11 July 2022 · New Vehicles

The Journey of Toyota Fortuner


The Toyota Fortuner 4WD is an exceptionally capable off-road vehicle. Built with larger families in mind, the Fortuner is designed to master the extremes of Aussie off-road playgrounds.

The Fortuner holds an important position in the Toyota 4WD line-up. It delivers 7 seat people-moving power, excellent on-road driving manners, and serious off-road capability that compares with the best 4WDs.

From its debut in 2015, to today’s second generation, Fortuner provides for a growing niche of adventure motorists looking for style, comfort, and extreme off-road access at an accessible price point.

So who drives the Fortuner? What’s in it’s DNA? And how has its journey shaped the current model?

The Benefits of Fortuner

The Benefits of Fortuner

A highly capable 4WD can be a considerable investment. But what if you also need a daily drive that’s also perfect for an urban family of 7, and fits the demands of a modest budget? This is where the Fortuner steps in.

For as little as $55,038 driveaway, the GX Fortuner has your daily drive covered in comfort, performance, and style. But also delivers access to once-in-a-lifetime adventures such as driving the Tanami Track.  With a Fortuner, families have a vehicle that delivers on all fronts. Importantly, these comprehensive on and off-road features are available at an accessible price point.

Fortuner has always delivered capability and access. But let’s take a closer look at how it’s been refined in Australia over the last 7 years.

Generation One - 2005 to 2015

Generation One - 2005 to 2015

The Fortuner was (and is currently) built in Thailand. Debuting in 2004, it would go on sale in Thailand early in 2005. The Fortuner would roll out across South East Asia quickly, but we wouldn’t see the Fortuner in Australia until generation 2, 10 years later.

The Fortune was built on the Hilux platform, hence sharing its formidable off-road capability. It was initially offered with 2 petrol engines and 2 diesel engine options. Transmissions were either a 5-speed manual or a 4 or 5-speed auto. Interestingly, customers had the choice of 2WD or 4WD drive across variants. Like the Prado, Fortuner 4WD was full-time.

The Fortuner’s muscular appearances projected stability and capability. In many ways, it mirrored the great lines of the Prado and still does. Fortuner also takes styling accents from the Hilux and the street-wise Kluger. The result is a definitive and recognisable look, in keeping with a famous family of great-looking off-road vehicles.

Interiors varied across countries and trim variants were tailored for local markets. Overall, comfort and connectivity had a throughline across markets. Cloth trim and plush bucket seating added comfort and a touch of street class. By and large, interiors were modelled on the Hilux, however, utility gave way to comfort. The rear seats (third row) are folded to the side, with the second row folded for excellent storage.

2008 saw subtle upgrades with Bluetooth and rear cabin aircon now standard, and driver electronic seat adjustment available in the premium model. The most notable external changes were a redesigned front grille, and a restyling of headlines matching that of the 200 series Cruiser.

The Fortuner was a popular choice across Asia. Minimal upgrades and changes reflected this. It wasn’t until the release of generation 2, concurrent in Thailand and Australia, that the Fortuner would see more significant changes.

Generation Two - 2015 to Present

Generation Two - 2015 to Present

The Generation 2 Fortuner launched in Australia on 16 July 2015. Toyota continued to offer petrol, diesel, 2 and 4WD drive options around the world. However, in Australia, the Fortuner was only available in the 4×4, 2.8-litre turbodiesel, with a six-speed automatic transmission. Importantly, 4WD was now part-time as opposed to full time, a more traditional 4WD configuration that would deliver some fuel efficiencies. Models include the GX, GXL and Crusade.

In 2015 the 2.8 litre engine delivered 130 kW, and 450 Nm of torque. The 2020 facelift gives us the power we have now, with the 2.8 litre engine now delivering 150 kW, and 500Nm of torque. Eco Mode and Power Mode are standard, encouraging fuel saving while maintain access to snappy, powerful, acceleration at the flick of a button. Electronic Brake Force Distribution enhances stopping power, and dual airbags, and a knee airbag deliver safety should serious incidents occur.

Interiors moved away from Hilux styling. There’s a reference to the Prado in the centre console, but the shapely dash, and instrumentation a solely Fortuner. The steering wheel is also uniquely Fortuner with an array of conveniently wheel-mounted buttons for seamless driving ergonomics. Stylish appointments, colours, and textures offer significantly more appeal than its off-road track-crushing DNA might imply.

The exterior is distinctly Fortuner. Changes from it’s early days are subtle, and come mostly from headlight, tail light, grill, and wheel upgrades. Outwardly, the Fortuner looks like it belongs to the Toyota 4WD family. It’s still muscular and stable looking, however, the blend of Prado and Kluger lines gives it a classy look that’s right at home in the driveways of 5-star city hotels. The street-cred and tarmac-sense of the Kluger meets the off-road track-taming capability of Hilux, at an affordable price. And for those looking to maximise the 4WD touring capability, there’s a brilliant range of Toyota accessories to ensure your Fortuner is always adventure-ready.

Turn on the Fun

A Toyota Fortuner escape awaits you at Parramatta Toyota. Call us on 1300 578 289 to discuss the options and book a test drive today. Imagine Fraser Island, the Tanami track, and Snowy high country…It’s at your fingertips.