Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Toyota Fortuner 4x4 review and specs

The Fortuner is Toyota South Africa's rugged but refined new all-purpose SUV / 4x4
It is aimed at capturing the medium SUV market.

The Hilux-based seven-seater, built at Toyota SA's Durban plant, goes on sale in five derivatives comprising two engines (a four-litre petrol V6 and a three-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel), two transmissions (a five-speed manual and a five-speed auto), and two and four-wheel drive

The Fortuner shares its frontal styling with the Hilux bakkie.

It falls in neatly between the RAV4 and the all-terrain Prado.

Looking a lot more stylish than the Condor it replaces (which admittedly isn't difficult), the Fortuner shares its frontal styling with the Hilux bakkie and presents a modern face with purpose and more than a hint of aggression. Flared wheelarches and a high stance add to its robust proportions.

It's built on the Hilux's ladder frame chassis but gets a shorter wheelbase and different suspension. Up front the suspension is independent while the rear gets a solid axle tuned for a more comfortable ride than its bakkie counterpart. Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) have also been improved so that the Fortuner feels more like a car than a pickup.
The cabin is spacious and versatile with multiple seating and loading arrangementsStandard spec includes dual-zone air conditioning with separate controls for front and rear .

Four or five adult passengers will fit comfortably into the front two rows, which have sliding functions and can be folded forward. The rear two seats are adequate for kiddies and fold up against the sides when more luggage space is needed.
With leather seats and most of the mod cons the Fortuner feels more SUV than bakkie. The same goes for the modern styling of its cabin, though the dash is made of hard plastic instead of the classier-feeling soft-touch type.
Standard spec includes dual-zone air conditioning with separate controls for front and rear, electric windows, power steering, central locking, a multi-info display, driver and passenger crash bags, a CD/radio, and steering which is height (but not reach) adjustable.

Minimum ground clearance on both the 4x2 and 4x4 models is 220mm, giving the Fortuner the lofty ride height that South Africans seem to prefer.

Like every other motor company Toyota claims its SUV has go-anywhere toughness with car-like, on-road performance.

Like everyone else it's wrong: it doesn't handle like a car but if you're not pushing too hard the Fortuner is able to make its way through corners with adequate pace and more than adequate grip to go with its body roll.

The all-wheel drive versions also have a traction benefit on the dirt and in the wet, though on rippled dirt roads the rear end tends to hop around a bit. All versions have ABS brakes.

Off the tar the Fortuner does meet its manufacturer's claims, and it easily scrambled through a tough and technical 4x4 course that Toyota SA laid on for the Eastern Cape launch.

The 4x4 version comes with a low-range transfer case and displays excellent low-speed hill climbing and descending capability in the rough. For added traction both the 4x2 and 4x4 are equipped with a rear differential lock.

The ride quality is pretty comfortable if choppy at times, and for the most part the Fortuner feels quite refined and solid, with little wind noise at high speeds and no obvious rattles.
Power outputs of both the petrol and diesel versions are gutsy, though the five-speed manual gearbox is quite stiff.

The three-litre turbocharged and intercooled diesel, which makes a claimed 120kW of power at 3400rpm and 343Nm of torque between 1400 and 3200rpm, feels strong and lag-free at sea level.

For high-speed cruising the weapon of choice is the four-litre petrol which Toyota says punches out 175kW at 5200rpm and 343Nm between 2400 and 4800rpm with the manual transmission and 376Nm at 3800rpm with the automatic.

All Fortuners are sold with a three-year/100 000km warranty and five-year/90 000km service plan.
Service intervals are 15 000km for the petrol models and a frequent 10 000km for the diesels.

Prices of the Toyota Fotuner

  • 3.0 D-4D 4x2: R286 075
  • 3.0 D-4D 4x4: R322 975
  • 4.0 V6 4x2: R297 575
  • 4.0 V6 4x4: R334 475
  • 4.0 V6 4x4 Automatic: R346 575

Toyota Fortuner Specs

Make: Toyota
Model: Fortuner
Variant: 4.0 v6 raised body
Price R 297,575
Release Date: 200603
Discontinued Date: Still in production

Styling and Look

Body Style: station wagon
Metallic Paint: yes
Rear Spoiler: yes
Body Coloured Bumpers: yes
Body Coloured Mirrors: chrome
Leather: yes

