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Monday, June 7, 2021

Review: 2021 Toyota Fortuner 2.4 4x2 G AT


This car needs little introduction. You, your relative, your friend, or at least someone you know own one. It’s a vehicle that transcends socioeconomic class; a vehicle found in both the garages of working men and politicians alike. It’s the Toyota Fortuner, and what you see here is the newest one around.

As a bit of a refresher, the second-generation Fortuner was launched in 2016, and at the time, it had five variants. But as more Filipinos warmed up to owning this mid-sized SUV rather than the Innova (a shame really), Toyota Motor Philippines added a sixth variant during its “big minor change” in 2020. They also culled the slow-selling gasoline version, in case you were wondering.



Despite the Fortuner’s continued push upmarket though, the G grade—the one you see here—remains their volume seller, and for good reason, too. At P 1.723 million, it occupies a price point commonly associated with 5-seater compact SUVs. More importantly, it manages to undercut its competition, based on SRP at least, while also enjoy top-of-mind recall. The only question is if the Fortuner actually deserves all this glory, or are buyers better off somewhere else?

Let’s start with something that’s infamous with the Fortuner: the ride. Toyota may have added more sound insulation or recalibrated the suspension somewhat, but there’s nothing that acted like a silver bullet. It’s still firm and truck-like whenever it goes over small ruts and bumps. Undulating roads, especially those road corrugations on SLEX designed to slow you down at curves, is its kryptonite. It sends all sorts of shudders straight into the cabin, including the steering wheel, almost unfiltered. However, as the tarmac smoothens or the potholes get larger, it finds its rhythm.



On the rare occasions when the Fortuner meets properly asphalted Manila roads, it’s actually an easy SUV to drive. Compared to any other pickup-based passenger vehicle or PPV, it offers a good level of confidence behind the wheel. The hefty steering aside, the visibility is all good and the four-wheel vented disc brakes offer confident stopping power. Those accustomed to driving smaller, more agile vehicles need just a few days to get acclimatized here. And even those who aren’t too confident at slotting it into tight spaces will be glad that Toyota’s now equipped it with corner sensors—both front and back, and a rear back-up camera as standard.

This year, the original Fortuner variants—the G and V come with the tried-and-tested 2.4-liter 2GD-FTV engine (the Q and LTD comes with the revised 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV). Power figures remain the same as before—150 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque—but Toyota says improvements to its internals make it more efficient. True enough, despite keeping its 6-speed automatic, it can actually achieve double-digit fuel economy, in this case, 10.41 km/L. That is pretty good for a two-ton SUV. Power delivery is linear, a nice balance between displacement-based torque and boost-based horsepower. It also has three switchable driving modes—Eco, Normal, and Power, but keeping things in Normal results in the smoothest experience.



In terms of aesthetics, the Fortuner gets upgrades typical with a midcycle refresh. While the headline is reserved for the luxurious LTD variant, even this G grade benefits from a larger grille and a more angular front bumper. The effect isn’t transformative, but it does lend it a more modernized appearance, especially since large maws seem to be all the rage these days.

For 2021, Toyota omitted the front fog lamps on this grade, but put in standard LED headlights with DRLs instead. It is worth point out that there’s something odd with the lighting pattern though. The DRLs are LEDs embedded in the headlamp cluster, so by default they’re on. However, at dusk (or when the park lights are manually switched on), the LEDs don’t double as the park lights. Instead, they’re bulbs located way below—at the trailing edge of the bumper beside the turn signal lights. It’s weird and doesn’t look well-integrated. Plus, there’s no way to manually turn off the headlights since it defaults to “Auto.” Couple this with sensitive light sensors, and it can be a cause for annoyance for other motorists, especially when you drive underneath overpasses.



As with its exterior, most of the Fortuner’s new toys are found in the top LTD grade. Because of this, the entry-level G remains more or less unchanged from before. Hard plastics are the order of the day, although the instrument panel does have a new soft-padded cover. The vibe is more utilitarian than luxurious with the most basic of creature comfort features, but at least everything feels well-executed. The fabric seats are well-wearing, while the controls are all laid out in a logical and ergonomic manner.

New for 2021 is the Fortuner’s infotainment system. The 7-inch display audio looks and feels low-rent (it easily washes out in direct sunlight and is the source of an annoying rattle), but at least Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard. The USB port though is located on the head unit itself so best to pack a long cable if you plan to use the smartphone connectivity.



Towards the second and third row, the Fortuner remains a roomy, flexible offering in the mid-sized SUV segment. However, because of the ceiling-mounted vents, head room for the second row’s middle occupant and the entire third row is wanting. Regardless, at least the second-row folds, slides, and tumbles in a 60/40 split upping its flexibility. Aiding access to the third row is a new one-touch tumble mechanism too. The third row meanwhile still flips to the side eating up a lot of its cargo space, but a spring-loaded mechanism and rear-mounted latch point, attached to the rearmost seatbelts, make it easier to store.

Overall, the 2021 Toyota Fortuner, at least in this G grade, doesn’t re-write the mid-sized SUV rulebook. It still sticks to the tried-and-tested formula that made it a success in the first place. Newer competitors have appeared since 2016, but its familiarity is what still makes it so acceptable up to this day. It’s been tweaked and polished, but the Fortuner is like coming home to your mama’s cooking. It’s not exactly gourmet, but it comes across as a comforting, safe choice for Filipino families.



