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Car reviews - Toyota - FJ Cruiser - 5-dr wagon

Overview

Toyota's FJ Cruiser looks the biz, but the lack of a diesel option hurts its cause

Toyota logo21 Oct 2011

By MIKE COSTELLO

THINK Cruiser and chances are the FJ40 LandCruiser from the 1960s springs to mind. But that classic rock-hopper is really only present in the face of the ‘new’ FJ Cruiser, since the rest of the package is pure Prado (albeit from 2003) underneath. Why it took five years to reach Oz is still a mystery, although keen pricing, great off-road capabilities and distinctive design mean many will welcome the FJ anyway. But no diesel or manual options, and some silly ergonomic oversights, will limit this ‘Cruiser’s appeal.
Model release date: 1 March 2011 to 1 August 2016

Previous model

Landcruiser FJ40

Released: 1965
Ended: 1984
Family Tree: FJ Cruiser

THE basic recipe dates back to a reverse-engineered version of a captured Willy’s Jeep during WWII, but the subsequent evolution of the LandCruiser – a name that only appeared during the 1950s – cemented Toyota’s reputation as true 4x4 specialists. And the original FJ is the soul of the brand, combining beautiful functional styling with go-anywhere capability and hitherto unknown reliability, underpinned by a simple and tough ladder-frame chassis. The 3.9-litre OHV six-cylinder petrol engine drove all four wheels in soft-top, hardtop, and utility bodies, although refinements kept it fresh with items such as more power (1967), a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel (1973) and 4.2-litre petrol six (1975). Slowly some creature comforts crept in, but the basic recipe remained the same. Though not as famous or loved, the 70 Series replacement is still with us today, albeit in much changed form.

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