- 1 A Conceptual Prototype-Turned Production Champ
- 2 Shopping For FJ Cruiser Accessories
- 3 Places To Find The Greatest Toyota FJ Cruiser For Sale
- 4 A Certified Vehicle Vs A Private Ride
- 5 Tons Of Offers, Tons Of Potential Picks
- 6 Buying A Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 At Your Local Spots
- 7 Design And Development – The First Steps
- 8 Countless Concepts Before The Real Thing
- 9 100K For A Development Mule – How About That?
- 10 Cutting On Luxury To Make The Toyota FJ Cruiser Price Reasonable
- 11 Exterior/Interior Details – Going For Off-Road Excellency
- 12 The Chassis, The Towing Capacity And The Safety Equipment
- 13 The Powertrain And The Sales Numbers
- 14 The Pros, The Cons And The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser
- 15 The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser And The Last Model Year (2014)
What does off-roading mean to you? Rolling in mud like a true pig (no pun intended, I love to do that myself sometimes :)), climbing the next steep hill and mountain high, or do you just love that sense of freedom, joy, and control when you’re cruising down the closest forest and/or desert? It could very well be all of those things, and if you’re a 100% fan of the wild nature, then you know what I’m talking about: those romantic nights under the moon somewhere in Sahara (or the deserts near Las-Vegas) or a dark, scary forest, telling ghost stories to your buddies, camping out, singing, playing the guitar…you know, that good stuff. And a good, solid, reliable truck/SUV is a crucial part of this beautiful thing. Come on, how are you gonna enjoy the off-road when you’re knee-deep in the mud or snow? So, it’s a pretty serious task – picking your ideal friend for taking on the wild nature – and I’d strongly recommend giving it some time and scrolling through all the available picks in your vicinity as opposed to going with the first attractive vehicle. Ford’s F-150 is probably the most obvious choice, as it’s got all the necessary “features” to be called an ideal pick for the job. On the other hand, if you’re into something “exotic”, make sure to check out the talent from the world’s mightiest automobile manufacturer – Toyota – and the Toyota FJ Cruiser in particular. Come on, if you’re a fan like you say you are, I bet 100 bucks you’ve heard about this go-getter more than once and even hopped behind the wheel once :).
A Conceptual Prototype-Turned Production Champ
True, they’ve got the Tacoma, the Tundra and the Hilux (exclusive for Europe for now; will be available in the States with the 2017 edition) proudly representing the family of pick-up trucks, and, on the other hand, you’ve got the mid-size 4Runner and the full-size Land Cruiser SUVs, both more than capable of making you happy. It’s safe to say that if you’re looking for a strong, reliable, dependable and no-BS steel friend for off-roading, Toyota is your guy. I’ve got thorough reviews on all of the aforementioned studs, so, today let’s talk about the FJ Cruiser, a born-ready champion for going wild. Alright, what is it all about? What’s so great about this compact SUV that I wanna shed some of that positive light on? For starters, it’s a retro-styled Sporty Utility Vehicle (aha, that’s what SUV stands for, and this model is just that – practical, sporty, flexible and reliable) with a tremendous off-road potential and an exterior design that takes a lot from the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 from back in the day. It was first revealed to the world as a conceptual prototype (that’s usually how it goes) at the North-American International Show in 2003 (January, to be exact). Two years later, thanks to positive reviews from the critics and the regular folks the company decided to give it the green light and approved mass production, with the final “form” making its debut at the same Show in January 2005. And, since 2006, it had been manufactured by Hino Motors, a subsidiary of the big T in Japan (Hamura).
Shopping For FJ Cruiser Accessories
I gotta also mention that this vehicle shares a lot of mechanical parts/structural underpinnings with the friendly Land Cruiser Prado. Sadly enough, back in 2013 Toyota USA officially announced that the 2014 model (the Trail Teams editions) will be sold under the name of “Ultimate Edition” and that 2014 will be the last year for it on the United States market. Aha, no more Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale for us, my friends. However, it does still live and prosper in other markets, including Australia and Middle-East, so, if you’re a huge fan and want the latest version to be parked in your garage, you could always pay up and have the car shipped (it will cost you a lot, though). If not, well, the private sellers will be more than happy to help you out and will offer you an extensive line-up of editions, model years, configurations…you’ll even be able to find all kinds of customized goodies, like how about a Toyota FJ Cruiser lifted? And if you’re after Toyota FJ Cruiser accessories, the third market will help you out with that again. Probably one of the best places to shop is here. These fellas have everything you’ll ever need for customization/modification/tuning/whatever, so, make sure to check the web-site out: camping gear, black out parts, electronics, exterior accessories, interior accessories, skid plates, and, of course, suspension/lift kits. It’s really one of the greatest sources of that customization heaven (if you believe such a place even exists, anyway).
