2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review

2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review

All-new Toyota Fortuner reviewed by Dave Conole.

2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review
2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review.

After checking out the all-new Toyota HiLux recently, it was great to also get a week behind the wheel of its sibling, the all-new Toyota Fortuner.

Toyota has made another play into the seven-seat SUV market, this time with a model that is HiLux-based and offers a great deal more off-road ability than the consistently popular Toyota Kluger, while being smaller and less intimidating than the LandCruiser Prado.

Most importantly, and where the Fortuner has an advantage over the Kluger, is in the fact that it comes with a diesel engine, rather than the V6 petrol-only Kluger.

The 2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade is the top of the line model, manual versions start from $59,990, then its $2,000 more for an auto. The three model-grade Fortuner range starts from $47,990.

2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review
2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review.

Under the bonnet of every Fortuner you will see on the roads is a 130kW 2.8 litre turbo-diesel engine, as with the HiLux, when mated to a manual transmission you get 420Nm, auto versions get more grunt – 450Nm.

As with the new HiLux (and this engine also appears in the Prado now too), this is an impressive engine. You have selectable drive modes – Eco and Power and I have to say I was very surprised at just how nicely the seven-seater got along.

The automatic transmission is smooth and responsive enough, though at times I thought I could sense the odd slip, especially when cornering.

You can expect to use about 10.0L/100km in city driving in the Toyota Fortuner, though this on the thirsty size for a diesel and more than the claimed 9.3L/100km (urban) and 7.8L/100km (combined).

2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review
2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review.

No doubt a large number of Fortuner buyers are going to be using it tow, you get a 3000kg (braked) limit with the new Toyota 4×4.

The Fortuner is tightly sprung and sits high so don’t expect a ride that is overly ‘people friendly’, this is, at its heart, a work truck with a seven-seat body on top. The steering is similar to the HiLux, quite vague on centre.

Where most people are going to be focusing their attention in a Toyota dealership is the Fortuner cabin, overall I reckon Toyota has done a good job here. The interior is spacious and familiar with echoes of Toyota 86 and Corolla found in the dash.

The Toyota Fortuner has a touchscreen infotainment system that features sat-nav and a reverse camera (in Crusade grade models) that is integrated nicely into the design.

2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review
2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review.

Sure, a bit like HiLux, there are a few boring and dated bits in the cabin, such as some of the controls on the dash, overall though the Fortuner cabin is a pleasant enough place to spend some time. Third-row occupants get their own air vents, a must in a seven/eight seat capacity SUV or people-mover.

The Toyota Fortuner range comes with the peace of mind of a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Summing it up; Toyota is on a winner here. A nice enough, and roomy enough cabin, competitive pricing, torquey diesel engine and genuine off-road ability.

Not as soft as competitors like Kluger, Kia Sorento or Ford Territory, the new Toyota Fortuner offers the versatility of the now popular dual-cab utilities while also giving plenty of space for the family.

2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review
2015 Toyota Fortuner Crusade Review.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Toyota Fortuner

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

Dave Conole owns and writes the independent vehicle review and news website – A Wheel Thing.

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