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2021 Toyota Fortuner gets Hilux power and tech upgrades

John Law

Toyota Australia has today unveiled the heavily updated 2021 Fortuner seven-seater which sees more power in line with the Hilux – that’s up to 150kW – and specification tweaks.

The exterior has seen some pretty significant changes up front, though it differs a lot from the new Australian-designed Hilux. There’s a more prominent central on the Fortuner grille, but it’s much softer than the ute option.

Pricing is up, too, by around $3,000 across the range, though the price of entry remains just under the crucial $50,000 mark for the entry-level GX.

2020 Toyota Fortuner Crusade.
The new top-spec Fortuner Crusade.

Inside there’s a new infotainment system which mirrors the rest of the range, too, now with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

The updates to the Fortuner will help it compete in the competitive wagon-bodied off-road capable SUV segment against vehicles like the Ford Everest, Isuzu MU-X and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

The Fortuner also serves as an alternative for Toyota’s own products as vice president of Toyota Australia sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, mentioned “(the) Fortuner will thrive in Australia’s harsh environments as a diesel alternative to Kluger and an affordable choice for those who aspire to own a LandCruiser.”

2020 Toyota Fortuner Crusade.
The biggest visual changes are up front.

Under the skin, the Fortuner has received some updates to the full coil suspension for Australia which will add greater comfort which, in conjunction with the engine upgrades, has improved towing capacity by 300kg (now 3,100kg).

Under the bonnet, the Fortuner sees the same upgrades as the Hilux ute. That means the 2.8-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder gets an updated cooling system, piston rings, and larger turbochargers. It’s good for outputs of 150kW and 500Nm, up 20kW and 50Nm from before.

The Fortuner also benefits from the EGR updates the Hilux received. Basically, it gets hotter faster for greater efficiency.

2020 Toyota Fortuner GX.
The interior gets a bigger 8.0-inch touchscreen.

Fuel consumption is also down to 7.6L/100km on the WLTP combined cycle which, when combined with an 80L fuel tank it’s good for 100km of range. Impressive stuff.

Inside there is a new, larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, which now has volume and tuning knobs on the fascia to improve usability, especially with thick gloves on. Of course, there’s now Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as connectivity with a Toyota app allowing the integration of Waze and Spotify.

Inside the $49,080 GX gets a grey fabric appointed interior, updated gauges, air-conditioned cool-box, and six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat with four-way for the passenger.

2020 Toyota Fortuner Crusade.
2020 Toyota Fortuner Crusade.

On top of those features, the $54,340 GXL adds DAB and Satnav to the infotainment system. These features can be optioned onto the GX for $1,000. There is also keyless entry, LED foglights, hill-descent control and automatic climate control.

Rounding out the range is the Crusade for $61,410 which adds leather-accented seats with electric adjust for the driver – available for $2,500 on the GXL – an 11-speaker JBL stereo, auto-dimming rear mirror and a wood-grain insert on the centre console. 

The new-look and feel Fortuner will go on sale from the 27th of August here in Australia, and we’ll have a full review up in short order. 

2021 Toyota Fortuner pricing

Fortuner GX 4×4  $49,080 (up $3,115)
Fortuner GXL 4×4 $54,350 (up $3,560)
Fortuner Crusade 4×4 $61,410 (up $3,120)