Introduced in 2006 as a 2007 model, the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV carries over into the new model year again with few changes. The SUV, with styling based off the 1960 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser, is quite distinctive with its boxy profile, round headlights, and white roof. Other retro-styling cues include the flat hood, exterior mounted full spare tire, and off-centered rear license plate housing. Inside, the thick steering wheel and huge knobs are easy to grasp even with gloves while the flat dash and center stack panels reflect the FJ Cruiser's heritage.
The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser continues to be powered by a 4.0-liter V-6 mated to a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. While fuel economy is good for such a large SUV, the FJ Cruiser is a serious sports utility vehicle, with a drivetrain capable of taking on the Rubicon or towing up to 5000 pounds. Toyota added a kit called the Trail Teams Special Edition in 2011 for the FJ Cruiser; for 2012, the kit gets another color choice.
Body Style: SUV
Engine: 4.0-liter, V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Trim: Base Sport Utility
The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition package now offers Radiant Red as a new color option. Otherwise, the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser carries over unchanged from model year 2011.
Though classified as a midsize SUV, the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser appears larger much of this due to its boxy design. The 2012 FJ Cruiser comes in one trim with the Trail Teams Special Edition package offering off-road lamps with air dam and illumination markers on the side mirrors. Radiant Red is available for model year 2012.
Toyota borrows from the sparse interior of the original 1960 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser and melds it with today's more comfort-oriented SUVs. Toyota has made strides in making it easier for passengers to enter/exit via the secondary side doors, which are hinged at the rear to simplify rear-seat access.
Water-resistant materials cover the seats, and the SUV floor is covered with rubber making it easy to wash dirt and mud. 2012 Toyota FJ Cruisers equipped the Trail Teams Special Edition package come equipped with cruise control, rear wiper, and other features including 12 volt/100 watt and 115 volt/400 watt outlets.
Performance & Handling
Though a comfortable ride on the streets of suburbia, the Toyota FJ Cruiser is truly a capable off-road SUV. The SUV can handle dirt, rocks, boulders, pits, and trails with ease. Power from the V-6 engine, which only needs regular unleaded, is readily available. Note that the FJ Cruiser's 4x4 capability is offered in both automatic and manual transmission.
But if you absolutely have to take the Toyota FJ Cruiser into the urban jungle or suburbia, the large SUV FJ is quite capable with a smooth ride (for a mid-size SUV) and precision steering. The latter, though, suffers due to the FJ's blindspots especially when parking or other tight maneuvers. The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser's 4.0-liter V-6 pulls strongly when accelerating and, like most Toyotas, is very quiet at cruising speeds. Note that wind noise is noticeable due to the FJ Cruiser's boxy design.
The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser includes front seat side airbags, and first- and second-row side curtain airbags; active headrests; and the Toyota STAR Safety system. The latter includes antilock brakes (ABS) and brake assist (BA); electronic brake-force distribution (EBD); traction control (TRAC); and vehicle stability control (VSC). Also part of the STAR Safety system is Toyota's brake override Smart stop system.
EPA Fuel Economy
Base 4x2 with automatic: 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway
Base 4x4 with manual: 15 city/19 mpg highway
Base 4x4 with automatic: 17 city/21 mpg highway
- Comfortable seats
You Won't Like
- Distinctive style
One of the last affordable off-road SUVs
If You Like This Vehicle
- Jeep Wrangler
- Nissan Xterra