Review - Toyota Fortuner

By Alexi Falson on 19 Oct 2021
image for Review - Toyota Fortuner The Toyota Fortuner is billed as a family-friendly, seven-seat SUV that actually shares a platform with the HiLux workhorse, giving its real-world practicality a significant boost in terms of off-road prowess and towing abilities.

To make things even better, Toyota has given the Fortuner range a fairly significant update for the 2022 model year, including a revised and more powerful engine, upgraded towing capacity, more interior features and exterior design flares as standard. 

The problem for the Fortuner, however, is that even in a refreshed format, it goes toe-to-toe with some of the industry’s giants in a hotly-competitive market segment, meaning Toyota’s update will have to be more than skin deep to assert itself from its competitors. With that in mind, just how capable and family-friendly is the new Toyota Fortuner? Let’s find out. 

Starting Price: $49,715

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Toyota Fortuner (GX) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Series GUN156R
Variant GX
Fuel type DIESEL
Drive 4x4
Engine TCDI
Engine capacity 2755
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 3400 / 1600
Cylinders DT4
Torque 500
KW 150
Fuel tank size 80.0
Fuel usage specs 7.6 / 0.0
CO2 201
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Toyota Fortuner car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The entry-level Toyota Fortuner is priced from $49,715 for the Fortuner GX, while stepping up to the mid-range GXL comes at a cost of $55,085. Finally, the range-topping Toyota Fortuner Crusade is priced from $62,945. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs. 

Optional extras for the entry-level GX include DAB+ digital radio and satellite navigation for $1,000, while the GXL can be optioned with powered, leather seats for $2,500. 

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You? 

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you. 

What Features Does the Toyota Fortuner Have?

The entry-level Fortuner GX comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, and receives automatic headlights, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto paired with a six-speaker sound system, dark grey fabric seats, side steps, a rear locking differential, front and rear manual air conditioning, 4.2-inch multifunction display, a reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors and an air conditioned cooler box inside the cabin, as well as Toyota’s Safety Sense system which we’ll cover in the safety section of this review. 

Opting for the mid-range Fortuner GXL adds a set of LED fog lamps and roof rails, as well as chrome exterior finishes, rear privacy glass, satellite navigation and DAB+ digital radio for the infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters and hill-descent control for off-roading. 

Finally, Toyota’s flagship Fortuner Crusade comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, and receives LED lights and daytime running lamps, leather upholstery with artificial wood grain finishes, a powered boot lift, surround-view camera, powered driver’s seat, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a full-sized spare alloy wheel, 220V accessory port, as well as blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alerts. 

Range Features: 

  • 17-inch alloys 

  • Fabric seats 

  • Reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors 

  • Side steps

  • Rear locking differential 

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • Six speaker sound system 

  • Air conditioned cooler box 

  • Automatic headlights 

  • Chrome exterior finishes (GXL) 

  • LED fog lamps (GXL) 

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters (GXL) 

  • Roof rails (GXL) 

  • Satellite navigation and DAB+ digital radio (GXL) 

  • 18-inch alloys (Crusade)

  • LED headlights and daytime running lamps (Crusade)

  • Leather upholstery (Crusade)

  • Powered boot lift (Crusade) 

  • Surround-view camera (Crusade)

Toyota Fortuner Colours

Glacier White Crystal Pearl
Silver Sky Graphite
Eclipse Black Phantom Brown
Phantom Brown Feverish Red

Is it Comfortable to Drive? 

While the Fortuner might share its platform with the rugged, more hardcore HiLux ute, Toyota has done a great job in transitioning its underpinnings from a workhorse into a more comfortable family-appropriate package, while retaining its ability to push off-road and tow large objects. 

First impressions of the Fortuner as an overall driving package are reserved for the updated 2.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which has received a noticeable power and torque boost, making acceleration while overtaking on the highway effortless, while giving you the confidence while pushing off-road. Power is thrown to all four-wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, with an adjustable four-wheel drive setting for added off-road pedigree. Overall, the powertrain and transmission combination provide a smooth, relaxing drive quality on the open road, with trouble-free acceleration from the small yet powerful engine that allows you to ride the wave of torque until the next gear is engaged. 

Underneath, the Fortuner differs from its HiLux underpinnings with a revised all-round coil spring suspension design, which helps settle the Fortuner’s large mass and makes short work of bumps, undulations and rough road surfaces. This means that the Fortuner has absolutely no problem swallowing up the worst that Australian roads can throw at it, giving the driver a confidence boost while giving the occupants a supremely comfortable ride quality. 

Around town, the Fortuner offers the driver an impressive amount of visibility out front, which is absolutely necessary considering its size and the potential troubles of parking something this large without a clear line of sight. The steering has also been revised in the latest Fortuner with a system offering a lightweight, assisted feel at low speeds, making three-point turns and low-speed parks easy on the arms, while offering more feedback to the driver as the momentum picks up, which makes it a user-friendly and accommodating seven seat SUV for drivers lacking in confidence behind the wheel. 

