By KBB.com Editors
Sold in the U.S. from 1960 to 1983, the Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser remains one of the most respected off-road vehicles of all time. The Land Cruiser nameplate survives to this day, in fact, but affixed to a much bigger, much more expensive vehicle. Toyota's 4Runner has also grown, both in size and in price, to a starting sticker near $30K, which necessitated the need for the FJ Cruiser. The 2010 FJ Cruiser is Toyota's answer to the popular Nissan Xterra and the venerable Jeep Wrangler. The FJ Cruiser backs up its distinctive, retro-esque styling with serious off-road capability, thanks to features like body-on-frame construction, big tires, available four-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case and available locking rear differential.You'll Like This Car If...
Whether you're drawn to it as a comfortable and versatile daily driver, a weekend off-roader or just an expressive way to get from Point A to Point B, you're sure to appreciate how well the 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser does it all.You May Not Like This Car If...
Depending on what other vehicles you might be considering, the FJ Cruiser's potential faults include marginal fuel economy (although it's slightly more fuel-friendly than the Xterra), big blind spots at the sides and a cargo area that's not as accommodating as those of some other SUVs.What's New for 2010
The 2010 FJ Cruiser sees improvements in horsepower and fuel economy; it also now requires less-expensive regular fuel. A new Trail Teams Special Edition package is offered for the first time.Driving It Driving Impressions
Whether you're hoping the FJ Cruiser shines brightest as an off-roader or a daily driver, you'll be happy to hear it fills both rolls exceptionally well. Except for its limited side visibility and a wide 41.8-foot turning circle, Toyota's trendiest SUV is as pleasant to drive as many sedans. Off-road, the FJ Cruiser's 32-inch tires, steep approach and departure angles and sophisticated traction aids combine to deliver world-class off-road capability. Compared with its most closely matched competitor, the Nissan Xterra, the FJ doesn't corner as eagerly around town but does deliver a marginally softer highway ride. As for the off-road comparison, we'll give the nod to the Toyota, although the Nissan remains impressive.Favorite Features
A big, console-mounted subwoofer on/off button makes it easy to optimize the listening experience when switching from talk to rock, for instance.
By automatically applying the brakes to a spinning wheel, Toyota's active traction control system forces torque to the opposing wheel and boosts the FJ Cruiser's off-road capability.
Equipped with water-resistant seat fabric, rubber flooring, removable rear seat bottoms and big control knobs designed for easy operation when wearing gloves, the FJ Cruiser's interior is decidedly purpose-built. Still, it's a very comfortable cabin for front and rear passengers alike, even if entering or leaving the rear seat through the small rear-hinged doors is tough to do elegantly. The rear cargo area isn't huge, but convenient hooks and tie-downs add functionality. A color-keyed center cluster adds a touch of whimsy.Exterior
With two smallish round headlamps flanking a low-profile, rectangular grille, the FJ Cruiser's face provides the strongest link to its FJ40 ancestry. The contrasting white roof, wraparound rear glass and available roof rack are also familiar. In total, though, the 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser isn't as stylistically true to the original as the modern MINI or VW New Beetle are to their ancestors. Exterior features worth noting are the FJ Cruiser's big 32-inch tires, three windshield wipers and available side mirror-mounted lamps. Toyota also offers plenty of add-ons geared toward off-road duty.Notable Standard Equipment
Base FJ Cruisers are equipped with two-wheel drive, automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows and locks, a six-speaker CD/MP3 audio system, auxiliary audio jack, electronic stability and traction controls, front seat side-mounted airbags, roll sensing side curtain airbags, two front airbags and 17-inch black steel wheels. Four-wheel-drive FJs come standard with a six-speed manual transmission.Notable Optional Equipment
FJ Cruiser upgrades include keyless entry, cruise control, rear sonar parking assist, rear backup camera, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, eight-speaker audio system with six-disc CD changer, subwoofer, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a 115V/400W power outlet. Options for off-roaders include the new Off-Road Package, an automatic transmission (4WD models), a rear differential lock, A-TRAC active traction control and an inclinometer. New for 2010 is the Trail Teams Special Edition Package that brings with it the Off-Road Package, Sandstorm exterior paint with matching roof and blackout hood paint, outside mirror-mounted illumination markers, beige seat inserts, trail-rated Bilstein shocks, rear backup camera, BFG All-Terrain tires on TRD alloy wheels and a set of 12V, 100W and 115V, 400W outlets.Under the Hood
A sophisticated aluminum V6 anchors three powertrain combinations that include a five-speed automatic transmission coupled with either two-wheel-drive or a part-time four-wheel-drive system, or a six-speed manual transmission teamed with a full-time four-wheel-drive system. Four-wheel-drive models include a two-speed transfer case. Off-road capability is enhanced with locking differentials and electronic traction controls. Rock-crawling specs include approach and departure angles of 34 and 30 degrees, respectively (32 and 29 degrees for two-wheel drive models). The FJ Cruiser has an independent front suspension and solid rear axle, and its maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.
259 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22 (2WD, automatic), 15/19(4WD, manual) 17/21 (4WD, automatic)
The 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $24,500 for the two-wheel drive model and jumps to just over $25,600 with four-wheel drive and a manual transmission. A fully-loaded FJ tops out around $33,000. Our Fair Purchase Prices reflect real-world selling prices, so be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price before you set out to shop. The FJ's competitors include the Nissan Xterra with prices ranging from $23,500 to about $33,000, the Jeep Wrangler which ranges from $22,000 to more than $35,000 and, to a lesser extent, the Nissan Pathfinder, which ranges from $28,000 to well beyond $47,000. In terms of resale value, we expect the 2010 FJ Cruiser to perform better than the Xterra and Pathfinder, and remain on par with the Wrangler.