Monday, January 18, 2016

Used Car Review - Toyota Fortuner (2005-2015)

Myk Belmonte invites you to revisit a vehicle that had a segment boomed.

2005-2015 Toyota Fortuner

If there is one accomplishment that Toyota can write on their resume, it would be IMV, or Innovative International Multi-Purpose Vehicle. For those who don't know what the platform meant, a number of vehicles share a single platform, transmission, and engines while selling it in numerous emerging economies around the world. Vehicles that had utilized this platform included the seventh generation Hilux, the Innova (basically a fifth generation Kijang), and the Fortuner. Notice hard under their suspension and you'll see that most components are shared with one another.

Developed mostly by Thais together with their Japanese counterparts, the Fortuner replaced the Hilux Sport Rider which is based on the previous generation Hilux mostly for Asian consumption. Facelift models of the IMV vehicles were designed by Toyota Australia, who is also responsible for the second generation model. The formula is simple, provide three rows of seats and an option between rear or 4x4 drive-train. Although the Fortuner and Hilux were successful in Thailand, success outside were mixed.

Slotting between the RAV4 and Land Cruiser Prado in terms of size and price, the Fortuner was the last of the three IMV vehicles to arrive here. Wheras the Ford Everest came in first with success, it was the Fortuner that had defined the segment especially it sold more than the nearest rival plus numerous competitors came to the scene. Despite rivals that have more power or are cheaper were available, it would be the Fort's fault to boom a segment that will outpace the AUV. Variants include the G in both 2.5 and 2.7 engines and the V with either 2.5 or 3.0 4x4.

Value and Costs
Oldest examples that date back to 2005 will cost you for as low as P570,000 while later bought examples set you back P1,250,000. As usual the 2.7 gas are priced low compared to their diesel counterparts, which makes the gasoline a good pick if you don't drive too much. For peace of mind, units bought from February 2013 and later are wise buys to get the remainder of the warranty while check out Toyota Certified Pre-Owned's inventory as they are inspected and certified. Lastly, the Fortuner has the highest resale value among its peers.

If you are buying a diesel model, do check the EGR valve especially of its exposure to low quality fuel while earlier releases of the 2.5 engine had a problem with the suction valve that had a tendency to stop due to fuel, so check if this had been replaced to adapt with local fuel. Another nibble to check if you are considering a manual transmission model if it shifts smoothly.

Exterior and Interior
Basing on its design, you'll mistaken this one for something priced twice or thrice as much. The front profile gives you an "in your face" impression for the first releases while later ones get a more subdued treatment, while the side and rear go with the flow and contributes to a subdued body. This vehicle also dropped the usual spare tire at the back like other SUVs, instead the spare tire is situated below. A hood scoop comes standard for the 3.0 V and 2013 onward 2.5 diesel units, in which for the latter a response for VNT technology. Gun metal rims came standard for 2015 models while an optional TRD body kit became available.

Innova and Hilux owners will feel right at home, especially the Fort's dashboard layout is similar to the first two vehicles because of platform sharing, although there are several differences that exist especially the climate control unit is an automatic type one, as opposed to the rotary type of its cousins. Throughout the years, there were changes inside ranging from the interior color to the steering wheel design that resembles other Toyota vehicles and the audio headunit which gained an auxiliary jack to touchscreen monitors that can accommodate a navigation system and DVD tuner. Do take note that August 2006 models and below do only have fabric seats (2014 G models have them later on) and lack manual air conditioning for the rear occupants. When it comes to seating capacity, they can accommodate anyone except for the third row that only short people are welcome and when it comes to folding capacity, it can be stowed sideways.

Initially, a 2TR-FE 2.7 gasoline with 158hp at 5,200rpm and 241Nm at 3,800rpm and a 1KD-FTV 3.0 diesel possessing 163hp at 3,400rpm and 343Nm at 1,400-3,200rpm were made available. Months later a 2KD-FTV 2.5 diesel having 102hp at 3,600rpm and 200Nm at 1,400-3,400rpm joined the fray, and later on upgraded in August 2012 that now carries 142hp at 3,400rpm and 343Nm at 1,600-2,800rpm. How do these engines perform then, the 2.7 is a smooth performer with plenty of reserve power to boot, the 3.0 has gobs of horsepower and powerband is reachable in the early range, the 2005 to 2012 2.5 is adequate for city driving but lacks oomph for long cruises no thanks to lowly figures while getting the VNT power units will reward you more power as opposed to the predecessor but there isn't much of a difference.

Driving Impressions
An advantage of this vehicle is the light steering for such a heavy vehicle, which is a godsend for tight spaces while braking is fine thanks to standard ABS system for all models. One complaint is the stiff ride that is pinned to the suspension which was reworked numerous times to absorb road imperfections without that floaty feeling. Do take note this is a truck based vehicle, and not a car based so it is not still 100% smooth.

Despite rivals coming to the scene, the Fortuner soldiers on with numerous changes that people find throughout the years. It may have some advantages and disadvantages against popular competitors, this one still has some fans.

The Good:
  • Wide availability of units
  • Light handling
  • Durability
The Bad:
  • That stiff ride
  • 2.5 non-VNT lacks oomph
  • Tight third row
The Pick: 3.0 V or 2.5 G with VNT

Engines: 2,693cc 2TR-FE I4 gasoline (G), 2,494cc 2KD-FTV I4 (G and V) and 2,982cc 1KD-FTV I4 (V) diesel
Power: 158hp @ 5,200rpm (2.7 G), 102hp @ 3,600rpm (2.5 G 2005-2012), 142hp @ 3,400rpm (2.5 G and V 2013-2015), 163hp @ 3,400rpm (3.0 V)
Torque: 241Nm @ 3,800rpm (2.7 G), 200Nm @ 1,400-3,400rpm (2.5 G 2005-2012), 343Nm @ 1,600-2,800rpm (2.5 G and V 2013-2015), 343Nm @ 1,400-3,200rpm (3.0 V)
Fuel Consumption: 6-9km/L (city), 10-13km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front double wishbone, rear 4-link

Price (New): P1,270,000-P1,850,000 (range from 2005 to 2015)
Price (Now): P570,000-P1,250,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Trailblazer, Ford Everest, Isuzu Alterra, Isuzu MU-X, Mitsubishi Montero Sport
On Sale: 2005-2015

Toyota Makati - (02) 897-3333

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