Places To Find The Greatest Toyota FJ Cruiser For Sale
Next, you’ve got this site (also pretty well-packed, with fair price-tags) and this one. Furthermore, if you want to learn more about the subject, my article will get you started on the basics. Or, you could go with the official dealerships (or, rather, the body shops), but that will cost you more. On the other hand, you’ll know for sure that you’re getting that quality product, as opposed to going kinda blind with private owners. Speaking of buying a pre-owned vehicle, let’s see where we (you) can get a solid deal on a used Toyota FJ Cruiser to cruise down the block with pride and joy: If you’re all about that “legit business” and want to make sure that you’re buying a solid car, not some washed-up piece of junk (excuse my French), then your best bet would be to go with a Certified Toyota Vehicle. Yep, I’m a big endorser of using your head and paying up at the beginning to ensure a happy, reliable, safe and profitable future (trust me, you’ll have more luck selling a fully-inspected certified car with all the legal papers than a John Doe-of-a-vehicle from a private seller). So, with the Certified program, you’ll get a 12months/12K miles Limited Comprehensive Warranty and a 7year/100K miles Limited Powertrain Warranty. Besides, every last model from the line-up goes through meticulous check-ups and inspections, so, again, you can rest assured that you’re getting the real deal.
A Certified Vehicle Vs A Private Ride
Browse in and browse out, as a buddy of mine likes to say, which means go to your local dealership and check out the available used Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale. You can even do that online – just visit the web-site of the closest dealer and see whether they’ve got what you want in the lot or not. Remember: you’re the buyer, so, you’ve got the upper hand. Don’t rush it and don’t let the salesperson manipulate you into buying it unless you feel like this is it. The “partisan way” would be to beat on the official dealerships and deal with private sellers. This approach has its advantages, and the biggest one is you’ll usually end up paying less (even compared to a standard legal trade, not within the Certified program). Now, I know I said that you gotta keep your guard up and be vigilant, but, if you go shopping on the most popular web-sites, like this, this, this and this, you’ll most certainly be able to find an honest seller who won’t try to rob you off your money. The greatest thing about buying online is you can browse the vehicles, check out the pictures and learn about all the available info, like the mileage, the price-tag, the location (that’s pretty important too; come on, you know how much time and money it would take to travel from, say, Alaska to Arizona just to see a maybe-yes car in person?) and everything else in between.
Tons Of Offers, Tons Of Potential Picks
Pay extra attention to the Toyota FJ Cruiser price: usually folks check out similar offers on the market before setting their own price, so that means the price-tags will be roughly the same in every city/block/hood. Therefore, if you happen across a suspiciously-cheap vehicle, don’t test your luck and just skip to the next one. It’s like cheese in a mousetrap, if you know what I mean. For example, right now you can find a walking-talking 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale for 15K at CarGurus (it’s got 46K miles behind its back and is located in Lilburn, Georgia). If 15K is a bit steep for you, I’ve got another 2007 model for 13K and 143K mileage for you to check out at Plano, Texas. By the way, keep in mind that official dealers also like to post their pre-owned line-ups at the aforementioned web-sites, so, you might just end up going legit if you’re not careful enough :). Another popular pick is the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 for sale. Now, because this is an iconic vehicle, let me tell you a few important facts about it: first of all, it’s out of production now, but folks still love it for that retro appeal. It had been manufactured for the 1960-1984 period. Fun fact: over in Brazil they call it the Toyota Bandeirante, and it lasted for a lot longer, being in production since from 1968 to 2001! Wow, I guess they appreciate true off-roading more than we do!
