The 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser offers solid occupant protection, but its design creates major visibility problems.
Edmunds points out that in “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser earned a top five-star rating for driver safety in head-on collisions. Front passenger protection rated four stars.” Additionally, front and rear passenger side impact protection earn a perfect five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the FJ Cruiser its top “good” rating for frontal offset and side impact collision occupant protection.
Car and Driver reports the FJ Cruiser comes standard with stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags, front-seat-mounted side impact airbags, curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, front-seatbelt pretensioners, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. In addition to the FJ’s stout Toyota 4Runner frame that performs very well in crash testing, this litany of safety features should both help prevent accidents and cushion the blow--should the driver of an FJ experience one.
Despite the optional backup camera, the FJ’s poor visibility outward can be seen as a design that reduces safety. Practicality has to take a backseat with a style as radical as the FJ Cruiser’s; nowhere is this more obvious than from the view out, which Motor Trend likens “to wearing a football helmet, with a wide, truncated slot straight ahead and two big blind spots in the periphery.” Automobile advises, with “the spare tire taking up much of the tailgate, it's advisable to order the optional rear parking sensor.”