7 questions (and answers) about the Toyota Fortuner

The V spec is the one to aim for
by Dinzo Tabamo | Feb 29, 2016
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Toyota Fortuner

When you’ve waited roughly 10 years for a new vehicle model to arrive, a lot of questions are in your head by the time you get your hands on the replacement. This is inevitably what's happening with the new-generation Toyota Fortuner.

Apart from our cover story in the February 2016 issue--go out and buy a copy--we were able to get some seat time with the midsize SUV’s 4x4 2.8 V and 4x2 2.4 V variants, thanks to a series of events Toyota Motor Philippines recently held. After trying out the new Fortuners on the track and on some rough, sandy terrain, here’s what we learned about the much-waited SUV.

1. Does it look good?

If you liked the photos, then you have a possible future where you will pause for a minute every morning and admire the Fortuner in your garage--maybe longer if you have good time-management skills. Toyota’s new SUV has a grille that reminds us of the Volkswagen Touareg’s front. It also has strong flanks and a rear end that belongs to a higher vehicle class. The new Fortuner finds a balance between elegance, size and aggressiveness.

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2. Is it powerful?

It depends on where you’re coming from, and how much power is enough to convince your senses of visceral motion. The 2.4-liter turbodiesel in the 4x2 is definitely not lethargic, with its 147hp and 400Nm. On the track, we were able to experience its more-than-adequate ability to accelerate and corner.

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But the 2.8-liter V variant and its 174hp and 450Nm is something else. After the scheduled test-drive period was done, I asked for extra driving opportunity with the top-spec Fortuner, just to have more seat time with it. Part of the course was a dirt road leading to a sandy path beside the beach. I had a blast speeding over the loose sand. On asphalt, the acceleration is rapid and confident. Within reasonable expectations, no one will ever find the 2.8-liter powerplant lacking. It’s really a shame that you can only get it in the most expensive variant.

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3. How’s the cabin?

Sublime. That's the simplest way to describe it. When it was introduced, we noticed how good the outgoing Fortuner’s interior was--it felt more expensive than its price category. That perception continues with the all-new replacement. In the V grades, the cabin is made of classy hues of black and brown. The steering wheel and the transmission console have dark faux wood trim, while dark-brown and black leather lines the dashboard. I felt the material, and it feels premium.

The seats are done in brown leather and have excellent support when, theoretically, you’re doing donuts on an empty sand lot beside a beach.

4. Is it matagtag?

Again, I have to disclaim that I have a soft and yielding body. I am more cushioned than most mortals, and I’m starting to suspect a conspiracy in the automotive industry to fatten overfeed the media. But I can feel a harsh ride, and the new Fortuner definitely didn’t have one. I drove over rocky paths and some bumpy sand dunes, and it was all comfortable fun.

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5. Is it worth it to get the 4x4 2.8 V versus the 4x2 2.4 V?

Wow, you guys ask the hard questions. But we’ll try to answer this. Almost P400,000 separates the 2.8 V from the 2.4 V. The top variant gets larger 18-inch wheels, more airbags, stability control, active traction control, hill-start assist, brake assist, and trailer sway control. More safety, in other words. But like we said before, the 2.4 V still gets the beautiful brown-and-black interior, LED headlamps, leather seats, cruise control and backing-up sensors.

If you’re in a good financial state, and you can comfortably cough up the 2.8 V’s P2,126,000 asking price, go for it. But opting for the P1,736,000 2.4 V is also a decision you won’t regret.

6. Do the G variants feel cheap?

We haven’t had plenty of seat time in the mid-tier G Fortuners, but no, they don’t feel cheap. They feel as solidly built as their higher-priced brethren.

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7. Is the all-new Fortuner better than the all-new Mitsubishi Montero Sport?

We will tell you in our magazine, we promise you.

Photos by Dinzo Tabamo


Toyota Fortuner

Toyota Fortuner

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Toyota Fortuner

Toyota Fortuner

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Toyota Fortuner

Toyota Fortuner

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Toyota Fortuner

 

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