The new Toyota Fortuner has finally arrived in Thailand, but what has changed with the Japanese brand’s popular SUV? It now comes with two variations and with new faces, added features safety features and more technology
Let's take a closer look at what Toyota exactly did to its popular SUV to refresh it for the 2021 model year. In this face-off segment, we will take a look at the older and new versions of the Toyota Fortuner. There are quite a few updates, so let's get started.
First on the list for 2021 Toyota Fortuner Is its new face. Toyota has decided to split the new SUV into two variations. The first carries the same shapes and curves as the current model, however, it has tweaked its design slightly. The second and more noticeable version is the Legender. For this version of the vehicle, Toyota has given it an entirely new face by making it look sleeker and sharpening up its lines a bit.
The current generation of the Toyota Fortuner on sale in the Philippines comes with a large four-level grille flanked on either side by chrome accents. On the lower bumper, it comes with a much smaller grille acting as a secondary intake for the engine. It also features triangle-shaped fog light covers facing at a downward angle.
The Standard version of the Fortuner carries the design of the previous generation, however, it does make its four-level grille much larger than before. It also comes with a new set of wheels. The previous generation had its grille stop just before the top of the bumper, now, however, it extends towards the middle. Through this redesign, Toyota has managed to eliminate the lower grille found on the bumper. This means that the Standard Fortuner now only takes in air through its larger upper grille.
Aside from the grille change the headlights have also been updated to now fit LED projectors, however, the light housing shape remains the same. The fog light housings have also been adjusted to give them a larger look. The rear of the vehicle remains the same except for the redesigned LED taillights.
Moving on to the Legender variant of the vehicle is where we see more changes. For the new version of the Fortuner, Toyota has brought back its two-grille design. The Legender now comes with a larger lower grille and a smaller top grille both carrying a honeycomb pattern. Chrome accents are also absent on the vehicle and it now comes with black accents instead. The fog light housings have been shrunken down slightly, however, it still retains its angular design. Unlike the refreshed Standard version of the Fortuner, the Legender now comes with its own unique set of headlights. The Legender also comes with a newer set of wheels, however, these are of a different design compared to the ones found on the standard refreshed Fortuner.
Not much has been changed for the rear of the new Fortuner Legender. It carries over the same new taillight design from the standard version, however, Toyota has given the top-spec variant a different rear bumper. It now comes with creases on the side for the rear reflectors and the Japanese brand has done away with the chrome accents. The refreshed SUV also comes with a blacked-out roof. Overall the new updates give the vehicle a more sporty and sleeker look from the pre-facelifted model.
Interior and technology
Not much has changed for the interior of the SUV. Toyota did, however, update the infotainment system and that's the only notable change. It still carries the same dashboard and the same familiar layout for buttons and dials.
Where the new and old models differ slightly is in the infotainment system and in the gauges. For starters, the current Fortuner comes with black and white gauges and a smaller infotainment system. In 2019 Toyota upgraded the infotainment system to now have Apple CarPlay and Android capabilities.
The new model now has a more colorful gauge cluster that different between variations, however, it still retains the same layout. A new and bigger 8-inch infotainment system can also be found in the refreshed model. Like its predecessor, it too has Apple CarPlay and Android auto but in a new and more colorful layout. Other interior technology features include a new wireless charging pad and new UBS ports for the second row.
Engine and Chassis
It's still the same familiar motors powering the old and new Fortuner. It still can be had with the trusty 2.4-liter engine that pushes out 147hp and 400 Nm of torque. Where things differ, however, is in the bigger 2.8-liter turbo diesel motor. Toyota has tweaked it a bit for the 2021 model year and has given it a boost in power. It now makes 201hp and 500 nm of torque. Transmission options have also been unchanged, however, it is important to note that Thai models of the Fortuner can now only be had with a 6-speed automatic. One aspect of the vehicle remains the same as its suspension has not been updated for the new model year, however, Toyota did add improvements to the SUV’s off-road capabilities.
For safety, the current generation of the Toyota Fortuner is well equipped. It comes with a suite of airbags able to enshroud the vehicle's occupants in a cocoon of airbags and it also features ABS, EBD, and a vehicle stability system along with traction control. The facelifted version of the vehicle takes this a step further by adding the Japanese brand's Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety features. This now gives the newer model access to features such as a pre-collision system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams just to name a few.
While the new Toyota Fortuner is only available in Thailand at the moment the specifications and features it brings would make it an exciting competitor in the Philippine market. However, one thing is still missing as the pricing for the Japanese 7-seater SUV is only for the Thai market and therefore does not reflect the vehicle’s possible prices locally. Given the current exchange rates, the new Thailand spec Fortuner comes at a more expensive price point with the range-topping Legender 2.8 4x4 variant coming in with an eye-watering price tag of P2,900,000.