for SUV Accessories and Parts
SuvXccessory.comTruck Accessories and Parts at
  The Auto Accessory Specialists™
SUV Accessory Search

Browse By Category

  Buy Online Gift Certificates!  
Articles & Reviews

  NHTSA SUV Safety Data  
Additional Websites
Wood Dash Trim Store
Toyota Accessories Store
Hummer Accessories Store
  Tires, wheels, brakes and shocks at
For tires, wheels, brakes or shocks, you'll get the perfect fit with
  CapitalOne Finance  
Corporate Info
  About Us  
  Affiliate Program  
  Contact Us  
  Link to Us  
Newsletter Sign-Up
  Stay informed about new SUV products, reviews, and accessory specials.  
Subscribe Now!
AAIA Member
SEMA Member
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover

American Express Fraud Protection Guaranteed

Click to enlargepad2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser - Review

By Lori Wildrick

Bringing back a legend can be problematic, unless you are Toyota. Sensing a hole in its SUV lineup, the company quickly assessed its options and chose wisely: Reintroduce the SUV that started the whole SUV craze, "plus it" with great features, make it muy macho, give it a great price point and release it to the general population.

Created by Toyota Motor Sales USA and Calty Design Research, the new FJ Cruiser was designed to meet the demands of 30-somethings who enjoy the off-road experience—or just like to play with well-designed gadgets. Thoughtfully engineered, todayís FJ Cruiser has the powerplant, controls, and the approach and departure capabilities that enable it to tear through the most rugged terrain for the sheer joy of it. And, for those who donít want to miss out on the comforts of home, it comes standard with a thumpiní stereo and gadgets galore (who doesnít want an inclinometer!).

Best of all, if it doesnít come standard with an accessory that you absolutely need, Toyota has partnered with more than 60 different aftermarket manufacturers to create a veritable buffet of bells and whistles. Toyota itself has created more than 40 exclusive products for this new off-roader.

So whatís it got under the hood? The Tacomaís 4-liter, V-6 engine, which pumps out 239 horses and 238 lb.-ft. of torque. Mate it with your choice of a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. The engineís output is fairly comparable with the FJís competition, which Toyota targets to be the Nissan Xterra, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and the Hummer H3. (The Xterra puts out an additional 20 hp and 2 lb.-ft. of torque while the Rubiconís straight six gives up 55 hp and 47 lb-ft of torque).

The FJ Cruiser rides on a modified Tacoma pickup platform and is equipped with a high-mounted, double-wishbone suspension and stabilizer bar in the front and a four-link suspension with lateral rod with coil springs and stabilizer bar in the back. Its elongated wheelbase (total length is 11 inches shorter than the 4Runner but the wheelbase is only four inches shorter), standard rear-wheel drive, 34/30-degree approach and departure angles (4WD version), 32-inch tires and 9.6 inches of ground clearance (4WD version) ensure that the FJ Cruiser has the ability to go just about anywhere. An optional locking rear differential also comes in handy.

Like the Scion, the FJ Cruiserís styling isnít for everyone. Where the original Land Cruiser was boxy, the FJ Cruiser is more sculpted. The new design features rounded headlights, an upright windshield with three windshield wipers, white-cap roof and wraparound rear glass. The wide-yet-narrow grille is reminiscent of the original Land Cruiser, complete with the "Toyota" named spelled out (instead of the sombrero-esque Toyota logo).

Inside, the cabin offers up a fascinating blend of functionality and off-road fun. The instrument panel looks more like a structural beam. Large, rounded and numerous controls, buttons and switches (for various traction systems) and knobby rubber floor mats give it a sophisticated, yet techy appearance. The instrumentation is both rounded and brightly colored, and most definitely "gadgety". Not enough gadgets? Buy more! Available options include that locking rear differential as well as traction control on 4WD versions, rear sonar, a multi-info display that tells you vehicle altitude, temperature and compass, daytime running lights and a 115V-400W inverter.

The FJ Cruiser also comes equipped with some nifty safety features, including dual stage driver and front passenger airbags, side-impact door beams, and Toyotaís Star Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Off-Road Traction Control, four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution plus Brake Assist.

For those who travel far distances, itís good to know that the 60/40 passenger seats fold completely flat (as do the front seats), creating plenty of cargo space as well as the ability to throw down a couple of sleeping bags. You canít attract the youth market without a good stereo, and the FJ Cruiser is properly outfitted. A subwoofer is located in the back cargo area for those who like to pump up the volume. It also features a handy deactivation switch, in case your dog doesnít like your choice of music.

But remember, when it comes to the FJ Cruiser, the fun is in the driving—backseat passengers are somewhat restricted by a low head pillar, 31.3 inches of legroom (read: not a lot), and rear windows that donít open. Technically a "two-seater" passengers access the back via what we used to call "suicide doors," only these are much smaller, so maybe we should call them "suicide panels." In general, visibility is pretty good, except for that outside-mounted spare tire, which does obscure a fair part of the rear window.

Pricing out in the very affordable mid-$20Ks, the FJ Cruiser is a great value, and comes with a ton of standard equipment including a CD player, air conditioning, power windows and locks, stability and traction control, ABS, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, optional front-side and front and rear side curtain airbags.

Best of all, with only an estimated 46,000 released in the inaugural year, odds are still good that you wonít see a bunch of these in your work parking lot. So how often will you be paying at the pump? Depends on your driving habits, but the FJ Cruiser is estimated to make 17 city/21 mpg highway.

And, if youíre wondering how the FJ Cruiser really handles the wild, check out its blog on the Toyota website, where professional drivers describe how the FJ manages in various scenarios, including the Rock Garden at Big Bear, the Rubicon Trail and Glamis. Fun stuff to read, but more important, a true testimonial to the strength and capabilities of this not-just-a-weekend-warrior.

Visit the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser Accessories Page

Read other Articles and Reviews


© Copyright 2000-2007, Inc.
Reproduction without written permission is expressly prohibited.