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How much money the new Toyota Fortuner Hybrid is saving you in the long run

Toyota has launched a new mild-hybrid (MHEV) version of the Fortuner that promises to deliver greater efficiency and fuel savings in the long run.

The MHEV units use 48-volt hybrid technology in tandem with the brand’s 2.8-litre, turbo-diesel engine, and claim to have 5% better fuel-efficiency than their standard counterparts.

However, complicating the matter is the fact that these new models have a higher purchase price, meaning you will need to drive the car a lot before the savings start to outweigh the initial cost.

Crunching the numbers

There are eight different units in the new Fortuner MHEV line-up, and we compared the base model and the range-topping VX to their respective non-electrified models.

The following table shows how the 48V units’ consumption compares to the standard models, and how much they will save on diesel after 1,000km.

The fuel cost is calculated based on the current value of diesel 50ppm which is sitting at R22.60 per litre as of April 2024.

Model Fuel consumption Fuel used after 1,000km Fuel cost
Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 7.6l/100km 76 litres R1,717.60
Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 48V 7.3l/100km 73 litres R1,649.80
Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4×4 VX 7.9l/100km 79 litres R1,785.40
Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4×4 VX 48V 7.6l/100km 76 litres R1,717.60

That works out to a savings of just R67.80 per 1,000km regardless of the model chosen, but the silver lining is that the hybrids do not cost that much more than the standard cars.

The price of the derivatives being compared is listed below:

  • Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 – R826,400
  • Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 48V – R834,800
  • Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4×4 VX – R950,900
  • Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 48V 4×4 VX – R961,800

The base model only costs R8,400 more while the flagship is R10,900 more, which is a fraction of the total sum given how much the Fortuner costs to begin with.

With this in mind, this is how much driving you will need to do to make back the money spent on the MHEV through fuel-savings:

Model Vehicle price difference Fuel savings per 1,000km Driving distance to break even
Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 48V R8,400 R67.80 123,893km
Toyota Fortuner 2.8GD-6 4×4 VX 48V R10,900 R67.80 160,766km

That’s a lot of miles that you’ll need to rack up to start making a profit, but the good news is that this is in all likelihood a worst-case scenario.

The reason is that hybrids tend to be much more efficient than their pure combustion-engine counterparts in an urban setting, as this is where most of their electrical assistance comes into play.

For example, the Fortuner’s underpinnings include a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and an electric motor generator which are intended to provide much smoother acceleration at low speeds, thereby cutting down on unnecessary throttle inputs that waste fuel.

It also boasts an advanced Stop/Start function as well as a reduction in idle speed from 720rpm to 600rpm, both of which are intended to prevent fuel-spending in traffic and at red lights.

Since the majority of the SUV’s lifespan is destined to be on tarmac roads rather than dirt tracks, the break-even point should be noticeably sooner than the above figures.

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