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Future models - Toyota - Fortuner

Toyota reveals Fortuner interior, more variant specs

Best of both: Toyota promises an ‘upmarket’ interior for the Fortuner that belies its rugged off-road abilities.

Fortuner interior departs from HiLux origins at Toyota readies SUV for local launch

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Toyota logo3 Aug 2015

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

TOYOTA has moved to rain on Ford’s Everest parade, revealing the first Australian-spec interior shots of its similarly truck-based Fortuner off-road wagon ahead of its launch in October – the same month that the Blue Oval’s Australian-developed rival also hits the road.

Released today amid first overseas drive reports of the Everest, the new Fortuner images demonstrate a significant departure in the seven-seat cabin design from the HiLux ute on which it is based, while Toyota has also provided more detail on what to expect specification-wise from the three-variant line-up.

A curvaceous dashboard design culminating in hump-mounted face-level central vents echoes the Corolla small car, as do chrome-rimmed instruments and blue back-lighting, meaning the Fortuner’s interior shares more design cues with Toyota’s passenger car range than its RAV4 or Kluger SUV brethren.

There are clear dash architecture similarities with the HiLux, but it is plain to see that Toyota has aimed to visually distance the Fortuner from its commercial vehicle underpinnings.

Only the multi-function steering wheel – with both tilt and reach adjustment – is obviously carried over.

Images of the entry-level GX variant and Crusader flagship illustrate the presence of seven-inch touchscreen technology (with Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary audio inputs) plus classy-looking upholstery and surface finishes across the range.

Padding flanks the central stack to keep knees comfortable and a temperature-controlled compartment can keep drinks cool or takeaways warm.

Between the instruments is a multi-function display that has a dot-matrix screen on the GX, but GXL and Crusade variants get a full-colour TFT.

The GXL also has keyless entry/start plus premium steering wheel and gear selector trim, paddle-shifters for the optional automatic transmission and rear privacy glass.

Top-spec Crusade variants add leather upholstery, satellite navigation, digital radio, automatic climate-control, an eight-way electric driver’s seat adjustment, an electric tailgate, a 220V power outlet, imitation wood trim and a soft-touch central armrest/storage box lid.

All three rows get air-conditioning vents, controlled by a ceiling-mounted panel above the central bench.

The two third-row seats have reclining backrests and Toyota claims the scalloped floor and ceiling enable adults to ride in the back – secured by three-point belts.

When not in use, these seats fold up against the sides of the boot and the centre bench has a 60/40 split-fold facility, a “one-touch slide-and-tumble” system to ease access to the third row plus Isofix and top tethers for the outer positions.

Pricing and final specifications remain under wraps, but Toyota plans to position the Fortuner below the big-selling Prado (which starts from $51,990 plus on-road costs), meaning the new model’s starting price is likely to begin with a four.

For comparison, the Holden Colorado 7 starts at $47,990 with a standard automatic transmission and manual four-wheel-drive variants of the Isuzu MU-X are priced from $45,600. Meanwhile Ford is pitching its Everest at Prado buyers, from $54,990.

As reported, the Fortuner is confirmed to share the new HiLux’s 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine, producing in the region of 130kW of power and, depending on whether a manual or automatic transmission (both six-speed) is fitted, 420Nm or 450Nm of torque respectively.

Manuals have a maximum braked towing capacity of three tonnes, with automatics limited to 2.8 tonnes.

Toyota says the Fortuner’s double-wishbone front and five-link coil-sprung rear suspension has been tuned in Australia for local conditions and tastes.

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