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2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser

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2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.9

Toyota's 2013 FJ Cruiser is a tribute to the legendary FJ40 Land Cruiser sold worldwide between 1960 and 1984. We like the FJ because it shuns the trend to move to a more car-like (and less capable) unit body. You won't find any cushy air suspensions or luxury trimmings inside the FJ Cruiser. Instead, Toyota has given its off-road stud a sensible, easy-to-clean interior with just the right amount of modern conveniences to keep the FJ Cruiser up to date. Although many compare the 2013 FJ Cruiser to the Jeep Wrangler, there are some notable differences. The FJ's roof, for example, doesn't come off, and the FJ doesn't offer the full 4-door design of the Wrangler Unlimited.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a daily driver that can double as an off-road weekend warrior, the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser is sure to please. Unlike the Jeep Wrangler, the FJ's fixed roof isn't susceptible to heavy snow or howling wind.

You May Not Like This Car If...

No one will argue that the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV isn't fun, but it does have a number of practical drawbacks including poor fuel economy, some wicked blind spots and a not-so-roomy cargo hold.

What's New for 2013

This year's Trail Teams Special Edition Package comes in Cement Gray, while power outside mirrors are now standard on all models.

Driving the FJ Cruiser

Driving Impressions Surprisingly, we found the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV to be as equally welcome on road as it was off. With the exception of the poor side outward vision and...

a rather annoying 41.8-foot-wide turning circle, the FJ Cruiser is as enjoyable to drive as any Toyota crossover or pickup. Venturing off road gave us a chance to really fall in love with the FJ, and fall we did. The 32-inch tires, 9.6 inches of ground clearance, steep approach and departure angles and electronically controlled traction control permit the FJ to go over just about anything it can clear, although the wide body does pose some challenges the Jeep Wrangler never worries about. Then again, the FJ Cruiser corners better than the Jeep in daily driving, but not as well as the Nissan Xterra. However, on the highway we think the FJ has the best ride of the three.

SUBWOOFER SWITCH
A big, console-mounted subwoofer on/off button makes it easy to optimize the listening experience when switching from talk to rock, for instance.

A-TRAC
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.

2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Details
Interior

Knowing what the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV's intended target audience is going to do with their trucks, Toyota engineers designed an interior that is functional and rugged while at the same time comfortable and modern. The FJ's supportive seats are covered in water-resistant fabric, while underfoot the traditional carpet is replaced with rubber flooring. The purpose-built interior also features removable rear-seat bottoms and large rotary control knobs specifically designed to be operated when wearing gloves. One cool option is the dash-mounted inclinometer, or as one of our editors affectionately called it, a "tip-overometer."

Exterior

It's easy to pick out the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV in a lineup; just look for the hulking big truck with the two smallish inset round headlights flanking a low-profile, rectangular grille. The design is a tribute to the original FJ. Noteworthy features on the FJ include big 32-inch tires, available floodlights mounted to the side mirrors and three wiper arms to quickly clear mud from the windshield. Backing up the FJ Cruiser's menacing look is some serious hardware, including available Bilstein heavy-duty shocks and available 4-wheel drive (4WD) with 2-speed transfer case and locking rear differential.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The most basic 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV is equipped with 2-wheel drive (2WD), a 5-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows and locks, a 6-speaker CD/MP3 audio system, auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity for phone and streaming audio, XM satellite radio, steering-wheel audio controls, 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 6-speed manual transmission, 2-speed transfer case and a locking rear differential (standard on manually equipped cars and optional with the automatic).

Optional Equipment

The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV upgrades include keyless entry, cruise control, rear sonar parking assist, rearview camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 10-speaker JBL audio system with powered subwoofer, and a 115V/400W power outlet. Options for off-roaders include the Off-Road Package, an automatic transmission (4WD models) with a rear differential lock, A-TRAC active traction control and an inclinometer. The Trail Teams Special Edition Package brings with it the Off-Road Package, Cement Gray exterior paint with matching roof and black bumpers, front grille and door handles, mirror-mounted illumination markers, cyclone pre-air cleaner, trail-rated Bilstein shocks, rearview camera, JBL audio system, 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 5-speed automatic transmission coupled with either a 2WD or a part-time 4WD system, or a 6-speed manual transmission teamed with a full-time 4WD system. The 4WD models include a 2-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 2WD models). The FJ Cruiser has an independent front suspension and solid rear axle, and its maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.

4.0-liter V6
260 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
271 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 mpg (2WD, automatic), 15/18 mpg (4WD, manual) 17/20 mpg (4WD, automatic)

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2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 498 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.8/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Smooth, reliable and Toyota quality

By on Thursday, January 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good power and performance, on demand 4WD"

Cons: "Spartan interior, mediocre gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Owner for seven years with virtually no mechanical problems. Motor runs better than the day I bought it and just keeps getting better. Interior is somewhat sparse but this is intended for serious off-roading. Would certainly buy another one if they had not dropped this model."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Will NEVER sell this truck

By on Monday, January 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "FUN, RELIABLE, GO ANYWHERE AT ANYTIME"

Cons: "NO 12 STEP PROGRAM FOR MY FJ CRUISER ADDICTION"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is definitely the best truck I ever owned. Solid tank like drive, makes you feel almost invincible. AWESOME community of enthusiasts for support and camaraderie. I WILL NEVER SELL THIS BEAST!!! Can I pick 11 out of 10 for overall value?"

Quality, dependable, decent gas mileage, & rugged

By on Sunday, December 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 129,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Safe and reliable"

Cons: "Limited visibility through rear and back sides"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My FJ has been used for work, which has required me to go way off the beaten path. It has climbed ski slopes in the summer, forded creeks, gone over many mountain passes, and through it all has remained solid, tight, dependable, and a pleasure to drive. I enjoy this truck so much I bought a second one and plan to keep them for a long time."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have ever owned! Period!

By on Tuesday, December 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm a dealership manager and have owned many vehicles over my life and normally keep them 1 to 2 years. I have owned my FJ for three and have no plans of getting rid of it! This vehicle handles and drives perfect. The drivers seat is the most comfortable of any vehicle I have owned even though it lacks all the seat gadgets most seats come with now. I love the fact the back door swings back so far that I can put my little girl in her car seat while standing upright and never straining. I have had it in the snowy mountains of TN, heat & sand of AZ, and the in the swamps of GA. Nothing stops it! Its my day to day driver and my weekend fun vehicle all in one. To top it all off it has went up in value since I have owned it do to the fact there not made anymore. Have you ever owned a vehicle for three years put 50,000 mi on it and have it be worth more than you paid for it?"

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Fun to drive

By on Sunday, November 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love this vehicle. Never worry about being on the road regardless of weather driving conditions. Loads of interior space for myself, husband, and our 3 dogs. We love this vehicle so much, we also bought a 2014 FJ ultimate edition. Having lots of fun adding accessories like fog lights and full roof racks and soon a lift. Just cannot believe they are no longer making them."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Wont trade it in ever!!

By on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliability, Clean (looking),"

Cons: "Nothing"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had this truck for over an year now. I do not have words how to describe how much I love this truck. My family gets mad at me because i wash the truck every other day and I change the oil every 3 thousand miles. I always tell them its because I want to keep the truck forever. Im already saving up to change the engine on the truck because I know this truck has been through a lot but It always impress me how smooth and reliable this truck is. People complain about the gas mileage but i work and go around where I live so it usually fills up with 30 for 1 1/2 weeks. Real eye catcher to some people. I know its hard to change lanes but I invested in a side camara for the car and it has been working for me. I always get asked about maybe trading it for a jeep but I really fell in love with this truck and I just cant bring myself to sell it."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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