Toyota Fortuner GXL 4WD Wagon

4WD Toyota Fortuner Road Test

Toyota Fortuner GXL Overview

Ute based wagon variants have become very popular and yet another of these, the unfortunately named Toyota Fortuner is based on the Hilux chassis.

The Fortuner GXL comes with heavy modifications to make it more car like for family buyers with genuine 4WD credentials.

The development process has a strong Australian DNA with its unique body, wiring and key underpinnings having been designed or extensively developed and evaluated by local engineers.

Its rugged frame, high-torque engine, all-coil suspension and strong upper body have been proven in Australia under the world’s toughest conditions – on tarmac and off the beaten track.

 Toyota Fortuner.

Toyota Fortuner GXL External

Externally, the Fortuner is actually quite a pleasant design with bold front end and grill, sweeping uplift side profile and integrated rear end.

The GXL features

  • projector-type headlamps,
  • LED tail lamps,
  • side steps,
  • alloy wheels,
  • fog lamps,
  • roof rails and
  • Privacy glass.

The tailgate has a maximum height is 191cm – which enables 90 per cent of Australian men to stand under it and ensures the pull down  is still within reach of 90 per cent of Australian women.

 Toyota Fortuner.

Toyota Fortuner GXL Internal

Internally the Fortuner raises the bar a bit for a Hilux. It exudes premium SUV ambiance with elegant and flowing lines, soft touch materials on high touch areas, especially the centre console.

This is flanked by vertical columns covered in soft-touch materials that also provide leg support for the driver and front passenger.

Front fabric seats are very comfortable and with height and reach adjustment for the thick rimmed steering wheel, it is easy to find a comfortable driving position even for taller drivers.

The GXL features a high-precision, full-colour 4.2-inch MID with information including trip meters, vehicle checks and data to support economical driving. Steering-wheel controls operate the MID menu.

There is seating for seven people over three rows with sports front seats that are flared at the shoulders and fitted with firm bolsters for maximum support.

 Toyota Fortuner.

Fortuner’s seven seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. The 60/40 split-fold second-row seat has a one-touch slide and tumble feature, while the 50/50 third-row seats are fold-to-the-side style that severely limits available storage space. These are just crap.

Cargo capacity ranges from 200 litres to 1,080 litres when packed to the top of the seat backs.

Storage space is generous with a number of cup and bottle holders, compartments, trays, pockets and consoles. Toyota has adopted the clever slide out cup/bottle holder under the air vents.

An air-conditioned compartment above the glovebox can be used to cool or warm items with the capacity for two 600ml bottles. Convenient shopping-bag hooks are fitted to the front seat-backs.

All models feature three 12-volt accessory sockets – under the centre cluster, in the rear of the centre console for second-row seat passengers and in the rear luggage area. Crusade also has a 100w/AC220-volt accessory socket in the centre console.

 Toyota Fortuner.

Toyota Fortuner GXL Features/Technology

Features include seven-inch touch-screen display audio systems with six speakers, auxiliary/USB port, AM/FM radio and a CD player.

The screen also displays the reversing camera image and provides access to Toyota Link connected mobility. Toyota Link can provide access to Pandora Internet radio and help find fuel, a destination, weather and other assistance.

Toyota continues to ignore the Apple Car Play or Android Auto connections.

Convenience features include Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, steering-wheel audio and telephone controls and power door locks, windows and mirrors.

The GXL has air-conditioning with separate air-flow controls for second-row passengers.

 Toyota Fortuner.

Toyota Fortuner GXL Engine and Drivetrain

The Fortuner GXL is powered by a relatively high-torque 2.8-litre four-cylinder common-rail direct-injection turbo-diesel engine with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. Either transmission is good and works well with the engine.

Maximum power is 130kW @ 3,400 rpm and peak torque is 450Nm @ 1,600 rpm for the automatic and 420Nm for the manual. Braked towing capacity is 3,000kg for the manual and 2,800kg for the auto. Tow ball rating is 10% of either weight.

