South Africans can’t get enough of the Toyota Fortuner and it’s easy to see why. Refined enough for urban commuting yet never shy of getting its boots muddy on weekends, the Fortuner is like that indispensable multi-tool you keep inside your backpack – ready to tackle anything you can throw at it.

Complemented by an extensive dealer network and impressive resale value, it’s an SUV that makes sound buying sense. To further sweeten the ownership experience, Toyota is now offering two new special editions that deliver extra style and substance: the Fortuner Epic and Epic Black.

STARTING FROM A STRONG BASE

The Epic and Epic Black models are both based on the formidable Fortuner 2.8-litre GD-6. This means you get a proven four-cylinder diesel turbo- diesel engine that delivers strong performance and fine fuel economy. Power is delivered to the ground through a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. While city dwellers are most likely to be satisfied with the 4×2 model, the more adventurous among us can opt for 4×4 versions that ensure unshakeable grip and poise across rugged rural terrains. Toyota’s “on-the-fly” selectable 2WD/4WD/4WD-Lo modes further add to the off-roading convenience of these models.

STYLE THAT GOES THE DISTANCE

To stand out from the pack, all Fortuner Epic derivatives come fitted with a branded nudge bar and towbar. The Epic can be had in Glacier White, Chromium Silver, Graphite Grey or Avant-Garde Bronze. The Epic Black ups the ante with an exterior of striking visual contrast. Glacier White paintwork combines with a black roof, black roof rails and black side-view mirrors to create something that will attract attention wherever your travels may take you. Finishing things off in style is a set of black 18-inch alloy wheels.

THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE

Climb inside and you’ll notice that bespoke metal scuff plates and a unique carpet set help give the Fortuner Epic models a personality all their own. Again, being based on the Fortuner 2.8-litre GD-6, both the Epic and Epic Black come loaded with all the features you’d expect to see in a vehicle of this stature. Some of the highlights include: leather seats, dual-zone climate control, smart entry and push start, a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, reverse camera, TFT Multi- Information Display (MID), cruise control, steering switches, power-adjustable driver seat as well as a power-operated back door.

A COMPANION THAT HAS YOUR BACK

Whether you choose the Epic or Epic Black, it’s good to know that both come equipped with a generous suite of active safety features to help keep you safe while you explore. ABS, TRC, VSC, BAS, EBD and Hill Start Assist (HAC) are standard on all models while 4×4 variants get Toyota’s proven A-TRAC off-road traction control logic and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) for improved prowess across the rough stuff.

THE TOYOTA EPIC BY NUMBERS

1 choice of engine
2 unique versions
3 rows of seats
4 model derivatives
6 speaker audio system
7 amount of seating

Power: 130kW
Torque: 450Nm
Fuel consumption: 8.0l/100km Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 10.8-secs
Top speed: 180km/h

MODEL RANGE

Fortuner 2.8 RB Epic 6AT
Fortuner 2.8 Epic Black 6AT
Fortuner 2.8 4X4 Epic 6AT
Fortuner 2.8 4X4 Epic Black 6AT

The 2.4 GD-6 and 2.7 VVTi Fortuner models continue unaltered.

The 4.0 V6 model has been discontinued and the manual transmission Fortuner models have been deleted from the lineup.