.
The two higher grades are fitted with roof rails, fog lamps, reverse parking sensors, keyless smart entry and start, and downhill assist control.
At the top-of-the-range, features include bi-LED headlamps and LED daytime running lamps, a power back door and 18-inch alloys with highway tyres.
Fortuner will come to Australia with a comprehensive and integrated range of Toyota Genuine accessories developed and rigorously tested locally.
“These accessories – including alloy and steel bull bars compatible with the vehicle’s safety systems – build on the strong global platform and specifically meet the needs of Australian buyers,” Mr Cramb said.
FORTUNER – PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS m