Toyota FJ Cruiser

The hip kids might bypass Scion for this

In just a couple days, Toyota will be unveiling the FJ Cruiser officially. I hope this means they will introduce a final production model, release date and pricing.

Aside from the electric blue and associations I may have with Icehouse, I really dig this vehicle. This thing excites me as much as the Passat did when it was restyled in 1998.

I’ve always thought I wanted a Jeep, and if they were friendlier on the highway, I’d consider one. I had the wonderful opportunity to drive the gas hog that was a Land Rover for a few years, but it had some issues: a queasy ride and lack of headroom… oh yeah, the 12 MPG sucked literally.

I’ve been thinking that more than anything, I want something incredibly reliable next time I step foot in a dealership. Toyota is at the top of my list in that regard. Sadly, most of their fleet is pretty uninspired in terms of styling. They’ve been getting a little too swoopy of late, and I hope the lines of this concept make it into production—along with the flat folding rear seat and cargo area that can accommodate sleeping bags.

The reality is, I can like this retro-flavored SUV thing all I want, but I might not be able to fit in it. Headroom already looks spotty with the squat greenhouse. I can cross my fingers that some of their environmental thinking lends to reasonable gas mileage, and it doesn’t have the chintzy feel and bloated pricetag of the VW Touareg.

UPDATE: The “unveiling” was a production model exterior and a few specs at the Chicago Auto Show. Interior wasn’t finished, and the two key pieces of information I was hoping to get were not released: MPG and Price. Toyota hopes to roll it out in 2006 as an ’07 model.

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Categorized as Design

10 comments

  1. Are you stuck on an SUV? I’d suggest checking out the Subaru cars if all you want is AWD. (and the WRX STi is a *beast*). To me, this is seriously saying “Honda Element, beware”. I’d be interested how it stacks up in terms of appeal

  2. Nope. I’m not stuck on an SUV. I just like to look. In fact, I’m not in the market for a vehicle.
    But I’ll still look.
    I liked the seating postion of my ol SUV, but it didn’t feel sure-footed. I honestly have a big problem with Subaru’s styling. The WRX is GREAT, but rest of their line-up has way too many extraneous curves. I’ve doubts about the ability to cram my 6’5″ frame in a WRX to boot.
    AWD and even extraordinary performance are not requirements. Heck, I like the Camry from a few models back. I’m that boring. I doubt I’ll do a sedan again next time though. I like to change things up.

  3. I think the FJ cruiser is awesome looking. Whoever said it is competition for the element is out of their mind. It is more in competition with the h3 and the xterra. With the element starting out around 17 and change, the fj probably won’t be stealing too much of its’ business. Anyway, the design looks great and I love the fact that it’s more powerful than the h3, and is supposedly going to be about 5-7 grand cheaper.

  4. I saw the vehicle at the L.A. Car show and was impressed. i continued to look at it online and checked for updates. What a disapointment, the gas mileage sucks and the look changed.
    It looks like another SUV with the release designs. I understand not all cars continue on and release looking like the concept but I was real disapointed on this one. I almost got rid of my Dodge 4×4 for it but why if I get the same gas mileage. Toyota went down hill the past couple of years. I had 3 Toyota trucks, the last was a Tacoma 4×4 6 Cyl, what crap that was. The 2000 Tacoma 4×4 4 Cyl was the best truck I owned.
    Unless the FJ Cruiser looks more like the concept photos in blue I wont be purchasing.
    -prohjekt

  5. I’ve had a huge hard-on for this thing since i saw the concept a year or so ago. I can’t wait to see the thing on the road and get some consumer reviews on it. I agree with Joe on the whole Element comparison. It’s going after the X-terra and maybe even the Jeep Wrangler buyer.
    I’m not in a position of getting one this year, but it’s deffinatly on my list of vehicles to get soon. I’m also looking at an older Tacoma 4 door but the FJ just looks cooler. I’m not psyched about the gas milage either, but that’s what you have to sacrafice to drive such a badass vehicle. I think my life will be complete(vehicle-wise) the day i have an FJ and a Honda Shadow(motorcycle).
    My only concern with the FJ is the rear access because i have a kid and plan on have one or two more. if it’s a pain in the ass for them to get in and out, like i’ve heard with the Element due to the suicide doors, then i may have to rethink it. Otherwise, it will be my son’s first car when he turns 16 in 15 years. hahaha

  6. Why not buy American instead of buying from a company that is destroying the US industrial base?
    Quality is now comparable and the styling of Domestics is better in most cases. Plus you would be supporting an American company and workers instead of paying for your own destruction in the future when the trade deficit causes a war with these leeches.

  7. That car looks awful. Buy a Jeep or any American sport utility vehicle.
    It is time to buy American instead of these jap jobs. American vehicles are now as reliable and, in most cases, better styled than these foreign jobs. It is time to put your money with your country.

  8. The design looks good, and your taste in color is, too. That electric blue’s pretty awesome. Could you share some of the specs that you like about this car?
    Yeah, I’ll get right on that spammer. – cg

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