Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
You'll Like The 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser 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 FJ Cruiser does it all.
You May Not Like The 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser 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), poor rearward visibility and a cargo area that’s not as accommodating as those of some other SUVs.
By offering an exceptional combination of off-road capability, on-road comfort, cargo versatility and standout styling – all backed up by world-class quality – there isn’t much you could ask from a midsize SUV that the FJ Cruiser doesn’t deliver.
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.
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 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.
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 roles exceptionally well. Except for its limited rearward visibility and a wide 41.8-foot turning circle, Toyota’s newest 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.
The 2007 FJ Cruiser starts at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $22,555 and tops out at more than $35,000 fully loaded. At introduction, our Fair Purchase Prices have reflected real-world selling prices that exceed those sticker prices by $1,000 to $4,000. Competitors include the Nissan Xterra with MSRPs ranging from $20,655 to just over $30,000, the all-new Jeep Wrangler at $18,765 to more than $33,000 and, to a lesser extent, the Hummer H3 at $29,995 to well beyond $40,000. In terms of resale value, we expect the 2007 FJ Cruiser to perform better than each of the competitors listed here.
Base FJ Cruisers are equipped with two-wheel drive, air conditioning, power windows and locks, a six-speaker CD/MP3 audio system, auxiliary audio jack, electronic stability and traction controls, two front airbags and 17-inch black steel wheels.
FJ Cruiser upgrades include front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags, keyless entry, cruise control, rear sonar parking assist, 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 a rear differential lock, A-TRAC active traction control and an inclinometer.
Subwoofer SwitchA big, console-mounted subwoofer on/off button makes it easy to optimize the listening experience when switching from talk to rock, for instance. A-TRACBy 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.
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.4.0-liter V6239 horsepower @ 5200 rpm278 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3700 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/22 (2WD automatic), 16/19 (4WD manual) 17/21 (4WD automatic)
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. Enter the FJ Cruiser, 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.