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2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser

The Rugged Looks Are More Than Skin Deep

by Keith Burton

Folks looking for something different and yet somewhat familiar in an off-road SUV will find a lot to like in Toyota's rugged FJ Cruiser. Both youthful and contemporary the FJ Cruiser has styling cues  that relate back to the original Land Cruiser, the famed FJ40 4x4 that the company sold years ago in the U.S. and around the world, but updated for today's offroad enthusiast.

The FJ Cruiser of today sports a high profile design that is both rugged and practical with large tires, terrific ground clearance, but with an interior and driving experience that is surprisingly pleasant on city streets.

"The FJ Cruiser effectively fills a gap in the Toyota lineup that was once our core heritage – capable, affordable and durable vehicles that are youthful, fun to drive, aggressive and tough," said Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor Sales executive vice president. "The FJ Cruiser delivers true off-road ruggedness, image and performance at an affordable price, making it highly accessible and desirable to a large volume of young buyers."

The world first saw the new FJ Cruiser at the Detroit's North American International Automobile Show in 2003 where the public public and media reacted so positively that the vehicle that Toyota decided to put it into production. As another cue to the older vehicle, several of the FJ Cruiser's available color choices are reminiscent of the colors found on FJ40s. The stark black wheels are standard with the FJ. You can order yours with something more attractive.

Chassis and Suspension
The FJ Cruiser's tough, wide stance is based around a frame and front-and-rear suspension systems adapted from those found on the 120-Series Prado (Land Cruiser Prado in some markets). The frame is a boxed steel ladder-braced unit to which is mounted the FJ Cruiser's welded steel body. Independent front suspension, which offers a generous 7.87 inches of wheel travel for outstanding suspension articulation, is via double wishbones, the geometry of which is adapted for superior road feel and ride comfort. Tubular shock absorbers and an anti-sway bar also are employed.

A solid rear axle using a four-link coil-spring suspension system with a lateral rod, tubular shock absorbers and an anti-sway bar is employed. This system provides 9.1 inches of wheel travel. All 4x2 FJ Cruisers come standard with a virtual automatic limited-slip differential, provided and operated by an advanced traction-control system to enhance traction of both rear wheels in slippery driving conditions. An electronic locking rear differential with an eight-inch ring gear is available. The ring gear in the front differential of the 4x4 FJ Cruiser also measures eight inches. The front/rear differential gear ratio is 3.727:1 (5 A/T) and 3.909:1 (6 M/T). Finally, the disc-brake system uses ventilated 12.6-inch/front and 12.3-inch/rear rotors.

Steering is provided by a variable-ratio, hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion system. Wheels are standard 17-inch steel, optional 17-inch, six-spoke aluminum. With the FJ Cruiser's standard 32-inch tires, ground clearance is a healthy 9.6 inches, 8.7 inches for 4x2. Approach and departure angles are 34 degrees/30 degrees for the 4x4 FJ Cruiser and 32/29 for the 4x2 version.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is 5330 (4x2) and 5570 (4x4), and maximum towing capacity with the optional Class Four receiver hitch is 5,000 pounds.

Engine and Transmissions
The FJ Cruiser is powered by a high-compression, 4.0L  V6 engine, a 24-valve, double-overhead-cam (DOHC) unit that produces 239 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque – nearly double the numbers produced by the six-cylinder engine of the FJ40. The engine includes Toyota's advanced Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) system; special lightweight pistons with resin-coated skirts to help reduce friction and noise; a two-stage, variable-length intake manifold, which improves mid-range to high-speed performance; newly designed 12-orifice fuel injectors; Toyota's Direct Ignition System (DIS), which eliminates the distributor and its associated wiring; and a lightweight electronic throttle. The EPA lists the FJ Cruiser's estimated city/highway fuel-economy ratings at 18/22 mpg (4x2) and 17/21 mpg (4x4 automatic). We found the mileage to be good for a vehicle of this type. We routinely recorded around 19.6 mpg in a combination of highway and city driving.

We also found that this was a remarkably quiet SUV around town. Engine and road noise was subdued and despite a very vertical windshield, the cabin was quiet, even at highway speeds. Almost now wind noise intruded into the interior.

You can buy an FJ Cruiser with your choise of a an electronically shifted five-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission in the 4x4 models of the FJ Cruiser. (The 4x2 model of the FJ Cruiser is available only with a 5-speed automatic transmission.) The automatic transmission features Artificial Intelligence (AI) Shift Control, a system that automatically varies the transmission's shifting pattern based on road conditions and the driver's intent to provide optimal up- and down-shifting. It also employs Toyota's Flex Lock-Up Control, which is added to the basic locking torque converter.

Flex Lock-Up allows the clutch in the torque converter to maintain a half-engaged position, enhancing fuel efficiency and increasing the lock-up clutch's operation range. Of this transmission's five forward gear ratios, fourth gear is direct 1:1 and fifth gear is an overdrive 0.716:1.

This transmission is shifted via a sporty console-mounted, gate-type shift lever. In addition to being displayed on the shifter gate, shifter position also is displayed in the instrument panel.

The six-speed manual transmission is designed for lightness and shifting ease. Of this transmission's six forward gear ratios, fifth gear is a direct 1:1 and sixth gear is an overdrive 0.799:1. The shift pattern is the standard three-plane double-H, with Reverse in an additional plane to the far left and up.

The two-speed transfer case used in the 4x4 FJ Cruiser is the essential link that routes power from the engine through the transmission and to the front and rear axles. In standard-transmission models, it is the same full-time four-wheel-drive transfer case used in the V6-powered 4x4 4Runner. This transfer case features a Torsen® limited-slip center differential with a locking feature and distributes the engine's power 40-percent/front and 60-percent/rear in most driving conditions. It changes this distribution percentage as needed, based on steering angle and wheel slippage. When locked, it distributes power, front to rear, on a 50/50 basis. The system helps make the FJ Cruiser less prone to tire slippage caused by changes in road conditions.

With automatic-transmission models, FJ Cruiser gets a part-time transfer case. When the transfer cases are in high range, their output ratio is 1:1. When shifted into low range, their gear ratio is 2.566:1. With the automatic transmission, the FJ Cruiser's crawl ratio is 33.76:1. With the manual transmission, the crawl ratio is 41.84:1, a fact that helped the FJ Cruiser traverse California's famed Rubicon Trail in September 2005.

Inside, the FJ Cruiser's interior features a dash that is bordered by upper and lower tubular forms, which frame rectangular-shaped flat panels. Control knobs are large enough to provide easy grip, even when wearing gloves, and switches for critical functions, including HVAC, audio controls and the optional locking rear differential, are mounted in the center dash panel within easy reach of the driver. With the optional upgrade packages, the front interior door panels are color-keyed to the exterior color, which adds a bold splash of color to what is a mostly black interior

A standard full gauge package, including speedometer, tachometer, amp meter, temperature gauge and fuel gauge, uses round, black-on-white dials and gauges for enhanced visibility. Warning lights monitor other functions and an oil-maintenance indicator notifies the driver when the FJ Cruiser's engine oil is due
to be changed.

Seating is especially adaptable in the FJ Cruiser. The driver's seat is adjustable in eight ways to help drivers of all sizes and shapes find their most comfortable driving positions. The passenger seat is adjustable in four ways. The rear seat is split 60/40, with folding (removable) bottom and back cushions that convert to a nearly flat cargo floor. Additionally, for 4x4 enthusiasts with young families, the FJ Cruiser uses Toyota's LATCH child-restraint system.

Toyota designed the FJ Cruiser to be a true off road vehicle and its interior reflects that type of use. Seats are covered with a fabric backed by a special breathable resin coating to enhance the material's ability to shed liquids so that seats can easily be wiped down and cleaned. Even the stitched seams of the seat covers are treated with sealant to prevent liquids from penetrating the seams. Also as an aid to easy cleaning, the FJ Cruiser's floor surfaces are covered with an attractive gray rubber-like material.

Design and Styling
Design features that hint at the FJ Cruiser's heritage are its front grille, which ties its two round, five-inch headlights together in much the same way the FJ40's headlights and grille were integrated; its hood and fender contours; and a rear-mounted and exposed full-size spare tire with an off-center license-plate-mounting location. Additionally, the FJ Cruiser employs a white roof cap and wrap-around rear side windows, which were FJ40 signatures.

The FJ Cruiser uses two main doors – one per side – but unlike anything ever seen on an FJ40, it also uses two access doors that open 90 degrees in clamshell fashion for easy rear-seat ingress and egress. Additionally, a swing-up glass hatch is incorporated into the side-hinged rear door. This opens independently of the rear door and helps accommodate longer items such as lumber or surfboards while keeping the rear door closed.

Wheel arches are angular and open to provide maximum clearance for the FJ Cruiser's large 32-inch tires at full suspension deflection. The arches are edged by flexible fender flares that resist damage during vigorous off-roading – and also resist damage from the doors of the vehicles beside which the FJ Cruiser might find itself parked during urban and suburban expeditions.

Dual-stage front driver and passenger advanced airbags are standard with the FJ Cruiser. Two rows of side-curtain airbags, as well as driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side airbags, are available as options.
As with all other Toyota SUVs, the FJ Cruiser is equipped with Toyota's Star Safety System™. This includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.

