Toyota has joined Ford and Mitsubishi in offering potentially life-saving active safety technology standard in its ute-based family hauler, the Fortuner, upping pressure on Holden and Isuzu to follow suit.
The entire Fortuner range gets autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection (daytime only), adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and speed sign recognition as standard for the 2020 model year, following a similar update to the related HiLux ute earlier this year
Although the Pajero Sport and Everest offer AEB across the range, the best-selling MU-X and Trailblazer miss out – although the Holden does have forward collision warning.
The technology boost has also brought about price rises across the range. The entry-level Fortuner GX is now priced from $45,965 before on-road costs (+$1375), the mid-spec GXL costs $50,790 before on-roads (+$800), and the range-topping Crusade starts at $58,290 before on-road costs (+$1300).
Power in the Fortuner comes from a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine outputting 130kW and 450Nm, hooked up to six-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment in the base and mid-spec model has been boosted with the addition of a 4.2-inch colour screen in the instrument binnacle.
The GX gets fabric trim, projector headlights, LED tail-lights, Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system, and an air-conditioned cool-box.
Moving up to the mid-spec model gets you satellite navigation and DAB digital radio, along with keyless entry and go, fog lights, privacy glass, and hill-descent control.
The range-topping model gets an 11-speaker JBL audio system, heated and power-adjustable front seats, along with LED fog lights. It also gets climate control, bi-LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a full-size spare wheel, and an extra 220V socket.
Sales of the ute-based Fortuner are a weak spot in Toyota's otherwise strong SUV line-up. It's sitting on 2363 registrations to date in 2019, down 11.1 per cent on the same point in 2018, and trails the best-selling Mitsubishi Pajero Sport by more than 2500 sales.
Of all the ute-based SUVs on offer in Australia, only the Holden Trailblazer has fewer sales this year.
2020 Toyota Fortuner pricing
- GX - $45,965 (+$1375)
- GXL - $50,790 (+$800)
- Crusade - $58,290 (+$1300)
All prices exclude on-road costs.