SUM UP (4 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for FJ Cruiser in 2014

2014 is the last model year for the Toyota FJ Cruiser, and the automaker sends it off with the Trails Teams Ultimate Edition that features a number of TRD off-roading specific upgrades, four-wheel drive, and a unique “Heritage Blue” paint scheme...
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Vehicle Overview

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is the automaker’s retro-styled, off-road oriented SUV. It fits below the Highlander and above the compact RAV4. 2014 will be the last year of production, and we don't expect Toyota to release a next-generation model.

Summary

The Toyota FJ Cruiser has throwback styling that honors the original Toyota FJ40, styling that has been controversial since it was introduced. Powering the 2014 FJ Cruiser is a 4.0-liter V-6 that makes 260 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. Buyers choosing the five-speed automatic can choose between rear- and part-time four-wheel drive, which nets an EPA-estimated 17/21-22 mpg city/highway, with a one-mpg penalty for the 4WD. The optional six-speed manual gets buyers a full-time 4WD, while both systems get a low range the six-speed equipped models get a locking rear differential as standard equipment. Fuel economy on the six-speed 4WD model is 15/19 mpg.

Toyota decided to send the FJ Cruiser off with the Trails Teams Ultimate Edition. The final special-edition model will come with commemorative “Heritage Blue” paint, white grill surrounds, blacked out bumper, mirror and door handles, TRD front skid plate, TRD off-road suspension, TRD bead lock wheels, and a unique dash plaque inside. They are only available in 4WD.

The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser received a three-star rollover rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and in IIHS testing received a rating of good in three categories and an acceptable rating for roof strength (the highest possible rating is good).

What We Think

Since its introduction, we’ve had a number of Toyota FJ Cruisers in our fleet. In an Editor’s Notebook review of a 2011 FJ Cruiser we said, “The suspension is soft enough to help the FJ float over bumps and is hard enough to keep it from getting bogged down when climbing. It makes you feel like you could go anywhere and do anything…” “…For being a body-on-frame SUV it rides remarkably well around town and is relatively maneuverable thanks to the tight turning radius, which is needed by those who are regularly scrambling around boulders. The FJ Cruiser is one the last remaining enthusiast's cars made by Toyota.”

You’ll Like

  • Retro-styling
  • Off-roading
  • Unlike the FJ40, it has air conditioning

You Won’t Like

  • Blind spots
  • Wind noise with the windows down above 30 mph
  • Awkward mirrors

Key Competitors

  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Nissan Xterra

Rating

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