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Over the months, we’ve found Toyota’s smallest 4WD wagon flies the flag high in terms of off-road capability. The traction control is one of the best in the business, and reasonable clearance gives you a good base for 4WDing. It’s also a great candidate for 4WD touring, with space under the bonnet for accessories and an easily-removed third row.

 

But what about grinding it out on the bitumen? There is good news here, too. One thing that’s great about the Fortuner is the seats. While that mauvey-brown colour might not be to everyone’s tastes, the amount of support is right up my alley. Thigh support is spot-on, and you’re comfortably gusseted against the to-and-fros by the bolstering.

 

The 2.8-litre engine (130kW, 450Nm) is also noticeably refined and quiet; it’s only when you’re giving it a pasting that it starts to rattle and clunk. But hey, it’s a diesel after all.

 

When you’re highway cruising, the revs and noises stay low… exactly what you need to grind out the kays. On our run, we managed 9.7 litres per 100km in fuel efficiency, which came from fairly loaded (and fairly brisk) highway driving. This kind of composure is important as well – considering how much blacktop is often in between where we are and where we want to go.