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Toyota gives FJ Cruiser fuel boost

Cruise control: The CRAWL system in Toyota's FJ Cruiser assists the driver by maintaining a low speed in difficult off-road terrain.

Second fuel tank and off-road cruise control for Toyota FJ Cruiser adds $1500

Toyota logo12 Mar 2013

TOYOTA has doubled the fuel range of its retro-inspired FJ Cruiser all-wheel-drive wagon as a part of a minor upgrade that also brings a $1500 price rise.

The price increase to $47,990 for the single-variant off-roader comes days after Toyota's local arm added extra gear to its flagship LandCruiser 200 for an extra $1500.

The FJ Cruiser has added a second fuel tank with an 87-litre capacity, increasing the overall fuel reserve from 72 to 159 litres. This compares with 150 litres for the Prado mid-size soft-roader on which the FJ Cruiser is based.

Toyota said the second fuel sub-tank boosted the theoretical driving range of the FJ Cruiser to 1060km in the city and more than 1700km for highway driving.

Power for the FJ Cruiser continues to come from a 200kW 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with fuel economy figures of 11.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

The FJ Cruiser's off-road ability has been given a shot in the arm with the addition of Toyota's 'CRAWL' off-road cruise control system.

8 center imageLeft: Toyota FJ Cruiser

Toyota describes the system as “a 'feet-off' control system that helps take the vehicle over severe or slippery terrain”.

The system controls engine output and brake pressure to maintain a low vehicle speed both up and down hill, allowing the driver to focus on steering.

CRAWL engages when the vehicle is in low-range but disengages when travelling at speeds above 25km/h or above 10km/h when the rear differential is locked.

By minimising situations such as wheel-spin and tyre lock-up, the system increases the stability of the vehicle in uncertain off-road conditions.

Toyota said that the CRAWL system should reduce the likelihood of damage to the vehicle by controlling speed over difficult terrain.

The driver can choose one of five speeds via a speed-selector dial in the overhead console and the system can only be engaged under certain conditions.

Built by Toyota's truck subsidiary Hino, the FJ Cruiser features ground clearance of 224mm and approach, departure and break-over angles of 36, 31 and 29 degrees respectively, with the latter two the best dimensions for any four-wheel drive in Toyota's local line-up.

Launched in Australia in early 2011, five years after its global debut, the FJ Cruiser was an homage to the classic FJ models that were produced between 1960 and 1984 and represents a niche model in Toyota's local four-wheel drive line-up, with sales at the lower end of the large-SUV segment.

However, sales in the first two months of this year have increased by 93.2 per cent over the same period last year with Toyota shifting 425 FJ Cruisers in January and February.

Toyota competes with itself in the eclectic large-SUV segment, with the FJ Cruiser going up against the Prado as well as the family-friendly Kluger.

2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser pricing*
FJ Cruiser (a)$47,990 (+$1500)
*Plus on-road costs

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