The Toyota Fortuner is the best-selling SUV from the country’s best-selling brand, a statement that is hardly surprising.
If you’ve ever set a foot – or wheel – on any South African road, there is a good chance that you’ve seen a Fortuner cruising around.
We find out why even the entry-level Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 is so appealing to the South African consumer, below.
Plenty of Fortuner owners will tell you that they enjoy the convenience and versatility of the vehicle.
In part, this is thanks to the ladder-frame chassis adapted from the Hilux bakkie upon which this SUV is built.
It provides comparable off-road abilities as a result, along with ample cargo space thanks to the closed-off rear.
A high seating position – an attractive characteristic for a large portion of its buyers – is also available thanks to its design.
Additional benefits stemming from this body style, apart from being able to fit seven passengers, include the ability to strap cargo onto the roof.
On the inside, the baseline model comes with partial-leather upholstery, a manual air-conditioner with rear seat operation, automatic LED headlights, keyless entry and start, cruise control, a multifunction steering wheel, and seven seats as standard.
Furthermore, this Fortuner is fitted with the Toyota Display Audio infotainment system – enabling support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – as well as for Toyota Connect.
This app allows the driver to create an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, check the health of the car battery, request roadside assistance, and manage the vehicle’s services.
You can then fit just over 200 litres of cargo in seven-seater mode, 716 litres in five-seater mode, and up to 1,080 litres with only the front seats up.
Providing power in the entry-level Toyota Fortuner is a 2.4-litre, turbo-diesel engine that produces 110kW and 400Nm of torque.
The motor is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, and sends power to the rear wheels only.
The heaps of torque is good for towing up to 2,500kg, while 279mm of ground clearance assures off-road prowess, too.
An approach angle of 29-degrees and departure angle of 25-degrees are not the most aggressive figures on the market, but a wide array of support systems fitted to the Fortuner do well to keep it at the head of its segment.
This includes a drive mode selector for various terrains, vehicle stability control, traction control, hill assist control, trailer sway control, and a limited slip differential.
As standard, the base Fortuner also offers ABS with brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, front and rear parking sensors, glass break sensors, an alarm and immobiliser, and side, curtain, driver, passenger, and knee airbags.
It scores a 5-star ANCAP safety rating as a result.
It must be noted, however, that the organisation conducted the safety tests on the Hilux bakkie model, and gave the Fortuner the same rating.
The entry-level Toyota Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 has a South African starting price of R583,900.
With this you get a 3-year/100,000km warranty, and a 9-services/90,000km service plan.