Toy­ota For­tuner Cru­sade and HiLux SR5

Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Road Trip -

Toy­ota’s long-awaited eighth-gen­er­a­tion HiLux was launched last year to an ea­ger au­di­ence of ute-lov­ing Aussies, and it has now been joined by a wagon vari­ant called the For­tuner, which is based on the same plat­form. We test both mod­els back-to-back.

The For­tuner is of­fered in GX, GXL and top-of-therange Cru­sade vari­ants. All have a 2.8-litre four-cylin­der com­mon-rail di­rect-in­jec­tion turbo-diesel en­gine with a six-speed man­ual or auto trans­mis­sion.

Max­i­mum power and torque is a claimed 130kW and 450Nm (auto); 420Nm for the man­ual.

Stan­dard fea­tures in­clude air con­di­tion­ing, rear dif­fer­en­tial lock, side steps and 17-inch steel wheels, along with sta­bil­ity and ac­tive trac­tion con­trol, seven airbags, two ISOFIX points, re­vers­ing cam­era, trailer sway con­trol and hill-start as­sist con­trol. Nice touches in­clude 4kg shop­ping bag hooks on the back of the front seats and three 12V out­lets. Our Cru­sade also had a 100W/220V power socket.

On top of th­ese fea­tures, Cru­sade gets sat­nav, power tail­gate, 18-inch al­loy wheels (in­clud­ing spare), power-op­er­ated driver’s seat and more.

For­tuner is a seven-seat wagon although third-row seats are re­ally only suited to kids. There is plenty of head- and legroom in the front and sec­ond-row.

On the road the For­tuner de­liv­ers de­cent per­for­mance and com­fort­able ride qual­ity, al­beit on the firm side, while off-road prow­ess is im­pres­sive. We tack­led a long, wind­ing course that in­cluded rocky hills, a creek-bed and climbs up and down sandy banks, and the For­tuner tack­led every­thing with HiLux-like ease; not sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing its HiLux her­itage, gen­uine low-range gear­ing and lock­able rear dif­fer­en­tial.

FOR­TUNER

Price as tested: $59,990 (Cru­sade 2.8TD man­ual) More info: www.toy­ota.com.au

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