Colin-on-Cars – Fortuner’s fortunes finds fresh face

A VX level of specification has been added to the Toyota Fortuner range that has undergone a number of revisions and changes for 2020.

While a two-tier grade strategy (entry and mid) has been in place since introduction, changing market requirements have led to the introduction of a new ‘range-topper’ in the form of the new 2.8 GD-6 VX. The VX suffix is employed on Toyota’s other SUV ranges (RAV4, Prado and Land Cruiser 200) and denotes the highest specification level on offer.

At the front a larger, blacked-out grille with wave-like mesh pattern (gloss finish on VX) is accompanied by a silver-accented ‘skid-plate’ underrun for a more integrated look. Re-profiled Bi-LED headlamps provide a sleeker look and these are further enhanced by prominent chrome accent strips that bridge the grille and headlamp assemblies.

The Bi-LED headlamps now feature scalloped DRL light guides and are joined by LED fog lamps and strip-like LED turn-signal elements in the lower bumper. At night, these strip lights double as additional puddle lighting.

On the VX-grade, the side profile is enhanced with a thin, chrome belt-line that extends towards the rear, effectively wrapping around the vehicle, and complementing the other chrome detailing. New tail lamp units have integrated light guides.

A roof spoiler and Fortuner-emblazoned centre garnish complete the rear view.

A total of seven exterior colours are on offer, with Oxide Bronze joining the colour palette (replacing Avant Garde Bronze). Glacier White, Chromium Silver, Graphite Grey and Attitude Black provide the neutral tones, while Cosmic Blue and Chestnut Brown remain the more expressive hues on offer.

The 2.4 GD-6 models retain their 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 265-65-R17 rubber while the 2.8 GD-6 variants receive a new 18-inch alloy wheel with turbine design and metallic surface treatment – employing 265-60-R18 tyres.

One of the key change points, is the shift to a black interior, in line with market requests. The previously employed brown-leather interior has been replaced by black ‘hide’ with silver contrast stitching. High-brightness treatment has also been applied to the accent areas of the interior, resulting in a more premium atmosphere both visually and tactility.

A new instrument cluster design has been employed with metallic-blue dial faces, white needle pointers and a simple, elegant font – complementing the blue interior lighting. These are augmented by an expanded, centrally-mounted Multi-Information Display.

An all-new 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality is fitted and wireless telephony is supported via Bluetooth with a USB input for additional media options.

The 2.8 GD-6 models (mid and VX) are also equipped with embedded Audio Visual Navigation (AVN).

The output of the 2.8 GD-6 engine has been boosted by 20 kW to 150 kW, with an additional 50 Nm on offer, bringing the figure to 500 Nm. 

Toyota engineers have improved performance and fuel economy simultaneously by adopting a larger, heavy-duty turbo-charger with a ball-bearing cartridge for crisp and strong throttle response and a new common-rail injection system with a higher maximum fuel pressure of 250 MPa.

Higher outputs in the 1GD engine have also been supported by improvements including a new, coated cylinder-head gasket, revised higher-rigidity cylinder block and new exhaust manifold and gasket materials.

Further cooling measures include a reshaped water jacket, revised cooling fan and fan coupling.

Fuel economy also benefits from a new combustion chamber that reduces cooling losses and more efficient exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) in the intake manifold. A water-cooled double-pipe pre-cooler results in optimum EGR gas temperature. The fuel index ranges from 6,8 to 7,9 l/100 km (depending on engine and drivetrain configuration).

The six-speed automatic transmission in turn has been recalibrated to allow earlier lockup for improved acceleration and cooling performance, especially while towing.

Underpinning the model, is the body-on-frame construction of the IMV platform. In Fortuner execution, this comprises double-wishbone suspension at the front with a four-link arrangement in the rear – all using coil springs.

All models benefit from a new variable-flow control (VFC) power-steering pump that improves fuel economy while delivering a more natural driving feel that varies depending on the driving conditions. A high level of assistance is offered at low speeds (parking manoeuvres) while offering lower levels of assistance at higher cruising speeds, in order to improve steering feel. A specific mode for low-range, off-road driving has also been included.

The 2.4 GD-6 variants now also include Park Distance Control (PDC) alongside full LED lighting, cruise control and touchscreen infotainment with CarPlay and Android Auto. A new Multi-Information Display (MID) screen now includes a large, digital-speed read out and steering wheel angle indicator (for enhanced off-road usability).

These are joined by the base specification items such as one-touch power windows, reverse camera, steering switches, air-conditioned upper glovebox, multiple 12-volt power outlets, cup/bottle holders and a tilt & telescopic adjustable steering column.

The 2.8 GD-6 ‘mid-grade’ adds an electro-chromatic rear view mirror, power seat adjustment for both driver and passenger, climate control as well as rear fog lamps. A leather steering wheel, leather dashboard accents and matte wood-trim – complete the interior offering.

The new VX model boasts seat heating (driver and passenger), welcome lighting and the Toyota Safety Sense system.    

Making its debut in Fortuner is the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) safety system. TSS integrates a Pre-collision system, Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and road sign recognition – to offer drivers additional peace of mind. TSS joins the existing array of crash bags, ISOFIX, seatbelt pre-tensioners and a full suite of active safety aids (anti-lock braking, EBD, Brake Assist, VSC, Trailer Sway Control, Traction Control). As before, 4×4 models also include Downhill Assist Control (DAC).

All models are also equipped with the Toyota Connect telematics system which includes an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15 Gb data. Once linked to their profile, customers can manage their vehicle via the MyToyota App. This intuitive app allows on-demand service bookings, vehicle information and history, tracking data as well as Toyota Connect data recharge services and much more – latterly even including the ability to renew your vehicle license online.

All Fortuner models come with a 3-year/100 000 km warranty. A 9-services/90 000 km service plan is standard on all models (service intervals of 10 000 km or 12-months). Customers can also purchase extended service plans and warranty packages via their Toyota dealer. 

Model Line-up and Pricing

Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 RB 6MT                – R 566 800

Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 RB 6AT                 – R 588 000

Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 4X4 6AT               – R 616 700

Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 RB 6AT                 – R 700 100

Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4X4 6AT               – R 770 400

Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 RB VX 6AT           – R 720 200    

Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4X4 VX 6AT         – R 790 500

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