Before we begin - the table above is how the Fortuner line-up is marketed now, after the variant shake-up.
The Fortuner range recently underwent a facelift exercise, with every variant getting a visual nip-and-tuck, as usual. But changes to the VRZ are more extreme - it gets an entirely different front fascia.
Major visual changes include an entirely different front bumper, with a slimmer upper grille, redesigned foglamps, and position lamps.
The devil's in the details too. The headlamps on the VRZ are quad-beam LEDs - as opposed to just bi-beams on the SRZ and 2.4 variants.
For the extra premium touch, the VRZ gets sequential LED signal lights, something that's not available on the other variants.
The new front bumper gives the 7-seater SUV a characteristic fang-like motif up front. Do you see it too?
Along the sides, 265/60R18 Toyo Open Country tyres hug the redesigned 18-inch wheels which now also features a new dual-tone colour scheme.
Note too the new dual-tone colourway the Fortuner gets. This Super White II example gets black A-pillars, wing mirrors, roof-mounted rear spoiler, and roof.
This two-tone colourway can be opted with the Bronze Mica Metallic paint as well.
What about creature comforts?
The VRZ's combination leather interior gets a dual-tone red-and-black colour scheme that looks the business.
Except for the East Malaysia-exclusive 2.4 variant, the SRZ and VRZ variants come with combination leather seats - with both front seats being 8-way power adjustable.
The driver gets a leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters, behind which the Optitron instrument cluster (with a 4.2-inch multi-info display) nests.
Standard across the Fortuner range is a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, chiming your favourite tunes (or your choice of Waze voice assist) through 6 speakers.
The business part of things - new 2.8L engine!
Central to the whole hoo-ha about the range-topping Fortuner is its new 1GD-FTV, 2.8-litre turbodiesel mill that's paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. With 204 PS and 500 Nm on tap, we'd wager that it's just the right engine for the Fortuner.
And not to forget, the VRZ also benefits from the Auto Limited Slip Differential (A-LSD) system that controls braking and when one of the rear wheels start to spin - plenty useful in difficult, low-terrain conditions.
Besides that, the VRZ gets the Variable Flow Control (VFC) power steering system which adjusts power steering assistance depending on driving speed - a feature that we found particularly nice to use when we sampled the Hilux Rogue.
More than enough safety features
Capping off the VRZ's price premium is the inclusion of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) functions, as below:
Pre-collision system (PCS)
Lane Departure Alert with yaw assist (LDA)
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
These are in addition to the regular stuff like 7 airbags, front and rear parking sensors, hill start assist (HSA), and vehicle stability control (VSC).
Conclusion - So is it worth it?
RM 31k is by no means a small amount, but that's the difference between the VRZ and the next-in-line, the 2.7 SRZ. But for that you get a new engine, trick features, and ADAS suite - all beneath a unique exterior.
With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.