The Toyota Fortuner SUV has followed its HiLux ute relation by gaining mild-hybrid turbo-diesel power, but the fuel-saving technology isn’t yet confirmed for Australia.

    Toyota South Africa launched the mild-hybrid Fortuner 48V this week, with a 48-volt battery, electric motor-generator and other components assisting its 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine to deliver claimed fuel savings of up to five per cent.

    In Australia, this same setup is found in the recently-launched Toyota HiLux V-Active and the upcoming 250-Series LandCruiser Prado.

    We’ve contacted Toyota Australia for comment on whether it plans to launch a mild-hybrid Fortuner locally.

    While the Toyota Fortuner 48V is built in South Africa for the domestic market, Australia sources its Fortuner – and HiLux – from Thailand, which hasn’t yet equipped the SUV with the mild-hybrid system.

    It’s unclear if Thai-built vehicles will get the fuel-saving technology.

    The Toyota Fortuner has been sold in Australia since 2015, receiving a mid-life facelift and tech upgrades in 2020. Examples sold in Australia also feature a completely different front and rear appearance to those in South Africa.

    South Africa’s Fortuner 48V boasts the same 150kW and 500Nm outputs as the HiLux V-Active in Australia, with its turbo-diesel engine mated to an identical six-speed automatic transmission and part-time four-wheel drive system.

    Both the overseas Fortuner 48V and local HiLux V-Active miss out on the eight-speed auto found in the upcoming Prado, which would potentially deliver even greater fuel efficiency given its better spread of ratios.

    The cost of opting for mild-hybrid tech in the Fortuner comes at a premium of about 11,000 South African Rand – equivalent to approximately $900 – which is steeper than the $590 to $770 price increase for HiLux V-Actives in Australia.

    Last year, the Fortuner was one of Toyota’s slowest-selling mainstream models, with its 3619 Australian sales well behind the outgoing Prado (20,710 sales), and significantly down on the similarly ute-based Ford Everest, of which 15,071 examples were sold.

    MORE: Everything Toyota Fortuner

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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