The Bottom Line
- Retro cool looks.
- Genuine off road chops.
- Rugged build.
- Windshield is miles away from driver.
- Sightlines could be better.
- Wind noise is fatiguing.
- Base prices from $24,180 to $25,770
- Engine: 4.0 L DOHC 24-valve V6
- Horsepower: 260 @ 5,600 rpm
- Torque: 271 @ 4,400
- Curb Weight: 4,079 - 4,343
- Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway (RWD)/ 15/19 (4WD MT); 17/21 (4WD 5AT)
- Wheelbase: 105.9” Vehicle Length: 183.9” Width: 75.0" Height: 71.3” - 72.0"
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles basic; 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain
- Cargo: 66.8 cubic feet behind front row; 27.9 cubic feet behind second row
- Transmission: 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual (4WD); 5-speed automatic (RWD)
Guide Review - 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser
I decided to revisit the Toyota FJ Cruiser recently, as I had not driven one since its debut as a 2007 model. Toyota kindly loaned me a 2010 FJ Cruiser 4x4 with a base price of $25,270 ($30,707 as tested), equipped with the Convenience Package ($2,275), the All-Terrain Package ($1,335) and other optional equipment.
When I first drove the FJ Cruiser at its launch, I was mighty impressed. I was quite taken with its retrofuturist exterior design. Back then, I said the the FJ Cruiser was "so cool it's hot." Looking at the FJ four model years down the road, I'm still impressed. The design is so timeless that it is aging quite well, and still looks as striking and fresh today as it did back then.
My reservations about the FJ are few. I sometimes had trouble seeing stoplights if I was the first car in line at the intersection, because the flat windshield and overhanging roof are so far away. The rearview mirror is such a reach from the driver's seat that by the time you lean to adjust it, you've lost the idea for where it should be set. Looking over your right shoulder doesn't help much with the rear side view -- you have to rely on your mirrors and your instincts when changing lanes. I kind of wish there was a factory navigation screen available, with an integrated rear view camera system, but my test vehicle made do with a backup camera monitor built in to the rear view mirror as part of the Convenience Package. The view was a little small, but worked.
There's plenty of function built into the FJ Cruiser. Generous cargo space and luggage space behind the second row mate with easy access via a big swing-out tailgate and a pair of clamshell rear doors that can be opened only when the front doors are already open. As a driver who rarely carries passengers in the second row, I didn't mind this feature, but I know that some families with children might find it an inconvenience. Materials and surfaces inside the FJ are ruggedly family-friendly, and appear to be quite durable.
I didn't challenge the FJ Cruiser to off roading feats during my week with the vehicle. We did traverse a few dirt roads and sandy patches, and I was quite pleased with how little the ride changed from solid pavement to dirt. FJ Cruiser is quite civilized and smooth in most circumstances, and would do fine as a daily driver. A long stretch on the highway revealed a bit of excess wind noise, and a slight susceptibility to buffeting in cross-winds, but that's a sacrifice to styling that seems unavoidable.
I'm still a big fan of FJ Cruiser. I just hope that Toyota is dreaming up some clever improvements for a second generation of the coolest SUV on the planet.