2021 Toyota Fortuner 4x2 2.4 G

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Ownership 2021 Toyota Fortuner 4x2 2.4 G
Year Introduced 2016 (Refreshed: 2020)
Vehicle Classification Mid-sized SUV
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type Mid-sized SUV
Seating 7
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.4
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Common Rail
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 150 @ 3,400
Nm @ rpm 400 @ 1,600-2,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control No
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 10.41 @ 20 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,795
Width (mm) 1,855
Height (mm) 1,835
Wheelbase (mm) 2,745
Curb Weight (kg) 1,985
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension 4-Link, Coil Springs
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Vented Disc
Parking Brake Mechanical
Tires Dunlop GrandTrek AT25 265/65 R 17 S (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 3
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front and Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3 (2nd row),
3-pt ELR x 2 (3rd row)
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps No
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Urethane
Seating Adjustment (driver) Manual, 6-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40, Slide, Tumble (2nd row),
50/50 Side Folding (3rd row)
Sunroof No
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Manual
Proximity Key No
Climate Control Manual (Front & Rear)
Audio System Stereo
USB
Bluetooth
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
Miracast
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes

20 comments:

  1. The door closing sound is still like rattling tin cans, the steel panels are that thin & cheap. Heck, even a 2000s CR-V door sounds & feels heavier to close than this Fortuner. This is one area where these 3rd-world PPVs cheapen out on. Also, that 400Nm peak torque figure can only be sustained for 20 seconds on overboost in Power mode, it's just 330Nm max in Eco & Normal mode.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry but what year model of Fortuner are you referring to that you experience when you close the door? Because we had a 2016 Fortuner and a 2019 Montero Sport, and the sound of the door when closing is much better in our Fortuner than our Montero Sport. Even when opening the doors, it doesn't feel well built in our MS.

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  2. This fortuner is a second generation (AN150/AN160; 2015) version that came out in 2015. Why do you call it a 2021 Model? and by the way, just because a car company updates the headlights, seat fabric and stereo etc.., does this really warrant a review? its essentially the same car with purely cosmetic upgrades...I really don't see the point of reviewing a six year old car that has been reviewed before. This fortuner is a 2015 modeal albeit cosmetically enhanced. Don't call it a 2021 model... or do i stand corrected?

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    Replies
    1. Toyota calls it a "big minor change." There are tweaks done to the injectors (for the 2.4-liter) to improve fuel efficiency and supposedly some suspension work to make the ride smoother. It is a 2021 model, and not a 2015/2016 anymore.

      Overall though, it still feels pretty much like the same car launched in 2016 albeit with the aesthetic changes that you mentioned. Does it warrant a review? We'll leave that to our readers, but it is editorial policy that we review or feature every single car that's offered to us. We don't take them for joy rides. Of course, we reserve the right to reject them before they arrive at our garage.

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    2. Also, this is actually the first time we've featured the base 2.4 G. We featured the 2.8 V and the TRD previously, so it's still considered as fresh for us.

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    3. Max Motorsiklo doesn't seem to get the concept of FMCs & MMCs. Models get refreshed in the middle of their product cycles. This is true for most brands. MMC models are worthy review subjects to give readers an idea what actually changed in terms of driving experience, things you can't glean from comparing spec sheets. Also, the pre-facelift G model was never reviewed here as stated by the author.

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    4. So if this model gets cosmetic upgrades next year, it deserves another review? I find you amusing to say the least.

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    5. Depends on the level of improvements / changes. I determine if it's deserving of a review or not.

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    6. Was referring to the Anonymous' comment. Anyhow, thanks for the reply.

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    7. Why not? The more reviews, the better. You aren't being forced to read all the reviews published here. I don't read the reviews for Chinese cars here for the simple reason that I do not foresee myself buying any Chinese car in the foreseeable future. If you aren't interested in reading reviews of MMC/facelifted models, then don't read them, simple as that. It's a free country.

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    8. MxCy44, then don't read them. As if the world only revolves around you.

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  3. Fortuner sales say it all

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    Replies
    1. Yep, Turd World sheeple mentality. I won't pay almost 2M for a vehicle that has a door closing sound that sounds exactly like you'd hear from a Wigo or Vios.

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    2. @Anonymous June 7, 2021 at 4:40 PM

      Yea because you'd rather own and drive a karag karag dyip/oner dyip than any of these third world ppvs that have become so popular for the masses today.

      Delete
  4. H a mjor upgrade...led lights, apple carplay n android , most spcly d aditonal safety ftures - front n rear sensors,bak up camera, hill start assist n tractipn/stability control. For this rson 8 dsrv 2 b reviewed

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  5. H not sheeple mentality...h called durability, reliability n longevity...dats y toyota sold 10 million vehicles h yer. See...even d 1st gen fortuner s stil up running n stil looking good.

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  6. They changed the lighting system because toyota is aware of how many fortuner owners turn on the led/halogen lights during daytime. It has become such a weird trend for nearly all fortuner owners to turn on their lights during the day

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    Replies
    1. Effect of a sensitive light sensor. They should have added a sensitivity setting for the auto light sensor like Honda or Mazda. That's also the reason why there's a market for transparent domes that cover the light sensor...it makes them less sensitive.

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  7. Daming hatred sa Fortuner, inaano ba kayo? Eh di wag kayo bumili. Lol.

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  8. better improve your writing style, for us to appreciate. ty

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