Mike Stevens | Mar 8, 2011


TMR Managing Editor Tim O'Brien is at the launch today of the FJ Cruiser. Watch for his 'first drive' review.

Its local arrival has been five years in the making, but the retro-styled Toyota FJ Cruiser is at last in Australia - set to go on sale in the second half of March.

Following a strong response at last year's Australian International Motor Show, The FJ Cruiser joins the Rukus as part of Toyota Australia's plan to inject some style-focused buying options into the brand's local line-up.

Its arrival also gives Toyota a weapon against the rugged, adventure-seeking style of the Jeep Wrangler.

The design of the FJ Cruiser echoes retro elements of the original FJ40 LandCruiser. It became a cult-classic here after its arrival onto the Snowy River Scheme 50 years ago.

A white roof, round headlamps and the classic 'TOYOTA' badge across the front grille all echo the design of the FJ Cruiser’s ancestor, but its rear-hinged back doors are unique to the new model.

The retro look is capped off by a near vertical windscreen with three wipers.

“It’s a very capable off-road vehicle, it’s based on the Prado platform so I think it’ll appeal to a wide demographic,” Toyota Australia's Mike Breen told TMR.

“I think it will cross over between urban dwellers and hardcore four-wheel drive people."

The newest member of the LandCruiser family shares its underpinnings with the Prado, and is driven by a 4.0 litre V6 petrol engine producing 200kW and 380Nm of torque.

Fuel consumption for the V6 is listed at a claimed 11.4 l/100km on the combined cycle, with its 72-litre tank offering a theoretical driving range of around 630km.

Suspension is managed by long-travel all-coil suspension, with high-mounted double-wishbones up front and a five-link system at the rear.

Along with its dual-range transfer case, the FJ Cruiser's big strength is its 224mm minimum clearance, along with a 36-degree approach angle, 31-degree departure angle and a 29-degree breakover angle - the latter two being the best in Toyota's local 4WD line-up.

Local testing of the FJ has also resulted in an Australia-specific calibration of the heavy-duty all-coil suspension and power steering, along with the adoption of 17-inch alloy wheels and 70 profile tyres.

Grab handles have also been added to the back of the driver and front passenger seats, improving off-road comfort for rear passengers.

Safety features include six airbags, active front-seat head restraints, vehicle stability control, switchable active traction control, anti-skid brakes with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, active front-seat head restraints and a reversing camera with a mirror-mounted display.

Available as one model grade, standard equipment for the FJ Cruiser includes rear fog lamps, privacy glass, rear parking sensors, cruise control, air-conditioning, steering-mounted audio controls, a multi-information display, central locking, and an eight-speaker audio with a CD stacker, USB, iPod, Bluetooth and aux connectivity.

Nine exterior colours will be offered, including the hero colours Voodoo Blue and Hornet Yellow - all with a white roof.


Pricing and Availability

The 2011 FJ Cruiser will go on sale in Australia in the second half of March, in just one model grade.

It will be priced from $44,990 (manufacturer's list price), with metallic paint $400 extra.

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