The Toyota FJ Cruiser is the most capable of all Toyotas when the pavement gives way to gravel, sand and rocks. That's saying something, given the capabilities of the 4Runner, Land Cruiser, and Tacoma. All of these Toyotas are among the best in their respective classes for travel over rugged terrain.
The FJ Cruiser seats five. The front doors are standard, front-hinged units. Rear-hinged rear side doors give easy access to the back seat and cargo area; for 2011, that access has been improved on the passenger side, with a front passenger seatback that folds farther forward. Access to the cargo area is through a door hinged on the driver's side of the vehicle instead of a typical roof-hinged hatch-style closure.
An Off-Road option package further enhances the FJ's capabilities, with BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires, trail-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, and a rear differential lock that works in conjunction with Toyota's A-TRAC off-road traction control system; with this setup, the FJ Cruiser can hang with the Jeep Wrangler crowd. It also includes a multi-information display with a goofy floating ball inclinometer and compass.
There's a new package for 2011 called Trail Teams Special Edition, adding Army green paint with a black grille, bumpers and door handles. It's the right color for the FJ Cruiser to make it look serious.
The 4.0-liter V6 engine makes 258 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It has dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which means variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust. We found the FJ Cruiser superb in rugged terrain yet comfortable on the road. Its V6 engine delivers more than ample power and torque for any foreseeable situation.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser comes in one model with a choice of three drivetrains: rear-wheel drive with 5-speed automatic ($25,090), part-time four-wheel drive with the automatic ($26,680), or full-time four-wheel drive with 6-speed manual ($26,270).
Standard equipment includes air conditioning, tilt steering, power windows and door locks, eight-way manually-adjustable driver's seat, six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio, an engine immobilizer, and P265/70R17 tires on 17-inch steel wheels (with a full-size spare mounted on the back door). Upholstery is water-resistant fabric and flooring is a rubber-like mat.
A Convenience Package ($2150) adds keyless entry, cruise control, power side-view mirrors with integrated backup camera, privacy glass, rear wiper, and spare tire cover. An Upgrade Package ($3030) adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, locking rear differential locks, JBL 10 speakers with sub woofer , Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) on 4WD models, 120V 400-watt power outlet, floating ball type multi-information display (includes inclinometer, compass, temperature), leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, and rear parking assist sonar. The Off-Road Package includes trail tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, locking rear differential, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires, and the multi-information display.
The Trail Teams Special Edition Package features Army Green exterior color, black grille, the Bilstein shocks, locking rear differential, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), multi-information display, remote keyless entry, cruise control, privacy glass, rear wiper, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated backup camera, JBL 10 speakers with sub woofer, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, 12V 100W & 120V 400W outlets, rock rails, Trail Teams badge, TRD alloy wheels with BFGoodrich All-Terrain Tires, and wheel locks.
Stand-alone options include 17-inch alloy wheels, the rear differential lock, and running boards. Customers can also choose from a catalog of dealer-installed accessories, including: auxiliary driving lights, rock rails, roof rack, brush guard, taillight guards, sport exhaust system, receiver hitch and harness, wind deflector with off-road lights, a cargo mat and all-weather or carpeted floor mats.
Safety features include Toyota's STAR Safety System that combines Vehicle Skid Control to help the truck go where the driver steers, even on a slippery surface; traction control to reduce wheel slip and thus enhance traction; and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. Side-curtain and front-seat side-impact airbags are also standard, along with dual-stage airbags up front. So is a tire pressure monitor.