Toyota's FJ Cruiser is a midsize SUV that premiered in 2006 for the 2007 model year. Part of the vehicle is based on the FJ40, which was a four-wheel drive truck that represented one of the Japanese automaker's previous successes and dates back to the early '60s. The Toyota FJ Cruiser presents some similar characteristics, most notably in its ability to perform as an off-road vehicle. When it first rolled off the line, the FJ Cruiser was outfitted with a 4.0L V6 engine capable of 239 horsepower along with 270 pounds-per-foot of torque mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, while four-wheel drive models received a six-speed manual as standard. As for its dimensions, the Toyota FJ Cruiser measures in with a wheelbase of 105.9 inches, a height of 71.3 inches (72 inches for four-wheel drive models), a width of 74.6 inches (75 inches for 2010), and an overall length of 183.9 inches. A Toyota Racing Development Special Edition Package was offered in 2007, which included performance exhaust, active traction control, different color choices, and distinctive badges.
In 2008, Toyota gave the FJ Cruiser several updates. For the inaugural model year, side and side-curtain airbags were optional equipment. For 2008, they were made standard. Also added were front-seat mounted side airbags, roll-sensors for side-curtain airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system, and front-seat side visors. Other standard highlights for the Toyota FJ Cruiser are power accessories, stability control, and antilock disc brakes. There are different transmissions for both the two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions of the model. Two-wheel drive FJ Cruisers come with a standard five-speed automatic transmission while four-wheel drive variants have the choice of either the five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. There are several packages of the FJ Cruiser available: the CQ Package, Upgrade Package, Upgrade Package 2, and the All-Terrain Package. Each offers a different set of extras, depending on the package. Other options include 17" alloy wheels, running boards, and a locking rear differential.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser has proven to be a steady success both in terms of sales as well as industry-wide recognition. Since its arrival for 2007, Toyota has averaged over 38,000 units sold per year of the model, an impressive number given the segment the FJ Cruiser competes in. The FJ Cruiser has received praise from around the automotive landscape. In 2007, it won the award for Auto Pacific Vehicle Satisfaction along with garnering MotorWeek's Driver's Choice Award for Best Eco-Friendly Manufacturer. 2009 saw more honors come the vehicle's way, as the FJ Cruiser was named an Intellichoice Best Overall Value and a Best Car on the Thrifty 50 List by US News & World Report.
When drivers need a no-nonsense, "go get 'em" midsize SUV, the Toyota FJ Cruiser is one vehicle that commands attention. Burly yet smooth, the Toyota FJ Cruiser is the rare type of vehicle that not only accommodates all of your transporting needs, but it looks pretty good doing it. Solid FJ Cruiser parts along with the responsive handling make driving this machine nice and easy, a fact not lost on all who own one. Throw in the attractive "retro" style and you have a ride that impresses on every level. In other words, this is one vehicle that remains at the top of the list.
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