TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 16, 2013 - With its unique combination of off-road heritage, capability and design, the Toyota FJ Cruiser maintains a loyal following. Fully capable of traversing California’s famed Rubicon Trail, the FJ Cruiser is also well suited for everyday driving, offering plenty of utility for all types of activities.
The FJ Cruiser borrows design cues from Toyota’s famed FJ40 4x4 utility vehicle, sold in the U.S. from 1960 to 1983 and now sought after by collectors. The thoroughly modern FJ Cruiser updates the classic theme in a contemporary way. The front grille with two round, five-inch headlights recalls the FJ40’s frontal styling, and other heritage design cues include the hood and fender contours and a rear-mounted and exposed full-size spare tire with an off-center license plate mount.
The FJ Cruiser design offers plenty of functionality. The side access doors open 90 degrees in clamshell fashion for easy rear-seat ingress and egress. A swing-up glass hatch is incorporated into the side-hinged tailgate, opening independently and also useful for accommodating longer items.
The angular wheel arches open to provide maximum clearance for the FJ Cruiser’s large 32-inch tires at full suspension deflection. The arches are edged by flexible fender flares that resist damage during trail driving and also from opening doors of adjacent parked vehicles. Three wiper arms provide nearly complete coverage of the wide windshield. FJ’s elevated air intake and protected electrical components can keep out water up to 28 inches deep.
Once again, there will be a special edition Trail Teams Package FJ Cruiser, which will be available early next year. Details will be released at a later date.
Performance and Efficiency
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is powered by a DOHC, 4.0-liter V6 engine that specifies regular-grade fuel. This powerful, responsive V6 incorporates dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence, (variable phasing for both the intake and exhaust cams) and produces 260 horsepower and 271 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The broad torque curve facilitates easy cruising on or off-road. The FJ Cruiser meets the stringent LEV II/Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions certification.
The 2014 FJ Cruiser is available in 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. The 4x2 model is equipped exclusively with an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission, while the 4x4 model offers the choice between a six-speed manual transmission and five-speed automatic. The automatic transmission varies the shifting pattern based on road conditions and driver input.
A Flex Lock-Up feature allows the clutch in the torque converter to maintain a half-engaged position, enhancing fuel efficiency and increasing the lock-up clutch's operational range. The driver can manually shift the automatic transmission using a console-mounted, gate-type shift lever. The gearshift position is also displayed in the instrument panel.
With the optional Class Four receiver hitch, the FJ Cruiser can tow up to 4,700 pounds (per SAE J2807 standards), enough to take the fun with you, such as a pair of watercraft, a powerboat, dirt bikes or even a racecar.
Capability, Handling and Ride
With the 4x4, each transmission is teamed to a different type of 4WD system, each of which is also equipped with a two-speed transfer case with a 2.566 low range. With the manual transmission, the transfer case uses a TORSEN® limited-slip center differential for full-time 4WD with a locking feature. The differential distributes the engine’s power 40:60 under most driving conditions. The TORSEN unit varies power distribution as needed, based on steering angle and wheel slippage. In the Lock position, the differential switches to a 50:50 power distribution.
The 4x4 FJ Cruiser with the automatic transmission employs a part-time four-wheel drive system with a 3.727:1 rear differential ratio and provides a 33.76:1 crawl ratio. With the manual transmission, the front and rear differential ratio is a lower 3.909:1 for a crawl ratio of 41.84:1, an attribute that helps the FJ Cruiser traverse some of the toughest trails in America.
An electronic-locking rear differential is standard with the manual transmission and optional with the automatic transmission. The ring gears in the 4x4 FJ Cruiser’s front and rear differentials measure eight inches. The 4x2 model comes standard with a virtual automatic limited-slip differential, provided and operated by an advanced traction-control system to enhance traction of both rear wheels in slippery driving conditions.
Toyota engineered the FJ Cruiser for serious trail driving capability. Its tough, wide stance is based on a boxed steel ladder-braced frame to which the welded steel body is mounted. Skid plates for the engine, transfer case (4x4 models only) and fuel tank are standard. Double-wishbone independent front suspension offers 7.87 inches of wheel travel for outstanding suspension articulation. Its geometry is optimized for excellent road feel and ride comfort.
