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2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser - 2007 4x4 Of The Year

Posted in Project Vehicles on February 1, 2007 Comment (0)
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2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser - 2007 4x4 Of The Year
Contributors: Rick Péwé
Photographers: David KennedyDrew HardinFrank KaislerTrevor ReedThe 4-Wheel & Off-Road Staff

The FJ Cruiser is the best 4x4 currently offered by Toyota in the United States. That being said, we still have some suggestions. We would like a front locker, larger mirrors to deal with the blind spot, a front locker, more windows to deal with the blind spots, a front locker, a second, lower, low range in the transfer case, a front locker, real off-road tires (see H3 and Jeep), a front locker, more than just one 12-volt power outlet (welcome to 2007!), a front locker, more retro aesthetic than just the grille, a front locker, back doors that open the right way or all the way, and finally a real front locker. You see, the engine and drivetrain in the FJ are awesome-very torquey and peppy 4.0, easy to shift six-speed manual (we actually started liking having reverse next to first), and a real lever-actuated transfer case (gold star!)-but this truck is so designer driven that it falls short of what Toyota is known for off road. Unfortunately some designer in a studio who has probably never been off road drew up this machine and didn't realize that being able to see the trail makes off-road excursions more delightful. And remember, traction control is no substitute for a front locker. Yes, we like the real selectable rear locker, and a skilled driver can get an FJ up a difficult trail, but it's too much like work, not like fun. You end up having very few lines compared to some other contestants, and spotter assistance is required to keep the bulbous sheetmetal damage free. The A-TRAC traction control, in our experience, works much smoother with the automatic transmission variant FJ, but we challenge Toyota to build a front axle strong enough to accept a selectable locker as it should be. It can't be that hard, as we know Toyota has years of experience building some of the toughest trucks in the world. Performancewise the truck did great in the high-speed stuff and hillclimbs, respectable in the rocks, and top-o-the-heap in the sand; just give us more windows to see where we're going and some real rubber, and we'll be happy. And don't forget the front locker.

Likes
* Peppy engine
* Real rear locker
* Rules the dunes
Dislikes
* A-TRAC is worthless
* Visibility is more worthless
* No front locker

Verdict
A great start, but not an FJ-40

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General
Manufacturer Toyota
Model FJ Cruiser 4x4 SUV
Base Price $22,890
Price as Tested $29,976
Options as Tested

Convenience Package (remote keyless entry, cruise control, power outside mirror with image light, rear parking sonar, privacy glass, rear wiper, daytime running lights, curtain shield airbags with front seat side bolster airbags), Upgrade Package No. 2 (A-TRAC, Multi-info display with dash-mounted/exterior temperature gauge, compass, inclinometer, Audio six-disc changer, D-pillar speakers, 400-watt inverter, leather steering wheel with audio controls/cruise controls, exterior color interior door trim inserts, rear subwoofer, all weather five-piece cargo mats, roof rack, towing hitch, wire harness, armrest, security rs3200-plus proximity sensor)

Engine
Type V-6 with variable valve timing and dual overhead cam
Displacement (liters/cubic inches) 4.0/242.1
Bore & Stroke (inches) 3.70x3.74
Compression Ratio 10.0:1
Induction Type Toyota Direct Injection System (TDIS)
Fuel Req. (octane)/Capacity (gal.) 91/19
SAE Peak Horsepower 239 @ 5,{{{200}}} rpm
SAE Peak Torque (lb-ft) 278 @ 3,700 rpm
Transmission
Type Six-speed manual overdrive
Model RA61F
Ratios First: 4.171:1; Second: 2.190:1 Third: 1.488:1; Fourth: 1.193:1; Fifth: 1.000:1; Sixth: 0.799:1; Reverse: 3.607:1
Transfer Case
Type Two-speed, full-time
Model VF4B
Low-range Ratio 2.566:1
Axles
Front Type IFS with 8-inch ring gear
Rear Type Solid axle with 8-inch ring gear and electronic locking differential
Hubs N/A
Ratio 3.91:1
Suspension
Front High-mounted, double-wishbone front suspension and stabilizer bar
Rear Four-link rear suspension with lateral rod with coil springs and stabilizer bar
Steering
Type Power-assisted variable rack-and-pinion
Turns Lock-to-Lock/Ratio 3/17.1:1
Turning Radius (feet) 41.8
Wheels
Size (inches) 17x7.5
Material Cast-aluminum
Tires
Size P265/70R17
Brand Bridgstone Dueler HT
Brakes
Front Four-piston with 12.6-inch ventilated disc brakes with ABS and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
Rear Two-piston with 12.3-inch ventilated disc brakes with ABS and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
60-0 (feet) 138.93
Acceleration
Standing 11/44-mile(seconds @ mph) 18.48 @ 76.60
Weight (pounds)
Curb Weight 4,290
Advertised GVWR 5,570
Mileage
EPA Estimate (city/hwy. mpg) 16/19
As Tested (mpg) 13.7
Dimensions (inches)
Wheelbase 106
Overall Length 184
Overall Width {{{80}}}.25
Overall Height 78
Front/Rear Track 63.25/63.125
Front/Rear Overhang 34.75/42.75
Min. Front Ground Clearance 8.5

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