Torque: 343nm@2400
Turning Circle (Meters): 12
Fuel Capacity: 65
Fuel Consumpsion - Highway: 0
Fuel Type: unleaded
Fuel Consumpsion - Urban: 0
Quarter Mile Sprint: 0
Top Speed Final: 0
Acceleration 0-100 Final: 0
Auto Traction Control: no
100 to 0 Seconds: 0
Consumption Annual Average: 0
Power Output: 175kw@5200
Turns Lock to Lock: 3.72
Fuel Supply: electronic fuel injection
Limited Slip Diff: no
Towing Capacity (KG): 1500

Wheels, Brakes and Steering
Rim Size - Rear: 7jj
Rear Track: 1540
Tyre Size - Rear: 265/70 r16
Wheel Base: 2750
Steering Column Reach Adjust: no
Handbreak Position: between front seats
Brake Hydrolics: abs, lsp+b
Front Brakes: ventilated discs
Steering Type: rack + pinion power assist
Steering Column Height / Rake Adjust: yes
Full Time 4x4: no
Front Track: 1540
Drive Wheels: rear
Rear Brakes: drums
Number of Wheels Driven: 2
ABS: yes
Alloy Wheels: yes
Rim Size - Front: 7jj
Front Suspension: double wishbone, roll bar
Rear Suspension: rigid axle, four links, coils, lateral rod
Tyre Size - Front: 265/70 r16

Engine and Gearbox

Hybrid / Clutchless: no
Engine Layout: longitudinal v 6
Number of Gears: 5
Capacity: 3956
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Cylinders: 6
Valve Gear: dohc 4-valves per cylinder, vvt-i
Aspiration: natural
Bore / Stroke: 94.0x95.0
Gearbox Details: 5-speed manual
Ignition Type: direct ingnition
Manual / Automatic: manual

Peripherals and Accesories

Auto Windscreen Wipers: no
Code Start: no
Cruise Control: no
Multi Function Steering Wheel: no
Options Group: toyfrt001
Hands-Free Phone: no
Hands-Free Phone Pre-Wiring: no
Sliding Roof: no
Rear Seat Split: 60/40+slide,tumble. row3 50/50
Sliding Rear Window (LDV): no
Air conditioner: yes
Auto Headlamps: no
Rev Counter: yes
Electric Seat Adj Detail: no
Electric Seat Memory: no
Cup Holders: yes
Remote Side Mirrors Electric: electric
Electric Windows: yes
Electric Window One-Touch: no
Fog Lamps - Front: yes
Remote Electric Mirror Memory: no
Park Distance Control - Front: no
Park Distance Control - Back: no
Satelite Navigation: no
Radio And / Or Tape: yes
Radio: yes
Remote Fuel Cap Release: yes
Number of Sliding Roofs: 0
Automatic Air conditioner: no
Electric Seat Adjustment: no
Climate Control: no
Central Locking: remote
On Board Computer: yes
Fog Lamps - Rear: no
Headrests - Front: yes
Headrests - Rear: yes
CD Shuttle: no
Remote Side Mirrors: yes
Tape: no
Tinted Side Windows :all round
Tinted Windscreen: yes
Xenon Headlamps: no
Auto Dip Mirrors: no
CD Player: yes
Rear Screen Demister: yes
Electric Window Detail: front + rear
Heated Seats: no
Keyless Entry: yes
Rear Screen Wiper: yes
Remote Boot Opener: no

4x4 Specific

Compass: no
Diff Lock: no
Ramp Angle (Break Over): 159
Ride Height Control: no
Wading Depth: 700
Altimeter: no
Gradient (Incline): 0
Rollover Angle (Slant): 0
Compass Detail: no
Decent Control: no
Low Range: no
Approach Angle: 30
Departure Angle: 25
Diff Lock Position:
Self Leveling Suspension: no

Security and Safety

Alarm: yes
Air Bag - Side: no
Incline Meter: no
Security System: yes
Impact Tensioning Seat Belts: no
Air Bag - Driver: yes
Gearlock: no
Hi Level Brake Light: yes
Immobiliser: yes
Air Bag - Detail: driver + passenger
Roadside Assistance Time: 0
Side Impact Protection: yes
Air Bag - Number: 2
Air Bag - Passenger: yes
Power Steering: yes
Maintenance and Warranty:
Maintenance Distance: 90000
Maintenance Plan Time: 60
Oil Change Intervals: 15000 km
Warranty Period: 36
Warranty: 3year/100000 km 5year/90000 service plan
Maintenance / Service Plan: s
Service Intervals: 15000 km
Service Indicator: no
Warranty Distance: 100000
Maintenance Exclusions: Dimensions and Weight
Boot Capacity: 0
Licencing Mass: 1720
Load: 0
Lenght: 4695
Ground Clearance: 220
Height: 1850
Width: 1840
Gross Laden Mass: 2510


Seats: 5+2
Type: recreational
Class: l
Stability: no
Doors: 5
Wipers: no

Monday, April 03, 2006

BMW X5 4x4 review

BMW X5 4x4 review

The performance and handling of a BMW saloon within a roomy but reasonably compact 4x4 package. Quite capable in the mud, too.

