People’s SUV champ gets ready for the next round

DURING AN improbable, challenging year, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) has soldiered on and kept a stiff upper lip amid the black swan event of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seemingly undaunted, the country’s automotive leader trotted out new iterations of the Wigo, Vios, Corolla Cross, and Hilux. Last Saturday, TMP added to that number with the launch of the refreshed Fortuner. Launched online, the mid-size SUV’s new iteration is seen as “highly anticipated” as it has been one of the most popular models in the Toyota lineup.

Since the nameplate’s introduction in 2005, the Fortuner has sold over 220,000 units, according to TMP. This successful run thus far was underscored by a 2017 recognition as the best-selling vehicle in the country across all categories. Yes, the Fortuner that year outsold all other models — even in more inexpensive classes.

Toyota reported in a release that, just last August, the model “dominated the mid-sized SUV category with over 30% market share.”

Said TMP President Atsuhiro Okamoto during the online launch streamed on Facebook and YouTube: “The Fortuner captured the hearts of many Filipinos as proven by strong sales. It has an SUV body perfect for the Philippines’ flood-prone streets, an array of variants including a fuel-efficient diesel engine, a macho look that satisfies desires, and most of all, an affordable price — making it an achievable dream.”

He added that when it first arrived, the Fortuner helped redefine the local automotive scene which was then dominated by “entry-level sedans and Asian utility vehicles” as affordable options.

The refreshed Fortuner collection is led by the LTD in 4×4 and 4×2 trims, followed by Q and V AT variants, and a G trim in AT and MT. The line, underscored TMP, is said to be “more confident, prestigious, safe.”

The LTD trims are marked by a two-tone motif with black roof, along with new sculpted front and rear bumpers. These variants also get machine-cut 18-inch alloy wheels, split-type LED headlamps and LED front foglamps, sequential turn signal lamps, and redesigned LED rear combination lamps.

On the other hand, the Q and V variants get LED foglamps and recast LED rear combination lamps, along with bi-beam LED headlamps with LED line-guide daytime running lamps (DRLs). G trims come with bi-beam LED headlights and LED DRLs as well.

A smart entry function and push start system are available for LTD, Q, and V grades. “The LTD variant features an elegant interior in leather with maroon accents, as well as galaxy black trim and interior illumination which adds to the sophisticated interior look of the vehicle. The Q variant also gets the classy black leather interior complemented by a dark wood trim,” shared TMP.

Eco and Sport drive modes are available on LTD and Q variants, while V and G variants get Eco and Power. The whole lineup is given an Apple CarPlay/Android Auto-compatible audio system, with LTD, Q, and V getting an eight-inch display audio. LTD variants feature a nine-speaker JBL sound system.

The LTD receives a front-seat ventilation system; both the LTD and Q feature eight-way power adjust front seats. Wireless charging and rear USB chargers are supplied in the LTD, Q, and V grades.

Under the hood of the LTD and Q rumble power plants powering the 1GD-FTV giving 201hp and 500Nm; the V and G variants find motivation in the 2.4-liter 2GD-FTV engine which gives 147hp and 400Nm. TMP reported that the 2GD engine “is improved for the MC Fortuner V and G variants and enjoys 5% improvement in fuel efficiency versus the previous-generation Fortuner.” If you remember, these two improved power plants also appear on the new Hilux launched previously.

Perhaps most significant in the Fortuner refresh is the debut of the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) suite of safety and driver-assistive functions in the model. Making its appearance in the LTD and Q trims are a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, and adaptive cruise control.

The whole lineup gets SRS air bags (seven bags on the LTD), three-point ELR seat belts, ABS with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, vehicle stability control with traction control, and hill-start assist. The 4×4 LTD additionally gets downhill assist control. All variants also come with six clearance and back sonars, in addition to the Panoramic View Monitor that comes with the LTD, Q, and V trims or reverse camera for the G.

The new Toyota Fortuner will be available starting today at all TMP dealerships nationwide. It is also available for viewing via Toyota’s Virtual Showroom. For more information, visit Follow the official social media pages at ToyotaMotorPhilippines (Facebook and Instagram), @ToyotaMotorPH (Twitter), and Toyota PH (Viber and Telegram).