SA’s favourite family SUV gets a physical and technical refresh to keep it fighting off segment rivals. Picture: SUPPLIED
SA’s favourite family SUV gets a physical and technical refresh to keep it fighting off segment rivals. Picture: SUPPLIED

Since 2006 the Toyota Fortuner has become the default choice for many adventure types who like its practicality and capability. It’s ideal in 4x4 guises but just as usable in 4x2 forms. The seven-seat SUV that has carried and towed the lifestyle pursuits of many has been upgraded for 2020.

There’s a new 2.8 GD-6 VX flagship while the 2.7 VVTi, 2.8 GD-6 manual and 4.0 V6 models have been dropped from the catalogue. 

It’s not an all-new vehicle but a fairly serious revision that’s designed and engineered to amplify its core attributes,  according to Toyota SA.

The popular SUV has not entirely ditched the old car’s mechanicals and face. The façade is still rakish but more suave thanks to reprofiled Bi-LED headlamps with daytime running lights, and a reshaped bumper with a larger, blacked-out grille and a mesh pattern. The VX grade gets a gloss finish and a silver-accented front skid-plate.

If you liked your Fortuner interior in the interesting but gaudy brown on the dash and seats, know that it’s no longer available. Toyota SA is sticking to black interiors with silver contrasts stitching for the new model.

There’s a new instrument cluster design with metallic-blue dial faces, white needle pointers, and a centrally-mounted, 20.3cm, colour touch infotainment screen. The Fortuner also gets most of the trendy music streaming apps such as Apple Music, JOOX, Spotify and SoundCloud. Further new-age tech includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the usual wireless Bluetooth telephony and USB ports.

All models also benefit from the Toyota Connect telematics system and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot. One of the perks of this system is the ability to renew your vehicle licence online from the comfort of your Fortuner.

Power choices are either a 2.4 GD-6 turbodiesel with 110kW and 400Nm. It can be had with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The 4x4 model is exclusively mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The entire 2.8 GD-6 range with the new 150kW and 500Nm engine is an all-automatic range. The transmission is enhanced for improved acceleration and for towing 3,300kg, which equates to a 300kg increase over the outgoing model.

All 2.4 GD-6 variants come equipped with park distance control (PDC), full LED lighting, and cruise control, while the higher-tier 2.8 models add more amenities, such as reverse camera, powered seats, a leather steering wheel, leather dashboard accents and matte wood-trim.

Toyota safety sense (TSS), with its broad suite of active and passive systems, such as pre-collision system, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition and airbags, is available for the first time in the Fortuner.

There’s also ABS, brake assist, stability control, trailer sway control, and downhill assist control (DAC) on 4x4 models. All Fortuner models come with a three-year/100,000 km warranty.

Pricing:

Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 6MT                R566,800

Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 6AT                 R588,000

Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 4X4 6AT          R616,700

Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 6AT                 R700,100

Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4X4 6AT          R770,400

Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 VX 6AT            R720,200   

Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4X4 VX 6AT     R790,500

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