Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Toyota will bring FJ here

But it's not what you think, and definitely not the much-loved FJ Holden from the 1950s.  The new FJ is actually a Toyota, not a Holden, and so different from the all-Aussie 'humpy' that it should be given a different name for Australia.

The new-age FJ is a Cruiser that is coming in October as part of a youth push at Toyota Australia that also includes the funky, boxy, Scion xB.  Both are already sold in the USA but the Australian models are being tweaked with right-side steering and other changes for their time Down Under. The Scion will also have a Toyota badge in Australia.

The FJ is part of the LandCruiser family and is built up from the mechanical package of the previous-generation Prado. It is likely to be sold with both two and four-wheel drive, as well as a V6 engine, although Toyota Australia is making no comment despite a preview last week at a major dealer convention in Melbourne.  We do not comment on future model plans," says Toyota spokesman, Mike Breen.

Pricing for the FJ Cruiser is likely to start around $40,000 and it will definitely have the same bright body colours and Hummer-style looks as the American model. 

Toyota based the FJ Cruiser's design on the famous FJ40 LandCruiser, a working-class four-wheel drive made famous in Australia for its work on the Snowy Mountains scheme in the 1950s. Design cues taken from the FJ40 include the grille, upright windscreen and chunky bumpers, square wheelarches and the rear-mounted and exposed full-size spare tyre.

Toyota has upgraded the design with rear 'suicide' rear doors to allow easy access to the rear seat and there is swing-up glass hatch incorporated into the side-hinged rear door. The glass hatch opens independently of the rear door and can accommodate longer items.

The Cruiser is designed for serious off-roading and the seats are even covered with a special water-repellent fabric while the floor and rear luggage area is covered in an easy-to-clean rubber-type material.  The ladder-frame body uses a double-wishbone independent front suspension and four-link coil-spring rear suspension.

Opinion - Paul Gover

The FJ Cruiser looks a lot more fun than it is to drive.  It turns heads, particularly in lollypop colours, but I gave one back to Toyota after less than two hours of a planned two-day drive in California.

For a start, the FJ is a reverse-Tardis - just like the Hummer H3 - with far less space inside than its big body promises.  Visibility is poor, the cabin is overly-plastic, the performance is adequate at best, and people turn to look - but often look as if they are about to laugh.

The FJ shows the sort of direction Toyota needs to take to put some excitement and fun into its boring local showrooms, but it will need a lot of local tweaking to satisfy the needs and dreams of savvy local buyers.