Thai-built Fortuner will widen Australian Toyota SUV line, be sold in many Asia-Pacific and emerging markets. Its effectively an SUV variant of the Hilux truck

Thai-built Fortuner will widen Australian Toyota SUV line, be sold in many Asia-Pacific and emerging markets. It's effectively an SUV variant of the Hilux truck

Not a model familiar to NAFTA markets or most of Europe, but Toyota's redesigned Fortuner is a big deal in Asia-Pacific and many emerging markets and the seven seat 'family' SUV now will be sold in Australia.

Sales start 'down under' by the end of October where the new model will expand Toyota's local SUV line to six vehicles - joining RAV4, Kluger, FJ Cruiser, LandCruiser Prado and LandCruiser 200 Series.

Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the world premiere, staged simultaneously in Australia and Thailand, heralded a stylish and refined vehicle that is remarkably tough and offers genuine 4WD ability.

"Fortuner shares the rugged underpinnings of the 'unbreakable' HiLux, allowing owners to travel to - and return from - places many other SUVs simply can't go.

"It provides a diesel alternative to the petrol-only Kluger [Highlander] range as the new entry point for customers looking to purchase a large Toyota diesel SUV."

Fortuner will be offered in Australia in three grades - GX, GXL and Crusade - all with the new 2.8 litre direct injection, I4 turbodiesel engine that develops up to 450Nm of torque - Europe gets this in the Land Cruiser line soon.

A new six-speed manual gearbox includes 'intelligent' technology on GXL and Crusade grades to ensure smoother shifting by matching engine speed to transmission speed. A newly developed six-speed automatic is also available.

All variants are fitted with trailer sway control. Maximum braked towing capacity will be three tonnes for the manual and 2.8 tonnes for the auto.

A part-time 4x4 during day-to-day driving, full 4WD high or low ranges can also be selected.

Suspension developed and tuned for Australia's harsh conditions is double wishbones at the front and five-link, coil-spring at the rear with front and rear stabiliser bars.

A rear differential lock with the componentry placed within the differential housing for greater off road protection is standard.

Significant local development was also applied to ensure optimum tuning of the stability and active traction control electronics for local conditions, particularly for use on gravel. Drivers can disable the electronics for specific off road situations, such as driving in slippery mud or sand.

A reversing camera is standard across the range, as are seven airbags, hill start assist control and an emergency stop signal. Toyota Australia expects Fortuner to receive a top five-star safety rating.

All variants will feature front and rear air conditioning, large touchscreen audio displays, connected mobility, side steps, 17 or 18-inch wheels, disc brakes front and rear, and an air conditioned compartment for drinks and food.

The two higher grades are fitted with roof rails, fog lamps, reverse parking sensors, keyless smart entry and start, and downhill assist control.

Top spec features include bi-LED headlamps and LED daytime running lamps, a power back door and 18 inch alloys with highway tyres.

just-auto's PLDB on Fortuner