TOYOTA FJ CRUISER, TRADITIONAL OFF-ROADER BUT TRENDY

Filed in Automobiles by on October 10, 2012

Toyota FJ Cruiser, traditional off-roader but trendy
October 10, 2012 by Rasheed Bisiriyu

Toyota has remained a class brand. Those that strive to own ‘low-profile’ or small-sized models often beat their chests of having joined the big league players of Toyota.

The introduction of FJ Cruiser has further proved that Toyota can also play and beat the best in the trendy automobile segment.

The FJ Cruiser is designed to meet most off-road driving requirements.

Introduced as a concept car at the February 2003 Chicago Auto Show, the FJ Cruiser is a sport utility vehicle that recreates some of the 1958 FJ40’s original charm.

Competitors

Seating five people, the FJ competes with off-road-oriented SUVs such as the Nissan Xterra and Jeep Wrangler, says Cars.com.

The FJ cruiser is built by Toyota subsidiary Hino Motors in Hamura, Japan since 2006 and shares many structural underpinnings from the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, says Wikipedia.

The retro-styled SUV was approved for production after positive consumer response.

Special features

According to Car.com, the vehicle’s off-road Trail Teams Special Edition is equipped with standard rock rails, special badge, door sill scuff plates, TRD 16-inch wheels, an electronically controlled locking rear differential and Bilstein shocks.

An online auto reviewer, thecarconnection says the vehicle is built from the sturdy underpinnings of the last-generation Toyota 4Runner and it impresses off-road enthusiasts, but with some sacrifice on the road.

Although it notes that on the road performance is indeed compromised, the FJ does handle streets and highways reasonably well.

The FJ Cruiser, it stresses, makes a rugged yet fashionable statement for those who want to take to the trail and look good in the process.

Engine

The 2013 edition of Toyota FJ Cruiser is built with a 4.0-litre V6 engine. It is categorised as a Low Emission Vehicle II.

FJ Cruisers are available in rear- and four-wheel-drive configurations. They all use the same 4.0-litre V-6 engine.

Transmission

The vehicle has five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with intelligence.

But the manual version has as a six-speed manual transmission (Full-time 4WD only).

Performance

Besides being an off-road-focused SUV, thecarconnection says the FJ Cruiser plays to a limited crowd and does it very well.

It says the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser performs to its full potential on the trail, not always completely in its element on the tarmac.

With 260 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, its 4.0-litre V-6 engine is a gem, and the six-speed manual or five-speed automatic does quite well with what it can churn out.

Off-the-line performance is quick (relative to other sturdy off-roaders), while highway passing isn’t quite as blistering, but it’s adequate.

Exterior

Outside, the FJ Cruiser’s unique windshield has three wipers; the rear-hinged access doors facilitate backseat entry.

Its high belt line and short windows bear more resemblance to a Hummer than to the FJ40’s tall cab.

And it has a rear swing gate with spare tyre.

Others are seventeen-inch wheels; and power side mirrors with turn-signal indicators.

Interior

The vehicle has a rectangular, truck-like dashboard, which incorporates a prominent square panel with stereo and climate controls.

An optional gauge cluster that sits above the middle air vents can display a compass, outside temperature and vehicle pitch readouts.

The FJ Cruiser has nice front seats and a good driving position. It also comes with a minimum amount of cargo space at the back.

Experts, however, note that the floor is rather high and the side-hinged tailgate is not always convenient.

The Toyota FJ Cruiser hasn’t really changed much since its 2007 model-year introduction.

Its side airbags were made standard for 2008, and in 2009 the FJ got a helpful available rearview camera setup. Intuitive Park Assist is now also available.

Safety

The FJ has received the top overall score of being outstanding in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Its roll-sensing feature works with the side curtain airbags to deploy in the event of a rollover.

Its active front head restraints are standard; they move forward in a rear-end collision to limit head movement. The vehicle also has as standard safety all-disc antilock brakes; electronic stability system; and front-seat side-impact airbags.

Toyota warns that any abuse in the use of the vehicle may result in bodily harm or damage. It therefore encourages responsible operation to protect the user, the vehicle and the environment.

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