Toyota Fortuner facelift: popular SUV gains fresh looks and added oomph

By: CAR magazine

Toyota has whipped the covers off its facelifted Fortuner in Thailand, handing the seven-seater SUV fresh looks and more grunt from its 2,8-litre turbodiesel engine.

Take note the Fortuner pictured here is the Thai-spec model, with the version eventually offered in South Africa likely to feature some spec (and possibly styling) changes.

The Japanese firm says although the bakkie-based SUV has been given a “more premium look”, the most significant changes are found under its skin. Here, just like in the updated Hilux, “revised engine components” see peak power of the 2,8 GD-6 engine hiked from 130 kW to 150 kW, with maximum torque increasing from 450 N.m to 500 N.m (the latter on tap from 1 600 to 2 800 r/min).

The 2,8-litre oil-burner has also gained a new “balance shaft” designed to reduce engine noise and vibration being transmitted into the cabin. Furthermore, thanks to “additional measures, including improved cooling”, fuel consumption has been reduced by a claimed 17 percent. In addition, Toyota says a 300 kg increase in maximum braked towing capacity sees the figure rise to 3 100 kg.

The 2,4-litre oil-burning unit, meanwhile, is set to soldier on in the SUV, offering an unchanged 110 kW and 400 N.m.

Inside, the Fortuner adopts a new eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The Thai-spec model, meanwhile, also gains a 360-degree camera system and a wireless smartphone charger.

Interestingly, Toyota South Africa Motors recently confirmed the discontinuation of the 4,0-litre V6 petrol variant of the Fortuner as well as all manual models.

The current-generation Fortuner was revealed in 2015 before hitting the market in South Africa at the end of the first quarter of 2016. The strong-selling local range is built at Toyota’s Prospecton plant in KwaZulu-Natal.

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