Toyota Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 4x4 review
South Africa’s best-selling SUV
Month after month with unbelievable regularity we see the South African SUV sales list topped by the Toyota Fortuner. And it’s easy to see why the Fortuner is such a big seller – it does everything well, with barely a flaw.
The Fortuner’s recipe is a simple one – in 2005 Toyota took the rugged and dependable and Hilux as a base, subtly tweaked it for added comfort, and topped it off with a seven-seater SUV body. The result is a car that ticks every box: comfort, space, good road handling, rugged off-road ability, reliability and good equipment levels. In the 14 years since it was launched it has been an unprecedented SUV success, and the new generation is the best one ever.
In every model range there is a sweet spot – one or two models that make the most sense, that are a good balance between what the customer wants and what the customer wants to spend. This is a subjective matter, but for me the sweet spot of the Fortuner range is the 2.4 GD-6 4x4 automatic, priced at R542 400.
For that money you get the 2.4 GD-6 engine, which produces 110kW of power and 400Nm of torque, not that far off the 130kW and 420Nm that the 2.8 GD-6 engine produces. To keep things relative, the previous generation Hilux with the 3.0 D4D engine produced 120kW and 343Nm, and it proved up to the toughest of jobs. The specifications on paper don’t tell you how good this engine is, and in the real world it excels. Smooth and refined, it has more than enough power to propel a jam-packed Fortuner beyond the speed limit, while the vast amounts of torque make off-roading a pleasure. It’s also frugal, with a claimed 8.2L/100km fuel index, and a range of over 900km on a single 80-lite tank. The only time I would say that a buyer needs to go for a 2.8 GD-6 engined Fortuner is if they regularly tow a boat or caravan.
There are 4x4 models across the range, available with either the 2.4 GD-6, 2.8 GD-6 or the 4.0 V6 petrol engines, and all of them feature the same robust, fool proof system. This is a select-on-the-fly four-wheel drive transmission that includes low-range and a rear diff-lock, while ground clearance is an impressive 279mm. No wonder the Fortuner is such a common sight in the bush!
One of the most marked improvements the current generation Fortuner has over its predecessor is the refinement of the interior, which is now a thoroughly modern affair. Clean lines and a horizontally focused dashboard centred around a large touchscreen display make it more car-like than every, while all the necessary comfort and convenience features are standard across the range: climate control, Bluetooth and cruise control are just a few examples of a long list.
As far as safety goes, the 2.4 and 2.7 models have recently been given updated safety features to bring them in line with the 2.8 and 4.0 models, with the addition of side and curtain airbags (over and above the dual front airbags and driver knee airbag). This means that the entire Fortuner range now offers a complete set of active and passive safety features, which include Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Trailer Sway Control (TSC). The 4x4 models feature Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) which continuously monitors wheel slip and proportions torque accordingly.
The Fortuner range starts at R477 600 for the 2.7 VVTi, while the 2.4 GD-6 models are priced from R496 200. The 2.8 GD-6 models are priced from R592 500 up to R678 200, and the 4.0 V6 4x4 model is R715 400. The Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 is covered by a 9-services/90 000km service plan and 3-year/100 000km warranty.
Jack of all trades
Economical turbodiesel engine
True off-road ability