I've finally got an FJ Cruiser for a decent time and will be posting several reports, most likely broken by a mid-week trip to the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne to look at some 4WD stuff coming our way. 4wdNewz has already published several items on the FJ and links to these are at the end of this article. It's a fascinating vehicle, on one hand the styling's contrived and bordering on the silly, in other ways quite compelling, especially as it is listing at less than $70,000 and the first round of dealer demos are on sale now for around $62,000-$64,000.
|One of the FJ Cruiser's attributes is superb access thanks to the small open-out suicide doors, or Access Doors as Toyota calls them. The red-trimmed seat covers are extras.|
|Rear access is also good and the cargo area is hose-down trail-ready. Capacity is 990 litres as shown, 1370 with the seats down. Passenger compartment floors are also hose-down.|
|Now THAT's s strut! The FJ Cruiser might have Tonka-like styling, but that's where its toyishness stops.|
To set the scene, the FJ is built on a lengthened version of the SWB Prado's chassis, has a 3956cc V6 petrol with an automatic five-speed; independent front suspension with a coil-sprung live axle at back; and has part-time 4WD. An electrically-operated rear diff-lock is standard. Overall low gearing is an unimpressive 33.61:1. By comparison, the 4wdNewz Wrangler Rubicon has an overall low of 46.6:1 thanks to a 4:1 transfer ratio. The Toyota's is 2.566:1. In size, the FJ Cruiser sits roughly between the current Mitsubishi Challenger and the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, although it's wider than either and has a shorter wheelbase of 2690mm.
Approach and departure angles are 36 and 31 degrees respectively. These are average by today's standards, but well short of a Defender 90's 49/47. At 12.4m its turning circle is kind-of wide and in keeping with such 4WDs as the Wrangler Unlimited and Nissan Patrol (both 12.2m), or its kin the Land Cruiser 70 LX wagon at 12.6m. The rear diff is 235mm from the ground which is okay, but measured on the same spot of ground, my Wrangler offers 25mm more air. (I'm not turning this into a Wrangler vs FJ Cruiser comparison, the Jeep just happens to be handy!) As it rolls from the showroom, the FJ has 265/70 x 17 tyres, in the case of "my" one, Dunlop Grandtrek AT22s, which are somewhere between a BFG All Terrain and a street tyre.
4wdNewz no longer has access to a 20deg ramp to get a Ramp Travel Index, but American reports say the FJ Cruiser scores about 515, which is on the lower end of average.
Here's a collection of earlier posts on the FJ Cruiser. Click "older posts" at the bottom right of the page the link will take you to, for another batch. And here's a good American FJ Cruiser forum, in case you get hooked on the truck.
Update: Toyota has told 4wdNewz that the FJ Cruiser will be facelifted in the coming year, but it's expected to be minor.
|There's a useful covered stowage bin in the right rear and just look at those man-sized tie-down points.|
|4wdNewz would live in fear of smashing one of the |
stick-right-out rear light clusters.
|FJ looks too much like a Dyson vacuum cleaner with styling details like this.|