Part 2 – FJ Cruiser: Off-road

South Australia’s Flinders Ranges is tough country. Steep goat tracks, laden with razor sharp rocks of all shapes and sizes, means you need a proper low range-capable off-roader if you want to explore these parts without getting into trouble.

While the scenery is spectacular, it’s a very unforgiving place with difficult terrain and very little water in parts. Explorers Bourke and Wills lost their lives around here in 1861 due to what amounted to starvation and exhaustion.

The irony is that despite the harshness of these ranges, it’s all a bit too easy going in the Toyota FJ Cruiser, and the ride comfort along these rock-infested tracks is ridiculously good.

By that, I mean you can’t feel the rocks that litter every one of these trails, as the FJ’s suspension simply flattens out any coarseness for what can only be described as a supple if not prestige quality ride. For what is a highly capable 4X4 under fifty grand, it really shouldn’t be this good, but it just is!

Toyota engineers have certainly done their homework when it comes the FJ Cruiser. Suspension set-up on the FJ has been specially tuned for Australian conditions after chief engineer, Akio Nishimura, personally did extensive testing here with the vehicle on both city roads and difficult off-road tracks, to enable the best possible set-up.

Nishimura, along with vital input from the local Toyota engineering team, made important changes to the suspension tune, despite the fact that the chassis, engine, transmission and suspension have all been proven in Prado. The FJ’s shock absorbers were stiffened by 10 percent on the American settings for better driveability, but it hasn’t compromised the remarkably compliant ride the FJ Cruiser delivers on- and off-road.

Engineers shortened the Prado’s chassis by 100mm in the interest of better on-road handling and shorter front and rear overhangs, which has meant outstanding approach and departure angles.

That’s something that doesn’t quite register in the FJ, unless you’re pointing nose-first down a bloody steep track leading onto a riverbed. Remarkably, the Cruiser managed to clear the ground as we levelled out, after I was absolutely sure that we would gouge the under-body scuff plate.

That wasn’t the only surprise. We then crawled along the dry bed and managed to climb over what could only be described as a decent-sized boulder. While the FJ Cruiser was left balancing on three wheels during the manoeuvre, the whole event was all a bit uneventful given the ease of this task, as well as the outstanding ride comfort.

With pedigree like the FJ40 and a contemporary drivetrain from Prado, there are few compromises when it comes to the FJ Cruiser’s off-road ability.

For starters, there’s a ladder-frame chassis, heavy-duty coil suspension all round, and a part-time four-wheel drive system with two-speed transfer case. Not that you need this kind of 4×4 grunt much of the time, at least in this part of the Flinders.

While the FJ Cruiser is happy to motor along dirt trails in two-wheel drive (more on that later) it’s worthwhile shifting into 4-High, as the car feels significantly more planted at speed. What’s more, you can do that on the fly with little more than finger tip effort.

For the really rough stuff, especially those steep rocky inclines and descents that are a common site throughout the Flinders terrain, simply move the transfer case shifter into 4-Low while in neutral, and this thing will pretty much do anything you ask of it.

But if you’re still struggling to gain enough traction to climb these slippery rocky slopes, then you have the option of manually engaging (by that, I mean, pushing a button) the rear diff lock and/or the A-TRAC (Active Traction Control) for tank-like climbing ability.

It’s not just the FJ Cruiser’s ability to conquer some pretty serious off-road tracks with a fair amount of ease that surprises, it’s as much about how comfortable the ride is while doing so that will amaze you even more.

Even when climbing some seriously steep hills, 4-Low meant absolutely no wheel slip whatsoever, but in fairness, the ground was particularly dry.

The FJ’s turning circle is also surprisingly tight for a vehicle of these proportions as proven when we came across what I would call a nasty sharp right hand turn, down a slippery track. There was precious little room for error, or you faced an uncertain future down what was essentially a cliff face. With only 2.7 turns to lock and direct steering, the Cruiser turned in early allowing plenty of run-off space in the event that the front wheels pushed on under the loose stones that littered the track.

