Toyota is preparing to farewell its rugged FJ Cruiser 4WD later this year, with confirmation today that production for the modern icon will end in August.
Arriving in Australia in 2011, the FJ Cruiser was designed as a tribute to the fan-favourite Toyota FJ40 LandCruiser.
Toyota expected at least a few bleary-eyed fans might be tempted to place an order for the new FJ, but instead, more than 11,000 have been sold in Australia since it launched.
The carmaker may have sold thousands more as well, with countless fans crying out for a diesel engine to be offered in place of the FJ’s 200kW/380Nm 4.0 litre petrol-powered V6.
The diesel FJ was never going to happen, however, as the US and Japanese markets dictated that a petrol engine was the only viable option.
One item the fans did manage to influence was fuel capacity, with the relatively restrictive 72 litre tank supplemented by an 87-litre sub-tank during a 2013 upgrade. The new total was a very-useful 159 litres.
As the diesel FJ never happened, fans will now have to settle for the petrol model or nothing as the clock winds down on the 4WD’s short but sweet lifecycle.
"The FJ rides into the sunset as a vehicle renowned for its ability to traverse rugged outback trails while offering plenty of utility for all types of activities and being equally well-suited for everyday driving," Toyota Australia’s Tony Cramb said.
"It will leave lasting memories as one of the most iconic vehicles in Toyota's rich SUV history, helping to bring renewed energy to the Toyota brand.”
Even in its final months, the FJ Cruiser is still on the radar of Australian 4WD buyers as its tally of 125 sales last month shows.
As far as tributes go, the FJ Cruiser was very much on the money, including such detail as the exposed spare wheel and tyre, period-correct round headlights and a range of paint finishes reflecting those available on the FJ40.
The FJ even improved on the original, arguably, with a pair of ‘suicide’ rear doors allowing much easier access to the rear seat than the FJ40’s three-door body.
Off-roading was the FJ’s forte, with the best approach and departure angles in the Toyota 4WD range - 36 and 31 degrees respectively - along with switchable traction control, a rear diff lock and a ‘part time’ 4WD system.
The 2016 Toyota FJ Cruiser is priced from $46,990 plus on-road costs, while it remains part of the local Toyota line-up. We suggest you act sooner rather than later if you’re considering one…
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