Toyota Fortuner Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Toyota Fortuner reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
Has Toyota rectified the diesel DPF issues for their 2021 vehicles?
When Toyota launched the facelifted HiLux late last year, much was made of the fact that consumer concerns had been noted and that the DPF problems experienced by many owners had been addressed. The problem is that until these new versions of the HiLux have done their share of kilometres, we won’t be in a position to know for sure whether Toyota has, indeed, cured the problem.
Meantime, it remains that unless your driving habits include a 30-minute drive at highway speeds every two or three weeks, a modern turbo-diesel with a DPF may not be the best choice. It is worth noting, though, that HiLuxes (and Prados and Fortuners) built after June 2018 have been fitted with a manual regeneration function for the DPF which means the driver can manually force a DPF burn-off without waiting for the car to do so itself. Toyota has also announced that the worst affected versions of the HiLux will now be covered by an extended, 10-year warranty on any DPF issues going forward. More information can be found here.
Will Toyota make a 3.3 litre diesel V6 engine in the Fortuner?
As far as we know, the V6 turbo-diesel widely tipped to power the next LandCruiser (the 300 Series) is still just a maybe for the HiLux range. And even if it did make it into the HiLux, it would almost certainly be restricted to a sporty GR badged version as Toyota leverages its Dakar rally experience into a marketing role. With that in mind, the V6 would be an unlikely starter for the Fortuner which is aimed much more closely at families and, for whom, seating capacity and running costs are far more important than the ability to get to 100km/h in a hurry.
Even then, there’s plenty of historical evidence to suggest that a V6 turbo-diesel HiLux will remain just an idea (a nice one, though). Toyota has never really taken the opportunity to share engines between its HiLux and full sized (ie: Not the Prado) LandCruiser ranges. With a couple of notable exceptions (all of them petrol-powered) the HiLux has remained a four-cylinder vehicle throughout its life. And when Toyota did build a (petrol) supercharged V6 HiLux tagged the TRD back in 2008, it was a sales flop.
In any case, a hot-rod Fortuner is probably not on the cards despite the HiLux and Fortuner sharing a lot of engineering and componentry.
What do you recommend for towing a horse trailer and large draft-horse?
None of the vehicles you’ve listed are exactly low-maintenance units. They all have complex all-wheel-drive drivelines (which will be appreciated when towing a heavy trailer across a wet showground) and they use the latest common-rail diesel technology which is fairly intolerant of poor servicing.
As for a power tailgate on a ute, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. But some of the wagon versions of these vehicles can be optioned with powered tailgates. The catch there is that these vehicles use coil sprung rear axles (as opposed to the leaf-sprung ute versions) so they’re not as adept at towing. The Toyota Fortuner, for instance can’t match the HiLux’s 3.5-tonne limit and makes do with 2800kg; not enough for your requirements. The Ford Everest (based on the Ranger) is a little better at 3000kg, but still trails the Ranger’s 3500kg towing capacity and is right on your self-imposed minimum.
What four-wheel drive should I buy?
The Fortuner is a tough and rugged vehicle, but it does have some shortcomings. The side-mounted third row seats is one thing we think could be done better, but it's the harshness of the suspension that gets our goat most - other SUVs in the segment (like the Ford Everest and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, not to mention the SsangYong Rexton and Isuzu D-Max) all have better ride comfort and compliance.
Further to that, Toyota still hasn't upgraded the Fortuner with advanced safety gear. The HiLux now gets AEB, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, and so that tech should be rolled out for a 2020 update soon, too.
If you plan to do more on-road driving than off-road exploring, or if safety is a high priority for you, you might be best having a look around. If you're planning to see the country and take the back way while you do, a Fortuner might be a great match for you - and the brand's unrivalled network of dealers does make it an appealing option.
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What car should I buy for $70,000?
You’ve pretty much covered the field there, so it should come down to what you want from your car. Do you want comfort, safety, fuel efficiency, offroad capability, cabin space? If you are mostly driving on the highway, then a diesel SUV is probably the best bet. I would rule out a dual-cab ute because of comfort, unless you need the flexibility a ute gives you. I would rule out a hybrid, they’re not at their most efficient on the highway; they’re better suited to town use. Based on your annual mileage I wouldn’t keep the car any more than 3-4 years, that way you’ll have a decent resale value when you get out of it.
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Diesel Particulate Filter clogging in HiLux, Prado and Fortuner?
There are quite a few reports of problems with the dpf clogging on the latest 2.8-litre diesel, but a Toyota spokesman told us there is currently no service campaign or recall related to the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) on any of the three vehicles you reference.
Fortuner or Prado?
That's a tough call. With its Hilux roots the Fortuner is a very competent off-roader, it has a separate chassis, switchable four-wheel drive, good ground clearance, a great diesel engine, and accommodates seven. The Prado's off-road credentials are well established, it's more refined, but it's heavier than the Fortuner, which weighs on its performance, and its towing rating is lower than the Fortuner's. Either one would do what you want, but I would slightly favour the Fortuner.
Prado, Everest or Discovery Sport - which is best?
The Everest has a longer list of safety features, a higher towing capacity, is more family-friendly, and drives nicer; the Prado is more refined, but feels dated, the Discovery Sport is a true off-roader with car-like road manners. The Discovery for mine. Another to try is the Toyota Fortuner.