As the most trusted name in the medium SUV segment, Toyota is proud to present the 2023 Toyota Fortuner. Flaunting dramatic catamaran-inspired looks that showcase a bolder, more aggressive design language, the latest iteration of the Fortuner also boasts subtle yet impactful interior updates including an all-new interior colour palette for flagship models, ensuring this iconic SUV remains at the top of the bestseller list.
It must be noted that the rising popularity of SUVs continues unabated and Toyota is well equipped with fit-for-purpose models in each of the respective segments. There’s a four-model offering servicing the B- and C-SUV segments, ranging from the Urban Cruiser to the RAV4, with the Corolla Cross and C-HR slotting in-between. Fortuner is positioned to transition buyers from these urban cross-over type SUVs to larger, off-roading SUVs.
The natural progression for Fortuner customers within the Toyota SUV line-up would be a move to larger SUVs such as Prado and LC300. The Fortuner still commands the largest slice of the medium SUV segment, clocking in average sales of more than 800 units per month with a market share of over 40%. Fortuner’s highest market share was recorded in 2020 with a staggering 57%.
Bold New Styling
Toyota’s reimagined Fortuner takes a decidedly more striking design direction with catamaran-inspired elements. These are particularly noticeable at the extremities of the vehicle which mimic a catamaran’s twin hulls. The all-new, sharply angular front and rear bumper treatment featuring exclusive, aero-corner moulding is complemented by black trapezoidal foglamp housings upfront and L-shaped reflector inserts at the rear, thus reinforcing this new-found style aggression.
Exuding real road presence, the new Fortuner offers a vastly different, more aerodynamically efficient front fascia. The black mesh upper grille has been slimmed down, while the lower aperture has been considerably inflated in keeping with Fortuner’s new, more assertive attitude. A bespoke, grey contrast skidplate not only adds to the aesthetic, but enhances functionality.
Further, the exclusively designed headlamps comprising split-quad LEDs with a waterfall LED Line Guide Signature, in combination with the LED L-shaped daytime running lamps and apron-framing LED indicator lamps (featuring sequential functionality on 2.8 models), tie up the front end’s more modern look.
A more delicate touch has been applied to the rear styling. Reworked elements include the aforementioned bumper treatment, a new design for the taillight clusters and a piano black numberplate garnish. Another touch of class is the black badge treatment offered across the model line-up.
The profile of the reimagined Fortuner has also been subtly tidied up. The all-new two-tone black and metal 18-inch multi-layered, machine-cut finished alloys (now standard across the range), provide the final flourish. For maximum impact, Fortuner 2.8-litre customers can specify the new bi-tone colour option which pairs a black roof (including spoiler, garnish, outer mirror housings and shark fin antenna) with the exclusive Platinum Pearl White exterior. Platinum Pearl White is now also available across the range.
Overall, the newcomer looks ‘aggressive’ and edgier than before, which is of course on trend for Toyota’s global SUV and crossover models.
Subtle Interior Refinements
Leather is standard across the Fortuner range, but the package is elevated even further for 2.8-litre customers with the adoption of a new dual-tone colour palette, which sees the harmonious pairing of black and maroon leather. Matching maroon stitching adorns various surfaces providing a striking counterpoint to the predominantly black trim.
All the 2.8 variants further benefit from the addition of a USB points for rear passengers. One other discernible differentiator on these models is the revised instrument cluster which features all-new graphics, new black background ornamentation and revised opening animation for the TFT display.
Just to recap, there were several interior refinements that were made to the model year 2022 Fortuner; these included an upgrade to dual-zone climate control for 2.8-litre models, a Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) with selectable view for the range-topping VX grade, and for avowed audiophiles, a major spec up to the 11-speaker JBL Premium Audio system. (The on-board satellite navigation function was deleted due to the preferred usage of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto which is a standard feature.)
Continuous enhancement of safety and convenience features
It must be said that the current-generation Fortuner in its latest incarnation is a very different ‘beast’ to what it was when it launched back in 2016.
A particularly significant safety upgrade was made for the 2022 model year (2.8 models only). To further bolster active safety, a Lane Keeping System with Land Departure Alert (LDA), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Adaptive Cruise Control and a brake-synchronised Pre-Crash System were added as part of the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assistance technologies. Additionally, at that time all Fortuner models received an enhanced Smart Entry system with additional security measures.
Of course, this is over and above an already comprehensive list of safety kit with standard items like a full set of airbags including driver knee and curtain bags as well as must-have equipment such as ABS with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control (electronic Active Traction Control in the case of VX models which automatically detects wheel spin and distributes torque between front and rear wheels to suppress unnecessary wheel spin and control skidding).
Other Fortuner-specific items on the standard menu include Hill Assist Control and Trailer Sway Control – the latter automatically detects excessive movement of the trailer and uses brakes and engine power to help reduce sway. All 4×4 grades offer a low-range transfer case for enhanced off-road ability (2.8 4×4 variants chip in with Downhill Assist Control as well), while all Fortuner grades incorporate a rear differential lock as standard.
Engine line-up & transmissions
As before, Fortuner is offered with the choice of two engines headlined by the strong and durable 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, developing a meaty 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque – it’s mated exclusively with the six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4 GD-6 produces a healthy 110 kW and 400 Nm and is available in both 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto transmission configurations.
The fuel index ranges from 6.8 l/100 km to 7.9 dependent on variant and transmission type selected.
Model Line-up & pricing
2.4 GD-6 RB MT – R653,500
2.4 GD-6 RB AT – R677,500
2.4 GD-6 4×4 AT – R709,800
2.8 GD-6 RB – R794,600
2.8 GD-6 RB VX – R837,800
2.8 GD-6 4×4 – R873,500
2.8 GD-6 4×4 VX – R915,400
* Bi-tone models command a R10 200 premium
Peace of Mind
All Fortuner models are covered by the three-year/100 000 km warranty and a 9-services/90 000 km service plan. Service intervals are set at 10 000 km and customers can purchase a variety of service plan and warranty extensions from their nearest Toyota dealer (220 countrywide).
All Toyota owners can sign up for a personal MyToyota profile. MyToyota is designed by Toyota SA to provide a platform for owners to quickly and conveniently access all information and services related to their vehicle(s). Additionally, all new Toyota vehicles are fitted with a device that opens up a whole new world of features. Simply opt in and you have access to Wi-Fi capability along with a host of supplementary Connect services.