You have to love modern four-wheel drives; they are comfortable, reliable and capable. The one negative, though, is that they can be hard to work on. Space is a massive issue, as there are more and more components crammed into the engine bay to make these vehicles perform whilst being friendlier to the environment. What we have noticed with the Fortuner, however, is just how simple it would be to install an auxiliary battery into the engine bay. Not only is there a simple and clear position to physically fit a second battery (you will still need to fit a battery tray, which will set you back from $70 – $250), but there’s also room for the battery management system and associated wiring. From our research, if you are prepared for a tight fit, an N70-sized battery can be made to work with a bit of mucking around – perfect for keeping the fridge ticking along as well as charging your devices and camp lights.
Another neat touch is the accessory fuse block that Toyota have pre-installed. This makes connecting accessories far neater than running individual cables to the battery, which gets messy really quickly if you don’t run something similar … one look at the battery in Ev’s old Lux will show you that. So this might be a minor point for some, but it’s great to see Toyota has kept off-road enthusiasts in mind when developing the Fortuner. Sometimes the simple things make the biggest difference. And if you have ever tried to fit a second battery into a space where it doesn’t belong, you will appreciate this.