First drive: 2016 Toyota Fortuner in the UAE

First drive: 2016 Toyota Fortuner in the UAE

2016 Toyota Fortuner in the UAE

Al Futtaim Motors recently launched the all-new 2016 Toyota Fortuner in the UAE. Featuring completely new exterior and interior designs, the second generation Fortuner was destined to be a hit before it even arrived on our shores. We had a chance to drive the new Fortuner in both road and off-road conditions during the UAE’s mega-storm earlier this month.

The exterior of the Fortuner is certainly a major change and a massive improvement over the outgoing model. Highlights include the LED headlights with integrated daytime running lamps wrapped around the new chrome front grille. It is not only visual, as the new chassis uses more spot welding, which has increased the body rigidity. An additional rear stabiliser bar has been installed as well.

2016 Toyota Fortuner in the UAE 7

Looking inside the 7-seater SUV, our VXR trim featured leatherette upholstery for the seats as well as parts of the dash and the doors, with a 7-inch multimedia touchscreen in the centre console. Hard plastics are still prominent, but much less so than in the previous model. The instrument cluster had a 4.2-inch multi-information display between the gauges. Other features included a rear-view camera, AUX and USB ports, power tailgate and six speakers for the sound system.

On tarmac, Toyota has really improved the suspension setup and tuning, making for a more comfortable ride. We couldn’t really test the handling of the new Fortuner due to the fact we were driving in the middle of some heavy rain, so extra caution was exercised during city driving. Of course, being a 4×4 helped, as the Fortuner made tackling some deep puddles an easy affair.

Under the hood of our full-optioned tester was the same 235 hp 4.0-litre V6 from the previous generation, but now equipped with a new 6-speed automatic transmission. This has really improved the power delivery of the engine, while theoretically also reducing the fuel consumption slightly.

2016 Toyota Fortuner in the UAE 2

In the second part of the media test-drive, we were given a chance to take it off-road. While the previous model was already a capable off-roader, it was no surprise how the new Fortuner handled the intermediate dune-bashing course Toyota had set up for us. Again, due to the weather we couldn’t really see the full-potential of the vehicle, but whatever it came across, it handled with relative ease. The desert sand was firmed up by the rain, which meant we didn’t have to reduce the tyre pressure much or use a lot of power to tackle the dunes. Keeping the gear at “4H” mode was enough to conquer anything we came across, with pretty much nobody getting stuck during the course of the event.

Toyota has really upgraded the 2016 Fortuner, especially in terms design and comfort, while leaving the ever-reliable mechanicals mostly intact. Prices have not gone up significantly either, with the base 164 hp 2.7-litre GXR model going for Dhs 105,900, while the top VXR trim can be had for Dhs 139,000.

For prices and specs, visit the Toyota buyer guide.

Photos by Al Futtaim Motors.

What do you think?



  1. Looks claustrophobic with those tiny windows. Prices look good…

  2. Looks decent.. Where did u guys take it offroad ?

  3. @Faisal: Agree with you that the prices look good. The windows are big enuff for a vehicle of this size. I can vouch for it since I’ve seen it in the showrooms…

  4. The floor in the second row is not flat, the transmission tunnel made it too deep making an uncomfortable seating for the middle pax. Overall I still prefer the Kia Sorento as a better alternative and great value.

  5. The old model was a lifted Hilux, inside and out. The new one looks like Toyota actually made an effort to improve it. Looks great and it should be very good off-road with the V6. It might be claustrophobic in the third row though.

  6. Wondering why Side Airbag Curtain never comes in this car!

    • spot on, thought the very same thing

      looks are ok though

    • The dealer, AlFuttaim, chooses to not add the side airbag curtain for some of their lower priced Toyota SUVs in this region.. Reasons are the following:

      1. No one else is really bothered, so stay competitively priced. They will sell anyways.

      2. The owners of a few other Toyota SUVs in the past forgot to deactivate the rollover sensor when driving in the desert. These airbags would then deploy while doing a steep side slope owing to the sensor falsely detecting a possible roll. Of-course, this is the drivers fault for not having read the manual but to the dealer’s bad luck, some high profile customers are always right…

  7. Is it just me or Toyota actually got ‘inspired’ from the 2016 Pajero Sport……

  8. Quite clearly toyota design department is trying really hard to catch up with the koreans and other rivals … this design sure looks good but like farhan said above, it does get its cues from Montero sports which by the way is definitely better than this (minus the rear).

  9. I like Kia Sorento styling

  10. 235 hp for this V6 and around 270 hp for FJ’s V6…. Why? Just asking.

  11. Nissan patrol is better than this..

  12. Seems more a copied version of Lexus, Fortuner a Poor Man’s Lexus

  13. This is a half cooked SUV.

  14. What to get… in 140k around… 2016 model….looking for suv

    Fourtuner full option
    Prado 2.7L VXR
    Explorer XLT

    Need to decide…

    • If its your first, go for a 2nd hand Land Cruiser(V6), will cost you the same, if you are looking for a 7+ seater. Fortuner 2.7 will struggle once past 80km/h ion highways, but its hassle free and one of the best options for a small family who need a higher ride.( In my opinion )

    • i suppose explorer will definitely be a better driving car except off road but of course resale and reliability may be a concern over a long term. full opp Fortuner and base Parado is just up to you if you need a car with full options and extra or a better car with basic options.

    • Met few ‘new’ Explorer owners and they crib of the frequent fueling visits ‘coz of the small tanks so definitely it ain’t a ‘Explorer’. More of a ‘Tourer’. No wait, there’s already a VW Touareg and a Honda Tourer.

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