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Review (2/2)

The driver's seat is eight-way adjustable, the front passenger seat offers four-way adjustment. A 33-degree footwell floor angle helps the driver and front passenger maintain proper seating position for greater comfort. Seating materials are not only water-repellant, but also provide excellent ventilation. The seating fabric is backed by a special breathable resin coating, which helps it to shed liquids and make cleanup easier. Even the stitched seams of the seat covers are treated with sealant to prevent liquids from penetrating. The FJ Cruiser's floor surfaces are covered with an easy-to-clean rubber-like material. With the optional upgrade packages, the front interior door panels are color-keyed to the exterior color.

The rear seatback is split 60/40, with folding (removable) bottom and back cushions that convert to a nearly flat cargo floor. The rear cargo area is equipped with cargo-net hooks, multipurpose grocery-bag hooks and sturdy, floor-mounted cargo tie-down anchor points. A 120-volt accessory power outlet is also available.

Trail Teams Special Edition

The 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition projects a tough, slightly menacing look in its Army Green exterior color, accentuated by black bumpers, front grille and door handles. The look is backed up by Trail Teams capability. Under-hood, a cyclone pre-air cleaner (standard on all models) is effective at trapping sand and dirt and is easy to clean. The standard Off-Road Package (optional for the base model) beefs up chassis performance with trail-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, rear differential lock and the active traction control (A-TRAC) system, engine, fuel tank and transfer cases, skid plates, rock rails, plus Toyota Racing Development (TRD) alloy wheels and BFG All-Terrain tires with wheel locks.

The Special Edition also preps the FJ Cruiser's body and interior for trail driving. The power side mirrors feature Illumination markers, and the auto-dimming rear-view mirror integrates a backup camera monitor. Green fabric seat inserts and door trim complement the exterior styling. The water resistanct seats and rubber-type floor and rear deck make it easy to clean the trail out of the FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition, while 12V, 100W and 120V, 400W outlets enable the driver to keep "plugged in" to civilization when necessary.

In addition to the standard JBL 10-speaker audio system, the Special Edition comes ready for road and trail with a "floating ball" type multi-information display, remote keyless entry, cruise control; rear privacy glass and rear wiper. The final touch is a Trail Team exterior badge.

Performance and Efficiency

The Toyota FJ Cruiser gained a more powerful and more efficient engine for the 2010 model year, along with a change to regular-grade fuel to help reduce operating costs. The DOHC 4.0-liter V6 engine is equipped with dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i -- variable phasing for both the intake and exhaust cams) and produces 260 horsepower and 271 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The broad torque curve facilitates easy cruising on or off-road. The FJ Cruiser meets the stringent LEV II/Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions certification.

The FJ Cruiser 4x4 offers a choice between a six-speed manual transmission and an electronically shifted five-speed automatic transmission; the 4x2 model is equipped exclusively with the five-speed automatic. The automatic transmission varies the shifting pattern based on road conditions and driver input. A Flex Lock-Up feature allows the clutch in the torque converter to maintain a half-engaged position, enhancing fuel efficiency and increasing the lock-up clutch's operational range. The driver can manually shift the automatic transmission using a console-mounted, gate-type shift lever. The gearshift position is also displayed in the instrument panel.

Capability, Handling and Ride

The FJ Cruiser's two-speed transfer case provides a 2.566 low range. With the manual transmission, the transfer case uses a TORSEN limited-slip center differential with a locking feature and distributes the engine's power 40:60 under most driving conditions. The TORSEN unit varies power distribution as needed, based on steering angle and wheel slippage. In the Lock position, the differential switches to 50:50 power distribution.

The 4x4 FJ Cruiser with the automatic-transmission employs a part-time four-wheel drive system with a 3.727:1 rear differential ratio and provides a 33.76:1 crawl ratio. With the manual transmission, the front and rear differential ratio is a lower 3.909:1 for a crawl ratio of 41.84:1, an attribute that helped the FJ Cruiser traverse California's famed Rubicon Trail.

An electronic locking rear differential is newly standard with the manual transmission for 2011; it remains optional for the automatic transmission. The ring gears in the 4x4 FJ Cruiser's front and rear differentials measure eight inches. The 4x2 model comes standard with a virtual automatic limited-slip differential, provided and operated by an advanced traction-control system to enhance traction of both rear wheels in slippery driving conditions.

Toyota designed the FJ Cruiser for serious trail driving capability. Its tough, wide stance is based on a boxed steel ladder-braced frame to which the welded steel body is mounted. Skid plates for the engine, transfer case (4x4 models only) and fuel tank are standard. Double-wishbone independent front suspension offers 7.87 inches of wheel travel for outstanding suspension articulation. Its geometry is optimized for excellent road feel and ride comfort.

The solid rear axle uses a four-link coil-spring suspension system with a lateral rod, tubular shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar. This system provides 9.1 inches of wheel travel. The four-wheel disc brake system uses ventilated 12.6-inch front and 12.3-inch rear rotors. The FJ Cruiser employs a variable-ratio, hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering system. Standard wheels are 17-inch steel with 265/70 R17 tires; aluminum-alloy wheels are available as an option (new design for 2011).

With the 2011 FJ Cruiser's standard 32-inch tires, ground clearance is 9.6 inches (8.7 inches for 4x2 models). Approach and departure angles are 34 degrees/31 degrees for the 4x4 FJ Cruiser and 32/30 for the 4x2 model. Maximum towing capacity with the optional Class Four receiver hitch is 5,000 pounds.

Comfort and Convenience

The FJ Cruiser's long list of standard features includes: air conditioning; power windows and door locks; water-resistant seats; tilt steering wheel; four cup holders and two bottle holders; rear-window defogger; rear-door-mounted full-size spare tire; front and rear tow hooks, and mudguards.

An available Convenience Package includes keyless entry; cruise control; power side-view mirrors with illumination markers; daytime running lights; rear privacy glass; rear window wiper, and a spare tire cover. This package also includes a rear backup camera integrated with an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

The FJ Cruiser can further be upgraded with comfort amenities without compromising its rugged capability. Available features include a floating ball type multi-information display (compass, inclinometer and temperature gauge); JBL Premium Audio system; a 120V AC power outlet; 17-inch alloy wheels; leather-wrapped steering wheel with integral audio controls and cruise-control function; metal-colored shift lever; and interior door-trim inserts keyed to the vehicle's exterior color.

Toyota dealers offer a catalog of available accessories, including: auxiliary driving lights, rock rails, roof rack, brush guard, taillight guards, sport exhaust system, receiver hitch and harness, wind deflector with off-road lights, a cargo mat and all-weather or carpeted floor mats.

Toyota FJ Cruiser: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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