New Toyota nameplate adds urban appeal to Land Cruiser range
Four variants available at launch
Land Cruiser heritage ensures true off road prowess
Welcome the Land Cruiser FJ Cruiser. A Land Cruiser in all respects, but in the rough and hardened Land Cruiser family he’d be the one to arrive home late with a new tattoo.
The Land Cruiser FJ Cruiser is a very recent introduction to the right hand drive catalogue of Land Cruiser products and South Africa is very proud to have secured this unique Toyota vehicle.
With its unconventional design, including classic “Toyota” badge, white roof and singular round head lights, the FJ is an icon in the making which clearly shares the DNA with both the original FJ40 and the Land Cruiser range, hence the name FJ Cruiser.
In combining the iconic FJ and Land Cruiser brands, it is the ideal product to remind everyone of the 60 year heritage that has proudly lead to the range of go-anywhere and do-anything Land Cruisers available today.
‘Unique and distinctive design language
Unique and distinctive are two overused words in modern automotive press releases, but one can be forgiven for using them in this context. The FJ Cruiser has been designed to be unashamedly reminiscent of the original FJ40and several classic FJ traits have been carried over into the new model.
Seen from the front it is clear that the FJ Cruiser borrowed the straight mesh grille, single round head lights, straight cut and high mounted bumper and high mounted air intake directly from its forebear.
You will notice an upright mounted windscreen – similar to that of grandpa – and the distinctive white roof. The windscreen is serviced by no less than three short throw windscreen wipers for excellent visibility in wet and muddy conditions.
“The design remains functional on all levels,” says Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM). “The bumper is reminiscent of the old FJ40, but it also affords the FJ an excellent approach and departure angle. This and many other design elements afford the FJ Cruiser unparalleled off road capabilities.”
If you walk around the FJ you will find several other design elements that have stayed true to earlier FJ models. First in line is the squared off wheel arches. It is yet another element in the combined macho picture, but it also affords the vehicle impressive wheel travel on all corners.
The side profile further hides one of the most distinctive design elements. The large front doors hide the handles to two rear hinged access doors that open towards the rear and allows for better access for rear passengers. The design offers the benefits of four doors, but the visual appeal of two doors in step with the original FJ design.
Access is further improved thanks to integrated side steps, while the FJ offers ample grab handles for ease of ingress and for support over the rough stuff.
The FJ’s rear view offers other design gems, including wrap around rear lights and windows, á la the FJ40, and a top hinged rear window that can be opened independently from the side hinged rear door and a high mounted stop lamp. The rear door holds the spare wheel and it is hydraulically dampened for smooth operation.
Get in, hold on
Once inside you will realise that the FJ’s styling offers a benefit not related to turning heads. The upright front windscreen, thin A-pillar and rear access doors afford the vehicle greater interior space.
The FJ offers ample space for five adults and ease of access thanks to the door design and integration of the B-pillar and seat belt anchors into the rear-hinged access doors.
Step inside and you will be greeted by a similarly Land Cruiser-styled dash design which is envisioned to be both functional and funky. Unique design elements include the angular look with rounded edges and body coloured trim elements in the centre console and doors.
The funky element is highlighted in the design and placement of the driver controls, body colour and silver highlights, round grab handles and original design side defrosters. The functionality is evident in the thick rubber floor coating, breathable water repellent seat cloth with protective urethane undercoating that allows for easy cleaning and all purpose mat in the front console.
The functional elements include foldable rear seats that can be tumbled and folded in a 60:40 configuration and a deck cover of thermo plastic olefin that is banked and sloped for easy cleaning. The rear seats can also be removed to allow for the storage of larger luggage items and four deck hooks are built in to secure loose items.
Cool and comfy
All versions of the new FJ Cruiser will be extremely well equipped and will strengthen the value for money approach of all recent Toyota product introductions.
The driver will no doubt find a most comfortable driving position thanks to the 8 way seat adjustment, including slide, recline, tilt and height adjustment. All versions of the FJ Cruiser will further be equipped with electric windows all round, a leather covered steering wheel with switches for the audio system and integrated Bluetooth system.
Other creature comforts include an integrated audio/CD sound system with 6 speakers and an iPod, external audio and USB connectors, a powerful air conditioning system, extra power socket, and cruise control. The FJ Cruiser features a unique roof mounted speaker that uses the roof lining as membrane, thereby offering a truly immersive audio experience.