This is a vehicle that inspires a great deal of confidence in off-road conditions. After a while, you get the impression that it’s all too easy, and that the Flinders Ranges doesn’t provide enough of a challenge for the FJ Cruiser. We got so cocky that we shoved it back in two-wheel drive and drove up one of these rocky slopes without so much as a single wheel slip.

Interestingly, the FJ cruiser makes do without much of the current suite of off-road electronic nannies, such as Crawl Control, KDSS and multi-terrain monitors, for what is a more engaging off-road experience. That said, once you engage Low-4 in first gear, you can pretty much take your foot off the brake and rely on engine braking for a similar effect, shifting up through the lower gears for increased crawl speed.

There will be many who will buy an FJ Cruiser on badge and style alone, but what you get is so much more that even at $44,000 it’s a lot of car for the money. My only regret on this test, was that we didn’t get the chance to use either the rear diff lock, or the A-TRAC assistance.

Read Part One of the Toyota FJ Cruiser review.

  • Rodders

    Nice Review & pics of the offroading there.. I do have to admit to liking the Yellow one …
    If it were avail in Diesel, (which a massive shame it ain’t)..i would be interested..

    • jeremy

      No diesel is absurd… it’s ridiculous.
      I guess they dont want to lose sales of the Prado.

    • Simon

      I have worked for the past 18 years with fleets and their managers. I have owned and driven a wide variety of vehicles. I note some of the concerns some readers have made re no diesel and heating issues.

      In recent years the gap between petrol and diesel has narrowed. In the past a simple 6 cyl turbo or non turbo diesel would provide reliability, economy, superior off road performance and longevity. Both Nissan and Toyota lead the way.

      Due to emission laws, the modern diesel has to produce more performance, less pollution, and, as such, has now become highly stressed. No longer can they cope with dirty fuel and with the electronics no longer should you submerge them etc. The mining and cotton industries are having a dreadful time with the current product range.

      Petrol motors over the past 10 years have improved their performance, their ability to cope with dust, and water. A diesel still is a better towing option but the gap is narrow. A diesel is better on fuel, but go and buy a fuel pump for a Navara, ( as an example), and any savings will be lost on the cost of the pump. ( not to mention down time). I could write a book on what happens to your Ranger, Navara, patrol, V8 diesel cruiser in mines and on farms. whilst most of us dont treat them this harshly, its a fact that most product is great when brand new, but get a few kms up and the cracks appear.

      I sold my 2003 Lcruiser turbo diesel trayback and ordered the Fj. Yes I was concerned with the front suspension and lack of diesel. However I am not towing, fuel is the cheapest thing you put in a car (so consumption up to a point is not an issue).

      Live front end? ok theres the Patrol. Sadly a dreadful 3 litre motor, (sorry guys I am writing this from a fleet perspective not private ownership) Landrover? A Ford Transit engine and a body that is 50 years over due for a replacement, ( again sorry but we trialed these in the forests of NSW for three years and had more down time than any other product) Jeep? Nope. Look at the wiring and plumbing. What about a VW Amerok? The motor is out of a Golf turbo diesel. Great performance but really on the edge for reliability long term.

      None of these products are favoured by fleets working in harsh conditions. As for petrol? ww2 jeeps were petrol. and go anywhere.

      Sure if you keep these for 2 years 40,000km there probably wont be much drama, and then there is warranty right? Wrong. Root your fuel pump and the first thing they will test is for contamination…Warranty void. An engine is up to $15,000 to replace.

      The Fj is ugly and it remains to be seen just how well the front end will cope ( mind you a guy drove frm Melbourne to Londond in a Prado with no issues), but as a total package for touring and what’s available. THis is the best value for money on the market today.

      As for overheating. These vehicles perform well in the Middle east and Prados rarely if ever have heating issues.

      If you want more gadgets and better rear doors buy the diesel Prado..A great family touring product. If you are like me and need a rugged interior, spend 80% of your time on outback properties and mines. If you need to sit at 120kph to get from a to b and not spend a lot hard earned dollars.. the FJ is for you.

      Clives comments are very accurate.

  • Alister

    As i have said give me one in Yellow and I will be oh so happy!
    Oh What a Feeling……Toyota makes a good car!

  • Toyota Guru

    Hey CA, with regards to your minuses at the top indicating no satnav option, the best thing to fit to any Toyota with a double-DIN spot is the Eclipse AVN726EA. Basically it’s a plug and play as the Eclipse is made by Fujitsu Ten, the same company that manufactures Toyota audio units.

  • DKA

    Sensational vehicle again from Toyota.

  • XR

    Not many pictures of interior. Ugly interior.

    • bert

      Hey buddy it’s meant to be!!!!!

    • John in Brisbane

      Yeah its clearly aims at Americans – they love those squared off dashes. The FJ40s were no oil paintings though! Maybe it encourages you to keep your attention out of the vehicle :) This one won’t fall apart though I bet.

      Looking at the thumbs up and down trends here is interesting – wonder how many Toyota dealers are on here lol. Guys, if this site becomes known as a place of advertorials and stacked comments, it won’t last.

    • Jfinau

      Mate, the interior is fantastic for off road, quick vac and wipe, rubber mats no probs on interior for off road mud, sand and whatever else we tread in the car unlike our landcruiser, what can you do.

  • Pauly

    Why cant you just put in the genuine Toyota Sat Nav unit? It fits in the double DIN hole in the dash? I dont understand how you can fit an aftermarket Eclipse, but cant fit a genuine one?

    Even if its not factory fitted and dealer fitted?

    • Toyota Guru

      Pauly, you can fit a genuine one, but they’re ridiculously overpriced. And the one with the TomTom in it isn’t all that exciting, but priced around the same as an AVN726EA.

      • Tan Dung

        yes, i think so

  • Pauly

    Does anyone know if you can rewire the Reversing Camera to be used on the Sat Nav screen (Eclipse or Genuine) as apposed to using the Rear View Mirror?

  • NotYetConvinced

    Anthony, what of the cooling system? Has that too been modified to Australian conditions? Or is this just another north American model that is susceptible to overheating in our long long long hot scorching summers? Be really great if you could please provide some advice. Thanks, not yet convinced but am really interested in the FJC.

    • Michael

      I drive mine in Las Vegas with 120 degrees in the summer and have no problems. Also in the surrounding areas, which include the Mohave Desert and Death Valley.

      • http://NSSAN James Cortez


        Here in the interior of Oman temperature reaches over 50 degrees Celcius ( > 122 degree fahrenheit) in the summer – peak temperature for over 4 months – and it’s damn dusty too. The AC still blows cold air. So these toyotas have been tested!!

  • Texas


    Not sure if you’ve been outside Australia or visited the USA in summer, but believe me it gets hot there, especially in places like Texas where its over 40 celcius for 2 months of the year, and you dont see these or other cars breaking down from heat.

    • NotYetConvinced

      Texas, I’ve travelled some and then more. A couple of months ago I was speaking to a mate of mine who’s a mechanical engineer on jeeps and their propensity to overheat when under work in our outback: so when it comes to North American models I’m erring on cautious. Slim chance of it happening here but I’m open to hearing from anyone in Arizona, Nevada or southern Utah with regard to the the FJC running in summer: that would be close to our flinders in regional environment. Don’t get me wrong as I’m really interested in the FJC but don’t want to get stuck back of bugger nowhere with a stuffed cooling system and all that entails.

      • Michael

        Good in Nevada. Am in Las Vegas. Summer is long hot dry with dust and very little rain. It can can hit 50 C but averages around 45-46 C over the summer months. It is fine in the entire desert area. No cooling issues.

      • KiwiJeeper

        OMAN – 55 – 60 deg and I can still run the AC and climb sand dunes with out any heat problems…

  • Ben T

    Why there are not too many comments in this article?
    Nice car, nice photos. I once had a family trip around Flinders Ranges and really enjoyed the scenery. Unfortunately we were on a people mover. Wish I was driving a car like this.

    • Lukaas

      Usually the haters posts a lot when there’s ammo to feed on to bag on Toyota.

      But this FJC, considering its pretty much a “fun” not so luxurious version of the Prado is selling at 45K is amazing…. if you ignore that it sells for 25K in USA… but thats what BIG market areas do, companies can afford to sell cheap due to volume of sales.

      • Nathan

        Companies, including Toyota, will sell for whatever they think they can get away with. How many extra units do you think they would sell if they put this car at the 25K mark in OZ? Heaps!! Jeeps are more expensive here, everything is more expensive. So unless everyone stops buying at these prices, there will be no reduction. In the Australian market compared to other 4wd’s it’s a great buy. I want one! But would certainly rather pay 25K….

  • Paul

    To everyone hanging out for a diesel FJC, you better keep waiting and I don’t see the big attraction for a Diesel, yes I’ve driven them and the modern crdi’s are great, especially torque wise, but the buggers still wont rev, sure the fuel economy is better than the petrols, but evens out as petrol is generally at least 10 cents a litre cheaper and doesn’t require the expensive servicing of a diesel, if you get primary producer diesel I understand totally the benefit, but if you are paying 1.50 a litre I wouldn’t bother, you are actually worse off and this has been proven by both the NRMA and Car Advice with the VW Golf, total running costs in Australia are much higher for a diesel and don’t give me the its worth $2k more at trade time, its all relative.

    Maybe a Liquid LPG conversion would be a better bet if you intend on keeping it like the old girl FJ40 in the shed, in Europe they use a PRINS system which locates the tank so you can’t see it and don’t beleive Toyota saying you can’t, coz you can convert, the Prado has quite a few kits, I’d say Toyota is worried about possible changes to departure angles and the location of the exhaust pipe.

    I’d rather have a petrol anyday, there will be less diesel fuel in due course forcing up the price as demand from China and India increases as less diesel comes from a barrel than petrol. Many big mining companies used to have Diesels but it is more cost effective for them to run petrol Prados now as they have a fixed capped servicing deal with Toyota and they come out better off, I think some of the references to Diesels are over rated, the biggest over rated diesel in an suv is the one in the Datsun X Trail, it will cost you more to run and is less reliable than Datsuns 2.5 petrol 4 banger. Note Toyota and Honda don’t offer a diesel rav or crv here in OZ, but do in Europe, there is good reason for this, Australia is not set up as well for a diesel car fleet, but give it time.

    Its also nicer to not get oily shoes when filling up, a big issue with the wife.

    To all those not going to buy one coz it doesn’t come as a Diesel, thanks, as I wont have to wait so long to get mine, let the fun begin.

    I wish some folk would stop bagging Toyota, I have had Toyotas and Holdens and Fords and Datsuns and the Toyotas are the cars I have the least issues with.

    When you run a fleet you get to know what’s good and what’s bad, I’ll have a blue FJC with a nice bit of bar work on the front and side rails and I am off into the never never, see yas.

    • jeremy

      What anti-diesel drivel!
      Yes it will be cheaper on diesel, yes it will give you a lot more range on diesel. Yes it will tow more economically with diesel. Yes it will give you better resale on diesel, yes it will be more reliable in the wet than petrol.
      That’s just the obvious things. Many people just simply prefer the way a diesel drives. They can chug along without working hard at all.
      When you consider the places these vehicles will go, diesel is available far more often than petrol. You run out of fuel and even the local farmer can give you some fuel from his tractor.

      • Sumpguard

        What Jeremy said pretty much and with modern diesels you don’t need to rev them so I’m not sure why people keep bringing that up. The most obvious benefit however is range on long hauls. There are still plenty of places in Australia where the servos are several hundred kilometres apart and carrying extra petrol in jerries is an added risk.

        I have (or still am) going through one of the wettest of wet seasons in the Far Nth of QLD and it’s petrol vehicles everytime that have been caught in floodwaters. I guarentee there are plenty of farmers, miners and police that won’t be getting this vehicle because it has no diesel and that’s a shame because by all accounts it is a top vehicle (I can’t believe I said that about a toyota).

      • Dan

        Jeremy, that may have been the case once, but that was before they swapped good old fashioned reliability (pre common rail) for todays group of shorter life less reliable, higher kw/nm diesels.
        Speaking from experience, using diesel which came from a dozer on a farm out in western Queensland, the same diesel that worked perfectly in the CAT D8, cost me nearly 5k in injector repairs, they are built for punch not to last. Go the petrol, it will get you home, and housed in an FJ, a purpose built and tested machine, it will keep you smiling for much longer too.

    • John in Brisbane

      The numbers don’t add up, its true. I read a report a couple of years ago about the previous generation VW Golf in which the better fuel economy was weighed against the higher acquisition and per-litre fuel costs. It found that over the time period most people will own one of those cars, the diesel could not recoup the initial price sting.

      I have owned and driven several diesel land cruisers however – mainly for the torque and fuel economy. As second hand purchases they have made sense for me. If this bio diesel is a goer, I’ll be straight back into one but my next one, at this stage will be a petrol one on gas.

  • Dlr1

    Good to see a company releasing a really capable 4×4 thats not trying to be a luxury car and isnt relying on electronic gismos to get the job done.

  • Pauly

    I had a call from Canon Toyota in Victoria and they had a test day yesterday with the car. I have been told that it will be in the high 40’s DRIVE AWAY.

    Obviously thats without bargaining on the car.

    What are people thoughts on getting this car for 42 – 43K Drive Away?

    • Dlr1

      Probably wont happen in the next six months, but it all depends on supply and demand. Supply is usually the issue with any newly released vehicle, having said that if there is a reasonable quantity of stock around after a month or so on dealers lots then there will be dealers who will be prepared to sell them for little or no profit. My guess is the RRP $45K will be achievable as a drive away price. If demand exceeds supply and a waiting list of a month or two emerges you can expect the dealers to try and retain more of their margin.
      Having worked in dealerships in the past where supply of particular models was limited to 3 or 4 units a month per dealer and there was no shortage of customers prepared to wait up to 2 months for delivery, full retail price was the norm. As soon as supply increased and the waiting lists disappeared and the vehicle was commonly in stock, prices fell quickly.

  • spvd02

    Everyone seems to think diesels are fantastic. I many ways they might be, but going by what I’ve heard, they absolutely do not save you money.

    The cost of ownership seems to be significantly higher, and you would be silly to be ignorant of what sort of quality fuel is going into the tank, because if something goes wrong in a diesel, the end result is a nightmare. Newer diesels seem to be increasingly fussy in relation to fuel quality in order to run properly. I would certainly get annoyed with a car that just isn’t running right.

    Nothing wrong with the petrol. All you diesel-lovers just need to get over it.

  • Sam_Loves_LEXUS

    Guys your reviews are always excellent and the way you put up stuff together and address issues is simply outstanding. I bet if you guys can start some TV series, if can make Top Gear vanish as they do not seem to be genuinely interested in the reason of their very existence… Keep it up Guys… Another excellent job…

  • trackdaze

    Why didn’t we lock the rear diff or engage stability control whilst we were lifting wheels?

    Prado rear diffs are renowned for being made out of forged carrots so any shock loading when a wheel lifts spins then touches down are a recipe for a tow of shame.

    Good photos, no mention of fuel use..bit too much marketing guff and consider it as equivalent of a lotto win you didn’t have the rear diff let go.

    • Tim

      Didnt i see that they had d diff lock as standard????

  • Sam_Loves_LEXUS

    hey bro what do you expect in 45k a tank???? Do some justice to the Toyota engineers and their effort in introducing some affordable and reliable 4W fun… :) No offense

  • Mint

    Unfortunately I’m going to blow the NO diesel Option Horn, where I work and live now Diesel is the way to go.. as mentioned Wet weather performance, towing ability, etc etc. I would buy one of these for the family to use back in the South East corner of Qld, as the benefits of diesel aren’t needed down there.. I only need to Tow a boat once a month or something like that what I’m at home. Well done to Toyota on building a well priced,fun, reliable 4wd (will this make up for the issues with your V8 D4D cruisers??? )

  • Anawishes

    Anyone know what its like towing and what capacity it is ??

  • Dan

    Just for yours and everyone else who might read this information.
    Burke and Wills died almost 500km away from the Flinders ranges at Cooper creek near the Strzelecki Desert.

  • maximark

    I sat in one of these last Saturday and I found that the rear leg room is very tight and the boot is quite small too, otherwise it looks like a well built vehicle for off road purpose.

  • Koobs

    Thanks for the 4wding aspect.. how about some picks inside… details about the engine and drivetrain. Review disapoints on those fronts. And for those who say i can get that elsewhere….. why should i have to.


    • Anthony Crawford

      Why not read the on-road review, I think you’ll find the info you’re looking for there.

      • Greg Mac

        Do you know of any feedback of any FJ owners comments on what the vehicle tows like?

  • Paul


    What Pro-Diesel Drivel!!!!!! Your Quote not mine.

    My opinion is just as valid as yours, and I will quote you factually, not just subjective opinions.

    (What anti-diesel drivel!) Your biased opinion, do you run a fleet or a mining fleet, NO, I do!!!! Diesels don’t cust it for us, we have one, apople carrier IMAX and it is worth its weight, great to drive, but not economical.

    (Yes it will be cheaper on diesel), No it wont, do the bloody maths, Not at $1.58 per litre and extra servicing costs when the petrol has fixed priced servicing with Toyota.

    (yes it will give you a lot more range on diesel), marginally more, unless I fit mine with LPG and a long range tank and there is plenty of room underneath for that.

    (Yes it will tow more economically with diesel), depends what you tow, not always true.

    (Yes it will give you better resale on diesel,) What rubbish, its relative, you pay 2k more, you will get that 2K back, its not thousands better, its a small margin that does not compensate for higher servicing.

    (yes it will be more reliable in the wet than petrol), only if you are fording QLD type flooding, otherwise do the proper thing and use a boat.

    (That’s just the obvious things.)

    OBVIOUS, where do you live? In some QLD backwater with a dunny and a pub, give me a break, Toyota does not import just for red necked QLDers, there is more to OZ than that, these cars are awesome off road, I driven them in Europe and US. Europe was on LPG and US on petrol, this is not a car I would recommend to outbackers, its not that kind of car, get a prado.

    Many people just simply prefer the way a diesel drives.

    That’s fine and respected, I prefer my Hinos to be Diesel for those reasons, but I prefer not to get all greasy when I fill up and I don’t find diesels appealing, the rattle sounds kind cheap like there’s a fault.

    (They can chug along without working hard at all.)

    What twoddle, modern diesels rev like buggery, if you are comparing old school diesls with the current crop get with the real world, the current diesels will never last as long as they used to, that is a fact.

    (When you consider the places these vehicles will go, diesel is available far more often than petrol. You run out of fuel and even the local farmer can give you some fuel from his tractor.)

    You put farming diesel in a modern CRDi and let’s see how far you get, I bet you anything you will bugger your motor and regret ever doing it.

    Jeremy you are not being factual, diesel is not the only answer.

    Rio Tinto don’t use Diesel Prados anymore for there exploration, ask me why??? They use petrol as over 300000 klm they are cheaper to run because of servicing and fuel costs, don’t ever beleive you can’t get petrol in the outback coz you can.

    Diesel has its place for sure, but consider the economics these days when the disparity between the two fuels is usally 15 cents and servicing is double, the diesel does not stack up.

    Toyota is not selling the FJ for mud pluggers, I’ll say it softly, she’s a show pony for city dudes, if you want a two door diesel buy a Prado or a 75 series.

    Some of you blokes still live in the 1960’s and still beleive you can’t traverse OZ on tar.

    Wake up and you will see the daisies.

    • Bryan

      Nice rebuke! I agree with your sentiments too; I am currently considering either a Prado or a Pajero as my next family car and have pretty much eliminated the diesel models. My wife and I have both driven the diesels and just didn’t like them: the rattly engine noises [inside the car], the more expensive fuel and services and the more expensive initial purchase price have steered us toward the petrol engines. My Dad and my father-in-law both bought diesel 4×4’s to tow their caravans “because they use less fuel” but they are old and set in their ways although I think my dad might be starting to re-think his decision after having his diesel 200 series serviced a couple of times…

      As for the flood water argument, a petrol with a snorkel is the better choice there too. If you get just a little bit of water inside a diesel motor it will almost certainly kill it but a petrol will usually dry out and be o.k. after a while.

      • Dan

        Couldn’t agree more, hydraulic lock is diesel game over.

  • Polo

    I test drove this car today.
    Pros – Feels good on and off road.
    Plenty of power.
    Good foward view.
    Seating position.
    Easy to use controls.
    Cons – Terrible rear seat postioning, no opening
    window, almost no view outside, verry motion
    sick area to be in even if you don’t usually
    get motion sick you prob will in these rear seats.
    You will damoge the interior plastics getting in
    & out of back after a short time.
    By far the worst aspect of this
    car any rearward view is extremly compromised.
    The fuel usage is too high, trust me, they told
    me different but the guage doesn’t lie.
    Rear door handles a place badly, you must reach
    in behind a seat belt.

    • rochelle

      hiya, i also test drove one today, and then i went to the next dealer and drove another, then i went to a third and drove it again, this time off road.
      here are my personal list of pros and cons (and yes it is personal as people cant help but FEEL one way or another)

      looks amazing (remember its personal! ha ha)
      colours are striking
      a much better drive than a prado (personal opinion people!)
      very smooth gear changes
      very retro ‘feel’
      stackes of room in the back seat (i had three grown men in the back and while this may not work for longer than a couple of hours, they said they were comfortable)
      love the ‘wet area’inside for easy cleaning
      found the mirrors worked a treat to cover the blind spots
      found the ‘boot’to be bigger than i expected
      really cool trio wipers
      good pick up
      excellent ride off road (went to the adelaide dealership with the off road track in the yard)
      not a bad price for what you get (bummer that it is soooo much cheaper in the usa)
      others agree with me – nearly all gone in australia!

      some people will hate all of the above :-)
      wanted a bull bar with winch but have been told ‘not yet’in australia
      are some blind spots
      are nearly all gone in australia and unfortunatly due to the japan disasters will be a long wait
      would have loved to compare with a diesel version

      so basically i went to test drive and will be looking at buying one – loved it – for me – personally

  • Ray

    petrol engines and water simply do not mix. Doesn’t matter how much protection you put on the engines components and accessories, you are bound to have problems when you go through water or get stuck in it. The only reason why some people that have diesel 4wds have problems with their engines in water is because the air induction system has not been properly sealed.
    If this 4×4 had a 4.5L turbo diesel AND a 5 speed/6 speed manual gear box I would certainly be giving it a 2nd look. Until then I’d be sticking with the latest 70 series cruiser.

  • pat

    hi folks bit of advise please ! ive had a 4 runner for years and she has serviced me and my needs ie towing my boat and travelling on dirt roads to my shack very well,

    but its time for retirement !! test drove the cruiser yesterday and its a cool boy toy !! (not trying to be sexist) went well but i am concerned about the back seat and rear vision. also i test drove a 03 prado grande with all the bells and whisles. both petrol one 49k one 36k one new one old one with heaps of gadgets one with few

    liked both for many different reasons ! which way should i go ?? any advice greatfully accepted

    p.s any thoughts on the standard tyres that come with the cruiser ? looked a bit towney too me


  • Andrew

    Love the look and performance of this car. Even if I were to entertain the idea of owning a petrol 4wd (think $2.00 per litre within the next couple of years), how available is premium unleaded petrol in the outback?
    This does limit where you can go unless you carry lots of fuel with you.