Buying A Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 At Your Local Spots
Most 40-series models were 2-door SUVs, perfect for off-roading. If you wanna learn more about it, check out my Toyota Land Cruiser review. Ok, back to the shopping spree: Go to this site – you’ll find lots of offers over there, including a 1977 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 for 25K, a ’79 edition for 26,5K, and more. Another great place is here (that’s the direct link) with similar price-tags. However, the biggest selection awaits you at this site, so, go check that out and get back at me with a smile on your face and your heart pumping :). I think they’ve got the most comprehensive collection of FJ Cruisers out there, to be honest, most of them “stationed” here in the United States. I was actually a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to find at least a couple of solid places to get these retro babies, but, thankfully, we still have good Samaritans in America who keep track of the best offers on the market. It’s just like they say – “Who seeks shall find”. Sounds a bit cryptic, doesn’t it? Alright, I believe that’s about all the info I have to share on the whole “man meats machine” thing – buying/selling/customizing. Now let’s talk about the model’s history – the way it came up, all the exciting and fun facts, the usual – and see how Toyota managed to turn it into a living legend. As I mentioned in the beginning, the company officially ceased production after the 2014 model year, but that doesn’t mean it’s forever forgotten.
Design And Development – The First Steps
So, by the time the production life-span of the original FJ40 ended in ’84, the company decided to take a different route and focus more on increasing the overall size, strength and luxury of the Land Cruiser line-up (the eldest in Toyota’s history, by the way). They say the initial idea, the concept of a successor to the FJ40, based on the legendary vehicle with rugged off-road capabilities and a masculine look originated in 1994-95 with the company’s Product Planner, Dave Danzer and Yoshi Inaba, the Vice President of Sales and Operations. Furthermore, rumors claim that Mr. Danzer was working secretly with Akio Toyoda, the current CEO and set up production at the NUMMI plant. They were testing all kinds of possibilities, trying to mate the underpinnings of the Tacoma mid-size pick-up truck with the construction platform of the Toyota Bandeirante, a Brazilian model heavily based on the FJ40 (only available as a diesel vehicle). So, you could call it two auto enthusiasts just trying out all kinds of cool stuff, forgetting about the fact that they’re big-time men in suits, responsible for thousands of people and their families. That’s a beautiful thing if you ask me. And, as far as the Toyota FJ Cruiser reviews go, these two were the first ones to test-drive this new thing. What happened next? Akio flew back to Japan, joined the board of directors and supported the new project from a higher standing.
Countless Concepts Before The Real Thing
After that, the world-famous Calty design studio, Toyota’s pride and joy when it comes to flagship designs, was tasked to deliver a fresh, exciting and attractive interpretation of the FJ40 from back in the day. These folks know their stuff, so, it’s no wonder the final result was a piece of art. Besides, they even went as far as hiring Bill Chergosky, a veteran Chrysler automotive designer to lead the production/development of an off-road-friendly model under the codename RYU (Rugged Youth Utility; sounds stupid, I know), with a goal of appealing to a vast range of young male fans of the wild and free. I bet Toyota was kinda losing that market, so, they were trying to get back into the game with this one. By the way, the final retro-style design wasn’t achieved from the get-go: many different conceptual prototypes were made including the Rugged Sports Coupe, first shown at the Chicago Auto Show in 2001. But, eventually, a 24-year -old (and, of course, talented) designer, Jin Won Kim created the best design that was picked as the official, final exterior concept, with Bill Chergosky taking care of the new Toyota FJ Cruiser interior. Alright, so, the FJ Cruiser Toyota debuted at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003 in Voodoo Blue, a color that later on became an iconic one for the production model. Furthermore, the bold, edgy and masculine design/styling became an instant hit with the auto fans and the critics/press. It’s safe to say that folks welcomed it with open arms, and that’s the greatest way to start a new model if you ask me. Companies spend billions of dollars just to make a new car click, you know?
100K For A Development Mule – How About That?
