The 2007 FJ Cruiser joins a very extensive lineup of Toyota SUVs. With the RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser (let alone the various Lexus iterations), what niche does the FJ fit into that isn't already covered by Toyota's existing SUVs? The fun, modern-yet-retro, go-anywhere-off-road niche.
Most impressive is the 239-horsepower 4.0L V6 engine. Its semi-throaty roar makes the FJ seem fast, yet the exhaust was stock quiet under moderate acceleration. The boisterous engine lends a lot of off-road competence to the vehicle.
There are a lot of interesting items that make the FJ different from your everyday, grocery-getting SUV. The flooring and seats are made of a material that encourages cleaning with a hose. The tilt urethane steering wheel is nicely sized, and feels almost like a scuba diver's glove in your hand. While it looks like a two-door, there are two rear-hinged doors that open widely to reveal a rear seat with a 60/40 split seat back.
The Star Safety System is standard equipment in the FJ. It includes vehicle stability control, ABS brakes, front air bags, and three point belts in every position. Further protection comes both from standard underbelly skid plates, and ones that are part of the $1,000 convenience package, as well as front and rear side curtain air bags.
The two-wheel-drive FJ comes with a five-speed automatic transmission whereas the four-wheel-drive model can be ordered with a six-speed manual or the automatic.
In addition to the many post-production options Toyota usually offers, FJ's can be equipped with running boards, TRD (Toyota Racing Department) goodies, upgraded wheels, and remote keyless entry. A rear clearance sonar device assists in rock riding applications.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is all new for 2007, and it is based on the 4Runner chassis. Its styling echoes the Toyota FJ40 that was sold in the U.S. from 1960 to 1984. The new FJ uses a 239-horsepower 4.0L V6 engine, which makes it a hoot to drive. A five-speed automatic transmission can be ordered on any FJ Cruiser, while a six-speed manual is reserved for four-wheel-drive variants.