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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
'Good,' frontal impact; 'good,' side impact; 'good,' rear impact; 'acceptable,' roof strength
Not yet tested
its cool design means there are blind spots
rear visibility is tanklike because of the wide C-pillar and tiny corner window that proves as effective as a solar-powered flashlight
Edmunds' Inside Line
Sitting inside this big vehicle is like looking out of a German pillbox. The visibility is awful; there's just a gun slot of a windshield.
The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser isn't quite one of the top-rated SUVs, with respect to safety, but it's certainly far more secure than the old-school off-road rigs that it's emulating.
In Insurance Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the FJ Cruiser has earned top 'good' ratings for frontal, side, and rear impact, although it's lagged with only an 'acceptable' rating for roof strength--a concern, perhaps, because it's a taller vehicle. In the federal safety ratings, the FJ Cruiser hasn't been tested.
You can thank the FJ Cruiser’s long list of standard safety gear for the positive results. Items include side curtain airbags, a roll-over sensor, anti-lock brakes, active headrests and electronic stability control. Additionally, the vehicle is equipped with active headrests for the front seats: In certain rear collisions, a cable-actuated mechanism in the active headrest moves the headrest upward and forward to help limit the movement of the occupant's head.
Rearward visibility, as you might guess in just seeing the FJ from the outside, leaves much to be desired. The thick side pillar limits the view when changing lanes, and the rather narrow-windowed design can make parking a chore; even though you'd think that the corners would be quite easy to spot, they're not always, because of the seating position. Rear parking sensors are available, and recommended.
The FJ Cruiser is respectable for safety, but it's not without concerns.