Test Drives

Toyota Fortuner: A Brand New Beast

The second generation of the Fortuner has been long awaited. The first version of the car appeared in 2005 and it became a hit due to its heritage. What heritage can a whole new model boast, you ask? Well, the Fortuner is built on the platform of one of the most revered trucks in the world – the Toyota Hilux.

The second generation of the car came in 2016 and it brought the much needed modernization, while still retaining the rugged features of the previous model.


Design: 4.0 / 5.0

Toyota is a big system and they can’t bother with making each and every car from scratch. Having this in mind it is neither surprising nor bad that the Fortuner follows the latest design direction from Toyota.

The front looks modern and aggressive with its high, chromed grille and large, sweeping headlights. The lower section of the front hosts a seemingly detached bumper bordered by fog lights. Connecting the grille and the bumper might make the front seem more massive, but it certainly lacks no beef as it is.

The side view reveals a pretty quirky solution for the rear part. The rear side window behind the C pillar is tiny and pretty narrow due to the elevated rear fender. Keeping it at the same level would make the car look more common, so we do understand the desire for uniqueness. However, this might not be the best of ways to stand out.

The rear reveals a nice, clean design with nothing that stands out in particular, aside from the beautiful LED lights. This lack of eccentricity is a good thing, since the rear looks composed and reassuring.

The wheels are 18”, but they look pretty small in combination with that kind of a car. Still, we would compliment the choice, since larger wheels might look nicer, but they would also be far less common, tires would be more expensive and the car would be less capable off-road.

Toyota Fortuner: A Brand New Beast

Interior: 5.0 / 5.0

This is where the Fortuner shines. The interior offers room for 7 people in three rows, although the two seats at the far rear cannot really be called big enough to accommodate two adults on a longer trip. There is loads of leather and wood all around.

In order to get to the third-row seats you need to fold the middle row, but this is very easy to do and it gives loads of room for easy access. Of course, if you fold all seats in the rear two rows, you get loads of storage space.

Looking at the front now, the Fortuner shows its plush nature but still keeps practicality at the very high level. The multifunction steering wheel is also covered in leather. There are many storage spaces, including not one, but two glove compartments. The dark wood adds to the style and the 8” infotainment touchscreen is very visible and easy to use.

Speaking of which, the infotainment system is top notch and packed with downloadable options and functionality. For example, aside from the common connectivity options, you can connect the car to the internet using your phone and browse the web, use Facebook, Instagram and more. The same screen is used for integrated navigation and it also informs you of the traffic on your route in real time.


Driving: 4.0 / 5.0

The car packs a 2.7 l engine that provides it with 163 hp, which will hardly make it sporty, having in mind the weight of a bit over 1,900 kg. This also means that the car will consume more fuel. The factory data says 10.7 l/100 km, but real-world conditions can add 2 or 3 liters more to that amount.

However, the Fortuner can’t be called slow. You just need to get past the initial acceleration, but once this is done, it will gather speed with joy.

In terms of handling, the Fortuner is a big car. Inertia is ever-present, as is body roll. However, this is not a car for racing or tackling curves on a twisty mountain road. It is just perfect for relaxed cruising.

Having in mind its Hilux-related features, we were wondering what it was like off the beaten track. It was amazing! You will love the suspension on bad roads and you will understand why they didn’t opt for larger wheels.

The verdict: 4.5 / 5.0

The bad points are the strange design of the rear side section and an engine that can seem underpowered at times.

The good points are its sheer size, seven seats, storage space, off-road capability, plush, clean and modern interior, loads of comfort and safety perks and the famed Hilux ruggedness and reliability. If you aren’t looking for a performance SUV, the Fortuner is a great choice.


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