Going on three years in the market already, if you haven’t really noticed the Toyota Fortuner 2.4G 4×2 TRD Sportivo, here are five things you’ll absolutely love about it.
As stylish and practical as the new Fortuner is with Toyota’s ‘Keen Look’ design and larger dimensions, you might still want something that really stands out from the pack. To take the mixing and matching out of the equation, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has already put together a package for you, just in case you’re not the type to be bothered to piece these things together.
The blacked-out TRD grille looks absolutely stunning on the White Pearl body (costs P15,000 than other body colors) of the Fortuner and it’s finished off nicely by the orange TRD stamp at the bottom of the logo. It’s boxed in by slim Bi-Beam LED headlamps with Daytime Running Lamps. Below it is a reshaped bumper with edgy black fog lamps housings that are highlighted by black trims on both sides and the grille extension in the middle. Altogether, it makes the unit eye-catching and immediately sets it apart from other Fortuners.
Depends on your preference really, but my 20-year old self kind of likes the sporty look that it brings. The decals are found at the bottom of the doors, extending from the front to the back. It bears the words TRD Sportivo in white and orange respectively and is underscored by a combination of black and orange lines.
And besides, it’s really more discreet than loud. The kit just adds a little flair and exclusivity to the Fortuner without being brash about it.
Rear disc brakes
TMP has upgraded the rear brakes, like the ventilated discs found in front. For those not in the know, here’s why disc brakes are better than the previous rear drum brakes on the Fortuner. Drums brakes are the cheaper of the two for a reason. It is reaches brake fade much quicker, may perform adversely if water from rain or flash floods enter the drum, but the upside is, it’s less costly to repair.
Disc brakes dissipate heat much quicker because of their built-in ventilation, are easier to inspect for caliper deterioration, and aren’t affected by wet conditions making them a more efficient system to stop the vehicle. And I thoroughly tested it on a trip to Baguio taking Marcos Highway one weekend.
I love how it feels a lot firmer when it brakes, despite its curb weight of close to 1.8 tons, and how it takes a bit of a nosedive especially when you’re coming in a little fast.
This trim uses the smaller of the two Fortuner diesel engines, a 2.4L boosted by a variable nozzle turbocharger with front mounted intercooler. It puts out 147-Ps and 400-Nm of torque, which may seem quite ordinary for an SUV but it proved to be more than enough on NLEX and even along SCTEX and TPLEX.
If you keep it on Eco mode, acceleration is stunted to conserve fuel. This means it won’t be as exciting. It feels like you’re crawling especially if you’re just coming out of a toll booth. It can and will be able to get up to speed but it takes a few seconds longer, which may not be to your liking if you’re impatient.
Fortunately, it comes with Power mode as well and this is where you’ll want to stay if you want the drive to feel light and snappy. Fuel economy may suffer a tad but this is an engine that’s extremely efficient.
In four days of Baguio traffic, two in Manila and the back-and-forth on the highway, it still managed to squeeze 9.1 kilometers to a liter.
Improved handling and comfort
Many have raved about the softer ride of the second-generation unit and that’s not an overstatement. On a side trip to Manaoag, Waze sent us on a path ‘less travelled’, some parts unsealed and plenty narrow. Yet the Fortuner, despite its body-on-frame construction, managed to feel less like a truck (that it’s based on) and leaned a little closer in the comfort meter towards the RAV-4.
It takes corners very well and the way it zipped marvelously along the zigzags of Marcos Highway is proof of its upgraded handling and higher rollover resistance.
It’s still pretty bouncy over humps, even when laden, but a small price to pay for the high ground clearance and the ability to haul a considerable amount. There’s more room for cargo if you fold the rear seats and take down the 60:40 split-type second row seats.
Something new, something old
It has just the right mix of everything, from the looks, performance, modern amenities, plus that trusty old Toyota engine too. It’s durable, works hard and looks good doing it, which is more than I can say for some SUVs. Top to bottom, side to side, it doesn’t scrimp on space as well, so it’s roomy for occupants and you still get plenty of cargo space as well.
The 2019 Toyota Fortuner 2.4G 4×2 TRD Sportivo is the same old Fortuner you love, but this one is tricked-out with the accessories that you’ve always wanted.
Text and photos by Eric Tipan