Alongside with the ever-popular Toyota Hilux, UMW Toyota Motors today also unveiled their all-new SUV the 2016 Toyota Fortuner. There are two variants at the outset, a 2.4-litre diesel shared with the Hilux and a 2.7-litre petrol engine in the flagship variant. The 2016 seven-seater Toyota Fortuner is only available with a six-speed gearbox sending power to all four wheels.
The two variants
• Fortuner 2.4VRZ (AT) 4X4: RM186,900
• Hilux 2.7SRZ (AT) 4X4: RM199,900
All prices quoted are on the road with insurance inclusive of GST taxes in Peninsular Malaysia
Globally launched in 2005, the first generation Toyota Fortuner; facelift and updates aside have been sold in Malaysia for around a decade. The all-new second generation Toyota Fortuner now visibly puts a firm emphasis on style and tasteful execution. Now more Fifth Avenue cruiser than 'journey-man' taxpayer 4x4.
Perhaps a circa 10-year shelf life was a tad long, but then again, the Fortuner never had to contend with a growing number of seven-seater offerings like the Isuzu MU-X.
The overarching formula remains the same with the tried-and-tested mechanicals of the Hilux underneath; cloaked in a ‘lifestyle-friendly’ SUV body style.
Toyota claims and in-depth re-engineering process has contributed to well-honed driving nature and enhanced contemporary safety and connectivity features.
Here’s the shortlist of standard specifications:
• 6-speed torque converter automatic
• 80-litre fuel tank
• Front and Rear fog lamps
• Independent Double Wishbone – Coil Spring and Stabiliser (Front), Four-Link Coil Spring with Lateral Control Rod and Stabilise (Rear)
• Part-time 4WD with Auto Disconnecting Differential (ADD)
• Rack & Pinion hydraulic power steering
• Ventilated Disc (Front) / Leading-Trailing Drum (Rear)
• LED Type rear combination lamps
• Smart entry and Start system
• Normal, Eco and Power mode
• Electronic 4WD transfer dial
• Parking sensor (Front and Rear)
• ABS with EBD
• Immobiliser, Siren with backup battery, speed-auto door lock
• Premium security and solar film
A petrol 2.7-litre engine finds itself in the flagship offering, alongside a host of standard equipment. Below is a list of notable highlights between the two variants:
Fortuner 2.4VRZ (AT) 4x4
• 2393cc (2GD-FTV) inline four-cylinder, longitudinally mounted, DOHC 16V, Common-rail direct-Injected VNT turbocharged diesel – 150PS at 3,400rpm, 400Nm sustained from 1,600 – 2,000rpm
• 17-inch Alloy Wheels – All terrain tyres
• Halogen projector headlamps, bulb type Daytime Running Lights
• Backlit meter panel
• CD Player, Six-speaker audio setup
• Manual front and rear AC control
• Six-Way manually adjustable front driver seat
• Fabric seats (Dark Brown)
• 3 x SRS Airbags (Front driver & passenger, knee)
Optional 8” touch screen DVD player with Navigation and Reverse Camera available for the 2.4VRZ variant
Fortuner 2.7SRZ (AT) 4x4
• 2694cc (2TR-FE) inline four-cylinder, longitudinally mounted, DOHC 16V, dual VVTi petrol – 166PS at 5,200rpm, 245Nm at 4,000rpm
• 18-inch Alloy Wheels – Highway terrain tyres
• Bi-LED projector headlamps, LED Daytime Running Lights
• Optitron meter panel with 4.2” TFT display
• 8” touch screen DVD player with Navigation and Reverse Camera, Six-speaker audio setup
• Leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob
• Combination leather interior (Dark Brown)
• Eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat
• Brake assist (BA)
• Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
• Active traction control (A-TRC)
• Hill-start assist control (HAC)
• Emergency stop signal (ESS)
• Trailer sway control (TSC)
• 7 x SRS Airbags (Front, Side, Curtain and Knee)
Roof mounted monitor for second & third-row occupants optional with 2.7SRZ variant
First Driving Impressions
We had a brief chance to sample the all-new Toyota Fortuner prior to the launch today – the test included a tough off-road layout littered with challenging bumps and gaping holes dug in the ground, followed by a quick blast round a straight on Toyota’s test track. On both counts, we sampled only the 2.7-litre petrol variant.
Much like the Hilux, whose chassis mechanical bits underpin the Fortuner, it’s tough and handles the rough and tough with brutal efficiency. Owing to the four-link rear suspension setup, the wheels are allowed impressive amounts of articulation – keeping the body rather flat over the bigger bumps.
The shorter wheelbase (Fortuner 2745mm, Hilux 3085mm) of the Fortuner requires tiny corrections of the steering wheel to maintain a constant heading but otherwise, it’s almost as surefooted as the Toyota Hilux off-road. The A-TRC system’s intervention in more pronounced in the Fortuner to keep the car honest as the tyres struggle to claw into the dirt.
Despite having less torque that the Fortuner’s diesel-powered counterpart (245Nm vs 400Nm in the 2.4-litre) – the engine pulls strongly from the get-go. It gets better on the tarmac, where we got to stretch the cars legs – torque delivery is most linear and the higher horsepower endows the unit with a free-revving nature till its 6000rpm rev limit. The diesel units feel substantially more urgent in the lower revs but once on the go – the petrol powered unit is refined and smooth.
I had a chance to witness the Toyota Fortuner attack a figure-eight on a wet skid pan, besides the obvious VSC system exhibiting its surefooted capability, the more impressive feature was how flat the Fortuner remained under heavy load and ample steering lock. An achievement sighting its relatively high ceiling and ‘flubbery’ tyres.
On the brakes, much like the Hilux, the Fortuner keeps everything in check rather nicely – I would appreciate a touch more feel but otherwise, brake force is sufficient. The cabin remains rather serene on a hustle and even when we were barrelling over logs planted in the ground. Rear seat air-conditioning is a welcome addition at the back, delivering on a cabin space that very comfortable, well-appointed and spacious.