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The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a uniquely designed compact SUV. Its design and off-road performance capability was based on the older 1958 FJ40 Land Cruiser. It was first introduced in 2003 at the North American International Auto Show but was not released until 2006 for the 2007 model year. It is currently still in production. All models have a 2+2-door SUV body style in the compact SUV category with a front engine rear-wheel or four-wheel drive layout. The four-wheel drive models are available with a six-speed manual and all other models use a five-speed automatic transmission. It has a four-liter, V-6 engine.
Based on the old off-road FJ40 Land Cruiser, the FJ Cruiser has an exterior design apart from any SUV on the road currently, with sharp angles, long flat hood area, and somewhat boxy frame. It uses retro round headlights standard roof rack and retro side rearview mirrors. The older style is mixed with more modern features for the exterior including the bumpers and molding. The Toyota FJ Cruiser is currently in its first generation. Production began in 2006 for the 2007 model year and it is currently still in production. Mechanically it is related to the Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma, and Land Cruiser.
The FJ Cruiser is best known for its unique style and the off-road performance capability of the four-wheel drive models. Inside the FJ Cruiser lacks many of the luxury amenities of the other Land Cruiser models. The FJ Cruiser is also much smaller than other Cruiser models as a compact SUV. Models have two doors with two rear hatches to access the storage area. The FJ Cruiser is also considered very affordable compared to other models within its category with similar off-road capability, all models start at under $30,000.
The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser has a similar design to previous models and is the only SUV with this particular body styled combined with off-road capability in the compact category. Some additions include a more powerful 260-hp, V-6 engine, standard iPod connection, and satellite radio, and side curtain airbags that can now sense a rollover. Some of the areas where the 2013 FJ Cruiser has received positive ratings are the exterior style, the off-road performance of the four-wheel drive models, and the number of interior options. Fuel economy, a lack of standard features, and a cramped backseat area are common criticisms. It is often compared to the Chevrolet Tahoe, Dodge Durango, and the Ford Edge, in all cases however the FJ Cruiser out performs these models off road but falls behind in the areas of luxury and fuel economy. The FJ Cruiser is one of the more affordable compact SUVs within its category. The base 4x2 has an MSRP of $27,030 and the base 4x4 has an MSRP of $28,620.
The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser has a 260-hp, four-liter V-6 with either a 4x2 or a 4x4 setup. The 4x4 is available with a six-speed manual with overdrive and the 4x2 comes with a five-speed automatic only. In addition to the manual transmission the 4x4 has a two-speed transfer case with a 2.57:1 low-range ratio. Models have standard limited-slip rear differential, skid plates, mud guards, and tow hooks. There is an off-road package available in addition to the 4x4 with upgraded shocks and a rear differential that works in conjunction with the brake-based traction control. It has a respectable 5000 pound towing capacity.
Safety features on the 2013 FJ Cruiser include roll-sensing side curtain airbags, front seat airbags, side-impact airbags, active front head restraints, all-disc antilock brakes, and electronic stability.
Inside the 2013 FJ Cruiser is sparse at the base level compared to models within its category. Some of the standard features include air conditioning, CD stereo, water-resistant fabric, and rear folding seats. Options include six-disc CD changer, iPod compatibility, and satellite radio.
The most notable feature of the FJ Cruiser may still be the exterior style. The round headlights, roof, and wraparound rear windows are similar to the FJ40 while other elements resemble a Hummer like the high belt line and short windows. Other features include three windshield wipers, rear-hinged access doors for the back seat, rear swing gate, seventeen-inch wheels, and an available TRD package.
Introduced in 2003 but not available until 2006 for the 2007 model year, the FJ Cruiser from Toyota has remained virtually the same. The exterior has undergone only minor changes like more prominent wheel flares. Toyota has added a bit of power to the engine since the original model, the transmission setup and the 4x2 and 4x4 setup is similar to the original.