Four-channel, four-sensor ABS helps prevent the wheels from locking under hard braking, while EBD distributes appropriate braking force between the front and rear wheels according to driving conditions. The traction-control system (TRAC) helps reduce tire slippage during slippery or challenging driving conditions, and the VSC system helps keep the FJ Cruiser on the driver's intended course by detecting front- and/or rear-wheel slide during cornering and attempting to control slide conditions via torque intervention and/or braking of individual wheels.

Interesting Details
A number of interesting and unusual features mark the thoughtfulness with which the FJ Cruiser was conceived and designed. For example, instead of the usual pair of front windshield-wiper arms, the FJ Cruiser uses three wiper arms to provide nearly complete coverage of the vehicle's wide windshield. Diffusion-type nozzles are used in the washing assembly to provide superior washing performance. The same type of diffusion nozzle is used on the rear-window washer.

As an aid to driver and front-passenger comfort, the floor angle in the footwell is set at 33 degrees to help those in the front seats maintain proper seating position.

The rear cargo area is equipped with cargo-net hooks, multipurpose grocery-bag hooks and sturdy, floor-mounted cargo tie-down anchor points. An AC115-volt 100/400-watt accessory connector socket is available.

Standard Features and Options
The 2007 FJ Cruiser is available in both two- and four-wheel drive and comes with a long list of standard features. These include 17-inch black steel wheels with P265/70R17 tires, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, black water-resistant seats, a tilt steering wheel, four cup holders and two bottle holders, rear-window defogger; engine, transfer-case and fuel-tank skid plates; rear-door-mounted full-size spare, tow hooks front and rear; and mudguards.

Three audio systems are available in the FJ Cruiser. An AM/FM/CD system with six speakers is standard. A Premium Audio FJammer AM/FM eight-speaker system that incorporates an in-dash six-disc CD changer is available as part of an option package. Finally, the same FJammer Premium Audio system is available with a ninth speaker – a 7.9-inch subwoofer, powered by its own dedicated amplifier, incorporated into the right-rear panel of the rear cargo compartment. An on/off switch for the sub-woofer is located in the dash's lower-center switch cluster. An auxiliary jack also is located in the lower-center switch cluster to provide input for portable audio devices – i.e., MP3-like devices - and a 12-volt DC accessory socket is provided to power those devices.

The FJ Cruiser is equipped with a pair of NXT SurfaceSound transducers, which convert the vehicle's ceiling into a speaker diaphragm. It marks the first time this technology has been used in a motor vehicle. The result complements the conventional speakers elsewhere in the vehicle, creating a broad, omni-directional dispersion of sound.

Buyers can personalize the FJ Cruiser by selecting one or more of the following packages. A Convenience Package includes keyless entry, cruise control, power side-view mirrors with image lights, daytime running lights, privacy glass, rear window wiper; and rear parking sonar.

Upgrade Package One, which requires the Convenience Package, includes the following: A highly capable active offroad traction-control system, rear locking differential, multi-information display (compass, inclinometer and temperature gauge); Premium Audio system with in-dash six-disc changer, equalizer and eight speakers; 400-watt inverter, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather-trimmed covered steering wheel with integral audio controls and cruise-control function, metal-colored shift lever, and interior door-trim inserts keyed to the vehicle's exterior color.

Upgrade Package Two, which requires the Convenience Package and includes the content of Upgrade Package One plus the rear subwoofer.

FJ Cruiser separate options include side and curtain airbags; 17-inch alloy wheels, rear locking differential, and running boards.

Other available accessories include auxiliary driving lights, rock rails, roof rack, brush guard, taillight guards, sport exhaust system, receiver hitch and harness, wind deflector with off-road lights, a cargo mat and all-weather or carpeted floor mats.

Color choices for the FJ Cruiser include Titanium Metallic, Black Diamond, Black Cherry, Sun Fusion and Voodoo Blue.

The 2007 FJ Cruiser is covered by Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty and applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion perforation with no mileage limitation.

The FJ Cruiser is fun to drive, though it does have some visibility issues. The windows are small and some sightlines are blocked by the SUVs large B pillar. Rear visibility is also slightly restricted by the spare tire. The forward-sitting windshield takes some getting use to as well. But after a bit of time, you get used to the visibility outside. The FJ comes with large side mirrors, which you will find yourself using a lot.

As mentioned earlier, the ride is quite good and not at all stiff or bouncy. The clamshell rear door are easy to use and the backseat room is plentiful once you are inside. As a 4x4, you do have to climb up a bit to get inside, but that is the nature of many offroad SUVs.

