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by George Skentzos

It all started with a Rukus, now Toyota Australia has confirmed it will add the quirky Toyota FJ Cruiser to the local range in the first quarter of 2011.

Due to make its local debut at the Australian International Motor Show in October, the retro-styled Toyota FJ Cruiser boasts a pedigree stretching back 50 years to the FJ40 LandCruiser.

With the original becoming an icon among off-road enthusiasts, the new model captures this heritage with its body-on-frame structure, short wheelbase, stocky appearance and the arrangement of its headlights and grille.

Its boxy proportions incorporate a near-vertical windscreen with three wiper blades, white roof, wrap-around rear windows and reverse-opening rear doors.

“FJ Cruiser has loads of character that isn’t found in any other SUV, let alone one that is built for off-road terrain,” Mr Buttner said.

“It will be a lot of fun to own and drive, satisfying those who want a modern vehicle with the boulder-crawling spirit of Toyota’s legendary off-roaders,” he said.

In the US, the Toyota FJ Cruiser is equipped with a 4.0-litre V6 engine developing 194kW which is likely to be the case with the Australian-delivered models, mated to either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

The FJ Cruiser will also be the only model in Toyota’s modern line-up to use the name Toyota spelled across the grille in place of the corporate emblem.

US model shown.

  • Jazrod

    As pointless as this may be, this is still cool!

    • Baddass

      It’s so much cooler than the Rukus and Prado 3-door it’s not funny. Toyota really should have introduced this earlier, as it first went on sale in 2006. So it’s probably nearing the end of its model life, and it is just introducd into a new market. Smart move, Toyota.

      • Nobody

        Well sales have dropped off drastically since it’s successful introduction to the US market. Yes it could very well be an effort to get rid of all the overstock to clear room for the new generation model.

        Not surprising, as Australia seems like the car dump of the world.

        • yowza

          Convert them to right hand from left hand?


          You dont do that because of overstock….

          if you had said, USA Plants looking to make money from global sales… you would of been correct.

          • Realist

            Made and available in Japan from day 1. Never made in US.

  • Karl Krankschaft

    I’ve always liked the look of these and by the sound if it (194kw) it probably goes okay too. I wouldn’t call it pointless Jazrod because I’m sure it’ll be an absolute weapon offroad

  • Technofreak

    Saw one of these in Dalian, China a few months ago when I was there!!
    It looked awesome!! 😀

  • Nath746

    Put a diesel engine in it and it will be an absolute beast off-road…

    Looks good though…

    • D

      Without a diesel this is doomed to fail

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Anthony Crawford

    A stack of these FJ’s in Abu Dhabi, and yes, they do look ‘cool’.

  • Locky

    I used to own a FJ40 in Alice Springs/Darwin back in the late 80’s and this version is a really good looking retro version and I would buy one in an instance.

    But I also agree with NATH746, they really should put a 6cyl diesel in it for Australia. Even better, why not the twin turbo diesel V8 from the 200 series….they’d sell heaps to all the ringers out there and finally getem out of their VY & BA V8 utes

    • Nobody

      Seeing that the V8 Diesel is roughly 10K extra on the LandCruiser, I doubt it will happen for this model. In America this is just meant to be a step up from the Rav4.

      Most likely they might slap the Prado diesel in there but that’s not exactly a good engine…

  • yowza

    Yup, Toyota Australia have been doing their home work by making Toyota’s lineup “interesting”.

    Diesel variant is expected, but not confirmed.

    Also, Toyota Australia is trying to bring the V6 4WD Corolla also…. but marketing needs to find a way to market it without affecting local produced V6s.

    • yowza

      Actually, the “Diesel…” comment was based on speculations. Bottomline, Diesel variant isnt “difficult” to implement considering that the platform that this SUV shares with has a Diesel variant already and is currently sold in Australia.

      • Tony m

        I have heard that same comment in relation to a 5speed auto in the OZ Hilux Diesel but still only a 4 speed. I think no diesel and this car will struggle in OZ

        • yowza

          But No one has heard about the “next” RAV4… its possible this car will replace the RAV4 for the next 2 years anyways..

          people with RAV4s that are 4+ years old will most likelye upgrade to this.

          Kluger also dont seem to have a “new” model coming out in the next 2 years…

  • Ben Jones

    Seen these in Abu Dhabi and the US a while ago, they look terrible in the flesh. They look like some cheap knock-off, not a genuine Toyota product.

    • Saf

      Totally agree. It looks like a caricature of the original model and also looks nowhere near as practical. The reviews I have read state the visibility is appalling too.

  • shag

    This could be quite pricy (around the 40000+??)

    • yowza

      Of course it’ll be 40,000+

      If Toyota is selling the Kluger at 50K+
      And the RAV4 at 40K+.

      Expect this to be around 50K for mid-spec.

      It’s worth it though, considering the other option is a H3 Hummer… which is 60K+ and not as well built as this.

      I’d get the black or white with TRD black/charcoal steel wheels… then pick up fishing and off-roading as hobbies hehe

    • Fenno

      That’d make a nice deposit.
      Probably start at 70k (look at prado & cruiser pricing).

