At once retro and modern, the Toyota FJ Cruiser is an off-road bruiser that makes a statement no matter where it roams. Tough enough to tackle the most rutted trail yet civilized enough for the freeway, the FJ also boasts Toyota's reputation for quality and unflappable resale value.
Like the classic Toyota FJ40 from which it takes its cues, the 2014 FJ Cruiser plays up its utilitarian nature with beefy bumpers and underbody protection, roof rails to carry your toys, and those big round headlights that harken to its ancestor's styling. Inside, the theme continues with oversized knobs and gauges, water-resistant seat fabric, a washable floor and just enough creature comforts to keep you happy as you hop boulders.
We also like the fact that multiple friends can join the fun thanks to a 3-person rear seat that's accessed via swing-out rear doors. Giving the FJ Cruiser its oomph is a 4.0-liter V6 that makes 260 horsepower and is connected to a 5-speed automatic transmission or 6-speed manual. Off-roaders will surely gravitate toward the 4-wheel-drive version with a 2-speed transfer case, but buyers who plan to keep their FJ Cruiser confined to the urban jungle can save money by opting for a rear-drive model that starts just shy of $28,000.
With its tough looks and the mechanical fortitude to back them up, the Toyota FJ Cruiser continues to march to the beat of its own drum. No matter where you choose to take one, adventure always seems to beckon.
With two extra doors and added length vs. a standard model, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited offers greater interior room and few off-road compromises.
Even as most of its competitors go soft, the Toyota 4Runner remains a rugged adventure vehicle that can still play nice in the city.
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