Toyota has just announced an all-new SUV for the Australian market – the Fortuner. Based on the newest version of the venerable Hilux pickup truck, the Fortuner is a rugged, body-on-frame SUV with seating for seven that’s powered by the same turbodiesel engine found in the Hilux and comes standard with a part-time, two-speed 4WD system and electronic locking rear differential.
Tony Cramb, Toyota Australia’s executive director of sales and marketing, says the Fortuner is the brand’s diesel alternative to the Kluger, Australia’s version of the Highlander. The Fortuner is also far more rugged and trail-ready than the unibody Kluger while slotting under the surprisingly similar Land Cruiser Prado in terms of luxury and price. Though both the Prado and Fortuner are traditional SUVs with three rows of seats for seven people, the two vehicles will appeal to different audiences.
Toyota’s move to introduce the Fortuner makes more sense when considering both 2015 Ford Everest and Isuzu MU-X – both of which are based on their respective pickup truck platforms.
The Fortuner will arrive in Australian dealerships in October 2015 as a 2016 model and sale for a price that is still undisclosed. Early estimations suggest a starting price of around $45,000.
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