Ride is unrelentingly choppy and the fit and finish of the interior are way below usual BMW standards. Petrol engines are big, thirsty and costly to run.


In petrol you can choose between a 2.0-, 2.5- or 3.0-litre unit; the larger has an auto gearbox as standard. The 3.0 gives the X3 decent pace and towing strength, but needs working hard off the motorway and extracts a heavy toll on economy. There is a cheaper and more frugal 2.0 diesel, and a new 3.0 diesel.

Ride & handling
Choose from standard or sports suspension. The latter stiffens the car, but it’s not a set-up we’d recommend because even in standard form the ride is firm and fidgety. The handling, on the other hand, is so crisp and free of normal 4x4 roll that you’re largely unaware you’re in an off-roader.

Apart from a more throaty engine note at high revs, often necessary to maintain pace away from motorways, the X3 is a haven of peace. The engine and transmission are as smooth as in an executive saloon, and road and wind noise are negligible at speed.


Buying & owning
Not only is the X3 expensive to buy; it will also be expensive to run in petrol form due to its high fuel consumption. Both petrol models sit in the top tax bracket as a company car, too. The good news is that its desirability will keep resale values high and therefore leasing rates relatively low.

Quality & reliability
The X3 is the first BMW not built in a BMW factory, and it is one of the most shoddy we can recall. While we have no fears about it holding together or running reliably, we are disappointed by the quality of the plastics (some of the worst examples are the dash, door handles and seat frames), and the way they fit together.

Safety & security
There’s an impressive list of both active and passive safety equipment, with electronics to prevent skids or brake lock-up, and to keep you moving if you venture off road or need to tow. In our 2005 security tests we couldn’t break into the X3.


Behind the wheel
You get the high-level driving position that’s part of the attraction of a 4x4, and a wide range of seat and wheel adjustment in a spacious cabin. However, visibility when cornering or reversing is badly obstructed by the screen pillars and the height of the tailgate. The dash is tidy, but many of the switches are confusingly alike.

Space & practicality
There’s so much room in the back of the X3 that it makes the bigger X5 seem unnecessary, especially as the smaller car also manages to have a bigger boot. However, the big transmission tunnel running down the spine of the car leaves no foot space for a third rear passenger. Disappointingly, the rear seats don’t fold totally flat when carrying oversize loads.

The X3 comes with a premium equipment package – alloy wheels, a sophisticated new four-wheel-drive and hill descent control system, climate control and a CD player – but it also comes at a premium price. The optional Sport pack adds bigger wheels, special seats, revised suspension settings and tyres with a higher speed rating.

BMW X5 4x4 specifications

  • Make: BMW
  • Model: X5
  • Variant: 4.8is steptronic
  • Price R 759,000
  • Release Date 2004-06

Styling and Look

  • Rear Spoiler yes
  • Body Coloured Mirrors yes
  • Metallic Paint option
  • Leather yes
  • Body Style station wagon
  • Body Coloured Bumpers yes


  • Fuel Supply electronic fuel injection
  • Fuel Type unleaded
  • Fuel Consumpsion - Urban 0
  • Quarter Mile Sprint 0
  • Towing Capacity (KG) 2300
  • Auto Traction Control yes
  • Fuel Capacity 85
  • Top Speed Final 246
  • Torque 500nm@3500
  • Consumption Annual Average 17.7
  • Power Output 265kw@6000
  • Limited Slip Diff no
  • Turning Circle (Meters) 12.1
  • Acceleration 0-100 Final 6.1
  • Fuel Consumpsion - Highway 0
  • Turns Lock to Lock 0

Wheels, Brakes and Steering

  • Alloy Wheels yes
  • Steering Type rack and pinion power assisted
  • Handbreak Position between front seats
  • Brake Hydrolics abs,cbc,dbc,asc-x,dsc,adb-x,hdc
  • Front Track 1576
  • Front Suspension tie-bar, double joint spring-strut axle, anti-roll bar
  • Tyre Size - Front 275/40 r20 w
  • Tyre Size - Rear 315/35 r20 w
  • Front Brakes 356mm ventilated discs
  • Rim Size - Rear 10.5j
  • Rear Brakes 324mm discs
  • Rear Suspension integral axle, multi-dimensional, self-levelling, anti-roll bar
  • Steering Column Height / Rake Adjust electric, memory
  • Full Time 4x4 yes
  • ABS yes
  • Rim Size - Front 9,5j
  • Drive Wheels all
  • Rear Track 1576
  • Wheel Base 2820
  • Number of Wheels Driven 4
  • Steering Column Reach Adjust electric, memory

