The Toyota Fortuner SUV
The Toyota Fortuner must be the most popular SUV on our roads so, changing it, does pose some issues. Will people like the new one? Will it be up to standard when compared to the competitors? Will the new car be value for money? Clearly the Fortuner has answered these questions by being nominated as a finalist in the 2017 Wesbank SAGMJ Car of the Year competition.
The new Toyota Fortuner brings with it an array of new features and technologies that the previous model could only dream about. However, let us address the looks first. The Fortuner has been designed to stand out in urban settings as well as withstand tough outdoor conditions. It boasts sharp, sculpted exterior lines and slender headlamps. We particularly like the bold characteristic line which runs along the side, across the doors between the flared front and rear fenders; it gives some refinement in the midst of toughness. What is more noticeable with regards to the exterior, apart from the car’s ground clearance, is that Toyota is taking more and more design ideas from its luxury sibling, Lexus. For example, the Fortuner features black rear pillars and a pronounced rear spoiler, the effect of which is a floating roof that gives the vehicle a dynamically striking stance even when it’s stationary.
Ready to take on the competition
Toyota had to make a drastic plan to improve on the car’s interior as the previous model, like the Hilux on which it was based, felt a little utilitarian. This new model seems to have corrected that issue. For starters, the new Hilux has a very good interior, so having that as a base on which to improve on is a plus. The Fortuner features the same dashboard layout and comes with some added pizzazz. A leather-covered glove box with Fortuner insignia tends to add to the luxury feel. Wood trim and privacy glass also give the Fortuner a more upmarket feel. Space inside the car is as one would expect… ample! The rear passengers get their own air-conditioning system for added comfort as well as decent head and leg room.
Times are tough and customers want the best value for their money that they can get. The Fortuner seems to have them covered. Now, the Fortuner is based on the Hilux platform so it is, as before, reliable and rugged. However, the new Hilux has been reworked to offer a more compliant ride quality and the Fortuner even more so. We were hugely impressed with the ride quality, which is soft and comfortable.
We have surmised that the new Fortuner is a huge improvement on the previous model. For many buyers, purchasing a Toyota comes down to brand loyalty and the fact that there’s a massive demand for these cars at a dealer level speaks volumes.