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Toyota slaps Monroney on new FJ Cruiser

We've all seen the specs and ridden along with Edmunds on one of the first FJ Cruiser road tests, now comes the hard part-- paying for it. Or perhaps not: the base FJ, with rear-wheel-drive motivation and five-speed slushbox will hit showrooms for $21,710, and a 4x4 six-speed row-it-yourself will go for $22,890. Soccer moms and some trail hounds will opt for the 4x4 automatic, which commands $23,300.

For reference, the Jeep Wrangler (likely its closest spiritual competitor) strips out to just $18,730, but that price advantage is a bit misleading. The Toyota is at once larger and more powerful, as all FJs are motivated by the brand's 4.0L V6 (mustering nearly 240hp and 278 lb.-ft. of twist) -- The base Wrangler SE makes do with a 2.4L I4 (147hp/165 lb.-ft.) though all Wranglers come with 4WD. Perhaps a more apropos comparison would be the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, with its standard 4.0L I6 (190hp/235 lb.-ft.) and longer wheelbase. That model starts at $24,655, but is down on power and feature count.

Perhaps, then, the Toy's closest cross-shop is Nissan's Xterra. With a standard 4.0L V6 punching out 265hp and 284 lb.-ft. for just $19,950 (4x2, six-speed stick 'X' trim). An uplevel 'S' trim in 4x4 specification with five-speed automatic rings up at $24,950.

With three offerings now crowding the hard-core 'small' SUV segment, it appears that the demise of the body-on-frame market has been greatly exaggerated.  Surprise, surprise.

[Source: Toyota Motor Company via PR Newswire]

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