PAJERO FORTUNE R EVEREST
Practical but pricey
These things can do it all but they aren’t cheap. The Pajero Sport is the price leader, the XLS in at $58,990 and the more spec laden VRX (on test) goes for $63,990. The Fortuner has three grades; we sampled the base model GX auto at $72,990, while the top Limited is $78,990. Everest requires a small mountain of money, the Trend being $75,990 while the Titanium is a ridiculous $87,990. But it seems no one pays that much. Mitsi already has its truck on sale for as low as $48,990 and $58,990 for the VRX, making it even better value, while on Trade Me, you’ll find Everest Trend with demo kays for $62k. And no doubt Toyota will quickly apply a good discount too. As to which variant we’d go for, the VRX seems worth the small extra asked as it gets all the active safety and comfort features, while we’d opt for the Everest Trend due to a fairly comprehensive specification that includes the active safety features. We think the GXL at $75,990 is the best value Fortuner. Spec highlights for the Pajero Sport VRX include active cruise, auto emergency braking and a surround view camera. It’s infotainment system at first seems basic but it offers both Apple Carplay and Andriod Auto to turn your phone into a 4x4. It has pleated leather seats and heaters up front as well as a smart key. And there’s Mitsi’s big warranty period as well. There are no third-row seats however. We had a Fortuner GX on test, it’s manual air con system was quaint, but not many liked the brown and black interior décor. It has a smart key but lacks sat nav. As we said, we think GXL is the best model to buy as it gets a few extras like navigation. The Everest in Titanium spec gets everything, even powered third-row seats and self-parking, though oddly lacks a smart key and Isofix latches, despite the ute having the latter. Like the others, it has seven air bags and a five-star safety rating. The Fortuner is the only truck not offering any sort of advanced active safety features, and while we are at it, the reversing camera takes too long to activate after start up too. It’s hard to go past the Pajero Sport if value is your thing as it offers the lot for the least asked. Unless you need seven seats, that is.