    • shag

      so isn’t a landrover discovery 3/4 a better options?

  • Dave

    I see a little retro in its design, but mostly I see Hummer. Although I think the Hummer looks better than this.

  • yowza

    Outside of the “width” it isnt really a copy of the Hummer… yes similar looking as H3, that they both look like commercialized Army SUVs, but the FJ has been around 20 years earlier than road Hummers…

  • Nobody

    I really don’t want to admit it but I kinda like it in a quirky way. The interior is quirky and “interesting” too, but I’ll reserve my final judgment til I actually see it in the flesh.

    The original FJ looks better though, alot better.


    anti-spam word…hummer lol
    wrong motor for aus…

  • Alex

    Great truck with a great reputation and following in the US as they don’t have a vast aray of 4WDs that are not Jeeps to choose from like we do.

    But of course Toyota will price this truck too high for average punter to afford and will sadly never be used for its design purpose.

    Suprising though it doesn’t have the Prado diesel as it is based on the Prado Chassis and drivetrain and suspension.

    Another over priced Toyota being bought by business owners for commuting and not by people that really want and need it.

  • Lazybones

    My word that is seriously Fugly. I’d rather be seen in a portable toilet.

    • gaz

      You have to be joking right? I drove one of these from la to vegas 18 months ago and they are awesome and a great retro style and they will go anywhere as well,you would have to be a daewoo owner to make a comment like that!

      • Robin Graves

        I agree with Lazybones, as ugly as Bert Newton chewing a wasp.

      • Lazybones

        Sorry Gaz, I don’t do GM products mate. I can see why Toyota call it the FJ, because its styling is a F***ing Joke!

      • Realist

        More likely a SsangYong owner.

  • gaz

    The word is they will be around late $40’s i know because i want to buy one and we get the very latest model not released yet in the US! Toyota’s suv line up will go like this RAV, FJ CRUISER, KLUGER, PRADO & 200 SERIES!

  • MK

    It failed in the US and the production run out will now be chanelled here.

    • gaz

      Where did you read that garbage? it is still in production!

  • Jack

    I like it. Brings back FJ73 and HJ60 memories. If it is lighter and more nimble than Prado, has rubber floors, ladder frame chassis, underbody bash plates, choice of part time 4wd/full time, diff locks, manual, and those great matte body colours with white roof, hopefully diesel, and (unlikely) a similar price to US model, great! And it says TOYOTA on the grille in white letters, ah the memories…

    If not, there’s the excellent 76 series wagon.

  • Shane

    I love it. Outside is in your face and inside looks very inviting. Exactly what I am after. Perfect size and usable. Have a look at Youtube videos to see what the US crowd get this thing to do. Amazing. I can see this on a beaten track somewhere, covered in mud and having alot of fun. Diesel would be the must have option. Hopefully it will be an option here. Even if only in the 4WD. If they were to start the pricing at around $45k it would have to have some of the stuff they have as options in the US, as standard here.

  • http://www.caradvice.com reg

    $40,000 will sell if diesel. I will buy one if diesel other wise a petrol prado for me no matter how much i wanted one.

    • Tomas79

      Too Right, fair bit of people rave about this car, even though it’s just a prado with a different retro body!
      Personally I’d have the Prado body as it’s more practical…

      • Trevor

        As someone who has had a HJ47 for 25 years, I like the shape of the new FJ Cruiser. Sincerely hope Toyota put the diesel in otherwise it will be useless. Since it’s based on the Prado, a diesel 2 door prado has a towing capacity of 3000kg compared to the standard Prado’s 2500kg (I think). Hopefully, a diesel FJ Cruiser may be the same with a 3000kg limit. Nice tow vehicle possibly for the van. Withe the Aussie $ being above parity at the present and it being sold for mid 20’s (base model) to about 35K (fully spec) in the states, I’d fell that Toyota would be ripping us off if they try to flog this off in Aus for over 50K. Well Toyota, any news about Diesel and price?

  • Realist

    It’s made in Japan AND available in Japan therefore a RHD has always been available. You would think that 8 years after concept unveiled and 5 years after first sale and every review i’ve ever read about it stating a turbo diesel NEEDS to be available you would think Toyota would get the message. Its built on a Prado chassis there’s no excuse. Anyway, better late than never. I finally have a replacement for my BJ. Anyone got a spare 3.0 D4D donk?

  • Realist

    Also, it will be around $60k.

  • Jack

    Seeing many of these in Canada and they look even cooler in the metal. $32K CAD for basic manual price when AUD and CAD hover within cooee of parity. About 4.5K more for the offroad package, a great deal. Surely, surely it cannot go on sale in Australia for around 60K!

  • blackjack

    Just a straight answer, I ve got a 2001 3 ltr diesel dual cab hilux, 150,000 kms, want to know how much for a trade in for one of these=in a diesel of course

  • Darren_marrable

    You can now buy the 2012 model full speck model in the USA for 27,000 dollars. Why are we paying 20 – 30,000 dollars more for the basic model FJ vehicle, Considering it’s the same platform as the Prado with a lot less bells and whistles but with th same price tag ….hmmmmm RIP OFF.