The key here is that while the power figure is probably a little low, the available torque at 1600 rpm is plenty. It provides an easy driving environment and towing is a breeze, especially with the trailer sway control. It also means that Fortuner is economical at around 8.6 L/100k for the auto version.

Toyota Fortuner GXL What is it like to drive

Previously we have driven a manual version over a dirt road that has been part of the World Rally Championship years ago and it was a huge amount of fun.

We have also driven the GXL over forest trails, sand dunes, heavy 4WD tracks, fire roads, highways and freeways and throughout, it has impressed with its ease of driving, ride and handling, tractability and quietness. Toyota have done an excellent job of designing a vehicle for Australian conditions.

As mentioned the real world experience with the engine power and torque is that the delivery allows a relaxed and easy driving environment. Rarely do you find the engine wanting.

The Fortuner has strong off-road ability – as you would expect using the base Hilux 4WD transmission. This includes rear differential lock, Electronic transfer case dial, A-TRC (active traction control) and locally developed underbody protection.

All Fortuner models have an electronically controlled transfer case for ‘on-the-fly’ changes from 4×2 to 4×4 high, using Toyota’s unique disconnecting differential. The GXL runs 17 inch alloy wheels with 265/65 R17 all terrain tyres.

Toyota Fortuner GXL Dimensions

The Fortuner GXL has an

  • overall length of 4795mm,
  • wheelbase of 2745mm,
  • width of 1855mm,
  • Height of 1835mm,
  • Unladen ground clearance is 225mm,
  • Approach angle is 30 degrees, rampover is 23.5 and departure angle is 25 degrees.
  • Wading depth is 700mm,
  • Turning circle is 11.6m,
  • GVM of 2750kg, GCM 5545kg (AT)
  • Towing capacity is 3000kg (MT) 2800 kg (AT) and tow ball rating is up to 10%

Toyota Fortuner GXL Safety

Safety is a key feature with a five-star ANCAP safety rating. The GXL is equipped with:

  • Stability and active traction control,
  • Seven airbags,
  • Reversing camera,
  • Trailer sway control,
  • Downhill assist control,
  • Hill-start assist control and
  • Rake-and-reach adjustments for the steering column.

It includes three top-tether anchors and two ISOFIX child-seat mounts.

A comprehensive range of Toyota Genuine accessories is available including airbag-compatible bull bars and newly developed towbar and load distribution hitch.

Toyota Fortuner GXL Conclusion

The Toyota Fortuner GXL is is a great alternative to either a Prado or a Kluger for families. In addition to its prodigious off-road ability, the Fortuner delivers a compliant and quiet ride, a spacious interior, convenient features and premium quality expected in a modern SUV.

 Toyota Fortuner.

What is good!

  • Rear diff lock
  • Balanced ride and handling
  • 4WD ability

What is not good!

  • Slightly low on power
  • Tow rating for Auto
  • Fold up 3RD row seats – Seriously???

Model: Toyota Fortuner GXL AT

  • Model Price: $54,422 RDAP
  • Engine: 8L DiD 4Cyl
  • Drivetrain: 4WD 6 speed auto
  • Power: 130 Kw @ 3,400 rpm
  • Torque: 450 Nm @ 1,600 rpm
  • Safety: 5 Star
  • CO2 Emissions: 228 g/km
  • Economy: (ADR comb) 8.6 L/100km
  • Tow Capacity Max: 2800 kg
  • Tow Ball Rating: 280 kg
  • Servicing: Capped Price
  • Warranty 3yr/100,000 km with full roadside assist

Overall AnyAuto Rating      88/100

  • Behind the Wheel 9
  • Comfort 9
  • Equipment 9
  • Performance 8
  • Ride & Handling 9
  • Practicality 8
  • Fit for Purpose 9
  • Towing Ability                8
  • Off Road Ability 10
  • Value for Money 9
Toyota Fortuner GXL
  • Rating


The Toyota Fortuner GXL is is a great alternative to either a Prado or a Kluger for families. In addition to its prodigious off-road ability, the Fortuner delivers a compliant and quiet ride, a spacious interior, convenient features and premium quality expected in a modern SUV.

About Rob Fraser 2504 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.