THE Toyota Fortuner cruised along the freeway easily, although it was reluctant to drop into sixth gear at 100km/h with the ’van behind it.
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It was happiest in fifth gear, where it was sitting at 1850rpm at 100km/h. An occasional downshift to fourth when there was a slight elevation in the road saw revs jump to 2700rpm at 100km/h. Needless to say, the Toyota Fortuner wasn’t quite as relaxed as some of the other wagons on test when cruising with a ’van.
With equal power, 20Nm more torque and similar kerb weight as the Isuzu MU-X, the Fortuner should have produced similar performance figures, but didn’t. It was slower in all tests. While it was considerably slower in standing-start acceleration, it was only 5km/h slower than the Isuzu on the more relevant hill climb test, which is not a big difference. Perhaps the Toyota’s gearing is not quite as well-matched to the engine as the Isuzu’s is to its engine, or perhaps the test vehicle wasn’t the best example.
Engine braking was quite good, with the Fortuner peaking at 62km/h at the bottom of the test hill. And, like the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, the Fortuner has paddle shifters, making a quick downshift or two very easy to do.
The Toyota Fortuner was quite fuel-efficient on our test loop and that, combined with a comparatively large fuel tank, nets it a healthy touring range of 547km.
With a fairly long 2750mm wheelbase and nicely short 1200mm axle-to-towball point, the Fortuner looks, on paper at least, to have promising towing stability. While the body lowered 40mm at the rear with the ’van hooked up, the front rose just 10mm. The net result was a pretty solid towing platform, with no nasty pitching or yawing to upset the experience.
However, the Fortuner’s suspension does not appear well-tuned for having 180kg pushed down on the towball; on rough roads the ride is jittery and uncomfortable. Perhaps a laden vehicle and ’van – or a different suspension tune – would result in a much smoother ride.
Good news if you want to load up the Fortuner and your trailer right up to their respective maximums, as the Fortuner’s Gross Combined Weight does allow for the vehicle, a full payload and maximum towing mass.
The Fortuner’s mirror shells are a curved shape that are not the easiest to clip towing mirrors to.