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STYLING | 9 out of 10
“fresh interpretation of the original FJ40”
Road & Track
Car and Driver
The exterior of the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser is a show-car standout in a sea of conformist SUVs.
In the spirit of the original 1960s FJ40, the FJ Cruiser offers narrow-set round headlamps, a white-painted roof, an upright windshield, and wraparound rear glass. “Those familiar with the older FJs will immediately see the family resemblance,” claims Road & Track of what was originally a concept vehicle for Toyota that garnered rave responses at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show. Motor Trend vouches the styling “successfully conveys uniqueness and heritage--two traits currently missing in the Toyota lineup,” and Automobile, too, proclaims the FJ “distinguishes itself from its brethren with evocative styling.”
ConsumerGuide considers the interior “more functional than rich. It includes washable rubberlike flooring, water-resistant fabric trim, faux metal, body-color painted accents, and some low-budget plastic panels.” Road & Track declares “the cabin exudes simplicity, echoing the feel of the earlier FJs” when describing the mood set by “cloth seats, a body-colored radio surround and large, easy-to-operate controls,” and Motor Trend proclaims “the basic cabin harmonizes nicely with the busier exterior.”
In a nod to modern-day convenience, the FJ Cruiser has rear suicide doors that operate only when the main forward doors are open. While Road & Track comments these “Honda Element-esque suicide doors lends the FJ a 2-door's personality,” others criticize their marginal usefulness, seeing them as more style than function.
Both veteran FJ aficionados and buyers bored with bland SUVs should rejoice at the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser’s singular exterior and rugged, functional interior.