The Thar might be one of the most popular 4×4 off-roaders in India. But when it comes to the global stage, there is another gem that is a cult classic. Yes, we are referring to the Toyota FJ Cruiser. A retro-styled mid-sized SUV that still has an avid fan base, and millions of proud owners around the globe. Produced from 2005 to 2014 (USA), the supremely capable, the FJ Cruiser was a vehicle that was available in both 4×2 and 4×4 avatar. And if you’re wondering what made the FJ Cruiser an evergreen machine, here’s everything about the Cruiser.
The FJ Cruiser was first introduced as a concept car in 2003 with production beginning from the year 2005. During its entire legacy, the FJ Cruiser has been quite a popular vehicle thanks to its retro design. The FJ Cruiser comes with a short wheelbase, retro grille-headlight set-up and a stocky frame. Other throwback design elements include quite a vertical windshield with three windshield wipers that don’t leave even an inch of the windshield uncovered! The Cruiser’s body also features “rear opening access doors” and high-strength steel to give the vehicle ample side impact protection without the need for a door pillar.
Much like the looks, the interiors of the classic FJ Cruiser featured many design cues that were focused on enhancing the off-road experience and overall practicality. Almost all interior surfaces onboard the Cruiser were covered with washable rubber materials to help in a faster cleanup. Keeping in mind snowy terrains, the FJ also incorporated oversized buttons and controls to help in easy operation with a glove. Other key elements include the classic three-gauge cluster with compass, temperature and inclinometer along with a 110 volt rear outlet, making the Cruiser highly practical as well.
What’s under the hood?
Power-wise the Cruiser used a powerful 4.0-litre DOHC VVT-i V6 petrol engine for models 2007 to 2009. The engine produced 239 PS of power with 377 NM of torque. Onboard the 2010 model, the FJ Cruiser was updated with Dual VVT-I that improved the figure to 259 PS and 366 NM of torque. The year 2011 brought in another update pumping up power figures to 260 PS and torque figures to 367 NM.
For the adventurers, the 4×4 drive models were equipped with RA61F 6 speed manual transmission with a full-time 4WD system. The sophisticated system employed a centre TORSEN differential, with a locking feature that produced a 40:60 power ratio under most driving conditions. Onboard the rear-wheel-drive variants an auto transmission was offered with a limited-slip rear differential.
The Off-Roading and Safety Aspects
Not only was the FJ Cruiser a good looking rugged vehicle, with a capable engine, it also employed some of the most sophisticated off-roading aspects. The 4×4 Cruiser brought 243 mm of ground clearance with 34-degrees of approach angle and 30-degrees of departure angle. The Cruiser was also designed to tackle up to 27.5 inches of water. The safety department was handled by ABS with EBD, Brake Assist and Vehicle Stability Program.
So this was the Toyota FJ Cruiser for you. If you too loved the evergreen Cruiser, let us know in the comments below.