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The first week

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  • The first week

    Hi guys,

    I've picked up my GXL a week ago and thought I'd share my early impressions. The 2.8 is a really sweet little diesel, it has great torque and eats up the highway sitting on 110. I was sceptical about the brown interior, but it has grown on me, and now I love the look. Inside there is heaps of room and after tossing up between the Prado and the Fortuner, I'm glad I went for the Fortuner. The nearly $10k price difference buys a lot of stuff.

    I'm planning on quite a few mods, so I look forward to sharing my build up on this site over the next few months. A list of things I want to get, in no particular order:
    Steel Bar - I'm actually leaning towards the Toyota bar over the ARB when it eventually comes out
    Mild lift
    Snorkel - again I'm leaning towards the genuine one rather than waiting for the Safari or TJM alternative to arrive
    Winch
    Rails and steel side steps (I don't think those plastics ones will last long)
    Better tyres - the Yoko's Are ok, but are a very road biased AT tyre
    Then all the usual touring stuff, UHF, roof rack, lights etc

    There are a couple of things that the Prado has that I wish the GXL has, mainly being the 150 litre tank and the built in GPS. Other than that, I'm absolutely wrapped with the new car, and can wait to start hitting the trails with it!

  • #2
    Originally posted by SJC View Post
    Hi guys,

    I've picked up my GXL a week ago and thought I'd share my early impressions. The 2.8 is a really sweet little diesel, it has great torque and eats up the highway sitting on 110. I was sceptical about the brown interior, but it has grown on me, and now I love the look. Inside there is heaps of room and after tossing up between the Prado and the Fortuner, I'm glad I went for the Fortuner. The nearly $10k price difference buys a lot of stuff.

    I'm planning on quite a few mods, so I look forward to sharing my build up on this site over the next few months. A list of things I want to get, in no particular order:
    Steel Bar - I'm actually leaning towards the Toyota bar over the ARB when it eventually comes out
    Mild lift
    Snorkel - again I'm leaning towards the genuine one rather than waiting for the Safari or TJM alternative to arrive
    Winch
    Rails and steel side steps (I don't think those plastics ones will last long)
    Better tyres - the Yoko's Are ok, but are a very road biased AT tyre
    Then all the usual touring stuff, UHF, roof rack, lights etc

    There are a couple of things that the Prado has that I wish the GXL has, mainly being the 150 litre tank and the built in GPS. Other than that, I'm absolutely wrapped with the new car, and can wait to start hitting the trails with it!
    First and foremost welcome to the forum SJC!

    Congrats on your new toy and thanks for sharing your first weeks experiences with it. I have heard good things about the engine so glad it is living up to that. Still not sure how I feel about the brown just yet myself though

    I think after you get all that put on it will look the part for sure. The benefit with getting the Toyota stuff is that it is already available

    How much lift are you thinking?

    Yeah, I don't see the plastic rails taking much abuse.

    So far I have managed to speak to the ARB head office, waiting for an official response though but side steps/rock rails sound like they are in the process of being designed so hopefully they are around soon enough. I have sent mails to the other vendors as well and waiting for more responses so as soon I hear I will start posting this info on the forum.

    Anyway, if you can post some pics, I think a lot of people are salivating for some real world pics.

    Enjoy your new ride!

    Shaun
    Fortuner Forum Default Signature!

    Comment


    • #3
      Once the weather clears up here in Melbourne over the weekend, I'll pull the camera out and get some photos up.

      I'm thinking a 40mm lift should be plenty to begin with. After speaking to the local ARB store, it looks like the OME lift kits might still be away off, so if anyone hears of some good alternatives, I'll love to know about it.

      On a seperate note, I managed to squeeze some slightly larger tyres under the guards. I went for BFG KO2's in 265 / 70 / 17. I have around 3 mm's of clearance with the front tyres and the mud flap when on full lock, so I think the dremmel might be getting some work over the weekend to shape out the mud flap and provide a little extra clearance. On a positive note, the larger tyres have brought the speedo right into the correct reading!

