Petrol vs the new diesel Fortuner – Which one to choose?


So IMC has launched both the Revo and Fortuner with a new 2800cc diesel engine. The engine belongs to Toyota’s new GD series which was first launched back in 2015. The Hilux Revo was offered with a 3.0L 1KD diesel engine whereas the Fortuner was only available with a 2.7L 2TR petrol engine. Both the 1KD and 2TR engines had their specific quirks, and both vehicles needed another variant option. Where the 1KD was just an old diesel engine that just needed to be put to rest, the 2TR petrol was considered to be underpowered by many.

Also Read: IMC launching all-new diesel Toyota Fortuner today

But that does not mean the petrol Fortuner has lost its value. Both the diesel and petrol versions have their pros and cons, and it depends a lot on the requirements of a potential buyer that what kind of a vehicle is he or she after. One can argue that both vehicles target a different sort of market segment.

Let’s talk about the engine first. The 2.7L petrol 2TR engine in the Fortuner makes 164 bhp at 5200 RPM and 245 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM. On the other hand, the new 2.8L 1GD-FTV diesel motor in the 2018 Fortuner makes 175 bhp at 3400 RPM and 450 Nm of torque at 1600-2400 RPM. Right off the bat, you will notice that the diesel engine is more powerful than the petrol engine. Albeit the horsepower is not that high, it is the torque that is a game changer here. Both are straight-4 engines with dual overhead cams.

Toyota 2.8 liter 1GD FTV Turbo Diesel Engine

Toyota 2.7 liter 2TR-FE

Toyota 2.7-liter 2TR-FE

And now comes the part where you must decide what kind of work will you be taking with your new Fortuner. The diesel version has significantly more torque than the petrol model. Torque is required to rotate the wheels. Higher the torque, more easily the car is going to turn wheels. Lower the RPM range here means you do not have to rev high to make power/torque. The torque difference between both the 2TR petrol and this 1GD diesel is 205 Nm. To put this in perspective, the 1.5L turbo Civic makes 220 Nm of torque. So that is almost a whole Turbo Civic worth of extra torque that the new diesel 2018 Fortuner is making compared to the petrol model. This is a very crude example, but I hope you get the picture.

Read more about the Toyota 1GD-FTV engine here!

But then there are some unknown aspects of owning this diesel Fortuner as well. When the 1KD Vigo was being imported in Pakistan something like a decade ago, one problem it had was that the locally available diesel is not suitable for the common-rail engines (Toyota’s D-4D). The engines were prone to blowing their injectors, and they were quite expensive to replace. Besides, the servicing intervals of those 1KD engines had to be kept considerably shorter due to contamination of diesel and to curb all the trouble that dirty fuel brought with it. And once again the owners of the new diesel engines are going to be in unchartered territory. For now, we don’t know how the engine is going to cope with the fuel available in Pakistan.

The petrol is significantly easier, and cheaper, to maintain in Pakistan. People often argue that Toyota engine are not very refined. They are tough as nails, but not so good with fuel economy. And same is the case with the 2TR engine of petrol Fortuner. The car is notorious for returning arguably poor mileage (around 6 km/l), but you can rely on it in all sorts of conditions. It will last you for decades with minimum maintenance. On the other hand, one can argue that the maintenance cost of the diesel Fortuner is going to be significantly higher (mostly shorter servicing intervals to prevent premature wear and tear due to bad fuel).

2018 toyota fortuner diesel pw

I couldn’t find official IMC fuel figures of both the diesel and petrol Fortuner. But according to a few international sources, the petrol 2TR Fortuner should return 8 km/l (12.5 l/100 km – combined) whereas the 1GD should return as much as 13.5 km/l (7.4 l/100 km – combined). Although we should always take the official figures with a pinch of salt, but even if the averages are remotely similar to what it says, then diesel Fortuner wins hands down. Let’s take the prices of fuels into account as well. The petrol is selling for Rs88/liter and diesel is selling for Rs98.45/liter. So if we believe the average figures above, that means the petrol Fortuner will do 1 kilometre in Rs11 whereas the diesel Fortuner will do 1 kilometre in Rs7.29. Please bear in mind this is all a rough estimation based on the values available.

