Winding back the clock can be a good thing. Toyota, whether or not they meant to do it, have done a good thing.
It is called the Fortuner and I both liked it, and felt younger, at first sight.
Being transported back to your youth when seeing a car for the first time will do a lot to make you like it, let’s be honest.
The Fortuner not only sent me back to the future with its takes from the 4Runner of the ‘80s and ‘90s (a car I quested for when first behind the wheel), there’s a fair bit to like about getting into some true Toyota off-road ability from prices starting below $50,000.
The Fortuner is the seventh SUV in the Toyota line-up. Overkill? Perhaps.
No. I’ll take this model before many others in the range. For old time’s sake.
But there’s more than fond memories and teenage desires driving the fortunes of the Fortuner for me.
It is based on the underpinnings of a Toyota HiLux, uses a fair bit of what stands HiLux at the top of the dual-cab sector and offers some real off-road strength at the more affordable end of the seven-seat market.
And it combines the best of commercial off-roader and family SUV for a polished finished product. The Crusade model, with its 18 inch wheels, satellite-navigation, digital radio, fake wood trim, stylish leather trim and clean-cut interior design with interactive and easy-to-navigate dash controls – among other things – was a winner at a starting price around $60,000.
A winner, not unlike my day at the Adelaide Cup… transport courtesy of the Fortuner.
While fortunes were not made, four winners and a trifecta made for a pretty good day at SA’s premier race event.
Fortuners across the range share the same 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine and get a choice between a six-speed manual or six-speed auto transmission at an extra $2000. It produces 130kW of power and 450Nm of torque in the auto.
Fuel consumption is claimed at a healthy 8.6L/100km but our test – mainly around town to Fringe events and the races but with a dash to Victor Harbor – returned figures of 11.1L/100km.
The flagship Crusade also gets all of the kit on the GX and GXL ranges – cruise control, a reversing camera, Bluetooth, auto headlights and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. Full-sized spare, smart key entry with push button start, alloy wheels, roof rails, front fog lights and rear parking sensors and auto up/down functionality for all windows.
An outstandingly handy feature is the key controlled rear hatch. If only because its operation drew a “cool” from the kid where backing four winners and a trifecta on Adelaide Cup day could not.
Where we went
The Garden of Unearthly Delights – It has to be done at least once a year…. ideally more. Another way to feel like a kid is to head to the sideshows within the Garden.
Royal Croquet Club – Had to get there before I got “old”. I was not disappointed.
Adelaide Cup – Winner Winner, chicken dinner. I stuck with some South Aussies favourites for a good day.