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The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a modern retro-styled SUV meant to go off-road, and it’s similar to the new Ford Bronco in many ways. One of the key differences between the two is that Ford recently revived the Bronco, while Toyota killed the FJ Cruiser. Here’s a look at the FJ Cruiser and four unique features that make it an in-demand used SUV.

The Toyota FJ Cruiser has died more than once

Toyota FJ Cruiser features
Toyota FJ Cruiser | Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Toyota introduced the FJ Cruiser in the 2007 model year as a callback to the classic Land Cruiser, but the retro-styled SUV didn’t have a long life stateside. It sold well in its first two years, but then sales slumped and never picked up. As a result, the Japanese auto giant discontinued the FJ Cruiser in the American market after the 2014 model. Toyota produced and sold the SUV in other markets, but that ended recently too.

1. The Toyota FJ Cruiser’s rubberized flooring is a rare feature

Despite its retirement, there’s much to like about the FJ Cruiser, and the Toyota SUV’s rubberized flooring is one of those features. Rubber floors are a rarity in passenger cars, most of which have carpeting.

However, rubber flooring is helpful for drivers who plan to take the SUV off-road. That’s because it’s easy to hose off, so users don’t have to worry about getting the floors muddy or sandy.

2. This retro-styled Toyota SUV also has clamshell doors

Another unique FJ Cruiser feature is its clamshell doors. To open the rear doors, users must first open the front doors. This configuration sets this SUV apart, but it can be annoying, especially for families who often open the rear doors.

3. The FJ Cruiser’s 3 windshield wipers are unique features

Top Speed calls the clamshell doors a blessing and a curse, and it’s the same story for the windshield wipers. Not only does this SUV have three windshield wipers, but the windshield is also nearly vertical.

These unique FJ Cruiser features make the car look more like a military vehicle. That’s a fun feeling to have since this SUV is based on the classic Land Cruiser, which was inspired by American military Jeeps. However, the vertical windshield is bad for aerodynamics, helping to explain the SUV’s terrible fuel economy of about 18 mpg combined.

4. Its dashboard has special gauges

In addition, Toyota gave the FJ Cruiser a dashboard equipped with unique features. In particular, it has a compass, an inclinometer, and a pitch and roll indicator on the top of the dash. The old Land Cruiser also had those gauges. Another neat feature: The dashboard is color-coded to the body.

Toyota is well aware of the FJ Cruiser’s popularity

Those unique features have helped make the FJ Cruiser a beloved SUV. So it’s unsurprising that, despite being discontinued in the United States for nearly a decade, it’s a popular used car.

Toyota is well aware of the FJ Cruiser’s enduring popularity. That’s why the company launched a page to guide shoppers toward certified pre-owned models. 

Seeing the success of the Ford Bronco, Toyota could revive the FJ Cruiser someday. But for now, the used and certified pre-owned market will have to suffice.


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