Introduced alongside the all-new Toyota Hilux is its ladder frame counterpart, the new Toyota Fortuner. Like the Hilux, this seven-seater SUV is also locally assembled in Shah Alam. Just two variants are on sale: a 2.4-litre turbodiesel and 2.7-litre petrol, priced at RM187k and RM200k respectively.

Now, due to tax issues, UMW Toyota Motor would not be offering the range topping 2.8-litre diesel variant because it will be priced well over RM200k. In its place is the SRZ variant, powered by the old 2.7-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, but here it’s tuned to produce more power and improve fuel efficiency. We’ll get to that shortly.2016 Toyota Fortuner Media Test Drive - AutoBuzz.my

QUICK FACTS

Name Toyota Fortuner 2.4 VRZ (AT) 4×4 Toyota Fortuner 2.7 SRZ (AT) 4×4
Engine 2,393cc; inline-4 turbo, DOHC 2,694cc; DOHC, inline-4 petrol
Transmission 6-speed auto 6-speed auto with paddle shift
Max Power 148 hp @ 3,400 rpm 164 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Max Torque 400 Nm @ 1,600 – 2,000 rpm 245 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
Price RM186,900 RM199,900

EXTERIOR

On the outside, the petrol variant gets auto-levelling full LED headlamps with LED daytime running lights, halogen fog lamps with chrome embellishments, body-coloured side mirrors with puddle lamps and the same 18-inch wheels (fitted with highway terrain tyres) as the Hilux 2.8G. The tailgate is also electrically powered, but the 2.4 diesel does without.2016 Toyota Fortuner Media Launch - AutoBuzz.my

Opt for the diesel variant and you’ll miss out on the swanky LED headlamps. Instead, you get manual levelling halogen projector headlamps with bulb-type DRLs, halogen fog lamps (without the chrome finish) and 17-inch alloys with all-terrain tyres. The good news is that the duo share the same LED tail lamps.

INTERIOR

In a move to further separate the Fortuner from the Hilux, the cabin in this SUV gets largely reworked to suit most urbanites. On the RM200k SRZ variant, you get toys like an 8-inch touchscreen DVD player with smartphone and WiFi connectivity, internet browser, voice recognition, HDMI input, USB and Bluetooth connectivity as well as GPS navigation. The driver also benefits from a 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-info display – all of which are omitted from the 2.4L VRZ. However, this can be optioned, so be sure to check with your sales advisor.2016 Toyota Fortuner Media Test Drive - AutoBuzz.my

While both variants get six speakers as standard, the 2.4L VRZ settles for a four-spoke urethane steering wheel and gear knob, whereas the 2.7L SRZ gets a classier wood and leather finish, as well as paddle shifters. If this is any consolation whatsoever, both variants will come with full auto windows with jam protection for all four windows.

As you may have noticed, the interior gets upholstered in brown leather, but the hide is exclusive only to the 2.7L SRZ. The lesser variant comes with dark brown fabric. Like the Hilux, only the top-spec gets the 8-way powered driver seat.2016 Toyota Fortuner Media Test Drive - AutoBuzz.my

The second and third row seats feature a one-touch folding mechanism, and the middle bench can be moved fore and aft to accommodate passengers of various heights. The seats are flexible too, with a 60:40 split for the second row and a 50:50 split for the third row seats. All possible adjustments are illustrated in the pictures, so be sure to give them a proper look.

PERFORMANCE

Your choice of two Fortuners will come with either a 2.4-litre diesel engine that’s turbocharged to make 148 hp and 400 Nm of torque, or a 2.7-litre naturally aspirated petrol that pumps 164 hp and 245 Nm of torque. Both engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifters that drive all four wheels.

2016 Toyota Fortuner Media Test Drive - AutoBuzz.my
The preproduction Fortuner’s engine bay looks like this. It’s unclear as yet if it will come with an engine cover, though

Standard on both variants is the part-time four-wheel drive system with Automatic Disconnecting Differential (ADD). This can be controlled through the electronic 4WD transfer dial that is also a standard feature on both variants.

Up front, the Fortuner rides on independent double wishbone suspension with coil springs, while the rear axle is managed by a four-link panhard rod which functions by reducing lateral movement. This combination is said to provide better comfort than the outgoing model. Toyota was also more liberal with the use of insulating material and higher quality door seals.

SAFETY

If it’s one thing that Toyota cars generally lack over the competition is in this department. To boot, the 2.7L SRZ comes with seven airbags (dual frontal, side, curtain and driver knee airbag), ISOFIX anchors and the usual array of active electronic safety systems. They include ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Hill-start Assist Control, Trailer Sway Control, reverse camera and an all-new feature – Active Traction Control (A-TRC). A-TRC intelligently cuts power from any one wheel from either axles and sends it to the other; a feature that makes the Fortuner an even more capable off-roader.2016 Toyota Fortuner Media Test Drive - AutoBuzz.my

Unfortunately, the 2.4L VRZ will not come with any of the above, except for ABS and EBD. It will get just three airbags (dual front airbags with driver knee), and reverse camera remains as a cost option.

WHAT ELSE?

Both Fortuners are packaged with a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty, and are available in six exterior colours – Silver Metallic, Medium Silver Metallic, Gray Metallic, Attitude Black, Avant-Garde Bronze Metallic and Super White 2. The latter two are new to the second-generation model.


IMAGE GALLERY


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Matthew H. Tong
A straightforward, fun-loving guy who appreciates the superficiality of a car's appeal, but his admiration for anything on four wheels gives him no reason to neglect the makings of a car. He still believes that fun comes with three pedals and a stick.