2017 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review

2017 Toyota Fortuner SUV Road Test and Review…




Toyota has been building tough SUVs and 4x4s for years and the latest edition to the family is the Toyota Fortuner.

Larger and more off-road capable than the Toyota Kluger and not as big and bulky as the Toyota Prado, the Fortuner shares essentially the same underpinnings as the phenomenally successful Toyota HiLux.

Prices for the Toyota Fortuner also generally sit in between its two siblings – kicking off from $49,990 and ranging up to the Crusade, an offering that starts from $59,990 (manual) and $61,990 (auto).

That puts the Toyota above the price of direct competitors to the Fortuner such as the Isuzu MU-X (from $40,500), Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (from $45,000) and Holden Trailblazer (from $47,990).

I had the keys to the top-spec Fortuner Crusade and was generally impressed by just how user-friendly and easy to drive it was.

Power right across the Fortuner range comes from a 2.8 litre turbo-diesel engine (the same engine as can be found in the Prado), though there is a difference in output between the auto and manual.

The auto boasts 130kW/450Nm, the manual has to settle for 130kW/420Nm.

That six-speed manual transmission is available in all three model grades, though in the Crusade you would think that most buyers will opt towards the six-speed auto.

My test vehicle was indeed the auto and I found it to provide adequate acceleration in city conditions and then satisfactory power on the highway.

The Fortuner is an ideal vehicle to tow a decent load with, however it does suffer from a lower braked towing capacity than its main rivals – 2800kg (auto).

That is opposed to 3000kg (Holden and Isuzu) and 3200kg (Mitsubishi).

Take note, despite having less torque the manual version of the Toyota Fortuner comes with a 3000kg towing capacity.

While the auto version has a torque advantage over the Isuzu and Mitsubishi (430Nm) it trails the Holden (500Nm).

On the roads, the steering tends to feel on the heavy side, but it still handles comfortably enough.

More like its smaller sibling, the Kluger, on the bitumen, I thought the Fortuner took things up a gear off-road with more of a LandCruiser type feel.

Though off the beaten track it tended to be just a bit bumpy.

It isn’t the easiest vehicle to park, though the addition of the reverse camera is certainly a help here.

The Fortuner cabin is roomy with generous leg, head and shoulder room, either in five or seven seat configurations.

Though, as you might expect, cargo space when the third row of seats is in use tends to be a little less than generous.

Also, the third row of seats fold from the side, not into the floor, restricting some of the loading space.

Speaking of seats, Toyota gets full marks for well-designed seats with ample adjustments and nicely-sized side bolsters.

Instrumentation and controls throughout are well placed and easy to see.

This top-spec offering gives you an adequate-enough list of standard features, including:

  • Tilt and reach steering adjustment
  • Six-speaker stereo
  • Reverse camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Electric/height adjustable driver’s seat
  • Digital radio
  • Sat-nav
  • Push-button ignition
  • Powered tailgate

The only thing you have to decide at your Toyota dealer is whether to tick the box for premium paint (anything but white) and this carries a $550 price premium.

And safety is covered by a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Summing it up; the new Toyota Fortuner is a must-drive seven seat SUV/4×4 option.

More off-road capable than Kluger and not as ‘truck like’ as Prado, the new Toyota offering is a vehicle that is both pleasant in the city and capable off-road.

Pop it on your test-drive list, but don’t forget to check out some of the competition as well, particularly if you’re looking to tow a caravan, boat, or horse float etc.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Toyota Fortuner Crusade

Engine: 2.8 litre turbo-diesel producing 130kW and 420Nm (manual)/450Nm (auto)

Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000kms

Origin: Thailand

Price: from $47,990, Crusade from $59,990




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