      Also, trying to source roof bars is a lot harder that I thought it would be. It turns out, of all the accessories that Toyota have decided to offer for the Fortuner, roof bars aren't one of them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Looking forward to seeing those pics!

        I think 40mm should be pretty good and help the already good ground clearance. TJM has their XGS suspension in the works which may be an option? Some guys have them on their Prado's and really love them. The OME is a good option too though. I will keep harassing the vendors for more info to see what else they have.

        The BFG's are my go to as well. 3mm is a bit on the tight side, but the lift you put on should maybe help with too... Brave move with the dremel!

        At the Perth 4wd show the Rhino Rack boys were telling me that they have a Fortuner in and are in the development phase but its in the line behind the Everest, 200 Series etc. I can prod them for some information too if you are into the Rhino Rack stuff?
        Fortuner Forum Default Signature!

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        • #5
          The XGS suspension sounds like a good move. I've attached a couple of photos - tyres and front window tint are the only things I've done so far.

          Comment


          • river
            river commented
            Editing a comment
            Definitely a beauty. Congrats on your new car. I can't wait til mine comes.

        • #6
          Looking really good there SJC, its amazing how some more aggressive tyres immediately give it a more purposeful look. Very nice!
          Fortuner Forum Default Signature!

          Comment


          • #7
            The Fortuner is looking good SJC. Personally, I'm not convinced that increasing tyre size is the way I want to go myself. Is there any specific advantage of increasing tyre size?
            If I get a Fortuner I will definitely tint the windows darkest legal, but I don't use dealer installed tint. I get a professional aftermarket window tinter to do it.
            Also, I have had a great experience with BF Goodrich A/T tyres, and I will use them again for sure, but that's my experience. I am careful to watch tyre pressures. On a prado (unloaded) I run around 42 psi on the highway, and reduce that by 75% for gravel, (or around 34psi) and to 50% on sand, (or around 22psi) and even lower (to about 16psi) if its really really soft sand (but I'm careful don't corner hard on low tyre pressures)...and I've not had a fla and have had great wear (in excess of 100,000km) on my tyres. I am currently getting prices on the new prado and the new fortuner, and weighing up options. Still undecide, and not in a hurry, so this forum and your posts are very interesting, thankyou.

            Comment


            • #8
              Hi 4b4me, at the moment, the ko2's only come in the 265/70/17 compared to the stock 265/65/17. It's basically one size larger than stock, so I haven't gone for anything too wild. I agree that running the correct pressure is important.

              You have a tough decision between the Fortuner and Prado. To throw another one into the mix, the Everest is an extremely well equipped vehicle, that is certainly worth a drive to compare before you decide. My decision came down to the price difference - I couldn't justify the $8.5k Prado premium over the Fortuner. For a 15% price increase, I can't see a15% better car.

              In regards to the window tint, I agree I went aftermarket also - the reality is though the dealers outsource the tinting so you're just cutting out the middleman - The quality shouldn't be any different.

              Gook luck with your decision - I know from experience it will be a hard one for you!

              Cheers SJC
              Last edited by SJC; 24-11-2015, 03:11 AM.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by SJC View Post
                ...Snorkel - again I'm leaning towards the genuine one rather than waiting for the Safari or TJM...
                SJC, any particular reasons for opting the genuine snorkel instead of Safari/TJM alternatives ?

                Comment


                • #10
                  I went to my local TJM the other day and they said the snorkel will be in the $450ish range, plus fitting. The big bosses are having a meeting this week regarding the Fortuner development. A genuine Toyota one is in the $400 range plus fitting too, so it comes down to if you want it now, or wait a few more months for the aftermarket ones

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    I ended up fitting the genuine one, the main reason being they are already available and I wanted it fitted before some of the trips I did in January. I reckon the aftermarket ones will be slightly cheaper once the hit the market, but for the sake of $100, and getting the full Toyota warranty I decided to get it done.

                    They are very well engineered with a snug fit around the A pillar. I don't notice any wind noise with the windows up, but with the windows down you'll hear the turbo doing its thing.

