2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Reviews

2014 FJ Cruiser New Car Test Drive

Introduction

If you want one of these you had better hurry because they are being discontinued. 

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is the most capable of all Toyotas when the pavement gives way to gravel, sand and rocks. That's saying something, given the capabilities of the 4Runner, Land Cruiser, and Tacoma. All of these Toyotas are among the best in their respective classes for travel over rugged terrain. 

The FJ Cruiser seats five. The front doors are front-hinged. Rear-hinged rear side doors provide access to the back seat. Main access to the cargo area is through a door hinged on the driver's side of the vehicle instead of a typical roof-hinged hatch-style closure. Having the hinge on the driver's side makes curbside loading and unloading easier. 

Retro styling gives the FJ Cruiser presence. Designed in California, the FJ Cruiser recalls the Toyota FJ40, known in North America as the original Land Cruiser. The FJ Cruiser will not be mistaken for anything else. Short overhangs aid capability for traversing ditches and other terrain that challenges ground clearance. 

The rugged, minimalist interior is easy to clean. No leather here, rugged fabric is designed to resist dirt and water. 

An Off-Road package further enhances the FJ's capabilities with trail-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers and a rear differential lock that works in conjunction with Toyota's A-TRAC off-road traction control system. With this setup, the FJ Cruiser can hang with the Jeep Wrangler crowd. 

Toyota's 4.0-liter V6 engine makes 260 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. It has dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which means variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust. We found the FJ Cruiser superb in rugged terrain yet comfortable on the road. Its V6 engine delivers more than ample power and torque for any foreseeable situation. 

Fuel economy for the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser is an EPA-estimated 17/21 mpg City/Highway for a 4WD automatic, 15/19 mpg for a 4WD with 6-speed manual gearbox, and 17/22 mpg for a 2WD automatic. 

The full-time 4×4 with the manual transmission offers the best capability in rugged terrain. 

The 2014 model year brings only minor changes to the content of some option packages; and a new color, Cement, replacing Cavalry Blue. We don't expect any significant changes to the FJ Cruiser anytime soon. 

Lineup

The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser comes in one model with a choice of three drivetrains: rear-wheel drive with 5-speed automatic ($27,130), part-time four-wheel drive with the automatic ($28,720), or full-time four-wheel drive with 6-speed manual ($28,310). 

Standard equipment includes air conditioning; tilt steering; power windows and door locks; power mirrors with marker lights; eight-way manually-adjustable driver's seat; six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio with SiriusXM, auxiliary jack, USB port with iPod connectivity, plus hands-free phone and music streaming via Bluetooth; steering-wheel-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls; an engine immobilizer; and P265/70R17 tires on 17-inch steel wheels (with a full-size spare mounted on the back door). Upholstery is water-resistant fabric and flooring is a rubber-like mat. 

A Convenience Package ($1535) adds keyless entry, cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated backup camera, privacy glass, rear wiper, and spare tire cover. An Upgrade Package adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, locking rear differential, JBL 10 speaker audio plus subwoofer, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) on 4WD models, 120V power outlet, floating ball type multi-information display (includes inclinometer, compass, temperature), leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, and rear parking assist sonar. The Off-Road Package for the manual transmission model ($400) includes trail-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), and the multi-information display; and requires 17-inch aluminum wheels ($650). A similar package for the 4WD automatic ($960) includes all of that plus a locking differential. 

Additionally, Toyota has promised us yet another Trail Teams Special Edition, to debut early in calendar-year 2104. Details are not yet available, but previous (2011-13) Special Editions have combined pretty much all of the FJ's available off-road and convenience options with skid plates, rock rails, and a unique color scheme inside and out. 

Stand-alone FJ options include 17-inch alloy wheels ($650), the rear differential lock ($340), and running boards ($345). Customers can also choose from a catalog of dealer-installed accessories, including: auxiliary driving lights, rock rails, roof rack, brush guard, taillight guards, sport exhaust system, receiver hitch and harness, wind deflector with off-road lights, a cargo mat and all-weather or carpeted floor mats. 

Safety features include Toyota's STAR Safety System that combines Vehicle Skid Control to help the truck go where the driver steers, even on a slippery surface; traction control to reduce wheel slip and thus enhance traction; and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. Side-curtain and front-seat side-impact airbags are standard, along with dual-stage airbags up front. 

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