Cruising Around in the Toyota FJ Cruiser

Wow, I had such a blast in this car!

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The other day, the fab folk at Hillcrest Toyota were kind enough to loan me a Toyota FJ Cruiser for the day – just for fun! I drove it round and about Durbs, and have to admit that I am totally smitten with it’s awesomeness! I want one!!!

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It’s bold, it’s rugged and it’s powerful! When you get behind the wheel of this beautiful beast, you can’t help but feel the adventure junkie take over!

Now, I don’t consider myself adventurous at all. I avoid roller coasters and pretty much anything that gets my adrenaline pumping – but just one day with the FJ and I feel the urge, the need, the excitement to take it crawling up some cliffs!

Not that I did, I mean we only had one day together, but you know what I mean!

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The FJ Cruiser is all attitude! It can go-anywhere-and-do-anything (their words not mine, and I believe them)!

It’s stylish and retro with a wild side that will turn heads! Expect to be noticed behind the wheel of the FJ! I absolutely love the signature white roof, rugged black bumpers and all round aggressiveness.

The FJ Cruiser is an updated version of the original Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser (from way back in 1959). Many would argue that the design is similar to the Hummer, and while the two do bear a brotherly resemblance, they are very different. The Hummer is more boxy and “military”, while the FJ is more pleasing with rounded edges and the unmistakable retro-cool factor.

Did I mention that I want one!?!?!

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The interior is super kitted and while the exterior of the FJ looks bulky, inside it’s very comfortable – you don’t feel like you’re driving a boat! It’s kitted with Bluetooth and USB which has iPod/ iPhone input as well! You just plug your iPhone into the USB port and you can play your tunes, choose albums, genres, artists etc directly from the radio! No need to fiddle with your iPhone or iPod! The sound is mind blowing, thanks to the 6-speaker audio system that includes two speakers mounted in the ceiling for an extra sound blast!

The FJ Cruiser is made for getting it dirty, and with that in mind the seats are water-repellant and the rubberized interior make for easy cleaning.

It comes standard with electric mirrors, 17″ alloy wheels and a full size spare (mounted on the back).The rear spoiler has an integrated brake light and side steps with covers are standard. It’s got a extra wide windscreen with 3-arm wipers. Wipers are also included on the back. The rear privacy glass windows wrap around the back of the FJ and it has double door openings, which means the doors open out from the middle – also known as suicide doors!

It’s got loads of storage space, and the rear seats fold to make it even bigger. Apparently when the seats are folded, it can fit two persons in sleeping bags! Impressive!

Now lets talk about the driving functions! Driving the FJ is a little scary at first, only because I’m used to “normal cars”. Being higher up takes some getting used to. But, after a few drives it starts to become second nature. The FJ comes standard with a five speed automatic gear box – making it easy to take this beast anywhere! It’s also got an off-road manual gearbox for when you want to have some real fun!

Under the hood, the FJ Cruiser has a powerful V6 engine, pumping out 260 horsepower and 271 lb.-ft. of torque. It goes from 0-100 in 7.5 seconds. Now, I don’t know “exactly what that means”, but I do know this baby moves! Surprisingly, for such a big car, it’s got a hell of a lot of kick! When you need to overtake someone, just put your foot down and make sure you wave goodbye as you fly past them, and watch their jaw drop! Yes, it’s that kind of car!

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The FJ is a very comfortable, safe and totally fun to drive. It’s got everything you need in a car (power steering, electric windows as well as front, side and curtain airbags). Other features include VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) which prevents over and under steering around corners, A-TRAC (Active Traction Control) to ensure secure 4×4 driving, EFI (Electronic Fuel Control) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) Shift control which automatically switches the shifting pattern according to the road conditions.

Safety wise, it’s got ABS (Anti-Lock Breaking System), EDB (Electronic Brake Distribution) and BAS (Brake Assist System) which gives you additional breaking power if you need to stop suddenly at high speeds.

The back comes with park distance control and there is also a camera built into the review mirror – so you can see what’s behind you when reversing.

The FJ is totally rugged and beefy, and even though I consider myself a “girly-girl” I absolutely love this car! I grew very fond of the “beast” and was saddened when I had to return it and get back into my “normal folk” car.

There are two models available: The FJ Cruiser and the FJ Sport Cruiser. The Sport Cruiser comes with chrome fittings that add a little bling to the door handles, mirrors, front bumper, hood bulge, grille and scuff plates. The Sport Cruiser comes standard with black leather seats, a distinctive FJ Cruiser carpet set and a hard, black spare wheel cover.

Watch it swim

This video shows the FJ’s “swimming capabilities”

Thanks again to Issac and Hillcrest Toyota for my drive!

Visit Hillcrest Toyota, 39 Old Main Road Gillits and take the FJ for a test drive! You’ll love it!
www.hillcresttoyota.co.za