Being the leading market in the ASEAN region, Thailand is a great place for car lovers. It gets the most car models to choose from, and it usually gets first dibs on certain vehicles for Southeast Asia. Take the Toyota Fortuner as an example. In the Philippines, Toyota’s midsize SUV has seven variants: GR-S, LTD (4×4 and 4×2), Q, V, and G (AT and MT). In the Land of Smiles, however, things just got more complicated. As the Japanese carmaker quietly updated the Fortuner, it also expanded the number of available variants.
In Thailand, there’s still the top-spec GR-S trim. Also, there are the Legender variants—the 2.8 (4×4 and 4×2) and the 2.4 4×4—which are visually similar to the LTD variants sold in our country. The lower variants (V and G) add Leader to their badges. There are additional three grades here. The 2.4 V 4WD, the 2.4 V, and the 2.4 G. As the variants’ names suggest, all are equipped with a 2.4-liter four-banger making 148hp and 400Nm. The sole transmission option is a six-speed automatic.
The new Fortuner Leaders now sport a unified look, similar to the LTD variant sold here. That means all Thai-market Fortuners will now get the updated bumper, grille, and bi-beam LED headlamps up front. You’ll also find the same two-tone, 18-inch wheels.
Rounding up the updates are the new bumpers and LED taillights. We’re just unsure if the turn lamps light up in sequential motion, like in the LTD. But the Fortuner Leader loses the two-tone paint job of the Legender.
The interior design remains mostly similar, but all grades will now have leather upholstery, eight-way power seats for the driver, and an eight-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In terms of safety, all Fortuner Leader variants will get front, side, side curtain, and driver’s knee airbags; blind-spot monitoring; and rear cross-traffic alert. The G does have cruise control and a backup camera, while the V variants get a 360° camera. But only the V 4×4 gets the Intelligent Sensor System, which is basically a set of clearance sonars.
With all of these updates, you’re probably wondering about the pricing. The Fortuner Leader starts at 1,371,000 baht (P2.163 million) for the G, and tops out at 1,560,000 baht (P2.46 million). What Toyota Thailand did to the Fortuner is interesting, with minimal differences between the seven variants, unlike the ones sold here in the Philippines.
If the last generation of Toyota’s IMV will be our basis, this could be the final refresh before the all-new models come in. For now, let’s see if Toyota Motor Philippines follows its Thai counterpart’s lead.