review: Colin Sharp | images: Carla Nunes | price from: R454 000

Fortuner fans in SA (and there are many) surely relished the launch of this new model. It’s not just the usual facelift and the 2,4 GD-6 M/T rear wheel drive is ticketed at R454 000. Keep smiling.

The manual model’s 400Nm of torque extends from 1600 to 2000rpm (the optional A/T has 450Nm). So the torque is key in making the 2.4 GD capable of taking on most challenges on and off the tarmac. The great power plant is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox that takes full advantage of the torque.

This new-generation Fortuner has been anticipated for a while but the hiatus seems worth the wait. Inside, it’s slick and comfortable, even overtly modern with a new multi-link suspension setup at the rear that provides more ride comfort, to a level comparable with more exotic SUVs. And it’s far quieter that the old model. A negative perhaps are rear seats that still fold up to the sides instead of into the floor like those of its peers.

Habitat had this mid-range SUV for a week and yes, everybody loved it, especially those with smaller children who explored the cavernous interior with enthusiasm. This big vehicle performs with plenty of aplomb and to obviate any turbo-lag, its best to use the gears niftily.

It’s a great family SUV that will perform safely for its designed purpose, plus offer more than a few basic luxuries. Dependability, parts and service back-up, a good price / resale value and enough power with excellent handling; likely it’s impossible to go wrong with the Fortuner 2,4 GD-6 M/T.