You have to ask yourself how am I going to use my new SUV. If it is just a fashion statement and it will be used as a regular city car and for the monthly couple of inter-city trips, then I guess the petrol 2TR Fortuner is going to do just fine. And considering the upcoming petrol Fortuner is going to be 4×2, then you can’t go wrong with the petrol model if just regular city use (daily kids pick and drop, house chores, a couple of motorway trips every now and then) is the objective here. Also, the petrol engine is significantly smoother than the diesel engine. No matter how advanced the diesel is, it inherently has the vibration and noise that the petrol engine doesn’t. So if you take issue with all the loud rumbling and vibrations of a diesel engine, maybe best go for the petrol model.

2018 toyota fortuner diesel (2)

On the other hand, if you’d like to take your SUV for off-roading once in a while, or regularly need to tow something, or just want to use your SUV like an actual SUV including trips to far-flung areas, then the 1GD diesel Fortuner is definitely the better choice. It is more powerful and is definitely a more capable SUV (at least compared to the upcoming 4×2 variant). But that does not include going to the extreme northern side of Pakistan. If you have been to Gilgit and similar areas up in the north of Pakistan, you might have noticed that petrol is not only relatively easily available, the petrol vehicle happen to perform better compared to diesel engines due to high altitude. Diesel engines rely on high compression for combustion of the fuel. At high altitudes, the air is thin, and engine’s combustion efficiency drops significantly due to delay in the ignition of the charge (the mixture of air and fuel). Basically, the combustion is disturbed due to low atmospheric pressure and thin air.

New diesel Fortuner being a turbo diesel might not have that many combustion problems up there, but the fact you don’t get a good quality fuel in those remote areas can be a serious problem. However, the diesel Fortuner does 0 to 100 km/h faster than the petrol Fortuner (12 seconds vs 13 seconds).

2018 toyota fortuner diesel (6)

Talking about the prices of both vehicles, the 2.8L Toyota Fortuner diesel is priced at PKR 5,899,000 whereas the 2.7L Fortuner (4×2) is priced at PKR 5,549,000. The 4×4 petrol Fortuner was priced at PKR 5,399,000, but that, of course, has been discontinued. All prices are ex-factory.

The withholding tax for filer and non-filer is PKR 200,000 and PKR 400,000 respectively. The registration tax of 2.8L diesel Fortuner is PKR 235,960 whereas for 2.7L petrol variant it’s PKR 215,960. There are other small taxes and charges depending upon the area of registration (federal or provincial). You can check complete details at our PakWheels On Road Price section.

So this is pretty much it. Unfortunately, there is no black and white when deciding for a type of vehicle you are after. Both the petrol and diesel have their pros and cons. Both are pretty capable vehicles and have their respective strong points. But we hope we have helped you narrow down the type of Fortuner best suited for your needs – petrol for showing-off, diesel for some actual work. Happy motoring!


Writing about cars and stuff.

Notable Replies

  1. Good informative article......well done....seems logical and concluded well.....

  2. Diesel version is the one to opt for....
    High torque light pull. Plus as now petrol is 2WD vs Diesel 4x4.

    Remote trunk and push button start is a minor thing to be considered while buying

  3. Well written.Very correct assessment.Tho diesel is the one to go for.Petrol is underpowered as well as now onwards only 4x2 for city dwellers.

  4. azkis says:

    Good information, I would suggest to drive it for two years then sell it before the engine starts to throw smoke. Whats the tenor for the oil change on this?

  5. Very well written. For a change we have someone writing keeping the end user in mind and not just cooking up an article with technical stuff fed by the Company.

    Thanks for the great work.

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