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Toyota Fortuner vs Chevrolet Trailblazer

1 January 2014

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:

The Judges:

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.


The Venue:

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.


The Test:

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
Engine Type Four-Cylinder Four-Cylinder
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
Clearance (claimed) 260mm 220mm
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
Climate Control Yes Yes
Sound system 8-speaker system 6-speaker system
Airbags 6 8
ABS Yes Yes
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

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  • Man

    We selected 7 individuals from the 4×4 Community

    Haha what a joke, its a well know fact that 99% of the members on that forum hates anything with a Toyota badge on.

    • Dudley Lee101

      Fact – “noun a thing that is known or proved to be true”Your statement is not true. Good humoured fun poked at a product does not not mean hate for the product……..and how accurate is your “99%”?

  • gerrit

    …..but on average the Fortuner sells 500 more units per month than the Trailblazer…

    • I’m with you Gerrit, it’s perplexing. There’s no doubt that the Fortuner is and will remain the better seller – I don’t personally believe that Chevrolet ever set out to beat them in sales by pitting the ‘Blazer against the Tuna (why I do believe they did it, is a whole other story). The second hand value that many Tunas retain, the shared parts with the Hilux and hence massive parts distribution network and of course the name will keep it top dog in the sales game, in my opinion. That’s not going to change any time soon – and that in itself says something about the vehicle.

      • Carolus

        The Toyota Tribe as usual is vociferous whilst defending their inferior product that is sold at premium prices but contains cheap Chinese spares. A fair percentage of even Landcruiser 76 SW is even built in China. It comes with a soft Hilux gearbox and front diff. Read LW issue 73 where someone lamented the terrible quality issues on his low mileage Fortuner – the very same vehicle formerly used by Andrew White for the “Fortuner Image Polishing” in the Richtersveld.

        Both Fortuner and Trailblazer are being built in Thailand alongside Hilux and Isuzu KB.

      • Kevin Williams

        I cannot disagree more. The only reason why the Tuna sales more is because of people who buys vehicles for the name brand and with the heart. Toyota is long time not the reliability that it was years back. Do your research on recalls. South Africans, and specially whites for that matter supports where they invested…Now this is what very few people know. People support where there money is invested…. Toyota quoted me R14 000 for a major service with belt changes…. on a ’97 Corolla RSI. I done the same job for a third of that. Toyota won’t see my feet through their shops. The Car industry in SA is same like the chain stores in this country. Monopolized, and only those who are asleep will follow the crowds. Something more. The fortuner is BORING…..LOOK AT IT. At least the Chev looks stunning for a start and does everything better than it…

    • Carolus

      …………..and around the world, majorities vote corrupt politicians into power………. following a herd is the most stupid thing any human can do!

      • Kevin Williams

        I Love It

    • Kevin Williams

      And Rolls Royce sells a million right ???

  • Tony

    Just how long one has lived on the Market can have an impact on an engraved image of the same –uuuh! the scores are stunning.

  • clint

    All you have to do is get back to the real world and see that there is life after Toyota. The Trailblazer is better than the Fortuner. Who of you have driven the Trailblazer.

  • I think the trailblazer is excellent value for money, service and parts wise too.. I love the look of it as well! All the way for AMERICAN MUSCLE!

    • Carolus

      It is a Brazilian design with an Italian motor and assembled in Thailand. There is NOTHING American about this vehicle and won’t even be sold there. Spec-wise, though, it beats the Fortuner hands-down. Cheap plastics disgrace both but either will make good sense in terms of usability. A fair offering at the price, with Trailblazer being the more user-friendly. Fortuner has a proper diff-lock. Trailblazer has the edge,though.


    I personally believe that there is no a car Wich can beat Fortuna, unless if it was possible for Range Rover, to produce one special car, despite the fact that Range Rover is a classy car and can be compared to cars like X5, Mini Chopper. But if we have to be realistic about Trail Blaizer, look at Captiva, it was stunning but now trail blazer took its place. So Wich means like Bmw does with most of its cars, something applies to Chevrolet. Fortuna is irreplaceable. Feel free to get my opinion 0790624558

  • Kevin Williams

    I bought a Trailblazer after being a Toy fan for all my life. The Trailblazer is great fun and has all the needs and wants for space and practicality. I always wanted a small SUV, and now has one, and I am not disappointed. @GERRIT, Your sales figures might be correct, but ask those fortuner owners who actually want to to change, but cannot due to overflated pricing. On one hand I am glad they don sell like cake, cause Yes I can feel exclusive….UP-YOU -TRAILBLAZER. Let’s give it a few more years……Fortuner is out dated and OLD……

  • Kevin Williams

    Did they really test a 4 x 2 Trailblazer against a 4WD Fortuner? ????

  • Ann

    The Fortuner’s interior is just so boring – JUST LOOK AT IT. But in terms of getting your money back after you sell it again, the Fortuner will be a better opt. At least in South Africa, that is. But honestly if I had the money I’d by the Blazer today – it’s just simply brilliant!

  • Scotty Robinson

    I think that the best vehicle out of the two is the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

    Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
    Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
    Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

  • Scotty Robinson

    Ps. I was not trying to get a point accross its just that the screen did not update so I pasted it 3 times – sorry about that.

  • Gordin Malaba

    Thank you Leisure Wheels, what was becoming a headache for me has been solved, thenonly question now remaining is; do I go with the 2.5D LT or the 2.8D LTZ Duramax! Bye Tuna, and sorry big bro (He drives and loves the 4.0 Tuna!!). Trailblazer all the way!

  • Russ

    Never letting go of my TUNA!!!