Toyota FJ Cruiser

Toyota FJ Cruiser

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a midsized SUV with off-road credibility—it can roll through water 28 inches deep and has a protected undercarriage and a breakover angle that helps it clear uneven terrain. Its boxy build is inspired by the classic Land Cruiser. Available with 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive, the Toyota FJ Cruiser transitions smoothly between the street and off pavement.

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Model Overview

The Toyota FJ Cruiser was introduced to the U.S. market with the debut of the 2007 model, and right away the SUV was noted for its distinctive design, including a 2-tone retro look. Because the model is not even a decade old, you are more likely to find a variety of used models on with one previous owner and an accident-free history. If you want to ensure your FJ Cruiser can handle off road conditions, start your search with late 2008 models since that is when Toyota made revisions to front fender aprons to fix issues with bulging and cracking. If you worry about what might happen in a rollover, start your search with 2009 models, because rollover sensors were added that year to reduce the chance of a rollover.

Limited-edition FJ Cruisers for enthusiasts are available for most model years. In 2007, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) produced the TRD Special Edition FJ Cruiser—the only model released with the body and the roof painted in Black Diamond Pearl. The model has additional features, like off-road tuned shocks and BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, which are designed to enhance the vehicle's off-road performance. In 2008, Trail Teams Special Edition FJ Cruisers were on the market. These featured many of the same enhancements as the 2007 TRD Special Edition FJ Cruiser. Since 2010, Trail Teams Special Edition FJ Cruisers have been released each year—each in a unique color scheme.

FJ Cruisers have held their value well compared to other SUVs. Respectable gas mileage helps keep down the cost of ownership. In 2013,IntelliChoice awarded the Toyota FJ Cruiser with Best Overall Value Two Years in a Row and Best Overall Value of the Year. The vehicle also received the 2013 Lowest Ownership Costs, 2013 Lowest Maintenance Costs and 2013 Highest Retained Value in Its Class awards from IntelliChoice, as well as the 2014 Best Resale Value award from Kelley Blue Boo.

If you enjoy outdoor activities the Toyota FJ Cruiser is an excellent choice. Avid outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate its size and rugged-looked exterior styling. It features a short wheelbase, grill/headlight arrangement and a stocky frame that is reminiscent of Toyota's FJ40 Series of Land Cruisers. This design helps you navigate rocky areas and hills without worrying that you will damage your vehicle. However, according to Toyota Cruisers & Trucks magazine, the design is not without slight flaws. Because the FJ Cruiser is a decent-sized SUV that is designed to withstand various conditions, the pillars around the windows are large and the windows are relatively small. Visibility is an issue, but 90 percent of the problem can be resolved by installing blind-spot mirrors. Also, the almost-vertical windshield has three windshield wipers that help increase your visibility during harsh weather conditions.

Toyota FJ Cruiser Safety Ratings

After a series of crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)has given the Toyota FJ Cruiser a "Good" rating for the front moderate overlap and side on every model-year. Since the 2009 model year, it has received a "Good" rating for head restraints and seats. The roof strength has received an "Acceptable" rating from IIHS for every model year.

All of the current Toyota FJ Cruiser models include Toyota's Advanced Airbag System, seat-mounted side airbags, active headrests and seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters for the driver and front passenger. All 2014 models also include front and rear roll-sensing side curtain airbags (RSCA) with a cutoff switch, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions and side-impact door beams. Special anchors and tethers provide added child safety for kids that are still in safety seats. You can also opt to include rear-parking assist sonar so you will also know if something or someone is behind you when you're backing up.