Fortuner 2.4 expands line-up
Selling more than 1000 units every month, the Toyota Fortuner stands as the leader in the SUV market. During our test of the 2.8 GD6 (2017) and our latest test in 2018, it was not uncommon to find at least three Fortuners behind one another in a traffic queue. Late in 2017, the Fortuner line-up was expanded with a smaller 2.4 engine. It was time to test this newcomer.
We approved of the 2.8 GD-6 4×4 A/T as it proved to be luxurious, fuel efficient and powerful. On the longer roads, it felt more like a sailing ship, rather than a road vehicle. It was easy to see why the 2.8 finds so many homes.
This 2.4 model was as luxurious inside, with dark leather trim. The 2.4 also features three rows of seats, although the last row might be somewhat inefficient for adults. Folding up sideways, the rear seats also take up a lot of luggage space.
Technology-wise, the Fortuner wasn’t as progressive as we hoped. The Bluetooth phone connection was a tall order and infotainment system’s overall ease of use wasn’t that great. Substituting this big panel for a more interactive touchscreen would surely improve operation and be safer for road use.
You might think that this is a unique drawback of the 2.4 (which is R118 000 cheaper) but we had the same issues with the top-spec 2.8.
Does the 2.4 match up with the 2.8 on gravel?
We felt that the 2.8 had enough power and control to conquer a lot of terrain. With the 2.4 Fortuner, our prominent sensation was that is is quite stiff, even though the SUV is no longer manufactured on the Hilux chassis as with previous models.
It comes with a 6-speed automatic gearbox, 2×4, 4×4 (high) and 4×4 (low range), but we prefer the 2.8 for any rough off-road excursions because of its additional power. The 2.8 has 130kW and 450Nm, with the 2.4 having only 110kW and 400Nm.
On paper, this might seem like a very small difference, but for practical reasons this is quite significant. Towing any SUV-like stuff (boats and trailers) might prove difficult as the 2.4 struggles to accelerate between 80-120km/h.
Another drawback is the fuel consumption. With the 2.8 we got a very good 9.0-litre / 100km. With the 2.4 and in exactly the same course (high, low and no traffic in stretched out national roads), the latter proved to be even heavier on fuel.
Although the 2.8 GD-6 automatic might be R66 000 more expensive than the 2.4 GD-6 4×4 auto (R511 000), we would prefer the larger engine.
However, if you are not serious about off-road excursions, towing large objects, or power delivery, the 2.4 GD-6 Auto 4×4 does compete well with other manufacturer prices.
If your need is to have a vehicle that is relatively well-priced and will be able to cover the terrain of an occasional Xterra- or mountain-bike competition, then the 2.4 GD-6 Auto 4×4 might be well worth the spend.
Just don’t be surprised if everyone around you drives the same car.
*The 2.4 GD-6 auto 4×4 is sold with a 5-year / 90 000km service plan.
Text: Franco Theron
Pictures: Galimoto Media