2004-2015 Toyota Fortuner Review

My latest rental car was the Toyota Fortuner.   I’m not sure the exact year, but it was the previous generation model.    I needed a seven seater for a holiday in Thailand and the Fortuner was the largest car offered by Thai rent-a-car.   The Fortuner is based on the Hilux with the SUV body instead of the pickup truck.  The name sounds like it should be on a Pirate ship rather than a car.  I get mental images of swashbuckling pirates seeking gold and fortune.  Instead I’m driving a glorified Hilux.    As as seven seater the Fortuner works OK, although cars like the Tarago are superior people carriers.

Toyota Fortuner

This Toyota Fortuner is the 3.0 turbo diesel model.   Unlike the last couple of woefully underpowered rental cars, the 3.0 diesel has plenty of power, especially around town.   It has loads of torque down low and the transmission is geared for economy.   This leviathan gave me about 11l/100km which is excellent.  Those numbers included some extended idling to keep the A/C running.   This is better than the 3 cylinder hatchbacks I’ve had as previous rental cars.    The only downside of the engine is that it doesn’t like to rev so its fairly poor trying to overtake on the open road.   The acceleration from 60-120km/h is fairly average.

The A/C in the car is quite effective.  The only time it didn’t quite keep up was idling for about 20 minutes at 38C.    It has a separate button for rear A/C, which I left on the entire time we used the car.

The suspension is quite soft and the ride quality is only average.   Interior comfort is reasonably good, although it doesn’t have much in the way of tech.   It took me about 20 minutes to connect my phone to the bluetooth after much trial and error.   I had to first go deep into the setup and delete the previously connected phone.    Some people like the high driving position but I just found the ride quality substandard.

The biggest problem with the Toyota Fortuner is to do with the rear seat setup.   We had two child seats in the middle row.   This meant that 3rd row passengers have to enter the car from the tailgate which is very high.   We had a pensioner and a child in the 3rd row.   This meant the pensioner had to attempt to climb in through the back with one half of the rear seat folded up.   Then, the other half was unfolded, the booster seat passed over the back and the child lifted over the back into the booster seat.   It was a major pain.    Once the 3rd row is set up there is very little luggage space at all.

Overall the Fortuner has a good engine around town and is surprisingly frugal.   It’s a bit of a pain as a seven seater and only average to drive.

Rating: 3/5

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