Not for poseurs.
The FJ Cruiser unapologetically shuns practicality in favor of style and attitude, and it unflinchingly focuses on one mission — off-road performance. Fuel economy and comfort? Not so much. The FJ has the same solid bones as the 4Runner’s, including a meaty 4.0-liter V-6 engine that provides as much muscle — and makes almost as much of a racket — as a V-8. A live rear axle, a standard manual transmission, and a locking limited-slip differential back up the tough-guy looks. The Trail Teams Special Edition Package goes even further, with specially tuned Bilstein dampers, skid plates, and unique wheels and tires. It also comes in a distinctive cement gray paint color, which will help you blend in with the rocks. Just be sure to mind the blind spots, which are huge. Fold-down rear headrests improve the rear view when you’re not hauling passengers, but the giant C-pillars and the chopped windshield are more permanent obstructions. That windshield makes itself heard during highway cruising, as do the slab sides and chunky tires. Neither these gripes nor the FJ’s age negates the larger point that the FJ is one of the most charismatic vehicles in the Toyota lineup, not to mention one of the most capable and best-looking off-roaders offered by any manufacturer.
Land Rover LR4
new for 2013
Not much is new for this retro truck, which pays tribute to the long-lived FJ40 Land cruiser. The only change is a new shade of gray paint for this year’s Trail Teams Special Edition Package.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. Backup sensors are optional.
Tough-guy off-road ability
Styling compromises visibility
Noisy and clumsy on-road performance
Base Price Range: $27,725–$29,315
DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVEL: FJ Cruiser
BODY STYLE: SUV, 5-passenger
ENGINE: 4.0L V-6, 259 hp, 278 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: N/A
CAPACITIES: Towing 5000 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 27.9/66.8 cu ft