There are few if any vehicles that combine retro and contemporary styling as well as the 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser. Looking a bit like a vintage 1960s-era FJ40, crossed with modern cues from the 4Runner and Land Cruiser, with a MINI Cooper-like edge, the FJ Cruiser has a lot going on, design-wise. Yet it all works, with an overall appearance that isn’t at all derivative and doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard to be retro.
“Those familiar with the older FJs will immediately see the family resemblance,” claims Road & Track, referring to the original 1960s FJ40 that was, at least in part, a design inspiration for the FJ Cruiser. Narrow-set round headlamps match up well with the upright windshield, wraparound rear glass, and white-painted roof to achieve a design that’s retro-modern and rather timeless. Motor Trend decrees the styling “successfully conveys uniqueness and heritage—two traits currently missing in the Toyota lineup,” and Automobile Magazine proclaims the FJ “distinguishes itself from its brethren with evocative styling.”
Small rear-hinged half doors aid access to the back. Road & Track comments that these “Honda Element-esque suicide doors lends the FJ a two-door's personality,” but others criticize their marginal usefulness, seeing them as more style than function.
Inside, Toyota keeps it simple, with a basic, almost drab instrument panel, featuring traditional round gauges and a chunky layout. The interior is “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,” says ConsumerGuide. Road & Track declares that “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 asserts “the basic cabin harmonizes nicely with the busier exterior.”