5 top off-road driving tips, with Toyota Fortuner
© Toyota Fortuner
The Toyota Fortuner offers the ability to go anywhere you like, whenever you want. Here’s a handful of tips to take you there.
The Toyota Fortuner transforms seamlessly from a sophisticated urban warrior to a fierce bush conqueror, but before you take your Fortuner off road, here are a few things to keep in mind:
As fast as you can, as slow as possible
Momentum is your friend, and the key to overcoming most 4x4 obstacles. Acceleration – in the wrong places – is not. Learn to use the momentum the vehicle has already built up to carry you through obstacles. What this means is that you should not try to suddenly accelerate when you hit mud, sand, or rocks.
The new Fortuner is propelled by a range of newly developed engines, including the 2.4 and 2.8 GD series, the 2.7 VVT-i and 4.0 V6 power plants. The new GD series engines offer improved power output, efficiency and refinement. First introduced in the new Hilux, the new diesel engines have been developed from the ground up to offer an excellent on- and off-road driving experience. Trust the power plant – along with your gear selection and line – to carry you through.
When in doubt, walk the obstacle
Another one of the most cliched off-road driving sayings, that still rings true: ‘When in doubt, get out.’ As in, stop, get out of your Fortuner and scout the obsctable first, plotting your lines. If there is mud or water, test the depth and nature of the bottom.
Sand - Float like a butterfly
The number 1 tip all experienced sand drivers will give you, is to deflate your tyres before venturing out. Go down to 1.0bar or even 0.8 for really soft sand and dunes at places like Atlantis and the Vleesbaai Dune Route.
An electrically controlled rear differential lock is standard on all the Toyota Fortuner 4x4 models. Exercise caution when wanting to use this in sand as it can cause the vehicle to ‘handle’ strangely. Many drivers forget that the diff is engaged and then try to make a sudden turn (such as out of a rutted sand track) while the vehicle tries to keep going straight. Best to run sand in high range 4x4 without diff and then, when do get into trouble (ie stuck) engage the diff and try to ease a reverse out.
The Toyota Fortuner loves it rocky. The highly rigid chassis frame and body provide a stable platform for the Fortuner's new suspension, contributing significantly to optimum steering response. The new Fortuner has a double-wishbone front suspension and four-link coil-spring rear suspension, both with stabiliser bars.
The Fortuner's suspension hardware includes reinforced suspension towers and large-diameter dampers for durability, stability and effective control of small vibrations. The large-diameter cylinders allow the dampers to generate high forces with a short stroke for minimal impac
A special underbody protection package was developed to withstand severe use, including an engine undercover for increased levels of protection. The undercover allows for cleaning after off-road use and was designed to minimise the collection of mud under the engine, while deflecting rocks and other potential harmful objects from critical parts.
Mud is the 4x4er’s ‘grey’ - it comes in 50 shades and more…From thick, bottomless clay to sticky ‘cotton soil’ and souplike surfaces often found in forests. Much like sand driving, a reduced tyre pressures and low gear are key. As is momentum - tip 1! Always walk a tricky-looking section first. And those that don’t look too daunting, many a mud pit has been underestimated and been the undoing of some very experienced drivers.