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Updated Toyota Fortuner wages power war against rivals

The 201hp engine will have some of its rivals watching their backs

The Toyota Fortuner's 1GD engine gets a significant performance bump to 201hp. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Even if the Fortuner did not have a Toyota badge, we feel like the car would still fly off showroom floors as it has been a byword of Filipino families looking for a dependable seven-seat SUV. The Japanese carmaker could have gotten away with just a cosmetic facelift, but no. Toyota is pulling out the big guns with the refreshed Fortuner and it starts from under the hood.

Prospective buyers of the Fortuner now have more flavors to choose from. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

The 1GD-FTV mill gets a decent power bump with 201hp and a rather meaty 500Nm of torque. And this is not some high-strung, small-displacement engine that is being forced to generate these figures. The 2.8-liter engine has large pistons and con rods that are strong enough to take the amount of horsepower being chucked at them, which means the Fortuner’s souped-up heart should last a lifetime.

Even the transmission is not something fancy with a thousand gear ratios for the engine to choose from. Toyota deems the usual six-speed automatic gearbox adequate for the engine’s increased performance. And that is good, since the Fortuner will be able to spend more time accelerating than shifting gears. In addition, the top-spec powertrain is available in both two- and four-wheel drive.

Of course, less-expensive variants still get the venerable 2GD-FTV engine with 148hp and 400Nm, more than enough still for daily-driver duties when outright power is not required. This engine can be had with either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission with Toyota claiming a 5% improvement in fuel efficiency.

The top-spec LTD variant gets all of the styling goodies. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Prospective buyers will be pleased to know they now have more choices with the face-lifted Fortuner. Four-wheel drive is exclusive on the LTD trim level which, interestingly, also comes with a two-tone livery in silver or pearl white paired with a black roof. The Q variant does not come in duotone hues but retains all the goodness from the uprated 2.8-liter engine. The V grade, which used to be the top-spec model, is now the better-equipped of the 2.4-liter models. The G variant rounds out the list, ideal for budget-conscious clients.

No need for fiddly phone holders. All Fortuner variants have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

To match the improved performance, Toyota has spruced up its PPV contender with a little plastic surgery. The LTD gets headlamp assemblies with distinctive LED running light accents, refreshed taillights, split radiator grille, and machine-cut 18-inch alloys. The rest of the model range gets updated bi-beam LED headlights, while Q and V trim levels receive new taillights.

For tech-savvy buyers, all Fortuner variants thankfully now have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, just like the Hilux. Rear-seat USB ports and a wireless charging pad are standard on the LTD, Q, and V grades. Of course, the top-spec LTD once again gets all the good stuff such as a premium nine-speaker JBL audio system and seat ventilators for the front occupants.

Convenience features ensure that the Fortuner is at the forefront of the high-tech game. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

The new Fortuner does not skimp on safety features with all trim levels antilock brakes, traction control, and stability control. Three airbags are standard on all but the LTD variant which gets seven. Parking should no longer be a hassle with rear-parking sensors, reversing camera (for G models), and panoramic monitor (V, Q, and LTD). Toyota Safety Sense makes its debut on the Fortuner Q and LTD sporting lane-departure warning, autonomous braking, and adaptive cruise control.

The Fortuner finally gets Toyota Safety Sense. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Prices for the refreshed Toyota Fortuner are as follows.

  • 2.8 4×4 LTD AT – P2,404,000
  • 2.8 4×2 LTD AT – P2,244,000
  • 2.8 4×2 Q AT – P1,998,000
  • 2.4 4×2 V AT – P1,827,000
  • 2.4 4×2 G AT – P1,723,000
  • 2.4 4×2 G MT – P1,633,000

The White Pearl Crystal Shine paint job for LTD models comes with a P10,000 premium. Pearlescent colors for the Q and V grades are available for an additional P15,000.

The Fortuner’s upgraded engine, revised styling, and more extensive equipment list will certainly get buyers lining up with their checkbooks once again.

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.