Uprated 3.0-litre diesel and new five-speed auto also head for Vigo donor vehicle
- Man, it's about time!
\Yeah, that's usually the case when it comes to a giant player like Toyota _ taking it easy.
After a second facelift and now into its eighth year, the Fortuner _ as well as the Hilux Vigo Champ pick-up donor vehicle _ has got a much-awaited technical update.
The 3.0-litre diesel-turbo engine gets improved outputs of 171hp and 360Nm, up from 163hp and 343Nm.
There's also a new five-speed automatic in place of the old four-speeder, although manual override isn't available to match that found in the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
The unchanged 2.5-litre version also gets a five-speeder, but the 2.7-litre petrol-head doesn't; owners will need to be content with the old four-speed.
- It certainly looks more economical than before...
In theory, yes, although Toyota Motor Thailand hasn't yet released any figures pertaining to fuel consumption.
As many of you may remember from the articles on mid-size SUVs published in Life on Monday last, the Fortuner _ with the old 163hp unit and four-speed auto _ was rated just as frugal as the Pajero Sport and fractionally thirstier than the Trailblazer. Of course, that's merely the verdict reached by our testers.
Because of this, the new drivetrain of the Fortuner (and the pick-up derivatives) should bode well.
Toyota says this technical upgrade brings it into line with the Euro 4 emissions standard which was only introduced in Thailand this year. Better emissions usually mean improved economy.
A spokesman for the firm said that since it is not required by law to reveal fuel-consumption and CO2 figures _ in contrast to Ecocars _ there is no need to make these numbers public.
- Good grief! Is the automatic also available for the Prerunner?
Yes, and finally, too, you might exclaim. Strange but true: Toyota is the last of the seven major pick-up players to make an automatic transmission available in the Prerunner, the high-body 2WD version that's now a highly sought-after model in Thailand (including by owners of other pick-up brands, too).
- Are there any other giveaways?
Yes. Depending on the model, new features include a roof rack, rear parking camera, a head restraint for the fifth occupant, multi-function display, six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth and an Optitron instrument panel.
The good news (and that better be the case) is the similar asking price for all 3.0-litre models which, in some cases, is slightly lower than before.
The Vigo double-cab costs between 840,000 and 992,000 baht, while the Fortuner is priced from 1.437 to 1.522 million baht. However, it is reckoned that the most popular Fortuner will be the 2.5G 2WD five-speed automatic version at 1.179 million.
The upgraded line-up hits showrooms nationwide today.
About the author
- Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor