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2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser

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2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.8

For those old enough to remember, the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV is vaguely reminiscent of the original FJ40 Land Cruisers that help build the company’s reputation for rugged durability roughly a half-century ago. While it certainly looks newer, it has kept the original’s straightforward feel, with no excess luxury trimmings or frills – just the capability to go nearly anywhere. Some might line it up against the Jeep Wrangler, but there are significant differences. The FJ’s roof is not removable and the FJ is obviously finished to a higher level than the decidedly more utilitarian Jeep.

You'll Like This Car If...

For a fairly hard-core weekend off-road warrior, the FJ makes an entirely reasonable daily driver, and you really can live with it day-in, day-out. Few others will match that blend as well.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Maybe you think it’s fun, and it can be. But the fuel economy is not wonderful, the styling results in some pretty bad blind spots in dealing with traffic, and surprising for an SUV, there’s not much space for cargo.

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser has no significant changes from the previous model.

Driving the FJ Cruiser
Driving Impressions

It's an SUV, yes, but the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser really is a vehicle for all seven days of the week, with noteworthy capabilities off-road and accommodating manners on the...

... highway. Perhaps our biggest complaint is that the narrow windows and big pillars result in limited outward visibility with really annoying blind spots that make maneuvering in traffic or changing lanes awkward and difficult. Otherwise, it’s like driving any Toyota pickup. Go where the pavement ends, however, and it’s in its element. The big tires, ample ground clearance, steep approach and departure angles and helpful traction control give the FJ outstanding capabilities in dealing with the wilderness primeval. It’s wider than the Jeep Wrangler, but it’s far better in everyday life. Overall, the FJ has a lot to offer in comparison to the Wrangler or the Nissan Xterra, and we think that for daily driving it would be the best of the three.

ALL-AROUND CAPABILITIES
Vehicles that are good off-road tend to be awkward, uncomfortable or annoying in daily use but, except for the limited visibility, the FJ Cruiser is just fine as a daily driver, and that’s a plus.

A-TRAC
By automatically applying the brakes to a spinning wheel, Toyota’s active traction-control system sends torque to the opposing wheel and enhances the FJ Cruiser’s off-road capability.

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Details
Interior

Toyota engineers and designers gave the 2014 FJ Cruiser an interior that’s very well-suited to a combination of off-road rigors and daily driving commutes. It’s functional, durable, modern and accommodatingly comfortable. Seats are upholstered in water-resistant fabric and rubber is used on the floor. Rear-seat bottoms are removable for extra storage space and large rotary knobs can be operated while wearing gloves. Keeping watch over the proceedings is the inclinometer, which measures tilt of the body and might help prevent the embarrassment of tipping the SUV over and into the bottom of some canyon.

Exterior

You won’t lose the Toyota FJ Cruiser in the mall parking lot. With its height, distinctive round headlights, rectangular grille, 2-tone color treatment and roof rack, the FJ is not only an obvious SUV descendant of the original FJ, it’s unlike anything else on the road. Add in the big tires, the rear-mounted spare, optional floodlights on the mirrors and three wiper arms to deal with the narrow windshield, and the FJ is definitely making a statement of rugged readiness.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

For 2014, the well-equipped base 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 with the manual transmission and optional with the automatic).

Optional Equipment

Optional equipment for the Toyota FJ Cruiser includes keyless entry, cruise control, rear parking assist, rearview camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 10-speaker JBL audio system with powered subwoofer and a 115V/400W power outlet. Off-road options include the Off-Road Package, automatic transmission (4WD models) with a rear differential lock, A-TRAC active traction control and an inclinometer. The Trail Teams Special Edition Package includes 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, TRD alloy wheels and 12V/100W and 115V/400W outlets.

Under the Hood

The FJ Cruiser is powered by a strong, durable and well-proven 4.0-liter V6 of 260 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque, matched with either a 5-speed automatic transmission with the 2-wheel drive (2WD) or part-time 4-wheel drive (4WD) system, or a 6-speed manual transmission with full-time 4WD. The 4WD models have a 2-speed transfer case. Locking differentials and a sophisticated traction-control system give the FJ extraordinary off-road capabilities, while steep approach and departure angles help with clambering over tough boulders and fording awkward rivers. The power goes to the ground through an independent front and live-axle rear suspension, and the FJ can tow trailers up to 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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2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 503 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

One word "Awesome"

By on Friday, June 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

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
8/10

Pros: "Great looks, fun to drive, resale value, etc."

