This week we’re looking at the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser Wagon that is a box office hit. The first thing I noticed was the solid feel and ride. I thought I would love to take this on my upcoming trip to the Sierras because that’s what this bad boy was designed for. Sam, at Toyota , says exactly that, and it has been compared with several off road SUVs and comes up on top. Toyota ’s target market is younger drivers who love the out doors and take off-roading seriously. They even tricked out the sound system to include a rear speaker assembly for enhancing the tunes that are so important to the new generation.
In the early going this FJ has captured the hearts and minds of many. When you get in and drive for the first time you are instantly impressed and if that isn’t love at first sight I’m your uncle Harry.
The second thing you’ll notice is that the price is much lower than you’d imagine. Those two things alone will make this an instant hit and a big seller. The press is clamoring for a look see and test drive. I’m just happy I got it early even if I can’t give it the off road test.
I feel sorry for all those who just bought a Nissan Xterra or Hummer H3 before this hot new Toyota hit the scene. It is apparent the Hummer H3 is the real inspiration for this FJ. Toyota wouldn’t agree but when you sit in it that’s the first image that comes to mind. To Hummer ad people I would say they can no longer advertise “nothing else like it on the planet”.
Handling & Performance:
Many say it rivals much more expensive off road options. Sam (at Toyota) reminds us that no more than 10% of 4X4’s sold will ever get off road and the marketing for this FJ predicts a much higher off road figure for their target market. Its powerful V6 will do a ¼ mile in just 7.7 seconds, which is not shabby for an SUV.
An obvious winner. It’s hot because it looks really capable and sporty. It fits the young man or woman. I told my friend Mar-gee she didn’t belong in the Lexus SUV she bought, but rather in this FJ. She’s young and cute as a bug’s ear and she’d win the wet T-shirt contest she blushes at the thought.
Fit and Finish:
Rugged large components that fit together well in spite of the need not to.
Outstanding. The price blows most interested people way away. If you want more luxury you’d be looking at the Land Cruiser at twice the money. In fact the Land Cruiser is $55-65,000. With all the ups and extra options the price of the FJ will not exceed $30,000.
Just right for the vehicles use. It even has a 110 AC outlet in the rear with a 400 watt inverter in the upgrade options package. The seats fold down to make for a truck-like box. With the seats up the cargo area is quite small and the side doors (half size) house the seat belts that are a nuisance. Although the base price is reasonable I would surely upgrade to the convenience package for $1,840 that includes some essentials like remote keyless entry, cruise control, power mirrors, rear wiper and a few less essentials like privacy glass, daytime running lights and rear parking sonar (that I really like).
This SUV is perfect for the young at heart and not just the young. You’ll see these off road at venues like water rafting, fishing, hiking, camping and hunting. The decision you have to make, if in the market for a unique sporty SUV, is whether to wait for the 2007 Xterra or Hummer H3 to arrive before making a buying decision. Or do you buy now while they are still plentiful.
Toyota FJ Cruiser $22-23,000, Hummer H3 $28,935, Nissan Xterra $20-28,000.
Hot new styling for the young at heart, powerful V6, great feeling ride and priced to compete.
Gas guzzler, rear seat a little small with doors that are awkward with troublesome seatbelts and you must rely on mirrors because of the poor side visibility.
4.0 liter 239 horsepower V6 engine mated to a 5-speed auto trans with part time 4X4 system, variable gear power steering, 17” black steel wheels, full size rear mounted spare tire, skid plates on engine, transfer case and fuel tank, tow hooks front and rear, mudguards, 8-way adjustable driver seat, water repellent seats, rubber-like cabin and cargo area flooring, 60/40 split rear seats with removable bottom cushions, audio system with CD w/ 6 speakers, power windows and locks, tilt steering wheel, 4 cup holders and two bottle holders, rear defogger, rear cargo tie down hooks, dual air bags, stability control, traction control, electronic brake force distribution.
Great options packages for things like dash mounted temp, compass and incline monitor gauge. You can upgrade the wheels and add differential lock, in-dash 6-disc CD changer, 400 W inverter for 110 outlet and lots more that can up the price to about $30,000.
17 City and 21 Highway MPG
Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is email@example.com
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