Fortune + Legend = Everything
Naturally, with the HiLux being given a refresh for 2020, the very closely related Fortuner sees some welcome changes and updates come it’s way too. True enough, the 7-seater shared a simultaneous reveal this morning alongside the pick-up.
Being geared more towards people carrying practicality, the Fortuner had always brought a little more panache and luxury to the equation, carving out its own unique appeal instead of being content as the SUV twin of the HiLux.
With the Thai-spec versions of the Fortuner being the first ones revealed, it looks as though a new range-topper has joined the ranks in the form of the Legender. Obviously, ’Legendary + Fortune’ is superior to ‘Fortune + Tuner’. Its tagline ‘Wisdom of a Leader’ is also worth deciphering; later on.
As with any facelift, the main draw of the 2020 Fortuner are the exterior updates. On first impressions alone, it improves upon the original 2nd-generation version from 2015 by reducing visual clutter. There’s also new 18-inch wheel designs as well as new LED lamp clusters front and rear.
The base variants do retain more of that pre-facelift DNA and the changes here are more subtle. However, the Legender receives a much more thorough treatment. The front fascia is split between two tiers and almost looks like it came from a totally different model. Toyota Thailand terms it the ‘Prestige grille and bumper’. Okay.
In Legender trim, the Fortuner also wears larger 20-inch two-tone alloy wheels and sequential LED turn indicators. That two-tone motif also carries over to the body colour; no matter which is chosen, everything above the neckline (A-,B-,C-,D-pillars and roof) are finished in gloss black.
The current 2.4-litre turbodiesel is retained for the 2020 refresh, apparently unchanged, and should be carried over to the Malaysia-spec car as well, producing its familiar 150PS and 400Nm. However, it’s possible that the petrol-powered 2.7-litre (2TR-FE) naturally aspirated inline-4 is due to be phased out locally as it also happens to be missing from the Thai range.
Interestingly, the larger 2.8-litre turbodiesel has now joined the Fortuner range in the Legender, bringing along with it the increased power and torque that headlines the 2020 HiLux, producing a maximum output of 204PS and 500Nm alongside improved fuel economy. Toyota claims an impressive 17 percent (or more) reduction in consumption in city driving.
Because of the gutsier engine, the Fortuner’s maximum towing capacity (braked) has also now been increased by 300kg to 3,100kg, just like the 2020 HiLux.
The 2020 Fortuner has also been fitted with some new standard features such as a new ‘Optitron’ illuminated gauge cluster and standard automatic air conditioning. Interestingly, the newer infotainment system’s touchscreen now measures 8-inches instead of the 9-inch unit available here on today’s Fortuner SRZ and VRZ, though it both supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Apparently, only the Legender receives the 9-inch version in Thailand.
Speaking of which, on that range-topping guise, the equipment list grows to include a 360-degree view monitor, hands-free powered tailgate, ambient interior lighting, a wireless phone charging pad and a premium JBL audio system.
In addition to the standard 7 airbags, traction control, stability control, and all-round disc brakes, the Fortuner Legender also receives a fair share of features from the Toyota Safety Sense Suite, including Lane Departure Alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and a Pre-Collision System with automatic brake assistance.
Like the new HiLux, the 2020 Fortuner is expected to begin its wider global rollout soon, though not immediately. Expect to hear some concrete details on the pair’s Malaysian introduction within the next couple of months.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.