2023 Toyota Fortuner Review

By Alexi Falson on 09 Sep 2023
image for 2023 Toyota Fortuner Review
Overall Rating
out of 10
  • Rock-solid engine
  • Rear diff-lock in base model GX
  • Tough & adventurous platform
  • Spacious cabin
  • Lacks conventional SUV user-friendliness around town
  • Ageing interior layout
  • Important safety kit reserved for range-topping Crusade variant
  • Hybrid variants joining the lineup in 2024
    • 80L
    • 201
    • 3400 / 1600
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
The Fortuner is Toyota’s adventurous seven-seat family SUV that combines everything buyers love about a large, practical platform with a tough and versatile platform.

While a number of its rivals are considered softer, road-focussed SUV packages, the Fortuner rides on a 4x4 platform borrowed from the HiLux that isn’t afraid to get its toes dirty, making it a great on-paper option for road-trippers and large families alike.

With a brand new Fortuner on the horizon in 2024, though, are you better off waiting for the replacement or jumping in before an almost-certain price rise? Let’s take a closer look at the Toyota Fortuner range to find out.

Toyota Fortuner Competition

Toyota Fortuner

Isuzu MU-X
Ford Everest
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
Nissan Pathfinder

Starting Price: $53,775

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How Much Does It Cost?

Prices for the Toyota Fortuner range kick off from $53,775 for the entry-level Fortuner GX, while the mid-range Fortuner GXL is priced at $58,895 and Toyota’s range-topping Fortuner Crusade is priced at $66,775.

Keep in mind that these are retail prices that do not include on-road costs.

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Toyota Fortuner (GXL) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Series GUN156R
Variant GXL
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
CO2 201
ANCAP security rating 5

What Features Does the Toyota Fortuner Have?

The entry-level Toyota Fortuner GX comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloys and comes fitted with automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors, air conditioning, side steps, a rear locking differential, an air-conditioned cooler box and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Stepping up to the Fortuner GXL adds some chrome exterior highlights, keyless entry & start, dual-zone climate control, a leatherette steering wheel, LED fog lights, roof rails, hill-descent control and a sat-nav & DAB+ upgrade for the infotainment system.

Finally, the range-topping Fortuner Crusade comes fitted with LED headlights & daytime running lamps, a powered boot lift, alloy spare wheel, leather upholstery with a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a surround-view camera and faux wood interior highlights.

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys 

  • Locking rear differential 

  • Automatic headlights 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Rear-view camera with rear parking sensors 

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

  • Chrome exterior highlights (GXL)

  • Hill-descent control (GXL)

  • LED fog lights (GXL)

  • Roof rails (GXL)

  • LED headlights (Crusade)

  • Powered boot lift (Crusade)

  • Leather upholstery (Crusade)

  • Surround-view camera (Crusade)

Is the Toyota Fortuner Comfortable to Drive?

The Fortuner is a great option for families looking for an adventurous SUV package that can double as a family-friendly daily driver, not the other way around.

While a number of competitors are softer, its hardcore, HiLux-borroed underpinnings feel a bit rough around the edges, though they have translated to some extremely impressive off-road abilities for a family SUV, namely thanks to the suspension and powerplant underneath the bonnet.

Power comes supplied by the same 2.8-litre turbo-diesel unit you’ll find in the HiLux, which now produces 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

This gives the large Fortuner platform a heap of torque at its disposal, which helps to pick up speed without much of a fuss, while the six-speed automatic behaves itself at low speeds around town and on the highway.

Around town, the Fortuner isn’t the most user-friendly package to pilot, and takes some time to acclimatise to the heavy-weighted steering and the sheer amount of rotations you’ll be making while navigating a tight car park, for example.

On the highway, it’s happy to bumble around with low engine revs while the suspension eats up bumps on the road without much of an issue, while the ride quality can be a little bouncy at lower speeds due to the suspension package.

The driving experience isn’t what you’d call refined, though this all hints at the Fortuner’s rugged nature and the versatility of the package when sealed roads stop.

It will confidently go far further than many of its softer SUV rivals, making for a great adventurous SUV package that isn’t afraid to get its toes dirty, while braked towing figures of 3100kg mean it can tow large cargo without much of an issue.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Toyota’s 2.8-litre turbo-diesel powering the Fortuner is rated at 7.6L/100km on a combined cycle, making it relatively fuel efficient for a large seven-seat SUV package, largely thanks to the turbo-diesel powerplant.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Inside, the Toyota Fortuner offers an impressive amount of space for Australian families, and while the design won’t inspire many buyers, it retains a number of important practical touches and useable third-row space.

Up front, the driver and front passenger pick up a dashboard and centre console layout that is seemingly identical to the HiLux, which means there’s a tall dashboard that makes the interior feel substantial.

Thankfully, the Fortuner offers the same amount of space in the front of the cabin, which means even the tallest of drivers won’t have a problem getting comfortable.

Practical touches in the front of the cabin include cup holders that pop out of the dashboard, two gloveboxes for storage, a tray behind the gear lever and even an air-conditioned cooler box to keep drinks cold in summer.

Move to the second row and there is acres of space, with decent leg and headroom figures on offer for adults, so you won’t hear many complaints from kids in the second row.

The Fortuner’s second row offers a folding armrest with cup holders, air vents and a pair of ISOFIX anchors with three top tether mounts.

The Fortuner’s third row folds up on the side of the cabin, which isn’t the most practical seven-seat arrangement when it comes to cargo space in the boot when the third row isn’t in use.

Having said that, the third row does offer more space than a number of rivals, namely thanks to the sliding second row that can help free up some real estate in the rearmost of the cabin.

Finally, the Fortuner has a boot measuring in at 200L with three rows standing, which expands to 716L with the rear folded down, and up to 1080L with both rows of seats folded.

Is it Safe?

The Toyota Fortuner has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 95% for adult protection, 84% for child protection, 88% for vulnerable road user protection and 78% for safety assist.

As standard, the Fortuner comes fitted with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-departure alerts, adaptive cruise control, trailer sway control, a rear-view camera with parking sensors and traffic sign recognition.

Unfortunately, the base model does not come fitted with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts, which are reserved for the range-topping Crusade variant.

Our Verdict: Is The Toyota Fortuner Worth it?

While it’s a little rough around the edges on a daily drive, the Toyota Fortuner offers some seriously impressive versatility on Australian roads and is a one-stop-shop for adventurous families.

For those with enough patience, Toyota has a replacement Fortuner on the horizon for 2024, which will pick up a hybrid engine option and likely more safety equipment as standard.

For those who can’t wait, don’t forget to reach out to one of our car-buying specialists who can help find you the best possible price on your dream car.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  2. 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder (150kW/500Nm) with 4x4 system 

  3. 7.6L per 100km combined cycle fuel economy 

  4. Seven seats with 200L boot space; expands to 716L with third row folded

  5. Five-star ANCAP safety rating


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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