And I also have to say that the mutual love was pretty strong, because at the moment of the official release the segment was crowded with more exotic, and…experienced conceptual vehicles, including the Dodge Tomahawk and the Cadillac Sixteen (you remember those, don’t you?) But Toyota played it out perfectly: by resurrecting the design and charisma of the legendary FJ40, the new off-road king was received as the next big thing in the industry, just like the new Ford Mustang was for the Blue Oval Brand. By summer 2004 the new Cruiser was already on top of the pedestal, so, the team behind it decided it was time to go wild and start extensive, “cruel” off-road testing – evaluations, like they say it over there – on one of the most difficult roads in North America, such as the world-famous Rubicon Trail, the Angeles National Forest, Moab, Utah, the Mojave Desert, and more. The platform was being tested 24/7, but, obviously, the team was using development mules, not the real thing, as you can never be too protective when it comes to the press/fans taking pictures and posting it online (true, the whole social revolution hasn’t even began back then, but still, they couldn’t let a false Toyota FJ Cruiser review hit the net). Fun fact: even though the mules cost more than 100K (I’m not even joking, folks, that’s the truth), the development team didn’t really care and had one goal and one goal only – to push the capabilities and abilities (no, that’s not the same thing) of the Cruiser in order to deliver the best off-road experience for the customers who will buy the final production model. Sounds fair, huh? Aha, and that’s why people respect Toyota that much.
Cutting On Luxury To Make The Toyota FJ Cruiser Price Reasonable
And they were right, too: during testing they figured out that suspension needed tuning and the A-TRAC traction control system had to be tweaked with as well, so, there you have it – productive work! Fun fact: the exterior design of this new off-road champ was pretty much the same when the final, production model hit the North-American International Auto Show in 2005. However, Akio Nishimura, chief production engineer, had to put some work in on the inside and…alter the luxury goodies, offered by Bill Ghergosky, in order to keep the price Toyota FJ Cruiser set for the customers within reasonable borders, so to speak. The original interior had a gear shifter that looked a lot like a shovel handle, removable interior lights that looked like tiny flashlights and flat/folding front seats, all of which, unfortunately, had to go, otherwise only the richest folks on the planet would’ve been able to afford it. Still, the majority of that cool stuff from the initial concept vehicle was available as factory options, but I for one would really love to see that original interior. Wouldn’t you? Speaking of the production model, I want to point out that interior comes with many design solutions focused on making the off-road experience a super-fun one, with extra attention to practicality. For example, all of the surfaces on the inside are covered with easily washable rubber materials so that you can clean it up fast and easy after a heavy run in the wild.
Exterior/Interior Details – Going For Off-Road Excellency
Plus, the dashboard boasts big-bad controls (oversized, that is) for quick access even if you’re in gloves. Fact: the three-gauge cluster (with a compass, temperature, and inclinometer) and the 110volt back outlet were carefully carried over from the initial concept model to the final edition as optional equipment. As for the exterior, it featured a short enough wheelbase, stocky frame, and the way the grille and the headlights are aligned reminds a lot of the original FJ40, which, in this case, is a good thing (I usually don’t like when the majors in the industry try to make huge bucks on people’s nostalgia, but I can’t say anything bad to Toyota, I just love the new Cruiser a lot :)). Furthermore, that almost-vertical windshield with 3 vipers for maximum coverage also reminds of the old model, and that’s a cute touch, I think. Fun fact: that’s not a relevant fact in terms of design, mechanics, and/or user comfort, but I gotta mention that the current 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser is the one and only vehicle from the Japanese mogul’s line-up to have “Toyota” spelled out all over the front grille (or, rather across it) instead of the traditional corporate emblem. That’s yet another reminder of the good old days, the original FJ40 and the rest of the old and rusty pick-up trucks and SUVs. By the way, did you know that the architecture/body comes with rear opening access doors that give it a unique, masculine, I would even say military look? Plus, in order to provide side impact protection without a door pillar, the engineers and designers used special high-strength steel.
The Chassis, The Towing Capacity And The Safety Equipment
The FJ Cruiser is 4.67 meters long (that’s 184 inches) and that makes it the 2nd-longest compact SUV from the Japanese company on sales here in America/Canada, fitting right between the smaller RAV4 and the mid-size crossover Highlander (both models are highly capable, but they’re best suited for in-city driving, not conquering the next muddy hill). And, the Cruiser takes pride in “borrowing” all kinds of components from the friendly vehicles, including engines and transmissions from the Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner, along with the suspension from the Hilux, and, again, Tacoma-4Runner. Yep, it’s like the combination of the best Toyota parts. If you’re interested in the Toyota FJ Cruiser towing capacity, you’ll be pleased to learn that it can tow anything up to 5K pounds both in the 4×4 and the 2×2 configurations. As for acceleration, the SUV goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.8 seconds. And if you wanna learn about the most legendary cars from the big T, check out my review. Structurally the team behind the reinvented model used a body-on-frame truck-style design that’s heavily based on the Prado platform. It’s got a double wishbone front suspension along with a four-link rear suspension. And, it comes with rear ventilated disc brakes with all kinds of safety equipment, including ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) and A-TRAC. The 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser introduced a couple of minor fixes to the engine due to some bulging/cracking issues with the 2007-2008 editions.
