OFF-ROAD LEGEND HEADS FOR THE HILLS
Toyota Motor Corporation is ending production of the retro-styled FJ Cruiser, launched in Australia in 2011.
The iconic FJ40 inspired the redesign of the modern iteration with the distinctive front grille and single round headlights, plus the rear-door mounted spare wheel and muscular bonnet and front wheelarch shape.
WHen the FJ Cruiser ends production in August, Australia will have bought over 11,000 with an average of 180 cars per month. Toyota Australia’s Tony Cramb, executive director sales and marketing, said FJ Cruiser has become a bastion of off-road competence for over 50 years.
“The FJ rides into the sunset as a vehicle renowned for its ability to traverse rugged outback trails while offering plenty of utility for all types of activities and being equally well-suited for everyday driving,” Cramb said. “It will leave lasting memories as one of the most iconic vehicles in Toyota’s rich SUV history, helping bring renewed energy to the Toyota brand,” he said.
For Tool-of-Trade fleet shoppers, the FJ Cruiser offers functionality in many facets such as 90-degree clamshell side access doors with quick access to rear seats, swing-up rear glass hatch incorporated into a side-hinged tailgate (like the original FJ40) that opens independently, and expanded fuel tank capacity of 159 litres and potential range of almost 1,400km, and an electronically-activated rear diff lock with switchable Active Traction Control to maximise off-road climbing ability. Its “CRAWL” function features a “feet off” system that controls engine management and brake application to maintain low speeds over slippery terrain or gnarly terra firma, so drivers can focus on steering.
FJ Cruiser also boasts Toyota’s best approach/departure angles front to rear in their entire range at 36 and 31 degrees respectively, making it competent in even the tightest of spots. Australian testing resulted in the heavy-duty all-coil suspension and power steering to suit Australian conditions, plus the 17-inch alloy wheels and 70-profile rubber. Likewise, course-chip bitumen surfaces in Australia saw improvements to the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels on a global scale.
It is powered by a 200kW, 380Nm 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine with five-speed automatic transmission and safety gear include six airbags, stability control, anti-skid brakes with brake assist and EBD, active front-seat head restraints, reversing camera with display in the electro-chromatic rear-view mirror and rear parking sensors.
Other trimmings include rear fog lamps, privacy glass, cruise control, air-conditioning, a premium steering wheel with audio controls, multi-information display, eight-speaker audio system with a CD stacker (remember those?) and central locking.
It also won the 4×4 Australia magazine’s 4×4 of the Year title in its first year in Australian. Offered in a single grade with a high level of specification, the FJ Cruiser is priced from $46,990 until August.