Cons: "Storage space but can make it work."

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

"After wanting an FJ Cruiser ever since they first came in production I finally bought a 2007 well cared for pre-owned with 100k on it. I have not owned it long enough to speak of "reliability" but based on my research and reviews I am not worried about that. I have owned many Lexus cars/suv's over the years so I am familiar with Toyota reliability. I have owned many nice cars including Porsche over the years and I must say in the short time I have owned this FJ it is my favorite vehicle I have owned. It is just fun to drive, it looks great,etc, etc. Lets look at a few things that people bring up about the FJ. First is the "blind spot". If you adjust your mirrors correctly and buy some $2.00 blind spot mirrors for both side mirrors and pay attention to what you are doing it is not a factor at all. The simplicity of the interior design is what I LOVE about the vehicle. Mine has the basics I want/need AC, cruise, am/fm/cd, power windows, power locks, keyless entry, 4x4. If you want a luxury SUV look at Lexus or something else. This SUV is utilitarian by design and function. I have a 7yo son and love the ability to wash the inside out after a trip to the beach, park, etc. My biggest complaint is the lack of storage by means of an enclosed arm rest compartment. Their are some aftermarket companies that have options be even they are not what I would like or used to. I will be looking at some workarounds to fix the storage situation. With a vehicle their are usually trades off no matter what. Love the Lexus RX series (I owned one) but they are not designed for "off road" even with the AWD version. The Dodge Durango (owned one) has great storage and space front and rear but the over all look is not that appealing. I don't consider myself a gear head but I do like nice cars. I am 45 years old and my FJ gets compliments from young and old. Plan on being part of the FJ "fraternity" because as you pass other people in an FJ they will wave or stop and talk. Strangers will either look at you, nod, or simply start asking questions. In the end the FJ is AWESOME if you understand what you are buying and what it is. It has been a long time since I have owned a vehicle I was excited about driving and finding myself looking for reasons to drive somewhere. I feel like a 16 year old that just got his licenses and wants to drive everywhere all the time for no reason at all. My plan is keeping this SUV for a lifetime and letting my son in 9 years drive it when he turns 16. It is a SUV me and him can enjoy together tinkering,doing small repairs, and doing modifications. I think this is the type vehicle that becomes part of a family for generations. P"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best car ever

By on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

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: "Fun to drive! Powerful. Not too bad on gas."

Cons: "blind spots"

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

"I bought this car because I loved it's look and had always been a fan of the Land Cruiser. I have owned this vehicle for 8 years of Awesome! Best car ever! It drives great. It is dependable and rides great in the city or rural. I have a two wheel drive and that is fine for me. If someone is looking for speed this is not the right vehicle. But, boy is it fun to ride in The only negative is the blind spots but I knew that going in and there are things you can do to correct that issue. If I had to purchase another car today it would be the FJ Cruiser. Would I recommend it to a friend? Absolutely!!!"

Best all around SUV I have ever owned!!!

By on Saturday, March 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

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
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive looks good !!!"

Cons: "If you have to get in back set a little hard ."

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

"This is the best SUV the drive is fun the sound system is great.I like that it goes from road to off road with no problem.The paint is tough even though it is 4 years old it looks new.Plenty of room to put sets down and cary anything needed dogs,hay, bicycle ect."

4 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best car ever!

By on Monday, February 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

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

"I've had my FJ for about 6 months and it is a phenomenal vehicle! I'd been eyeing it for about two years and the day finally came to get my own. I have zero complaints about this car and am constantly surprised by how well it handles in any weather or terrain."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Will get you through just about anything!

By on Thursday, February 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

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

Pros: "Great all around adventure SUV to drive!"

Cons: "Have to have premium gas"

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

"I bought my FJ the first year it came out in 2006. Had to find a Voodoo Blue manual 4x4 that was top of the line at that time. Had to hunt around calling a number of Toyota dealers to find the FJ that was like the one on the brochure. Ended up paying sticker since it was just out and had to have it, but loved my FJ from the first test drive. I've taken into snow, the desert, trails in Death Valley going into some interesting places from Tea Kettle Junction into the mountains during snow. The engine still purrs like it was new, the gas mileage at least back then for a SUV was actually good, the 4 wheel drive in low will get you through just about anything that most people will come across, and it is just a fun tank looking thing to drive around in when I feel like it. Luckily it isn't my daily driver so only have 55k miles of vacation/fun travels. Still drives like new and looks it!"

5 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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