The solid rear axle uses a four-link coil-spring suspension system with a lateral rod, tubular shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar and provides 9.1 inches of wheel travel. The four-wheel disc brake system uses ventilated 12.6-inch front and 12.3-inch rear rotors. The FJ Cruiser employs a variable-ratio, hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering system. Standard wheels are 17-inch steel with P265/70 R17 tires; aluminum-alloy wheels are available.
With the FJ Cruiser's standard 32-inch tall tires, ground clearance is 9.6 inches (8.7 inches for 4x2 models). Approach and departure angles are 34 degrees and 31 degrees, respectively, for the 4x4 model, and 32/30 for the 4x2.
The FJ Cruiser’s comprehensive standard safety package includes front seat-mounted side airbags and first- and second-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags. A front driver and passenger Advanced Airbag System deploys based on impact type and severity.
Additionally, the FJ Cruiser is equipped with active headrests for the front seats. In certain rear collisions, a cable-actuated mechanism in the active headrest moves the headrest upward and forward to help limit the movement of the occupant's head. The LATCH child-restraint system secures child seats.
As with all Toyota models, the FJ Cruiser is standard equipped with Toyota's STAR Safety System™ that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST), Toyota’s brake override system. When roll-sensing side-curtain airbags detect a potential rollover, it signals the VSC system to help reduce a lateral skid. In addition, the rollover sensor is designed to signal the standard seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags to deploy.
Interior Designed for Comfort and Rugged Adventure
The FJ Cruiser's interior combines a heritage-inspired design with the comfort and convenience of a modern Toyota SUV. Large control knobs provide easy grip, even when wearing gloves. Switches for major functions, including climate and audio controls, and the optional locking rear differential, are mounted in the center dash panel within easy reach for the driver.
The driver’s seat is eight-way adjustable, while the front passenger seat offers four-way adjustment. Seating materials are not only water-repellant, but also provide excellent ventilation. The seating fabric is backed by a special breathable resin coating, which helps it to shed liquids and make cleanup easier. Even the stitched seams of the seat covers are treated with sealant to prevent liquids from penetrating. The FJ Cruiser's floor surfaces are covered with an easy-to-clean rubber-like material.
The rear seatback is split 60/40, with folding (removable) bottom and back cushions that convert to a nearly flat cargo floor. The rear cargo area is equipped with cargo-net hooks, multipurpose grocery-bag hooks and sturdy, floor-mounted cargo tie-down anchor points. A 120-volt accessory power outlet is available.
The FJ Cruiser’s long list of standard features includes air conditioning, power windows and door locks, water-resistant seats, tilt steering wheel, four cup holders and two bottle holders, rear-window defogger, rear-door-mounted full-size spare tire, front- and rear-tow hooks, and mudguards.
The standard audio system in the 2014 FJ Cruiser includes an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, SiriusXM Radio (includes 90-day trial subscription), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity, plus hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology. The steering wheel integrates audio system and Bluetooth controls.
The 2014 FJ Cruiser offers two main option packages. The Convenience Package equips the vehicle with a remote keyless entry system, cruise control, power outside mirrors with illuminated markers, rear wiper, exterior spare tire cover and privacy glass on rear side, quarter, and rear door windows.
Adding the Upgrade Package expands the FJ Cruiser’s off-road prowess and its comfort. The package includes 17-in. alloy wheels with P265/70R17 tires, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) (4x4 models only), electronically controlled locking rear differential, 115V/400-watt AC power outlet, JBL® AM/FM 6-disc CD changer with 11 speakers in seven locations including subwoofer, leather-trimmed steering wheel, exterior color-keyed door trim inserts, floating-ball Multi-Information Display with inclinometer, compass, and outside temperature, shift and transfer levers with silver accents (automatic transmissions only, transfer lever on 4x4 model only), and rear parking assist sonar.
Toyota dealers offer a catalog of available 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.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty.