Toyota's 2013 FJ Cruiser is a modern-day throwback, a reincarnation of the rough and rugged FJ40 Land Cruiser beloved by four-wheelers worldwide. In the FJ Cruiser, Toyota offers Jeep-like off-road ability in a multipurpose vehicle steeped in Toyota quality and reliability. The deal is sweetened by the FJ's cool exterior and numerous off-road options.
You'll Like The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser 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 The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser 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.
This year's Trail Teams Special Edition Package comes in Cement Gray, while power outside mirrors are now standard on all models.
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."
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.
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.
The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $28,000 for the 2-wheel-drive model and jumps to about $29,000 with 4-wheel drive and a manual transmission, and a fully loaded FJ tops out around $36,000. Our Fair Purchase Price values reflect real-world selling prices, so be sure to check them on kbb.com before you set out to shop. The Toyota FJ Cruiser's competitors include the Nissan Xterra with prices ranging from around $26,000 to about $35,000, the Jeep Wrangler ranging from $25,000 to more than $35,000, and, to a lesser extent, the Nissan Pathfinder, which ranges from around $30,000 to well beyond $47,000. In resale value, we expect the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV to perform better than the Xterra and Pathfinder, and remain on par with the Wrangler.
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).
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.
A big, console-mounted subwoofer on/off button makes it easy to optimize the listening experience when switching from talk to rock, for instance.
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.
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.
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)
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.