Toyota just pulled the covers off the facelifted Fortuner, and there's a lot to talk about.
What Toyota did to the 2020 edition is more than just a cosmetic update, as it packs upgrades in the tech and engine department too. But just how much of a change is the 2020 Fortuner from the 2019 model? Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Whereas last year's model had just one version, the latest one has two. Now, there's the standard and the top-spec Legender series. The Legender comes with a different pair of bumpers, Bi-LED headlights, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
As for the standard 2020 models, the new grill replaces the chrome-slatted one in last year's model. The shape of the bumper itself isn't all that different from the current one though. One noticeable difference though are the fog light housings, which are bigger in the latest version of the SUV. Toyota also added a faux skid plate for the latest edition. Another thing we spotted was a pair of LED daytime running lights just below the fog light housings, and that certainly wasn't there before.
Toyota had ditched the two-tone diamond-cut wheels for the new Fortuner. It now has a totally new design which sports a 12-spoke pattern. Over at the rear, the taillights have a new pattern, and it somewhat reminds us of the ones seen in the Camry.
From what we can see, there is only one major change to the cabin, and that's the instrument cluster. The current Fortuner sports black dials with white font. There was also an orange ring around it too. All of that's gone with the dials emitting a blue glow, and Toyota even changed the font which appears smaller than before.
This is where the Fortuner has made leaps and bounds. When the second-generation Fortuner was first released in 2016, Toyota Safety Sense wasn't a thing yet. Four years later, and the automaker is fitting it on more cars. The new Fortuner benefits from this active safety system, which includes features like Automatic Emergency Braking, Radar-guided Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Alert. It remains to be seen if local-spec Fortuners will have that system fitted, but it would be a neat addition nonetheless.
From having one of the least powerful engines among its peers, the 2.8-liter turbodiesel that powers the 4x4 model brings it near the top of its class. When it first came out four years ago, that engine made 177 PS and 450 Nm of torque. With the new one, that climbs up to 204 PS and 500 Nm. That's an increase of 27 PS and 50 Nm of torque. That makes it more powerful than the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Isuzu Mu-X, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, and Nissan Terra. This upgraded engine is only second to the Ford Everest, which makes 212 PS. It does match the Ford for torque though.
What stays the same?
In the end, this is still a facelift model, so its chassis is still the same. The same goes for most of its metal panels. Its doors and fenders still look the muck like before. Inside, it's the familiar Fortuner cabin with no tweaks to the dash and door panels. And for those hoping for Toyota to change the SUV's third-row mechanism, you might have to wait a little bit longer for that fix. You'll still have to swing those seats up to stow them.
And while the 2.8-liter gets a big power boost, the same couldn't be said for the base 2.4-liter. Its output is still the same at 150 PS and 400 Nm of torque. However, Toyota did say that they have upgraded it in the aspect of efficiency and economy.
Like you, we're excited to try out this new Fortuner. We expect some other improvements in steering and ride, but we can't confirm it right now. We also want to see more standard kit fitted to this model as well. The power boost is a welcome change, along with the fresher look which takes a few years off its now-familiar design.
The question now is this: When will it be launched here? If the current situation improves, we might be lucky enough to see it here before the year ends.