The Fortuner as a complete package is made even more impressive by the fact that all of these user-friendly touches have been added while retaining the Fortuner’s off-road ability and towing power. Officially, the Fortuner range has a braked towing capacity of 3,100kg and unbraked capacity of 750kg, matching some of the biggest hitters in the segment and adding to the Fortuner’s appeal as an adaptable family SUV. 

Overall, then, the Toyota Fortuner manages to tick all the important boxes in terms of engine output, comfortable ride qualities and towing power while remaining an extremely easy and user-friendly vehicle to pilot around town.  

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

While the Fortuner’s front cabin design is beginning to show some clear signs of its age, the cabin has been designed to be both family-friendly and utilitarian, meaning you won’t be afraid to put it through its paces, and it’s easy to clean when you return home. The cabin features a high-rising dash housing the infotainment system and climate control settings, with some hidden cupholders and a medium-sized armrest for added practicality and storage. It also receives a double glove box for added storage, and cup holders that pop out from underneath the air vents that can be hidden away while you’re not using them. 

In the back, you’ll find a comfortable bench seat that offers a decent amount of legroom, which is perfectly suitable for adults and kids alike. Toyota has even carved out grooves in the headliner to accommodate taller passengers, making the second row of the cabin a truly comfortable place to sit even for tall rear passengers. The second row of seats has also been designed to both slide forward and backward, while also offering a reclining seat, which allows you to get more comfortable on long journeys, and also give those in the third row of the cabin some added legroom for longer trips, which is a welcomed touch from Toyota. 

The second row is also able to tumble forward, offering easy access to the third row, which can comfortably accommodate kids, with just enough room to squeeze in an adult, although this isn’t feasible for longer journeys. With that second-row pushed forward and the third-row reclined, however, there’s actually an impressive amount of space for the segment, and more than enough room for kids to get comfortable. Seats for the third row of the cabin are folded up to each side of the cabin, which allows you to squeeze in bulky items into the boot, although it does eat up into the overall capacity more than a design that folds flat into the floor. 

Overall, though, there is still a very family-friendly 200L of cargo storage in the Toyota Fortuner’s boot in the seven-seat configuration, which expands to 1,080L with the third-row folded up, allowing bulkier objects to squeeze into the cabin. For those of you with kids, the Fortuner receives easy to access ISOFIX anchor mounts and top tether points that make the process of installing even the bulkiest child seats a simple, straight-forward process. 

As a complete family-sized package, then, the Fortuner provides a huge amount of space for growing families, in a comfortable and practical cabin design that might look dated, but still provides real-world practicality when you need it. 

Is it Safe? 

The Toyota Fortuner has been awarded a five star safety rating from ANCAP, scoring an impressive 95% for adult occupant protection, 84% for child occupant protection, 88% for vulnerable road user protection and 78% for safety assistance technologies. As standard, the Fortuner range receives autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, a reversing camera with rear-mounted sensors, trailer sway control, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warnings. 

Some key safety features, however, like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts are reserved for the range-topping Crusade variant, which means the entry-level Fortuner is somewhat lacking compared to the active safety technologies of its key competitors. 

Is it Fuel Efficient

The Toyota Fortuner range is officially rated at 7.6L per 100 km on a combined cycle, which is actually more economical than some of its key competitors. Real-world driving conditions will likely see this figure rise to anywhere between 8-9L per 100km, but that relatively small capacity diesel engine, combined with a turbocharger provides a huge amount of power for the relatively modest fuel economy figures. 

Our Verdict: Is the Toyota Fortuner Worth it? 

As we’ve come to expect from a manufacturer like Toyota, the Fortuner is a vehicle that has hit each and every important consideration in its design brief. It has no problem accommodating a large family, while providing them with a powerful and comfortable platform to enjoy school runs and weekends away in a large, spacious and practical cabin. While it might be showing some signs of its age inside the cockpit, overall, the Fortuner is an exceptional offering in a competitive market segment, and is well-and-truly deserving a spot on your seven-seat SUV shortlist. On that note, if you are planning to buy a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty with six-month/10,000km service intervals 

  2. First six services capped at $250

  3. 7.6L per 100km combined cycle fuel economy 

  4. Braked towing increase from 2,800kg to 3,100kg

  5. 200L of boot space in seven-seat configuration; expands to 1,080L 


  • Powerful updated engine and smooth transmission combination 

  • Extremely comfortable suspension system for Australian roads 

  • Improved fuel economy from an updated engine 


  • Some active safety equipment reserved for range-topping Crusade variant 

  • Interior design showing signs of age 

  • Folding third-row seat design can eat up into boot storage capacity 

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

Toyota Fortuner Competition

Toyota Fortuner

Toyota RAV4
Honda CR-V
Toyota Kluger
Isuzu MU-X
Toyota Landcruiser Prado


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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