This accounts for its unconventional styling, which Toyota says is a modern interpretation inspired by the original FJ40. Styling cues such as the round headlights set either side of a wide, mesh grille, upright windscreen with three wiper blades, a white roof and wrap-around rear corner windows. FJ Cruiser is the only current Toyota with the manufacturer's name spelled out across the grille rather than the bulls-horns type logo.
The front turn signals are integrated into the guards, while the tail-lamp assembly echoes the original FJ LandCruiser's reflector housing. The rear turn signals and fog lamps are integrated into the bumper. Underpinning the FJ Cruiser is running gear from the previous generation Toyota Prado.
The FJ Cruiser is a five-seat wagon, with entry to the second row of seats by incorporating rear-opening access doors, while retaining the two-door appeal of the original FJ. The B-pillars are built into the access doors and support the upper and lower front seatbelt anchorages.
FJ Cruiser is powered by a 200kW, 380Nm 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine with five-speed automatic transmission, part-time 4x4, an electrically activated rear differential lock and switchable Active Traction Control technology to maximise off-road climbing ability. It features a 36-degree approach angle, 31-degree departure angle and 29-degree break-over angle. The latter two dimensions are the best for any vehicle in Toyota's local 4WD range. Local testing has resulted in unique calibration of the heavy-duty all-coil suspension and power steering to suit Australian conditions, plus the fitment of 17-inch alloy wheels and 70-profile tyres.
Peak torque of 380Nm is reached at 4400rpm and maximum power of 200kW is delivered at 5600rpm. This performance is transmitted to the wheels through a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with gate type shifting. Fuel economy on the official combined cycle is 11.4 litres/100km, delivering a theoretical driving range of 631km. The A750F Super ECT automatic transmission with gated shift adopts Toyota's latest electronically controlled hydraulic shift system to produce optimum shift feel. The vehicle can be driven in conventional automatic mode, with the shift lever in 'D', or in manual-style using the gated shift function. It is matched to a part-time four-wheel drive system with a two-speed transfer and electric-powered locking rear differential, operated from the dash, for greater off-road traction.
The engine includes Toyota's standard 4WD package of a cyclonic pre-cleaner to trap dust plus high-mounted air inlet and diff breathers to enable fording with confidence.
Ride and handling was further developed for local conditions by Toyota Australian engineers, resulting in substantial changes to the calibration of the vehicle's shock absorbers and the power steering was retuned to suit Australian roads. FJ Cruiser's tyre specification was also upgraded and the wheel diameter increased from 16-inch to 17-inch. According to senior vehicle evaluation engineer Ray Munday, "We have stiffened the shock absorbers by about 10 percent and retuned the power steering to meet the target market's requirement for a sporty ride and sharp handling."
"At the same time, we have retained a very pliant ride in off-road conditions," he said. FJ Cruiser has long-travel all-coil suspension - with high-mounted double-wishbones at the front and a five-link system at the rear - to optimise suspension performance on and off-road. The five-link solid rear axle system offers a balance of maximum wheel travel with optimal road holding. FJ Cruiser's ladder-frame chassis provides the stable platform for the new suspension and confirms the vehicle's off-road credentials. The hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion steering has a variable gear-ratio steering rack to provide the optimal steering "weighting", for greater ease when parking and direct response at highway speeds. FJ Cruiser's steering has 2.7 turns lock-to-lock. Ground clearance is 224mm.
Toyota has made it easy as to which model FJ Cruiser to choose, offering just one high spec model. It is offered as petrol automatic with part-time 4WD and an electric rear differential lock. FJ Cruiser's specifications include rear "access doors", heavy-duty Australian-tuned suspension, transmission cooler and 17-inch alloy wheels. Active safety features include switchable active traction control (A-TRAC), vehicle stability control, and anti-skid brakes with electronic brake force distribution and Brake Assist. FJ Cruiser also comes with rear fog lamps, privacy glass, a reversing camera with display in the electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, and rear park assist. Passive safety is a priority with six SRS airbags and active front-seat head restraints.
Inside, FJ Cruiser has water-repellent seat fabric and rubber-style floor covering. It also has a premium steering wheel with audio controls, multi-information display, 6-CD player and 8-speaker audio system, manual air conditioning, 60/40 split rear seats with removable seat cushions for increased cargo space, front seat-back net pockets, fold-down front-seat inner arm rests and central locking.
The outer armrests run from the front doors to the rear access doors and incorporate large door grips. The instrument panel features round, black and white meters for the speedometer and tachometer, and a combined gauge for fuel, engine coolant temperature and alternator charge. The main controls include 4WD transfer lever, cruise control, the Active Traction Control switch, rear differential lock switch, VSC/TRC off switch, reverse parking sensor switch, headlamp level control and rear fog lamp control switch. The steering wheel has integrated audio controls. The B-pillars are built into the rear access doors. The FJ Cruiser has a hose-out floor.
Front bucket seats have a folding inboard armrest. The driver's seat has eight-way manual adjustment and the front passenger seat four-way manual adjustment. The rear seat has a 60/40-split seat back and a double folding cushion function. The rear seat cushions can be easily removed from the vehicle - to further increase cargo space. The cargo area is home to three child restraint anchorage points (conveniently fitted to the rear seat backs) and four cargo tie-down points.
Toyota will offer nine exterior colours from launch, all with a white roof. FJ Cruiser's interior trim is dark grey fabric/PVC, with unique interior accents matching the exterior body colour. Priced at $44,990 The FJ Cruiser is Toyota's most affordable genuine 4x4 wagon.