                    You don't have the option of turning the ram head around as easily as you would with a safari snorkel, but there are well designed drain holes to allow any rain that gets in to escape just below the ram head mount.

                    From memory I paid about $650 fitted.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Interesting, the genuine Toyota snorkel has aerodynamic shaped (below the head) probably to reduce wind resistance & noise, does not impact air intake volume although narrow but more depth.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I've now had the GXL for 6 months and thought I'd share my thoughts so far.
                        In regards to the planned mods, I'm still no further than the tyres, roof bars and factory snorkel. I'm still waiting on ARB to release their offering before making a commitment on the bar work and winch.

                        I've done 10,000 kls which has probably been made up of about 1,500 dirt and off road, 3,500 highway and 5,000 city driving. I'm averaging just under 10 litres per 100 in diesel, so on my rough guess the slightly larger BFG tyres are costing me about an extra litre per 100 klms.

                        The only issue I've encountered so far is that my brakes squeel like a wounded pig when they are cold, but this only started happening after having to attend a defensive driving course at sandown race track for my work and I had to do about a dozen emergency ABS stops on tarmac. I'll get that sorted at my service next week.

                        When I originally purchased, I narrowed my choice to the Fortuner and Prado making my final decision on the price. I've already mentioned in previous posts the things I wish the Fortuner had; bigger fuel tank, gps etc but overall I'm still convinced the car is exceptional value.

                        In my opinion, off road is where the Fortuner really shines. I've tackled some pretty difficult tracks in the vic high country, and people were utterly amazed at the ease in which the Fortuner got around. If you are looking just to get a seven seat suv and never go off road, my suggestion is get a Kluger that is better equipped and will drive much more like a car, but if you're going to be getting off road and use the capability of the vehicle, Fortuner is the way to go.

                        In hindsight, the only thing I'd possibly change is that I'd go for the GX instead of the GXL and put the savings towards aftermarket stuff. The Downhill Assist Control is not a lot different to locking in 1st gear low range, I'd prefer to have keys in the ignition barrel instead of the push button start and the 7 inch screen in the dash is pretty crap.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Thanks for sharing SJC,

                          I also chose the fortuner for its off-road ability. I was in the market for a fully capable 4wd wagon that I could confidently take on any major 4wd tour. I had not considered buying new until the fortuner came along simply due to the cost of the usual suspects (cruiser, prado, disco, etc) and while it might not be *quite* the car those are in some respects, it will certainly make it to the same places!

                          Glad to hear its working out well for you.
                          Dave


                          Comment


                          • SJC
                            SJC commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Thanks Dave - couldn't agree more with you. I would actually argue that a Fortuner will get you further than a Prado, Disco or even a cruiser off road from the factory floor.

                        • #15
                          I should be picking up my GX next week. I thought it was the best value for money, especially with the 2015 plate rebate I received.

                          I was interested in your comment about the brakes squealing after the defensive driving course, because I will be doing one in a couple of months.

                          All the best,
                          Michael.
                          2015 GX auto / Genuine steel bull bar, snorkel and tow package / Ultimate suspension / Rhino sliders / BFG KO2s / ORS drawers ...

                          Comment


                          • SJC
                            SJC commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Congratulations on the purchase Michael - I'm certain you'll love it.
                            the courses are great, I have to attend these every three years, and normally I use a company car rather than my own, but this year I took the Fortuner. Every time I've done one I drive home very different to the way I drive there. The emergency stops we were doing were jumping on the anchors from 100 as hard as possible, activating the ABS (which by the way also activates the hazard lights automatically) and coming to full stop as quickly as possible. It's not something you want to ever have to do, but it's great to know Just how quickly you can stop these things when you really have too. Just be careful not to flat spot your tyres - the ABS on the Fortuner is designed for dirt road use, so the tyres will actually lock up for a short period before letting go, compared to a road car where the ABS will 'shudder' basically letting go of the brakes a lot quicker avoiding the lock altogether.
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