Wag­ons based on utes sub­scribe to the lat­est fam­ily for­mula. Craig Duff checks the tough trucks

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -


The mid-spec GXL has most of the Mit­subishi fare, ex­clud­ing the ac­tive driv­ing aids and rear seat DVD. The ba­sic price buys a six-speed man­ual and it costs $2000 to fit an auto, which brings a 30Nm boost in torque. Ser­vic­ing is ev­ery six months or 10,000km and costs $180 a visit. Over the three-year war­ranty pe­riod, that amounts to $1080.


De­rived from the HiLux, it comes with oc­ca­sional third-row seat­ing. The back pews fold to the side rather than tum­ble into the floor, so the ex­posed floor mounts are just wait­ing to snag a par­cel. Old-school in­te­rior has a ver­ti­cal lay­out through the cen­tre stack, with vents, seven-inch touch­screen and air­con con­trols cas­cad­ing down. The side bol­sters on the seats help sup­port knees when off-road.


The 2.8-litre turbo diesel is com­pa­ra­ble with the Mit­subishi on out­puts but it’s haul­ing a slightly heav­ier body, so per­for­mance is about on par. Claimed fuel use with the sixspeed auto is 8.6L/100km and it will haul 2.8 tonnes of boat, horse float or car­a­van.


A five-star ANCAP rat­ing and a crash-test score of 33.95/37 put the For­tuner into sedan ter­ri­tory for safety. That’s backed by seven airbags and, when driven off-road, a suite of trac­tion aids for travers­ing hills and a va­ri­ety of sur­faces. Pedes­trian pro­tec­tion is even rated as good.


The For­tuner drives like a beefier Toy­ota Kluger on the road and like a LandCruiser off the black­top. There’s still some body move­ment around turns but it feels more set­tled on the bitumen and only marginally less so in the scrub. The com­pro­mise is smarter than the Mit­subishi’s, given such ve­hi­cles will spend the ma­jor­ity of their time on the tar­mac.

$52,990 18.5pts

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