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Toyota Fortuner 2015: details and analysis

Toyota have unveiled their Fortuner.  Here’s what we know.

The Fortuner is Toyotat’s “wute” – a wagon developed from a ute, in this case the new Hilux.  Toyota now in effect have two product lines, 4WD and SUVs.   For the SUVs there’s RAV4, Kluger and FJ Cruiser.  Only kidding, the other line is now Fortuner, Prado, LC200 and FJ Cruiser.  The utes are Hilux and LC70.

toyotasThe Fortuner joins Ford Everest (from the Ranger), Mitsubishi’s Challenger (from the Triton), Isuzu’s MU-X (from the D-Max) and Holden’s Colorado 7 (from the Colorado).   It is interesting that Holden have chosen to play up the similarities with their ute and wute, whereas the others do not.

As you’d expect given its  Hilux roots, the Fortuner is a serious offroad vehicle.

the basic specifications

The Fortuner has independent coil-sprung suspension at the front, and a live axle with coil springs at the rear, unlike the Hilux which has a leaf-sprung rear end.  Brakes are discs front and rear, whereas Hilux has drum rears.

The spare is underslung, just as it is on the new Prado variants.  All are 7-seaters.

Fortuner will have three trim levels;  GX, GXL and Crusade.  The only engine option is the new 2.8-litre direct-injection four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that develops up to 450Nm of torque and 130kW – same as will be offered in the Prado.

Toyota say  the six-speed manual gearbox on GXL and Crusade includes ‘intelligent’ technology on GXL and Crusade grades to ensure smoother shifting by matching engine speed to transmission speed.  This probably means a blip on downshift like you find on sportscars.  No need to heel’n’toe your diesel 4WD!

Fuel consumption on the official combined cycle is expected to be below 8 litres/100km for manuals.  GXL and Crusade will get roof rails, fog lamps, reverse parking sensors, keyless smart entry and start, and downhill assist control.

Safety

Not yet ANCAP rated, but we expect nothing less than 5 stars given Hilux is already there.  A reversing camera is standard across the range, as are seven airbags.

All Fortuners get trailer sway control, a variant of stability control, which is designed to combat trailer sway. 

Offroad capability

The Fortuner has low range, and the usual traction control systems.  The 4WD system is part-time, which will be negative against Everest. .  Toyota say that “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.”   We presume this means just disabling the VSC (stability control not traction control) system.  Either way it’s a good move.

The wheels can be 17″, and the lowest spec model will miss out on electronic hill descent (DAC in Toyota terms). 

Prado Comparison

 FortunerPrado dieselDifference
Length47954930135
Width1855188530
Height1835189055
Wheelbase2745279045
Clearance2252250
Engine typeTurbo-diesel 1GD-FTV 2.8LTurbo-diesel 2.8 D4D 
Max power130kW @ 3400rpm130kW0
Max torqueAuto: 450Nm @ 1600-2400rpm450Nm0
Manual: 420Nm @ 1400-2600rpm420Nm0
Transmissions6-speed manual6-speed manual0
6-speed auto6-speed auto0
4×4 systemPart-timeFull-time0
Low rangeYesYes 
ChassisBody on frameBody on frame 
SuspensionIndependent front, live rear, all coilsIndependent front, live rear, all coils 
Towing (unbraked)750kg750kg 
Towing (braked)Man: 3,000kg2500kg500
Auto: 2,800kg2500kg300
Seats7 (2-3-2 configuration)7 (2-3-2 configuration)
Fuel tank80 litres87+63 = 15070

As expected, Fortuner sits below Prado.  It is smaller likely to less well specified, and lacks constant 4WD.  There is also no sign of tech like Crawl control or Turn Assist.  However, that won’t matter at all to many people who will prefer simplicity and view such things as a waste of time.  Fortuner also has a locking rear differential, which many (me included) would prize above some of the newer tech anyway.  It can also tow more. 

Fortuner looks like appealing more to the 4WD tourer, and Prado more to the onroad buyer, or the buyer who wants more in the way of luxury features.  A Sahara spec Fortuner is unlikely.  Given the Fortuner has the same engine as Prado, and is smaller and simple (= lighter) then I expect it to slightly outperform the Prado in the rough.

Comment

Should I be interested in this vehicle?

If you are a touring 4WDer then absolutely yes.  If not, then probably not.

The Fortuner is a serious entry into the wute market, as Toyota are one of the most respected names in 4WD and the Fortuner is Hilux-based.  The Fortuner and its fellow new wutes should be very much at the forefront of anyone’s shopping list if you want a seriously offroad-tough vehicle because they have everything you need without complications that increase price and give you something else to worry about for marginal extra capability.

If however you are just going to do the odd bit of dirt road driving then you’re better off looking at softer vehicles like the Kluger (which is petrol only, whereas Fortuner is diesel only), Pathfinder and Santa Fe.  These cars will be better specified, more fuel efficient, cheaper in the lower specs at least and a better on-road drive. 

The offroad wagons such as LC200, Discovery and Prado (with a new engine soon) will in general be a cut above the wutes in most measures – interior design, towing with the notable exception for bushability.  But you’ll pay for the extras.

Don’t forget that a ute is always an option.  They don’t drive quite as nicely as wagons, but they can’t be beat for payload and carrying capacity.

It will be very interesting to compare the Fortuner against the Everest and the new Challenger.

We can expect strong aftermarket support for Fortuner from all the usual companies.

Pricing is not yet known, but spec-wise this car cannot compete with Everest so will be cheaper, and it will definitely be less money than Prado, more in the Challenger/MU-X range.  The Everest has full-time 4WD, Terrain Management, many more safety features, 3000kg towing for autos and a slightly more powerful engine, although without knowing the weights of each vehicle that advantage may be negated.  The Fortuner offers a manual transmission whereas Everest will not.

We expect the vehicle in showsrooms by late October 2015.

More images can be found in this post.

Find the best demonstrator car deals for Practical Motoring readers around Australia on our Live Deals website. 


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thedavemiester
thedavemiester
5 years ago

Righto… Which one of you blokes coined the term wute. It’s terrible!!!

Robert Pepper
5 years ago
Reply to  thedavemiester

Me! I know it’s not the best, but got a better idea?

Geoff
Geoff
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert Pepper

You could call it a Wuton. And if you are heading out for Yum Char a Wonton.

Robert Pepper
4 years ago
Reply to  Geoff

Thanks, good idea!

Martin Foot
Martin Foot
4 years ago

Not sure what is meant by “part-time” 4WD above. Do you mean the same as “on-demand”, ie, cuts in when it senses slippage? Elsewhere I read that the Fortuner can be switched from 2WD to permanent 4WD – that sounds a lot more satisfactory than on-demand. Can you clarify?

Robert Pepper
4 years ago
Reply to  Martin Foot

Martin it means on the road you run it as 2WD, and offroad manually switch to 4WD. On-demand is similar but different – the computer automatically switches between 2WD and 4WD. For proper offroad vehicles part-time is better, for ease of use and fuel efficient on-demand is better. There will be detailed explanation to follow on this exact subject and more.

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper