USED TEST: 2019 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 is durable and practical

By Time of article published Jan 21, 2021

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Charl Wilken

JOHANNESBURG - It is no secret that most South African motoring consumers absolutely adore the Toyota Fortuner. The reasons are pretty clear as it, arguably, offers great value, considering the space and practicality it provides. There are also very few vehicles as durable and tough as the Fortuner and therefore these vehicles tend to age exceptionally well, again demonstrated by this particular Fortuner on the test cycle.

Background and condition

As I expected, the overall build quality of the pre-owned Toyota Fortuner we test drove was excellent. For a vehicle with 58 423km on the clock, the condition of this Fortuner impressed inside and out. The bodywork was, simply put, still in a perfect condition, while once inside the cabin you could immediately notice how well the vehicle is ageing as there were no signs of any defects or even tiny scratches at all.

Due to good quality, durable materials, I think the Fortuner is probably one of those vehicles that we talk about that could “last a lifetime”. Even the load area of our test vehicle seemed like new. On the negative side, however, this Fortuner was not equipped with new tyres and it did seem that the tyres would have to be changed within the next 5000 to 10 000km.

Performance and economy

Under the long bonnet of the Fortuner, you will find Toyota’s ever-reliable 2.8-litre Turbo diesel engine that has recently been upgraded. In pre-updated format, our 2019 version pushes out 130kW of power and 450Nm of torque.

Although the Fortuner might not be the most powerful in its class it makes good use of the power on hand. With good all-round tractability and especially low-down pulling_power, it offers more than decent performance for everyday driving. Even outright performance is not at all bad with a 0-100km/h dash of around 10.8-seconds.

The six-speed automatic gearbox is smooth, albeit probably not as refined as some of its rivals. Considering its size and weight, an average fuel consumption figure of 8l/100km seems more than fair.

The drive and feel

The Toyota Fortuner is an SUV designed primarily to be tough off-road and comfortable on the road, even in 4x2 guise. Its high centre of gravity and hefty mass means there is noticeable body roll through corners, yet the handling proved predictable and safe. On the plus side, the softer damping set-up allows the Fortuner to soak up off-road nastiness and irregularities in the road surface with ease. Overall the Fortuner certainly offers a very relaxed and comfortable ride.

Once inside the Fortuner, you will notice it is quite lavishly appointed with all the creature comforts and convenience items you would expect at the price. Leather upholstery and various leather inserts around the cabin ensures the cabin feels kind of premium, but I am not so sure about the wood-look trim. This said the quality of the materials is good and after more than 50 000km of mileage the cabin still appears like new. Our Fortuner also came equipped with an optional nudge bar and side-steps.

The comprehensive list of standard features included the following: Dual Zone Climate control (with rear vents), multi-function steering wheel, rain Sensor, on-board trip computer, auto headlights, infotainment system with navigation and rear park camera, key-less entry and go, electrically adjustable seats, adaptive Cruise Control, Isofix rear seats, 3 x 12V connectors, leather upholstery, stability control, seven airbags and rear diff lock.

Space and practicality

The Fortuner is all about practicality and space. Like the dimensions suggest it is large and spacious, offering seats for 7-people or mountains of loading space. The third row of seats is essentially only for kids and to increase luggage space, I am sure, however, that most Fortuner owners have these seats folded away most of the time.

Boot capacity on offer depends on the seating configuration with the Fortuner able to provide as much as a 1 080 litres of space if needed. Not only is the vehicle spacious and practical, but it remains one of the most versatile vehicles in this category due to its increased ride height and off-road capabilities, even in RWD-only format.

Is it worth buying?

It is truly clear why the Fortuner has become such a sales success in South Africa. It’s robust, delivers exceptional value and deals with day-to-day family duties with ease. If versatility, practicality and spaciousness are on the top of your SUV shopping list I must agree that there are not many vehicles that can compete with the Toyota Fortuner.

We love it for its high-quality execution and the durability on offer. We also appreciate the fact that it ages exceptionally well and that if you ever want to sell, you won’t have a challenge finding a buyer. There are loads of luxury features, it’s practical, spacious and versatile as a 7-seater. It may not be as powerful or refined as some European SUVs on sale today, but you can rest assured that if you buy a Fortuner you will be very happy with your purchase.


Make & Model: 2019 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 (A) 4x2

Pre-owned price as tested: R519 900

Mileage: 58 423km

Warranty: Remainder of 3-Year/100 000km

Service plan: Remainder of 5 Year/90 000km

Fuel consumption: 8l/100km (combined cycle, average)

0-100km/h: 10.8 seconds

Contact: Assif Majid from Motus Toyota Parktown at (011) 276 0600 to buy this Fortuner or one just like it.


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