Toyota Fortuner is a seven-seat SUV that’s based on the HiLux pickup truck.

Though not generally known to Australians the Fortuner nameplate isn’t new for
Toyota. The first version, also based on the HiLux pickup of its day, has been around
since 2005 where it sold as an Asia-only workhorse.

Fortuner eventually came here in late-2015 and has been a consistent, if not
spectacular, seller in the congested sub-$70,000 large SUV segment, although it’s
more and old-style 4WD than an SUV.

Three variants are available, GX, GXL and Crusade priced at $51,965, $57,085 and
$64,945 respectively. All come with the same 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder
engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

Fortuner competes against wagon-on-ute chassis vehicles such as the Isuzu MU-X,
Ford Everest and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

Fortuner has a bold frontal appearance with a tall bonnet above a dominant grille
and chrome running off to wrap around projector headlamps large recessed

The body kicks up at the rear and carries slim rear windows.

Combination lamps give a sleek appearance out back, while a squared-off rear end
fails to fit in, harking back to the days when the boxy LandCruiser was all the go.

The front pair of seats are reasonable comfortable though they don’t provide what
you would call sporty side support. There are air conditioning vents to all three rows.

The premium character of the cabin is reinforced with soft-touch materials round the
dashboard, windscreen pillars and door trims.

Fast become a rarity, the Fortuner’s hand brake is the old pull-up ratchet type.

There’s plenty of storage spaces with two drink holders in the centre console and
another pop-out one on each side of the dashboard as well as a variety of
compartments, trays, pockets and consoles.

There is seating for up to seven, arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. The 60/40 split-
fold second-row seat has a one-touch slide and tumble feature while the 50/50 third-
row seats, rather than folding flat, are stowable up against the side of the cargo

As is the norm with seven-seater with all seats in place there is room for only 200
litres of luggage. With the rear rows folded there is 1080 litres when packed to the
top of the seat backs. Only the Crusade gets a powered tailgate.

A full-size spare wheel is located beneath the boot floor.

Maximum power from the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine is 150 kW at 3400 rpm with
peak torque of 500 Nm from 1600 revs.

The original Fortuner had the option of a six-speed manual gearbox but that’s since
been dropped with only a six-speed controlled automatic transmission available. The
GXL and Crusade variants come with gear shift paddles.

Fortuner underwent ANAP testing in 2019 and received the maximum five stars.

Standards safety equipment includes seven airbags, stability and active traction
control, reversing camera, pre-collision system with pedestrian and cyclist detection,
lane departure alert and correction, active cruise control, road sign assist, trailer
sway control, hill-start assist control and two ISOFIX child-seat mounts.

GXL adds downhill assist control while the top-spec Crusade gets a blind spot
monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and a panoramic view monitor.

The 2023 upgrade to HiLux and Fortuner added the Toyota Connected Services
app-based communications system. The system allows owners to remotely check
the status of the doors and lights, access information such as the vehicle’s last
known location and recent trips, or start the engine or climate control.

The system can also provide assistance in the event of an emergency where the
airbags are deployed or if a collision is detected, by automatically notifying an
emergency call centre and allowing the driver to communicate with the operator.

Maximum braked towing capacity is rated at 3100kg.

All Fortuners have a relatively basic eight-inch touch-screen with four physical
buttons on either side and audio control knobs at the bottom. The driver gets a 4.2-
inch Multi Information Display.

Satellite navigation and digital radio are optional in the GX and standard in the GXL
and Crusade. The GX and GXL get six-speaker audio, Crusade steps up to an 11-
speaker JBL premium system.

The screen also provides access to the Toyota Link app which allows destination and
trip information to the vehicle as well as upcoming calendar items, weekly weather
forecasts and other assistance.

There’s just a single USB-A port in the front console.

Other features include Bluetooth connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
connectivity (both wired), voice recognition, steering-wheel audio and telephone

Fortuner is quite a tall vehicle so entry can require a bit of effort. Fortunately, there
are two grab-handles for each front seat occupant, one on the roof and the other on
the A-pillar.

Despite its bulk, Fortuner is relatively easy to manoeuvre around town.

On sealed roads the Fortuner is quieter than you would expect in a ute-based
wagon. It rides nicely on smooth to moderate sealed roads although it could be a bit
jiggly on some sealed roads that have seen better days.

On the motorway it cruised comfortably delivering the compliant ride expected of a
premium SUV on bitumen.

The steering wheel has reach and height adjustment.

Sharing of tough underpinnings with Toyota’s ‘unbreakable’ HiLux, the Fortuner
shows excellent off-road ability. The ride quality on corrugations and over rough n’
ready surfaces is good for a modified pickup though not quite to the standards of
dedicated SUVs.

Fuel consumption is listed at 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined
urbane/highway cycle. We averaged 9.4 L/100 km during our test.

At $65,000+ORCs, while some might see the Fortuner as a poor man’s LandCruiser,
the Crusade variant carries enough kit and delivers convenience and comfort to
match the Cruiser and its high-end rivals.

Fortuner is covered by Toyota’s five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty extended to
seven years on the engine and driveline.

Given the popularity of its HiLux sibling, the modest sales numbers of Fortuner are
surprising. That’s probably the result of a limited marketing push rather than any
deficiencies in the vehicle and we’d suggest its worth a comparative test drive with
its bigger-selling rivals.

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 8/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 6/10
Value: 7/10


Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GX $51,965
Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GXL $57,085
Toyota Fortuner 2.8 Crusade $64,945
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local
Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Toyota Fortuner Crusade 2.8-litre turbo-diesel wagon)

Capacity: 2.755 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 150 kW @ 3400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 500 Nm @ 1600 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.6 L/100km (automatic)
CO2 Emissions: 201 g/km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic

Length: 4795 mm
Wheelbase: 2745 mm
Width: 1855 mm
Height: 1835 mm
Turning Circle: 11.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 2190 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 80 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited km

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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