The Toyota Fortuner recently underwent its second facelift in the seven years it’s been on the market and the manufacturer revealed some interesting facts about its popular seven-seater during the official media launch.
The vehicle boasts a rich history in South Africa and for the past 17 years, since the very first generation saw the light of day, it has been racking up impressive accolades and awards.
BMW X3 competitor
Yes, you read that right.
The Fortuner was originally launched in 2006 in the medium-SUV segment as a competitor to the luxurious X3 after the high-riding BMW experienced a rapid increase in popularity.
Today, while their prices still overlap, the vehicles cater to vastly different customers and it’s unlikely that you’ll see one of these BMWs at your nearest 4×4 track, but you’ll probably find a few Fortuners trekking the course at any given time of the week.
Segment leader from the start
In the year that it launched, the Fortuner was responsible for more than half of the total sales in its segment.
According to Toyota, the SUV secured 61% of the medium-SUV category back in 2006, and ever since, its market share stood around 40% on a regular basis meaning approximately one in three medium-SUVs sold in the country during this time wore the Fortuner badge.
In 2022 it remained as popular as ever, securing a 41% slice of the fiercely-competitive SUV sphere.
2017 was Fortuner’s best year
One year after the second-generation Fortuner debuted in 2016, it achieved its best sales performance in South Africa yet.
The 4×4 ended the 12 months with an impressive 7,495 units sold, marking another year where it occupied over 40% of its class.
In 2020, with the introduction of the range-topping VX grade, the popularity skyrocketed again allowing the Toyota to take home 57% of the medium-SUV segment.
What Fortuner owners love
A survey by Toyota South Africa questioned current Fortuner owners on what their main purchasing criteria were when buying the vehicle.
Among the respondents, 73% agreed that the vehicle’s build quality was their favourite aspect, matching reliability which also scored 73%.
This was followed by spaciousness ranking at 70%, with vehicle safety being the fourth-most-important criterion obtaining 68% of the votes.
Value for money raked in 67%, off-road driving 59%, and parts availability 50%.
A different personality each time
With each evolution of the current-generation Fortuner, it’s been given a new personality.
In 2016, the design was influenced by the principle of “functional beauty.”
For its first facelift in 2020, it was elevated to “premium beauty.”
Now in its latest iteration, the Fortuner’s refreshed looks were guided by the language of “avant-garde luxury” – being the most stylish transformation of the ladder-frame SUV we’ve seen yet.