Toyota Finally Kills the FJ Cruiser
You might be surprised to know that until now, the Toyota FJ Cruiser has continued in production. Or, you might be surprised that Toyota is pulling the plug on the popular SUV after 17 years of production. Though not available here since 2014, it has enjoyed continued sales in other parts of the world.
Where could you still get an FJ Cruiser?
The Middle East, Phillippines, and South Africa are the last places the FJ Cruiser is available. Assembly takes place at Hino’s Hamura, Japan factory. Hino has been Toyota’s big truck subsidiary since the mid-1960s.
The FJ Cruiser shares its J120 platform with the third-generation Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, though the FJ is exclusively uses the 4.0-liter V6. That means a separate ladder frame, independent front suspension, and a two-speed transfer case.
Is the 2023 FJ Cruiser different than earlier FJs?
After 2014, the FJ was still available in every market Toyota sells in, except here and in Canada. They included Mexico, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and South America. But over the years distribution to many markets has shrunken. In the countries the FJ Cruiser has stopped being distributed to, it is replaced by the Fortuner/SW4.
The last versions of the FJ had five different trims that included the FJ standard, FJ1, FJ2, FJ1 Final Edition, and FJ2 Final Edition. Prices range from the entry FJ at $40,000 to the FJ2 Final at $48,680, which puts it into Bronco territory price-wise. Upgrades include a touchscreen and revised dash to accommodate the screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android.
Is the FJ Cruiser’s replacement the “Compact Cruiser EV?”
So this is now the end of the first series of the FJ Cruiser. Will there be a second one? We think so, and here’s why. With Toyota pledging over 30 electric vehicles before 2030, it has shown concepts for a number of them.
One of them looks like an FJ EV. It is probably more fanciful than what a production version would look like, but the “Compact Cruiser EV” looks like a slightly smaller version of a next-gen FJ. That puts it into the Bronco Sport category for size comparison.
Will Toyota make the electric FJ Cruiser?
Toyota is keeping things close to the vest. So no specifications are available since it is for now just a concept. But, if Toyota pulls the trigger on an electric FJ, we expect it to have a two-motor layout to accommodate all-wheel-drive, which would be standard equipment. Of course, plastic cladding and the requisite brush guards, roof racks, and skid plates would be part of the deal.
Toyota has been a bit slow in embracing electrification. Because its embrace of EVs came late, the plan has seen revisions. According to Reuters, the Compact Cruiser has been shelved. But there are conflicting reports of whether that is true or not. But compact SUVs are not a niche product, they’re a popular segment.
So we don’t expect to see an electric FJ, if it is in the cards, until at least the end of 2024 as a 2025 model. We think it has more character than the Bronco Sport, and we’d love to see it reach production. But, of course, that’s not our call to make.