Sometimes car manufacturers confuse me. I know I’m easily confused, but why Toyota would develop such a great engine as the new 2.4 GD, and then not pair it with a 4×4 transmission in the Fortuner is very perplexing.
The Fortuner launch was the first time I’d had the opportunity to drive the engine, which is also used in the new Hilux, and the manual version quickly became my favourite model in the Fortuner range.
With 110kW of power at 3400r/min and 400Nm of torque from 1600 to 2000r/min (the automatic gets 450Nm), the 2.4 GD might look a little weak on paper. In reality, though, where torque is often more useful than power, the 2.4 GD feels up to just about any challenge, and not much weaker than the 2.8GD (130Kw and 450Nm). (Also bear in mind that the outputs of the recently replaced 3-litre Fortuner were 120kW and 343Nm, so the 2.4 GD has more torque and only 10kW less power than that!)
What won me over about the 2.4 GD was the sweetness of the engine, the way the 6-speed manual gearbox was perfectly suited to the torquey characteristics of the engine and managed to get the best out of it. But it was also the price… The 2.4 GD is almost R80 000 cheaper than the manual 2.8 GD, and definitely isn’t that much inferior! Which is why I thought it was plain crazy that Toyota haven’t given buyers the option of this great engine with the 4×4 hardware of the 2.8 GD. The 4×4 versions of the 2.8 GD can be changed from 4×2 to 4×4 high on the fly and come with a rear diff-lock, downhill assist and ground clearance of 225mm. With the active traction control fitted to all models, the 4×4 prowess is really quite impressive and I’m sure the are plenty of drivers out there who would like these capabilities without having to pay the premium for the bigger engine.
The new-generation Fortuner has taken a long time to get here, but now that it has the wait seems to have been worth it. The interior is far more comfortable and modern, while the new multi-link suspension setup at the rear has elevated the ride comfort to nearly true SUV levels. Noise levels, too, are a world apart from those in the old Fortuner. The 2.4 GD doesn’t have quite the same levels of finish or the same lengthy list of standard equipment as the 2.8 GD or the 4.0 petrol, but it definitely has enough to satisfy most potential buyers.
A few bugs do remain in the new Fortuner, though, not least of which is the rear row of seats, which still fold up to the sides instead of into the floor like those of its main competitors. Look past this, the brown leather seats and some of the plastic trim and you have a great all round family vehicle that’s going to be selling over a thousand every month, and deserves to.
Fact file: Toyota Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 Manual
- Price: R436 400
- Engine: 2,4-litre 4-cylinder, turbodiesel
- Power: 110 kW
- Torque: 400 Nm
- Claimed Fuel Consumption: 7l/100km
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- Maintenance Plan: 3 year/100 000km warranty and 5 year/90 000km service plan
Toyota Fortuner Price List
- 2.7 VVT-i RB auto: R429 400
- 2.4 GD-6 RB manual: R436 400
- 2.4 GD-6 RB auto: R453 400
- 2.8 GD-6 RB manual: R513 400
- 2.8 GD-6 RB auto: R531 400
- 2.8 GD-6 4×4 manual: R571 400
- 2.8 GD-6 4×4 auto: R589 400
- 4.0 V6 4×4 auto: R633 400
Words: Stephen Smith