Engine and Gearbox

  • Capacity 4799
  • Compression Ratio 10.5:1
  • Hybrid / Clutchless yes
  • Ignition Type electronic
  • Manual / Automatic automatic
  • Valve Gear dohc 4 valves per cylinder
  • Bore / Stroke 88.3x93.0
  • Cylinders 8
  • Gearbox Details 6 speed automatic with sequential manual mode
  • Aspiration natural
  • Engine Layout longitudinal v 8
  • Number of Gears 6

Peripherals and Accesories

  • Automatic Air conditioner yes
  • Auto Headlamps option
  • Auto Windscreen Wipers option
  • Electric Seat Adj Detail 8-way driver memory
  • Electric Seat Adjustment yes
  • Climate Control yes
  • Electric Windows yes
  • Remote Electric Mirror Memory yes
  • Park Distance Control - Front option
  • Sliding Rear Window (LDV) n/a
  • Central Locking remote
  • Code Start yes
  • On Board Computer yes
  • Rear Screen Demister yes
  • Remote Side Mirrors Electric electric
  • Electric Window Detail all
  • Electric Window One-Touch all
  • Fog Lamps - Front yes
  • Headrests - Front active
  • Multi Function Steering Wheel yes
  • Park Distance Control - Back option
  • CD Shuttle yes
  • Rear Seat Split ?
  • Remote Fuel Cap Release yes
  • Tinted Side Windows yes
  • Xenon Headlamps yes
  • Auto Dip Mirrors interior std, exterior option
  • Electric Seat Memory driver
  • Cruise Control yes
  • Cup Holders yes
  • Fog Lamps - Rear yes
  • Headrests - Rear yes
  • Hands-Free Phone Pre-Wiring yes
  • Radio And / Or Tape yes
  • Remote Side Mirrors yes
  • Tape no
  • Number of Sliding Roofs 1
  • Air conditioner yes
  • CD Player yes
  • Rev Counter yes
  • Heated Seats option
  • Keyless Entry yes
  • Hands-Free Phone option
  • Sliding Roof electric slide/tilt
  • Satelite Navigation option
  • Radio yes
  • Rear Screen Wiper yes
  • Remote Boot Opener yes
  • Tinted Windscreen yes

4x4 Specific

  • Diff Lock auto
  • Altimeter no
  • Decent Control yes
  • Diff Lock Position auto
  • Self Leveling Suspension yes
  • Approach Angle 30
  • Compass option
  • Compass Detail opt.satnav
  • Departure Angle 31
  • Ramp Angle (Break Over) 164
  • Ride Height Control option
  • Gradient (Incline) 32
  • Low Range no
  • Rollover Angle (Slant) 48
  • Wading Depth 500

Security and Safety

  • Air Bag - Number 8
  • Air Bag - Side yes
  • Gearlock no
  • Hi Level Brake Light yes
  • Immobiliser yes
  • Security System yes
  • Side Impact Protection yes
  • Air Bag - Detail intelligent front driver and passenger, front + rear side, front+rear head
  • Roadside Assistance Time 60
  • Alarm yes
  • Impact Tensioning Seat Belts front
  • Air Bag - Driver yes
  • Air Bag - Passenger yes
  • Incline Meter no
  • Power Steering yes
  • Maintenance and Warranty
  • Maintenance Distance 100000
  • Maintenance Plan Time 60
  • Maintenance / Service Plan m
  • Warranty 2 year unlimited km, 5 year / 100000 km motorplan, 5 year on-call
  • Oil Change Intervals 15000 km
  • Warranty Distance 0
  • Maintenance Exclusions
  • Service Intervals 30000 km
  • Warranty Period 24
  • Service Indicator yes
  • Dimensions and Weight
  • Ground Clearance 182
  • Boot Capacity 465
  • Load 1550
  • Height 1707
  • Width 1872
  • Lenght 4667
  • Gross Laden Mass 2700
  • Licencing Mass 2275


  • Wipers yes
  • Stability yes
  • Seats 5
  • Class l
  • Doors 5
  • Type recreational