The scores are there, but the 2009 Toyota FJ Cruiser’s safety grade is docked for poor visibility. For 2009 the FJ Cruiser receives roll-sensing side curtain airbags, as well as active headrests for the front seats.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the FJ Cruiser its top “good” rating for frontal offset and side impact collision occupant protection. Edmunds points out that in “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the 2009 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 earns a perfect five stars.
The FJ’s stout Toyota 4Runner frame performs very well in crash testing. Combined with a litany of safety features, the two should both help prevent accidents and cushion the blow—should the driver of an FJ experience one. 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.
Automobile Magazine notes with “the spare tire taking up much of the tailgate, it's advisable to order the optional rear parking sensor.” 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.” Despite the optional backup camera, the FJ’s poor visibility outward can be seen as a design that reduces safety.