Toyota upgrades the Fortuner

Following in the footsteps of its Hilux sibling, Toyota announced a major upgrade of its Fortuner range with the upgraded 150 kW diesel mill finding its way into the popular SUV.

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There is a new range topping model, called the GD-6 VX that will slot in above the current entry- and mid-level model ranges starting with the 2.4 GD-6 diesel version whose engine specs stay unchanged. The VX suffix is employed on Toyota’s other SUV ranges for models with the highest specification level.

It is not all just about the substantial power increase of the 2.8 GD-6 diesel-engine. The upgrade also includes major specification, styling and technical enhancements.

The 2.8 litre diesel engine now delivers 150 kW with a torque figure of 500 Nm. That is an improvement of 20 kW and 50 Nm. This was brought about by using a larger, heavy-duty turbocharger and a new common-rail injection system with a higher maximum fuel pressure.

Other changes to the powertrain include a new, coated cylinder-head gasket, revised higher-rigidity cylinder block and new exhaust manifold and gasket materials, and for better cooling, a reshaped water jacket and revised cooling fan.

All models benefit from a new variable-flow control power-steering pump that improves fuel economy while delivering a more natural driving feel that varies depending on the driving conditions.

The towing capacity of 2.4 GD-6 4x4 models has seen a significant increase of 800 kg, now registering 3.3 tons and matching that of the 2.8 GD-6 4x4 model an increase of 300 kg in the case of the 2.8.

Outside, the Fortuner boasts a new look with a refreshed façade that includes a larger, blacked-out grille with wave-like mesh pattern (gloss finish on VX) and silver-accented "skid-plate" underrun and re-profiled Bi-LED headlamps.

The Bi-LED headlamps now feature 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 lights. On the VX-grade, the side profile is enhanced with a thin, chrome belt line that extends towards the rear. In the back there are new tail lamps units with integrated light guides.

There are seven body colours. The 2.4 GD-6 models retain their 17-inch alloy wheels, while the 2.8 GD-6 variants receive new 18-inch alloy wheels with 265-60-R18 tyres.

Moving inside, one of the key changes is the shift to a black interior, in line with market requests, Toyota says.

The Fortuner now boasts, among other things, a new instrument cluster. But the big news on the inside is the all-new 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. It allows users to mirror applications off their mobile phone that include navigation applications such as Google Maps and Waze.

All models come comprehensively equipped. Additions include Park Distance Control (PDC) for the 2.4 GD-6 models alongside full LED lighting, cruise control and touchscreen infotainment with aforementioned CarPlay and Android Auto.

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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.

The new VX model boasts seat heating (driver and passenger), welcome lighting and the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) system now with integrated Pre-collision system, Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and Road Sign Recognition.

All models are also equipped with the Toyota Connect telematics system, which includes an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot. Customers can manage their vehicle via the MyToyota App for service bookings, vehicle information and history, tracking data, as well as Toyota Connect data recharge services and much more – latterly including the ability to renew your vehicle licence online.

Competitors include the likes of the Ford Everest, Isuzu mu-X and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

Pricing (November 2020): 2.4 GD-6 RB 6MT (R566 800), 2.4 GD-6 RB 6AT (R588 000), 2.4 GD-6 4x4 6AT (R616 700), 2.8 GD-6 RB 6AT (R700 100), 2.8 GD-6 4x4 6AT (R770 400), 2.8 GD-6 RB VX 6AT (R720 200), 2.8 GD-6 4x4 VX 6AT (R790 500).

* 2.7 VVTi, 2.8 GD-6 Manual and 4.0 V6 models were removed from the line-up at Epic introduction.

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