The Toyota FJ Cruiser is not too pacing our small roads of Europe. So big toy camped on huge wheels, the FJ Cruiser comes straight from the Japanese imagination and was not originally dedicated to marketing. Intrigued by this big beast, it is our child’s mind that we decided to take up this mini Hummer on the road of Miami to melt us a little more in the decoration of the country…
Being small, you probably had to play with the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 of the 60s, radically between indestructible as our little hands on the most battered land of the globe. Brand icon, the FJ Cruiser is nothing more than a revival for the 21st century.
Originally, this model was a concept for a tribute to this legend of the sixties. Introduced in 2003 in Detroit, this concept car has so captivated the public that Toyota decided to produce in 2006, leaving almost as such. Given its size, the logic was not the market in Europe, but rather to target the U.S. and Canadian markets, the country in which be loves to play with the snow. Thereafter marketing has even expanded with Algeria, Mexico and Japan since 2010.
Its appearance is the most fun aspect. First impressive at first glance, this 4 × 4 is quickly tying its mug with a child with chubby cheeks. It’s solid; at least it has the appearance with large handles, mud guards and heavy footsteps. The whole is reassuring. Inside, the large central dashboard is dominated by the general roundness of the elements. At the top of the block throne at the same time a compass, inclinometer and an indicator of outside temperature. Everything is designed to be as practical as possible, starting with materials that are easy to clean. The trunk in the same style as the Land Cruiser is simple and leaves an impressive cargo space when the rear seats folded with a maximum load capacity of 1890 liters.
The choice of small rear doors opening is reversed, however, anything but practical. To go in the back for an adult is one of the most complicated actions with this 4×4 and becomes even a true exploit and once installed, most of us may feel oppressed with these small windows without opening. There are however plenty of room to adjust our legs and the comfort of the seats is quite soft. Everything is big, orders to the PA, which hosts a large subwoofer in the rear instead of the usual spare, what strut gently on Ocean Drive. This big Toyota jeep fits perfectly into the American landscape but still paradoxically small enough to most pickup trucks that circulate that we are positioned to the same height.
Only available in V6 4 liter of 260 horsepower, the tone is set as soon as you turn the ignition key. V6 returns a heavy sound and powerful with an average consumption of 13.5 liters: there is no denying this machine corresponds to the target markets. The V6 sponsor and we need to drag the two tons of gear and the 72 liter tank.
Could not try it outside the tarmac we will use according to the impressions of the confreres about it as a true franchisor and a heir, modern FJ, even if the FJ Cruiser has a vocation more fun than actually worker force of cross-country. The car is available in 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic, and it is this that fitted our test model, which proved to be rather reactive. When driving on the road, Toyota is comfortable and is ready for any long journey if you are willing to invest in fuel. Its big suspensions are paradoxically gentle driving a vehicle and its robust appearance does not make a car without a heart.
Boasting a generous 6-cylinder, the FJ Cruiser is a large 4 × 4 that has adapted well to the current trend, the city driving. Rather soft and comfortable, it knows when to rebel tease. Beyond its own quality, its strong image both retro and modern, this is its primary endpoint of purchase. The FJ Cruiser, proposed $26 115 has already commercialized more than 180 000 copies, which is probably one of the best poker of the trademark shot.