Toyota Fortuner GXL: Tow Test
If you’re after a spacious cabin and comfortable drive, the Toyota Fortuner is a great all-rounder option in an invigorated 4WD wagon market.
The Fortuner shares much with the HiLux, but Toyota says that it is unique from the B-pillar back, including the roof and the entire side pressing, as well as the windscreen pillars and door sills.
While the front is shared with HiLux, Toyota says that the only common panels are the front-door skins, bonnet and windscreen.
The engine, transmission and most of the chassis are the same – but the Fortuner does have a coil-spring rear suspension, in place of the leaf springs used in the HiLux.
The Fortuner range spans three models – GX, GXL and Crusade – each coming with the 2.8L turbodiesel and six-speed manual transmission as standard. Tested here is the Fortuner GXL, with optional six-speed automatic transmission.
Standard features on the GXL include air-conditioning, rear diff lock, touch-screen audio display, cruise control, steering wheel with paddle shifters (available only with the automatic transmission), side steps, 17in alloy wheels (steel spare), keyless smart entry and start, roof rails, reverse parking sensors, fog lights, privacy glass and downhill assist control.
One of the main complaints when sitting up the back in hot weather is getting air and the Fortuner addresses this with air vents mounted in the ceiling for both second and third rows.
You can’t expect a separate chassis 4WD to have a lush ride but, in this respect, I think there are better such vehicles on the market than the Fortuner – around town at least. The Fortuner’s ride over small undulations is fussy, and sharp bumps like potholes or sharp ridges in the road surface get the rear axle pattering and the Fortuner steps sideways.
Once you get up some speed, though, the Fortuner settles down and absorbs most of what comes its way smoothly. It doesn’t roll over bumps like the lush-riding Prado does, but it’s a lot better than the HiLux on which it is based. Steering is direct at straight ahead, but it isn’t as precise on turn-in.
The Fortuner was light on fuel when driving without a caravan behind, averaging 8.3L/100km with mostly highway cruising. With a full-size tandem caravan behind, cruising at 90-100km/h, it averaged 16.4L/100km.
The Fortuner was able to hold 100km/h up our test hill and was able to cruise at our selected speed of 90km/h (with occasional bursts to 100km/h) easily.
Engine braking was ample for pegging speed on descents. As mentioned earlier, the paddle shifts make it really easy to select a lower gear quickly.
TOYOTA FORTUNER GXL SPECS
Weights and measures
- Length 4795mm
- Width 1855mm
- Height 1835mm
- Wheelbase 2750mm
- Ground clearance 225mm
- Kerb mass 2135kg
- Gross Vehicle Mass 2750kg
- Gross Combined Mass 5545kg
- Towing capacity unbraked/braked 750kg/2800kg
- Towball (max) 280kg
- Engine 2.8L four-cylinder turbodiesel
- Transmission Six-speed automatic
- Power 130kW at 3400rpm
- Torque 450Nm at 1600-2400rpm
- Gear ratios (:1)
- 1 3.600
- 2 2.090
- 3 1.488
- 4 1.000
- 5 0.687
- 6 0.580
- Rev 3.732
- Final drive 3.909
- Six-speed automatic transmission; towbar; brake controller
- Fuel capacity 80L
- Suspension Independent, double wishbone, coil springs (front);
- live axle, coil springs (rear)
- Brakes Ventilated discs
- (front and rear)
- Wheels 17in alloy on
- 265/65R17 tyres
- Warranty 3 years/100,000km
- Roof load 75kg
- More information
The full test appears in Caravan World #549 April 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!