    • colin

      Mate,diesel out here around $1.80 now!! Alice Springs

  • Ben Higgins

    The FJ cruiser is good but you should try the Land cruiser 200!
    Its got a V8 engine instead of V6, its got 202 kW power instead of 200 kW, its got 410 nm torque instead of 380 km of torque. Thats only Petrol. Including a 4.7 ltr DOHC V8 engine.

    The Diesel has 195 kW of power, 650 nm of torque, in the 4.5 ltr Twin Turbo Engine!

    Its got huge features:

    Three grades (GXL, VX, and Sahara)
    18 inch alloy wheels instead of 17.
    and HEAPS MORE!!!

    Whatever you need you have it!!!


  • JA

    Diesel FJ cruiser???
    I think you guys are missing the point. There never was a diesel FJ cruiser. Hopefully Toyota will one day re-release the real, proper landcruiser, the BJ cruiser (diesel variant)

  • dr j

    mine arrives next week, looking forward to getting back out in the bush. Anyone got a recommendation on long range driving lights?

  • Clive

    Have owned a FJ for about a month now. Offened my mother by telling her that it drives better than her GL 4×4 Merc. Truth is it does drive better and at 1/3 the price. We (wife and 2 kids) live on a cattle property and think that it is a great car. Traded a diesel Hilux and haven’t looked back with the petrol motor. I have both diesel and petrol 4 wheel drives on the property, Bundera, a few crusiers 6 and V8 ones, V8 F250 (that thing can tow rings around the V8 cruser), several chainsaws and quite a few bikes. What peole forget are petrol powered motorbikes etc. which every one on a property have as well as avgas for planes and choppers. So you can get petrol out in the sticks. I like diesel and I like petrol motors. End of story/debate.

  • Brett

    I would buy one of these if I had a lazy 50g around over a hylux or a prado anyday.
    But lets get real guys how many of these FJ’s have you seen on the roads in OZ does that tell you something?

  • Jfinau

    Yep, sure does and A-traction, lots of fun off road, steep ascents, descents, muddy bog holes, rocks, sand a few scratches but that’s why white is best colour, hides everything, has a reversing camera but we only use it to make sure kids and dogs aren’t behind, had a close miss a few years back, so reverse camera is good for that reason.

    Great 4wd for the price

  • Alireza




    No Diesel , No LPG , No Excuse,

  • Ross

    I traded my diesle 200 series for a fj cruiser, too many problems with the 200 series. I used to mustre cattle with a fj 40 petrol for many years .I have had my 6ft 6 son and one other in the rear all day off rd and they had no issues with room. In the 200 series however his knees were touching the front dash with seats all the way back.Also no issues with motion sickness in rear and is used a fair bit carting kids around. Plenty off knee space in the front seats allso for very tall people. Very capable off road short wheel base helps.The car may look trendy outside but dont let that fool you its more than capable. Was concerned at first about rear visibilty,rear leg room and rear cargo space,suicide doors,rear passenger windows but well before the 10,000 kms turned over they are non issues.Very easy to park compared to 200 also unlike the 200 other parked car doors dont seem to bang the duco must be shape off doors and construction. If your driving mainly on bit the stsndard tys are fine. Push button rear diff lock is comforting in any 4×4. If you drive like an idiot it will wallow into very sharp corners so what slow down,the rear camera is small and would have been better in the dash still better than nothing,dont buy the toyota roof rack waste of money,just looks good everything tries to fall through the gaps onto the roof unless its a swag. Standard suspension is very impressive unless you want to show off a bit more and increase your fuel economy dont touch it. especially if you have a buggerd back.
    The first car i ever drove was a willys jeep and yes it was petrol and it went places. Iv had diesles before and theres all sorts of pros and cons allready talked about its a private choice,but if you let that stop you from buying a perfectly good car then i guess you miss out.  

  • Stoopsrolly

    had one all day today with all gadgets and extras galore, putting offer on it tommorrow and hopefully Monday picking it up to take home and make it mine. yep a little thirsty but all out got a little ripper of a car with all options already done. $45big ones including over $10G extras Im in front here woo hoo.