Steering is light, but has good feel and the FJ is fairly spritely around town. The engine has plenty of power and the transmission works seemlessly. Cruising on the Interstate is effortless.

Overall, the FJ Cruiser has a lot to offer. Striking, and rugged looks combined with real offroad ability and a comfortable interior, all at a price that is significantly less than that of a Hummer H2 and with more power than a Hummer H3, its most obvious competitors. Prices range between $27,500 to around $34,000.


Type 4.0-liter, 6-cylinder, 24-valve DOHC with VVT-i, EFI, aluminum alloy block with aluminum alloy


Bore and Stroke 3.70 x 3.74 inches

Displacement 3956 cc

Compression Ratio 10.0:1

Valve Train 4-valve/cylinder

Horsepower (SAE Net)* 239 hp @ 5,200 rpm

Torque* 278 lb-ft @ 3,700 rpm

Ignition System Toyota Direct Ignition System (TDIS)

Fuel System SFI

Required Fuel 91-octane unleaded

Emission Control LEV II (Tier2 Bin5)


Drive System Type Rear-wheel 2WD or Part-time 4WD for automatic transmission models or Full-time 4WD for manual transmission models.


5-speed ECT automatic 6-speed manual

1st 3.520 4.171

2nd 2.042 2.190

3rd 1.400 1.488

4th 1.000 1.193

5th 0.716 1.000

6th - 0.799

Reverse 3.224 3.607

Differential Ratio 3.727:1 3.909:1

Transfer Case 1.000/2.566 (high/low)


Front A high-mounted, double wishbone suspension and stabilizer bar

Rear 4-link suspension with lateral rod with coil springs and stabilizer bar

Stabilizer Bar

Diameter (front/rear) 1.18 / 0.79 (2WD) 1.14 / 0.67 (4WD) inches


Front Ventilated disc

Front Diameter 12.6 inches

Front Swept Area 65.5 square inches

Rear Ventilated disc

Rear Diameter 12.3 inches

Rear Swept Area 49.5 square inches

Parking Center hand brake


Type Power-assisted variable gear rack-and-pinion

Ratio 17.1:1

Turns (lock to lock) 3.0 turns

Turning circle 41.8 feet


Wheel size 7.5 x 17 inches

Type and Material Steel standard, Aluminum alloy (available)

Tire Size P265/70 R17

Tire Type Mud-and-snow-rated steel-belted radial blackwall

Spare Full-size


32/30 degrees (2WD) 34/31 degrees (4WD)

EPA ESTIMATED FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway mpg)*

18/22 (2WD AT) 16/19 (4WD MT) 17/21 (4WD AT)

*Actual mileage may vary


Engine Oil 6.4 quarts

Fuel Tank 19.0 gallons

Cooling System 10.4 quarts (AT) 9.9 quarts (MT)


Wheelbase 105.9

Overall Length 183.9

Overall Width 74.6

Overall Height 70.9 (2WD) 71.6 (4WD)

Tread Width Front: 63.2

Rear: 63.2

Minimum Ground Clearance 8.7 (2WD) 9.6 (4WD)

Coefficient of Drag 0.40


Headroom Front: 41.3

Rear: 40.3

Legroom Front: 41.9

Rear: 31.3

Shoulder Room Front: 58.4

Rear: 53.9

Hip Room Front: 55.4

Rear: 51.0

EPA Cargo Volume With rear seats folded: 66.8 (cubic feet)

Behind rear seat: 27.9 (cubic feet)

Seating Capacity 5


Curb Weight 4,050 (2WD) 4,290 (4WD M/T) 4,295 (4WD A/T)

GVWR 5,335 (2WD) 5,567 (4WD)

Payload 1,285 1,277 (M/T) 1,272 (A/T)

Maximum Trailer Weight 5,000

Maximum Tongue Weight 500

Gross Combined Weight Rating 9,200 (2WD) 9,500 (4WD)


Dual stage driver and front passenger advanced airbags; Available driver and front passenger side airbags

Driver and front passenger seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters

Three-point ALR/ELR seatbelts in all outboard and rear center seating positions (driver’s belt ELR


Adjustable front- and rear outboard seatbelt anchors

STAR SAFETY SYSTEM™ - includes four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System with Brake Assist,

Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Traction Control (Auto LSD, standard on 4x2 only)

(standard on 2WD only), Vehicle Skid Control (VSC), Off Road Traction Control (TRAC) (4WD


Side-impact door beams

CRS top tether anchors and ISOFIX lower anchor points

Available daytime running lights

Available back sonar (two sensors)


3-year/36,000-mile Comprehensive

5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain

5-year/unlimited-mileage Corrosion Perforation

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