Toyota Fortuner Review – The Best of Both Worlds

Many of you will have been following our travels for some time and know that we have had a Toyota Fortuner for a few years now. Caleb has turned it into quite a capable 4×4. However, what you might not know is that we initially looked at buying that car for me. As the ‘soccer mum’ car. The runabout for me and the kids.

With some modifications, it makes a great four-wheel drive, no one can deny that. But the reasons I was actually interested in it were for the features for not just family travel but also comfort when chauffeuring the kids from place to place. I wanted the best of both worlds.

new toyota fortuner

Toyota Fortuner for families

There are so many features I love about the Fortuner and why it fits our family’s needs so well.  But there is a new model out now so some of the features are even better than the one we have.

The main reason we ended up with the Fortuner to begin with was we fell pregnant with baby #4 and in order for us to go away and do anything as a family, we needed more seats. We hunted and researched and test drove a mass of different cars and finally landed on the Fortuner after seeing at Toyota Sunshine Coast while we were up there on holidays.

Once we drove it, we knew that was the car.

Toyota Fortuner features

As you will know just from our social channels, we do a lot of bush and beach driving in addition to camping. We took this into consideration and as the Fortuner is built on the same platform as the Hilux, it was basically a Hilux ‘unbreakable’ wagon.

The Fortuner needed to be a capable 4×4 and be able to not just drive on dirt roads, it also needed to be able to tow the camper trailer, carry swags on the roof and do the ‘mummy’ stuff.

toyota fortuner 2020

Features that I love about the Fortuner

Like everyone, there are certain features in a car that you love more than others. Certain features that a car must have. For me, it is these:

Four wheel drive and travel

  • 4×4 capabilities – low range with electronic diff lock
  • Good ground clearance – especially for beach driving
  • Easy to attach a roof rack on the new model (ours doesn’t have rails which made it a bit harder)
  • Long trips are not a problem because it is a comfortable drive and doesn’t feel like a big uncomfortable truck


  • Being a shorty it is easy to get in and out of (well that was before Caleb did mods and lifted it)
  • Comfortable interior – spacious and has comfortable seats
  • 7 seats – but you can remove the two back seats if you need to
  • Aircon in every row
  • Air-conditioned cool box console for drinks and snacks (not an essential but a fun extra feature)
  • ECO mode for school runs, heading to shops, etc. – this helps to save on fuel
  • Apple Carplay/Android Auto (we don’t have this feature but the new model does) & six speakers for entertainment of the kids
  • Excellent resale value
  • Reasonable good on fuel with an 80L tank


  • Seven airbags, a pre-collision safety system, lane departure alert
  • Ladder frame chassis makes it safer, stronger towing vehicle
  • ISO fix car seat anchor points

HGT Toyota Fortuner

Our Toyota Fortuner has 140,000 kms and has had 4 years of sheer abuse and we have had no issues with it mechanically at all. It has been nothing but reliable.

Would I recommend a Toyota Fortuner? Absolutely. It is a great car that combines practicality with fun and adventure.

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