The new mighty Fortuner now rivals Ford Everest engine spec

• Fortuner now has sharper styling

• Improved engine outputs

• 17% lighter on diesel

The country's most popular SUV gains sharper styling and a lot more torque. 

South Africa's favourite SUV has a new face.

As part of a significant update to its bakkie and gravel travel SUV range, Toyota has notably sharpened the design of its Fortuner. 

The second-generation Fortuner has been a huge success for Toyota, since launching in 2016. With better engines, gearboxes and cabin ergonomics, Fortuner 2.0 has built on the rugged credentials of its predecessor and become the default family vehicle for adventurous South Africans who require seven-seats. 


How would you predict the new Fortuner's success in SA when it arrives? Email us.
Toyota Fortuner

2021 Toyota Fortuner. Image: Motor1

Styling cues

Distinguishing the new Fortuner are its new headlights. These are housed in thinner headlamps and incorporate W-shaped LED daytime running lights. Its grille design dominates the new Fortuner's front styling. Toyota is aiming to differentiate its Fortuner specification grades with appropriate grille patterns.

As such, there is a larger black mesh pattern grille or a split version, which features a more dramatically shaped bumper. 

Enhancing the Fortuner's rear styling are corner cut-outs in the bumper and new LED pattern taillights. Cabin upgrades are marginal, with a larger 8-inch infotainment screen and inductive Smartphone charging.

Toyota Fortuner

2021 Toyota Fortuner. Image: Motor1

Increased power

Although it comes nowhere close to selling in similar numbers, Ford's Everest is the natural rival to Toyota's Fortuner in South Africa. And the Everest has retained a significant powertrain advantage with its powerful 2-litre bi-turbodiesel engine, good for 157kW and 500Nm. 

Toyota's engineers clearly benchmarked the Everest engine and have managed to extract more performance from Fortuner's proven 2.8-litre turbodiesel. Peak engine power increases from 130- to 150kW, which is a tidy gain and only 7kW short of the Everest. 

For most SUV owners, engine torque is more important than power, especially when towing or venturing off-road. In this regard, Toyota's engineers have managed to boost 500Nm from the Fortuner's 2.8-litre diesel, allowing it to perfectly match what Ford offers with Everest. 

Toyota Fortuner

2021 Toyota Fortuner. Image: Motor1

Improved towing performance 

Those improved engine output statistics will make the Fortuner a better highway cruiser and allow for safer margins of overtaking. The 500Nm torque value has also enhanced Fortuner's towing ability, which increases from 2800kg to 3100kg.

For those Fortuner owners who regularly tow a horsebox, off-road trailer or boat, the 300kg of additional towing capacity will prove rather useful. It also places Fortuner on equal footing with Everest, which has a 3100kg tow rating since the introduction of its 2.0-litre bi-turbo engine in 2019. 

Beyond the impressive power and torque gains, Toyota claims that improved cooling and engine calibration, has made the new Fortuner lighter on fuel. The reality is that many Fortuner owners do most of their driving in an urban environment, where the stop-start nature of traffic and junctions, result in heavy fuel consumption. 

Toyota says that its more powerful new Fortuner is actually 17% lighter on diesel, on an inner-city route than the 130kW version. 

Toyota Fortuner

2021 Toyota Fortuner. Image: Motor1

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