The 2009 Toyota FJ Cruiser can be ideally outfitted for off-road driving, but more traditional features take a backseat.
Of the drive systems in this off-road-capable beast, Car and Driver deems it an “odd arrangement” that “FJ Cruisers with a manual transmission get full-time four-wheel drive, and automatic-equipped models get a simpler part-time four-wheel-drive system or rear-wheel drive.” Available in just one trim level, the FJ Cruiser, Car and Driver notes, starts at $23,230 for a rear-wheel-drive example with an automatic transmission (the only one available), $24,410 for a manual 4WD version, and $24,820 for an automatic, which utilizes a part-time 4WD system.
The 2009 FJ Cruiser comes with a host of safety items, including side curtain airbags that inflate not only in a side collision, but also if the vehicle’s sensors sense an impending rollover. A six-speaker CD MP3 audio system with auxiliary jack, electronic stability, and traction control are also standard. Kelley Blue Book describes the operation of its favorite features on the FJ Cruiser. The Subwoofer Switch is a “subwoofer on/off button” that “makes it easy to optimize the listening experience when switching from talk to rock, for instance.” And A-TRAC, a step above the standard stability control, automatically applies the brakes to a spinning wheel, forcing “torque to the opposing wheel” and boosting the “FJ Cruiser’s off-road capability.” Calling the Toyota “decidedly purpose built,” Kelley Blue Book also points out that every FJ is equipped with water-resistant seat fabric and rubber flooring. In the cargo area, “convenient hooks and tie-downs add functionality,” they remark.
Options packages are specific to 4WD and 2WD models and include items such as larger wheels and tires, a Convenience Package (remote keyless entry, cruise control, power mirrors and other luxuries), rear sonar parking assist, an eight-speaker audio system with six-disc CD changer, an attractively built-in subwoofer, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, and a 115V/400W power outlet. For dedicated off-roaders, there is a rear differential lock, A-TRAC active traction control, and a multi-information display (inclinometer, compass, temperature) available.
The All Terrain package includes all of the above plus BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires, 16-inch aluminum wheels (steel wheels are standard on the FJ), Bilstein shock absorbers, a Cyclone air precleaner, and a trip computer.