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#15

in Affordable Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $27,680 - $29,270
Invoice: $25,743 - $27,221
MPG: 16 City / 20 Hwy
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Toyota FJ Cruiser Review

The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser ranks 15 out of 23 Affordable Midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Toyota FJ Cruiser, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser is ranked:

Though it lacks the sophistication, refinement and comfort found in most modern SUVs, test drivers say the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser is one of the better off-road SUVs available.

The 2014 FJ Cruiser is powered by a V6 engine that auto writers say makes adequate power for most situations, but can feel underpowered when attempting to pass or while going uphill. An automatic transmission is standard and a six-speed manual transmission is optional. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 16/20 mpg city/highway, which is comparable with the fuel economy of some of the FJ Cruiser's direct rivals, but also a bit low for an affordable midsize SUV. Test drivers say that off-roading is the FJ Cruiser's strongest ability, though they also write that it can’t match the on-road performance of competing crossover SUVs. Still, they say that if your primary focus is an off-road-capable SUV, the FJ Cruiser is comfortable enough to serve as a daily driver.

Test drivers say the Toyota FJ Cruiser's cabin is simple and straightforward, befitting its utilitarian nature. They say that the design is very simple and there are lots of hard plastics, though most appreciate functional materials like rubber floors and water-resistant upholstery, which make the FJ Cruiser easy to wash out after a day of off-roading. The five-seat FJ Cruiser has comparable cargo space to other five-seat SUVs in the class. Some auto writers like the easy-to-use climate and audio controls, while others say they simply look dated and unsophisticated. Standard features include a six-speaker stereo, a backup camera, satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port. Notable options include cruise control and an 11-speaker JBL stereo system.

  • "With tough 4-wheel drive underpinnings and countless Toyota Racing Development (TRD) accessories available, the FJ Cruiser is a serious off-road truck. But the Cruiser does require compromises in ordinary driving. First of all, it's hard to see outside the vehicle, especially if you're wondering what's behind you. The FJ's blind spots are as epic as its trail-busting ability. And then there's the fuel economy, which struggles to get out of the teens thanks to the Cruiser's boxlike aerodynamics." -- AutoTrader
  • "For those old enough to remember, the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV is vaguely reminiscent of the original FJ40 Land Cruisers that help build the company's reputation for rugged durability roughly a half-century ago. While it certainly looks newer, it has kept the original's straightforward feel, with no excess luxury trimmings or frills - just the capability to go nearly anywhere." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "FJ pays a price for its exaggerated styling and off-road-biased engineering. On-road performance and daily practicality don't match those of less-radical rivals. It is solidly built, extremely capable off-road, and looks like no other SUV." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

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Other SUVs to Consider

Like the FJ Cruiser, the Jeep Wrangler is an off-road SUV that earns praise for its capability when the pavement ends. Additionally, reviewers say that recent updates have improved the Wrangler’s interior refinement and performance.

Reviewers say the Nissan Xterra offers good capability off the beaten path. The Xterra also earns praise for its powerful V6 engine and versatile cargo area.

Compare the FJ Cruiser, Wrangler and Xterra »

Details: 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser

The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser seats five and has standard rear-wheel drive. Part- and full-time four-wheel drive systems are available. Power is supplied by a 4.0-liter V6 engine, which is mated to either a five-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual, depending on the drivetrain configuration. The FJ Cruiser comes in one trim, but option packages add interior features and upgraded off-road components. The FJ Cruiser was introduced for the 2007 model year and hasn't changed much since then. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2007 through 2014 model years.

See full 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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