It’s been nearly a decade since Toyota introduced its concept SUV known as the FJ Cruiser at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. The compact truck caught on with off-road enthusiasts and solidified a strong reputation as one of the industry’s premier SUVs. The Japanese automaker recently launched its 2013 model, which according the company “uniquely melds the brand’s off-road performance legacy with distinct heritage design in a modern SUV.” Well said. From its extremely spacious (and comfortable) interior to its all-terrain capabilities, the SUV bears a number of strong points that make it highly notable auto option. Need more convincing? Here are Top 7 Reasons to Love the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser.
If you fall under the hardcore off-roader category, do yourself the solid and invest in the Trail Teams Special Edition package. Why is that? Well, it offers the premium chassis performance you’ll desire. Toyota focused its strengths in refining the FJ Cruiser’s superior body frame—integrating a cyclone pre-air cleaner that works’ to conceal dirt and dirt. So now it’s much simpler to polish up the chassis. Additions to the package include trail-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, A-TRAC system with rear differential lock, rock rails, and 16-inch TRD wheels mated with 265/75ZR16 All-Terrain tires. Doesn’t sound like you’ll have much trouble getting through the roughest back roads.
When shopping for an off-road vehicle, one can never have too many options. Luckily, Toyota offers three different ones for its next-gen FJ Cruiser: 4×2 AT, 4×4 MT, and 4×4 AT. Each carries a near-identical spec sheet, with the exception of the MT model boasting a six-speed manual transmission. Then there’s the Trail Teams Special Edition we referenced.
The FJ Cruiser offers a number of advanced facets highlighted by the company’s patent multi-information display, which features a compass, inclinometer, and temperature gauge. On top of that, buyers can upgrade their vehicle to house a JBL Premium Audio system with 2.6-inch mounted speakers on the rear pillars. Seek more? Throw in a rear sonar system and a rearview camera for good measure.
Inspired by the FJ40, the new FJ Cruiser bears the nostalgic presence of its elder counterpart sporting a front grille that houses two five-inch headlights, also hood and fender contours; rear-mounted and full-size spare tire with license plate. A trio of windshield wipers, wraparound rear windows, and round headlights complete the vehicle’s retro turtle-shell design. Guess you can say Toyota knows to how make’em like they use to.
Efficient Performance Value
Whether you’re riding dirty on the highway or ripping through the rugged terrain, the FJ Cruiser offers a smooth and comfortable driving experience. All praise can be attributed to its 4.0-liter V6 engine, which supports the power (258hp) and torque (271 lb.-ft) to cruise across water levels as high as 27.5 inches. The truck supports a Flex Lock-Up feature capable of “enhancing fuel efficiency and increasing the lock-up clutch’s operational range” as well.
Decked & Spacious Interior
Like the exterior, the FJ Cruiser dons the heritage interior of the FJ40, but with more premiums. Those who plants themselves in the driver seat will feel too comfy in the 8-way adjustable, water-resistant seat, where as the front passenger can lay back on a 4-way adjustable seat with seatback pocket. The rear cargo area is pretty massive and comes loaded with cargo-net hooks, tie-down anchor points, and other multipurpose hooks. Upgraders can enjoy the grip comfort on the leather steering wheel, which features integral audio controls and cruise-control action. The mounted dashboard also provides a number of functions including climate, audio, and voice command controls.
You’d be hard pressed to find another sport utility vehicle of the FJ Cruiser’s caliber in the same price class: starting at $26,880. Competitively priced would be an understatement.