The new “budget” 4x4 version of the everpopular Toyota Fortuner might run out of steam slightly sooner than its more powerful sibling, but it has a huge heart – and that makes it a clever buy.
Toyota has filled a gap in their lineup by offering the 2,4-litre Fortuner as a 4x4. We took it for a spin.
The Pan South African Language Board, part of the Department of Arts and Culture, has chosen “land expropriation without compensation” as its word, or phrase, of 2018. There’s no doubt land is an emotional issue, but I think “recession” would have been a better option. We all feel it tugging at our wallets, especially if you’re a tyrekicker who now has to set his or her sights on more affordable options. You fancied a BMW, but now you’ll look at a Volkswagen… Or a 2,4-litre Fortuner instead of the 2,8-litre model. There was a hole in the Fortuner line-up for a lower-spec 4x4 model and Toyota has cleverly plugged it by offering their 2,4-litre model in four-wheel-drive. It’s a deliberate move, as considered as Cyril Ramaphosa appointing Tito Mboweni as Minister of Finance. The 2,4-litre 4x4 costs R113 000 less than its bigger-engine brother, and you only lose 20 kW of power and 50 Nm of torque. You can’t adjust the seats electronically and there’s no built-in satellite navigation, but in the age of smartphones and offline maps, this is no great loss. What is tougher to swallow is the absence of a leather-covered steering wheel in a vehicle that costs more than R500 K. Herds of cattle have been sacrificed to make cheaper cars more comfortable. On the highway, the engine is quieter than the silence that precedes a banking crisis. Every now and then, however, a long hill will prove to be a challenge and the automatic transmission will search for a lower gear. Another irritation is how difficult it is to read the blueon-black display in direct sunlight. These are small things, though. All in all, this stingy, sensible Fortuner won’t move your soul like the 2,8-litre model flagship, but it’s the one that will balance the books. And that means a good night’s sleep. Sweet dreams.