1 Mar 2011
FIVE YEARS LATE but suitably updated, Toyota’s long-awaited FJ Cruiser finally arrived in Australia from early 2011 in a single, well-specified model.
Built by truck subsidiary Hino, the retro-styled 4WD is the fifth SUV in Toyota’s stable, and is heavily based on the 120 Series Prado – with some upgraded 150 Series bits added underneath.
Designed to evoke the company’s landmark FJ40 LandCruiser – built from 1960 to 1984 – the FJ Cruiser aims to expose Toyota to a wider, more youth-orientated market, as well as highlight its seven-decade experience in off-road vehicles.
The four-door wagon body features rear-hinged “access doors” similar to that of some one-tonne pick-ups – a move that aims to retain the two-door wagon appeal of the original 4WD while providing five-seater practicality.
Mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox is Toyota’s 3956cc 4.0-litre all-alloy 24-valve double overhead cam V6 1GR-FE petrol engine with dual VVT-i variable-valve timing. Running on 95 RON premium unleaded, this Euro IV emissions unit delivers 200kW of power at 5600rpm and 380Nm of torque at 4400rpm.
No diesel or manual version was available from launch.
The rear differential lock is electronically actuated, while the four-wheel drive system is a part-time device with a two-speed transfer case.
Like the Prado 120 it is based on, the FJ Cruiser employs separate frame chassis construction, and is underpinned by double wishbones with coil springs, gas-filled dampers and an anti-roll bar up front and a five-link rear suspension system with coils, dampers and another anti-roll bar.
Toyota says that local testing has resulted in a unique calibration for the heavy-duty suspension and power steering, the fitment for the 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 265/70R 17 tyres, and inclusion of grab handles for rear-seat occupants. Furthermore, Australia’s coarse-chip bitumen has created a noise/vibration and harshness package that has filtered to other FJs worldwide.