All interior controls have been designed to mirror the vehicle’s rugged look and allow for operation while wearing gloves – such as when you are playing in Lesotho’s snowy mountains.
The FJ also boasts Toyota’s rear monitor system, which integrates a rear facing video camera, electro chromatic interior rear view mirror and video screen integrated into the rear mirror to offer ease of reversing on all models.
Storage is truly taken care of thanks to a multitude of small and larger storage areas that can carry oddments and food, including larger drink bottles in the side doors.
Safety taken care of
Toyota engineers have taken great care of ensuring that the FJ Cruiser retains the torsional rigidity of other Land Cruiser products in the absence of a B-pillar. This has been done by carefully strengthening the chassis and body shell, which was also done to benefit passenger safety, without penalising the vehicle’s weight.
All versions of the Land cruiser FJ Cruiser are equipped with six airbags (two in front, two for side impacts for front passengers and two full length curtain bags). All models are also fitted with ISOfix seat fittings for child restraints and front active headrests to lessen the damage caused by whiplash injuries.
Under the skin the new FJ Cruiser is also equipped with virtually all the necessary safety acronyms. All models are fitted with ABS-brakes linked to disc brakes on all wheels with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assistance. This is further complimented by vehicle stability control (VSC) and off road ready advanced traction control (ATRC).
Let’s talk mechanics
All versions of the FJ Cruiser are equipped with a powerful 4 litre V6 petrol engine. The engine, which is fitted with many low friction components and Toyota’s proven EFI-injection system offers 200 kW at 5 600 rpm and 380 Nm at 4 400 rpm. The engine has dual intelligent variable valve timing (i-VVTi) and 24 valves to offer a strong torque spread and improved low range power delivery.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels in normal conditions or through all wheels when selected through the transfer box, through the five speed automatic transmission. The five speed auto box is equipped with Toyota’s AI Shift control with Flex Lock-Up, which measures road conditions, power requirements and driver inputs to adjust gear selection and gear changes to best deliver on driver intentions. The driver can, in true Land Cruiser fashion, select between 4×2, 4×4 high and 4×4 low ranges.
It is once you start fiddling under the body that you realise that this FJ Cruiser is a true Cruiser in all respects. The heavy duty suspension offers double wishbones in front and four link suspension with lateral rods in the back. Stabiliser bars are fitted on both axles.
The suspension set up and 17 inch alloy wheels offer a ground clearance of 245 mm, the best in the Land Cruiser range. The short overhangs further allows for an approach angle of 34 degrees, a break over angle of 29 degrees and a departure angle of an equally impressive 30 degrees. The FJ is also fitted with two heavy duty hooks on the front bumper and one at the rear.
Four versions available from launch
The FJ Cruiser will be introduced in four flavours, with two versions only available in limited numbers. Buyers can chose the standard model in Ivory White, Grey Metallic, Raven Black, Drakensberg, Sandstorm, Tidal Blue and soon in all Red.
The Base model will be distinguished by its black radiator grille, fabric seat covers and silver front bumper section. Overlanding specialists will welcome this version as it offers all of the creature comforts of the other versions, but with the clean palette to equip the vehicle to personal requirements and tastes. The Base model retails for a very competitive R435 500.
The FJ Sport Cruiser version will be easily distinguished by Raven Black paint scheme, extra chrome detailing, which includes chrome trim on the high mounted air intake, FJ-styled door scuff plates, full wheel cover on the back door and leather seat trim. Further chrome highlights are visible on the door handles, side mirrors, bumpers and radiator trim. A set of Sport-badges rounds off the package. FJ Sport Cruisers will be available in limited numbers and will retail for R457 300.
Two customised versions will be available from launch. These are the FJ Trail Cruiser and FJ Desert Cruiser.
The FJ Trail Cruiser will be offered in grey metallic only and will sport a roof rack with integrated driving lamps, blacked hard spare wheel cover, tow bar, all weather carpet sets and Trail badges. The FJ Trail Cruiser will cost R451 700
The FJ Desert Cruiser will in turn be offered with a nudge bar, with integrated driving lamps, a full set of all weather carpets, rock rails, tow bar and unique Desert badges. This version will only be available in Sandstorm colour.
This model retails for R450 400.
Limited numbers of the Trail and Desert versions will be available at launch, but the Toyota dealer network will be ready with a wide range of optional extras that will allow all customers to customise their FJ Cruiser to best suit their needs.
All versions of the FJ Cruiser will be available with a 5 year / 90 000 km service plan and a 3year / 100 000 km warranty.