Toyota FJ Cruiser
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Overall

In standard trim, it’s one of the few vehicles that gives the Jeep Wrangler designers the cold-sweats; optional Trail Teams special edition trim gets more rough-and-ready gear like a standard winch, Bilstein-brand shocks and more.

Drivetrain

Standard 4.0-liter V6 yields 258 horsepower with optional off-road-oriented four-wheel drive.

Even though the Land Cruiser remains on sale after 50 years, the FJ Cruiser was introduced to honor the legendary FJ40 built from 1960-’83. Most people still can’t seem fathom how a conservative brand like Toyota allowed this retro-influenced off-roader to be sold next to Corollas and Camrys in the first place. It has three wiper blades, for Pete’s sake. Underneath the skin, the FJ is as modern and up to date as Toyota can build it. The rear access doors open clam-shell style for easier passenger and cargo loading/unloading and the flexible fender trim is dent and ding resistant. On the inside, rubber mats replace the usual carpeting for a quick hose-out and the seat fabric is water-repellent. The FJ comes with a 4.0-liter V6 rated at 258 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard in four-wheel-drive models, while a five-speed automatic is optional. The only choice for rear-wheel-drive FJ models is the automatic. Your choice of four-wheel-drive system also depends on the transmission. The six-speed gearbox works with a full-time transfer case that directs 60 percent of the power to the rear wheels under normal conditions or an equal basis when locked up. With the automatic, a part-time transfer case is employed. The standard-equipment list includes air conditioning, eight-way adjustable driver’s seat, tilt steering wheel, six-speaker audio system, side-curtain airbags for occupants in both rows of seats (with a rollover sensor) and power windows and door locks. Optional are upgrade groupings that add such items as remote keyless entry, rear parking assist, 17-inch alloy wheels, running boards, a stout roof rack and a premium sound system with a rear-mounted sub-woofer powered by its own amplifier. An optional convenience package includes a backup camera and auto-dimming rearview mirror. This is apparently the last year for the FJ, so get in on the action while you can.

Base price (incl. destination): $28,000
Type: Four-door sport-utility vehicle
Base engine (hp): 4.0-liter DOHC V6 (258)
Layout: Front-engine, two- /four-wheel-drive
Transmission: Five-speed automatic; six-speed manual
MPG (city/highway): 16/20 (AT)
Safety: Front airbags; side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor; anti-lock brakes; stability control; traction control
Weight (lb.): 4,050