The Powertrain And The Sales Numbers
As for the powertrain, the SUV comes with a 4.0-lit V6. The 2007-2009 models had the engine packed with VVT-i that’s capable of 239 Horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. With the 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser the engine got equipped with the Dual VVT-i tech. The 4WD (four-wheel drive) editions that come with the RA61F manual transmission have a 4WD system that is running 24/7, with a center TORSEN differential that’s feeding the engine’s output 40 to 60 during “normal” driving and can switch to 50-50. Safety-wise, side curtain/side torso airbags became standard for the 2008 model, while the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) rated it with a Top Safety Pick. The SUV earned a “Good” overall rating for the front/side impacts tests when the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser hit the market. Fun fact: this off-road champ was initially designed and developed for the North-American market, but, thanks to popular demand, it has been sold in modest numbers all over the world since the launch back in 2005. Now that’s what I call a crowd pleaser! So, in 2010 Toyota officially said that the Japanese segment will get the right-hand-drive edition (the FJ Cruiser replaced the outdated Hilux Surf). As for the sales numbers, I gotta say that Toyota had a big commercial success with this one, partially thanks to the retro styling and resemblance with the FJ40, and partially thanks to impressive off-road capabilities. Unfortunately, the excitement couldn’t last for long, and while the dealerships managed to move 56.2K units in 2006, sales dropped heavily by 2010 (only 15K units).
The Pros, The Cons And The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Critics say that’s due to the ever-growing competition on the market of off-road-friendly compact SUVs and partially because of the Toyota FJ Cruiser MPG numbers, which were pretty poor at a time when gas prices were quite high. The team behind it hoped to bring strong sales back in 2010, with improved efficiency, but that never happened. If you want to know about the reception in the automotive press, I’ll tell you that the model had its fair share of praise and criticism for a lifetime. The majority of critics really loved how Toyota managed to sneak in a 100% off-road-ready vehicle back when it had conservative, low-budget and family-friendly models on the agenda. The impressive performance in the wild nature, the unique styling and utility were also greatly appreciated. The bad sides include below-average cargo capacity, a cramped back seat and the lack of a diesel engine. Now, even though the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser was pretty much identical to the previous generation, it was still an APEX predator with attractive looks, superb off-road performance and tons of that adrenaline that you need to feel running through your veins from time to time to feel alive, you know? And it’s anything but boring, routine, mediocre and predictable. While the Toyota line-up is all about efficiency and flexibility, the Cruiser doesn’t care about anything else but the fun part, which it’s got tons of. Besides, it’s dependable, reliable and loves dirt – what else could you wish for? Again, it’s practically the same as in 2007, but I can’t even blame the company for being lazy, because, let’s face it – they made a near-perfect SUV. Why “near”? Well, not everybody loves to go off-roading :).
The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser And The Last Model Year (2014)
The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser introduced the off-road-ready Trail Teams special edition package…wait, wasn’t it ALREADY an off-road champ? Well, it was, but this pack made it that much better. It comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, unique interior trim/exterior paint (fancy gray), super-mighty tires, a beefed up suspension, a huge roof rack and almost everything from the Convenience and Upgrade packages, which include keyless entry, a rearview camera, cruise control, 17-inch (alloy) wheels, an 11-speaker sound-system (JBL), and more. Next, you’ve got the Off-Road package; it features Bilstein shock absorbers, additional gauges, and an upgraded traction control system. As for the 2014 edition, the last one to date, Toyota decided to make it count and introduced the Ultimate Edition of the Trail Teams package from the previous model year. Overall, there were only 2.5K units built, with 16-inch (bead-lock) wheels, all-terrain tires, and TRD-tuned suspension. Other than that, it was the same as before – an ideal car for going out camping with your buddies. Ok, that’s the end of it, guys. I’ve got nothing else to share. Finally, check the article if you wanna shed a couple of nostalgic tears in solitude – I’ll leave you to it :).
Watch this video: Toyota FJ cruiser going through mud pit