Toyota ups the stakes
2015 Reveal of All New Toyota Fortuner. (Crusade pre-production model shown)

Toyota ups the stakes

IT always has to be Toyota!
Each time a rival car manufacturer unveils a new vehicle, there has to be a response from the Toyota stable.
This, of course, doesn’t exonerate the Germans. They did it when Toyota’s luxury division unveiled the Lexus LS400. Nissan did it too when they unveiled the new Nissan Patrol which they said had only one rival — the Toyota Landcruiser.
The Americans did it as well with the Chevrolet Trailblazer, which they said had only one rival — the Toyota Fortuner.
There were market rumours a few years ago that Toyota was “discontinuing” production of the Toyota Fortuner.
Ford unveiled the new Ford Ranger and the all-new Ford Everest while Toyota watched. The new Ranger took the market by storm and there seemed to be no immediate response from Toyota.
2016 is going to be an exciting year for us as Toyota has aggressively come up with new models in its Land Cruiser series, the Toyota Fortuner and the much-awaited all-new Hilux, which also heralds a new era for the “indestructible truck” that Africa and the world has come to love.
Ford has even unveiled a facelift version of its new Ranger and now Toyota, five years after the poke in the eye, has released a “worthy response” with the all-new Toyota Hilux.
Toyota has over the years built its reputation on affordable and reliable cars.
The new Fortuner has been built using Toyota’s New Generation Architecture (TNGA), which makes its chassis lighter but stiffer than the current generation Fortuner, to improve handling and ride comfort.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer is based on the Isuzu platform while the current generation Toyota Fortuner is based on the Toyota Hilux platform.
You just have to see the new Fortuner to appreciate that Toyota means “business” and has already upset its main rival for dominance in the cutthroat SUV market.
If you were looking forward to purchasing an SUV this year, hold on to your dollars and test drive the all-new Fortuner.
I have heard people dismissing the Fortuner as a “ladies’ SUV”. If you held that thought, then you definitely have something coming: the new Fortuner will dazzle.
The new Fortuner has found its way to the streets of Harare from Thailand. Toyota Zimbabwe has not indicated when it is likely to unveil it to the local market. Chevrolet, has also responded to the Fortuner with a facelift of the rival Trailblazer, but it is my humble submission that it is nowhere near the new Fortuner.
Toyota’s new SUV is indeed the real deal that the global market has been waiting for, and if it is anything to go by, will definitely upset Chevy.
Let me be quick to point out that the new Fortuner is a notch higher than the current model in terms of finishing and design, and will definitely cost more.
Taking a cue from the new Hilux and its new engine models, the Fortuner comes with newly developed engines from Toyota: namely, the 2,4 litre and 2,8 litre diesel powerplants and the revised 2,7-litre VVTi petrol powerplant.
Toyota has also retained its four-litre V6 petrol engine in the new Fortuner.
The Japanese have never been keen on engaging in the “horsepower wars” like their German colleagues. That is why to date you will hardly find a V12 engine from any Japanese car maker, save for the 1GZ-FE V12 found in the Toyota Century Limousine which was built for Japan’s Emperor.
The biggest you will get from Japan is the V8. The new Fortuner comes in three model line-ups — the GX, GXL and Fortuner Crusade.
So, don’t rush to buy an SUV, try the all-new Fortuner first and decide from there. Between the two rivals – Chevy Trailblazer and the all-new Toyota Fortuner — the Fortuner is what you could be looking for.
Well, the all-new Toyota Fortuner is indeed a worthy response to the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

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