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Toyota FJ Cruiser 2013 review: snapshot

The chances of Toyota adding a diesel to its funky FJ Cruiser are about none and buckleys. In fact, there might not even be a new FJ, Toyota Australia boss Dave Buttner revealed.

"It has not been decided yet whether there will be a second generation," he told Carsguide at the launch of the updated FJ, which arrives two years after the SUV was launched here.


Originally designed for the North American market, the FJ is offered in a single grade with plenty of goodies. It features part-time four-wheel-drive, a V6 petrol engine and five-speed automatic, with a choice of nine colours  all of them with a white roof.

Apart from its arsenal of off road systems, the Cruiser features steering wheel audio controls, multi-information display and 8-speaker audio. The upgraded FJ is priced from $47,990 ($3000 more than its launch price). Metallic paint is an extra $475.


FJ Cruiser sits on the same platform as the Prado off road wagon. The 4.0-litre petrol V6 is a lift from Prado, with 200kW of power and 380Nm of torque.

Weighing up to 270kg less than Prado, the FJ's economy is rated at 11.4 litres/100km. The FJ was offered originally with a 72 litre tank, but that has now been boosted to 163 litres, with the addition of a second 87 litre tank.

That gives the FJ a theoretical driving range of 1394km under ideal conditions. Note too that it takes premium unleaded.


A nod to the original FJ40 built from the 60s and used in construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, the car is described as a reinterpretation rather than a retro model.

But few people would remember the original FJ40 anyway. A five-seater, the FJ features smaller, rearward-opening "suicide" doors at the back to provide easy entry. The doors are cool, but maybe not entirely practical, not when you need to open the front doors first to get in or out.

A full-size spare is mounted on the rear tailgate, but in a hangover from its North American origins the side-hinged tailgate opens right to left. This puts you on the wrong side of the door when parked by the side of the road.


As far as we know it doesn't have a crash rating, but comes with the usual range of safety features including six airbags, a reversing camera, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).


It's an appealing package but vision is limited from the small windows, especially over the shoulder. With short front and rear overhangs, 224mm of ground clearance, low-range gearing, traction control and a rear diff lock, the FJ is certainly equipped to tackle the rough stuff.

It's off-road credentials have been further enhanced in this update with the addition of CRAWL control. It works up to a speed of 25km/h and once engaged takes control of the brakes and throttle, whether you're travelling up or downhill.

A speed-selector dial on the overhead console provides a choice of five speeds. Our test vehicle was fitted with satellite navigation, but the touchscreen controls are really too small for easy operation when driving. And, although it shows the current speed limit, it does not tell you what speed you are actually doing  unlike some.


Great fun. You get the feeling Toyota is not too concerned about the lack of a diesel, but the extra range offered by the second tank will allay the fears of those who actually take their vehicles off road.

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(base) 4.0L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $26,950 – 44,995 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser 2013 (base) Pricing and Specs
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