The updated Toyota Fortuner has been launched in South Africa. How much has changed? We investigate.
Toyota's Fortuner has been one of South Africa's most popular models and it's a very common sight on our roads. First launched in 2006 and with a second-generation model launching in 2016, the Toyota Fortuner has grown from strength to strength. In late 2020, Toyota South Africa launched the facelifted version of this 2nd-gen Fortuner.
The facelifted Toyota Fortuner, showing off the redesigned front end.
Visually, Toyota has given the facelifted Fortuner an expansive update all round. It's unmistakably a Fortuner, but the front now features a larger, blacked-out grille with a mesh pattern. The flagship VX model gains a gloss finish here. There's a silver-accented skid plate which gives the vehicle an even tougher look. There are new-look Bi-LED headlights with daytime running lights and the LED indicators have been moved to the lower bumper. At the rear, there's a new spoiler and redesigned tail lamps.
The pre-facelifted Toyota Fortuner
Engine and performance
The headline change in the powertrain department comes in the form of increased power and torque from the 2.8 GD-6 engine. Power is up by 20 kW to 150 kW, while an extra 50 Nm brings the torque figure to a nice round 500 Nm. Toyota's engineers bolted on a larger turbocharger, added a new common-rail injection system, new head gasket, revised cylinder block, new exhaust manifold, and additional cooling, all of which the Japanese carmaker says improves performance and fuel economy.
To reduce unwanted NVH levels and improve refinement, a new balance shaft has been built into the engine. Finally, the 6-speed automatic gearbox has been recalibrated to allow for improved acceleration as well as towing performance. Speaking of towing, the tow rating of the 2.4 GD-6 4x4 model has been increased by 800 kg and you can now hitch up a 3.3-ton trailer. The 2.8 GD-6 4x4 models now also boast a towing capacity of 3300 kg
The big change is the introduction of the 500 Nm motor from the Hilux
Both the 2.4 GD-6 and 2.8 GD-6 models have been upgraded in terms of features and connectivity. The 2.4 GD-6 now includes Park Distance Control (PDC) alongside full LED lighting, cruise control, and updated touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A new Multi-Information Display (MID) screen now includes a large, digital-speed readout and steering wheel angle indicator (for enhanced off-road usability). Other standard features include 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 rearview 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.
One of the big changes is the introduction of a new flagship VX model which brings front heated seats, welcome lighting and the Toyota Safety Sense system. More on the TSS below.
As mentioned, Apple Carplay and Android Auto finally makes its debut in the Toyota Fortuner. This opens up a world of applications such as Google Maps, music streaming services, Waze and much more. Every Fortuner comes with the Toyota Connect telematics system which includes an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15Gb data.
The updated cabin of the 2020 Toyota Fortuner
The facelifted Toyota Fortuner finally gains some start-of-the-art safety systems. Called Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), this package includes a Pre-collision system, Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, and road sign recognition. This is on top of the current offering of 7 airbags, ISOFIX, seatbelt pre-tensioners, and a full suite of active safety aids (ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, VSC, Trailer Sway Control, Traction Control). As before, 4x4 models also include Downhill Assist Control (DAC).
A comprehensive anti-theft system, speed-dependent auto-door lock function and keyless entry is included across the board.