As many may already know, we hosted our most anticipated shootout to date this weekend. Toyota Fortuner vs Chevrolet Trailblazer.
“Kid gloves” does not describe the trepidation with which we approached setting up this event, as these two vehicles are amongst the most controversial our market has seen in the 4×4 segment in a long time. The Toyota Fortuner is much loved – and much bought, with over 1700 units sold in October 2012. The Chev Trailblazer was highly anticipated to prove as a viable alternative to the popular “Tuna” for those not of the Toyota persuasion, or simply looking for something to bring competitive pricing in this tiny segment. The only other vehicle truly on par with the Toyota favourite is the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, the sales of which come nowhere near a fraction of that of its nemesis.
To get a fair and averaged judgement, we conducted this shootout slightly differently in all aspects:
Ordinarily, our shootouts are judge by motoring journalists and Leisure Wheels staff. This time, however, we went to the people that are most passionate about their off roaders, and know the expectations and passions for and from such a vehicle best. We selected 7 individuals from the 4×4 Community and asked them to score the two vehicles on individual aspects. To add a balancing element, top South African motoring journalist Egmont Sippel was our eighth judge.
A brand new venue was used for the 4×4 obstacle part of the shootout. ADA (African Dream Adventures) is a 4×4 training facility outside Hartebeespoort, and their recently built obstacle course had the perfect combination of inclines, descents, axle twisters and break-over tests for these vehicles. Around that, we fashioned a route with open road driving on good tar, bad tar, good gravel and bad gravel to test all aspects of driving. A static evaluation and features comparison was alson included in the scoring.
Our shootout scoring is designed to be as unbiased as possible, forcing participants to judge vehicles on each aspect, as well as on the whole. Readers will be able to view individual scores as well as the categories that the judges scored the vehicles in, such as transmission vs transmission, handling vs handling and much more. Each of the 8 judges, in pairs of two, drove each of the vehicles in one direction only on the exact same route and road surfaces, as well as through the obstacle course.
Spec & Features Comparison:
|Shootout: Toyota Fortuner vs Chevrolet Trailblazer|
|Displacement||2 776cc||2 982cc|
|Power||132 kW @3800r/min||120 kW @ 3400r/min|
|Torque||440 Nm @ 200r/min||343 Nm @ 1400r/min|
|Gearbox||Five-speed manual||Five-speed manual|
|4×4 System||Selectable part-time system with 2H, 4H and 4LOW options||Full time, torque sensing limited slip differential with lock, plus 4H and 4LOW selections|
|Approach angle (claimed)||30 degrees||30 degrees|
|Departure angle (claimed)||22 degrees||25degrees|
|Default drive mode||RWD||4WD|
|Traction Aids||TCS, ESC, TSA, PBA, rear limited slip diff||VSC, rear diff lock|
|Front Suspension||Independent, link assembly||Independent, double wishbone|
|Rear Suspension||Five link with coil spring||Four-link, lateral control rod|
|Fuel tank capacity||76 litres||80 litres|
|Tyre size||265/60 R18||265/65 R17|
|Max towing capacity||2 950kg||2020kg|
|GVM||2 750kg||2 560kg|
|Sound system||8-speaker system||6-speaker system|
|Price||R454 500||R464 700|
|Service Plan||Five-year/90 000km||Five-year/90 000km|
|Service Intervals||15 000km||10 000km|
|Warranty||Five years/120 000km||Three years/100 000km|