Toyota FJ Cruiser Chronology

November 13, 2014

**NOTE:  All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise.  CY refers to “Calendar Year.”**
 

FJ CRUISER

 
Series Chronology
 
2006 - FJ Cruiser introduced as a 2007 model.
2006 - “SUV of Texas,” Texas Auto Writers
2007 - “Automotive Excellence Award - Design” - Popular Mechanics
2007 - Given the “Editor’s Choice Award” by Cars.com – Off-Roaders category.
2007 - AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award (VSA) for Off-Road Vehicles
2008 - FJ receives standard front seat-mounted side airbags and first- and second-row side
            curtain airbags for 2008.
2008 - AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award (VSA) for Off-Road Vehicles
2009 - Named an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “TOP SAFETY PICK”
2009 – Intellichoice.com “Best overall Value of the Year” award – Intermediate Utility SUV segment
2012 - Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com “2012 Best Resale Value” – mid-size utility vehicle category
2012 – Kelley Blue Books’ kbb.com “2012 Top 10 Cars with Best Resale Value”
2014 – Kelley Blue Book “2014 Best Resale Value” – Mid-Size SUV
2014 -  Kelley Blue Book “10 Most Fun SUVs of 2014.”
 
 
 
The all-new Toyota FJ Cruiser was introduced in March 2006.  A stylish and capable vehicle that drew from an incredible off-road heritage, the FJ Cruiser was Toyota’s third entry in the mid-size SUV segment.  The FJ Cruiser echoed the classic and legendary Land Cruiser FJ40, which provided the foundation for the design, production and sales of the automobile lines that followed the Land Cruiser.  FJ Cruiser was available as either a two- or four-wheel drive model.  The 4x2 model was available only with a 5-speed automatic transmission, while 4x4 models were available with an electronically shifted five-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission.  The standard 4.0L V6, 24-valve, double-overhead-cam engine produced 239 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque.

Standard features on the 2007 FJ Cruiser included 17-inch black steel wheels, Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control, anti-lock brake system, dual stage driver and front passenger advanced airbags, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD audio system, power windows and door locks, and white roof.

The 2008 FJ Cruiser was largely carry-over, but was upgraded with standard first- and second-row side-curtain airbags and standard front-seat side airbags for enhanced safety, a vehicle immobilizer, a key cylinder light and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Additionally, an optional off-road package was available. This included rugged 265/75R16 trail tires, unique 16-inch five-spoke alloy off-road wheels, trail-tuned Bilstein gas-pressure shock absorbers, a Cyclone intake air pre-cleaner, a locking rear differential that works in conjunction with A-TRAC, and a multi-information display.

For 2009, safety and luxury was upgraded with standard active headrests, roll over sensor, and driver-side non-lit vanity mirror.  Optional equipment now included a backup camera and auto-dimming electrochromic mirror for the convenience package.  Daytime running lights became a stand alone option.  Three new exterior colors were also available in non-metallic Black, Silver, and Iceberg White solid finish with an all-white monochromic finish. 
 
The FJ Cruiser received enhanced performance for 2010 with the addition of VVT-i and roller rocker arms to its 4.0-liter V6.  The upgrade added 20 horsepower (from 239 to 259) and increased fuel efficiency from 17 to 18 combined mpg.  The fuel requirement also changed from premium to regular unleaded. 

A new Special Edition Package featured an assortment of performance and convenience enhancement and featured a Sandstorm exterior color (including the roof).

The 2011 FJ Cruiser offers a new trail-oriented Special Edition Package each model year; for 2011, the Special Edition is distinguished by a distinct Army Green exterior color, special green fabric trimmed seating and interior trim and a standard Off-Road Package.

A locking rear differential is now standard with the six-speed manual transmission; it remains available as an option with the automatic transmission.

The 2011 FJ Cruiser offered improved passenger side walk-in, with a front passenger seat that can fold further forward. New folding headrests on the outboard rear seats helped to improve rearward visibility, and heater performance was improved. An available 17-inch alloy wheel design was also new.

A new standard audio system featured an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, XM Radio (includes 90-day trial subscription), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology. The steering wheel now integrated audio system and Bluetooth controls for added ease of use. A JBL 10-speaker premium audio system, including sub woofer, became newly optional (standard on Special Edition).

With the exception of a new available color on the Trail Teams Package, Radiant Red, the FJ Cruiser for 2012 carried over unchanged.

The 2013 FJ Cruiser again carried over virtually unchanged with the exception of the Trail Teams Package changing its exterior color from Radiant Red to Cement Gray.  Daytime Running Lights and the power outside mirrors with illuminated markers were now standard equipment.

In 2013 Toyota announced 2014 would be the final model year of the FJ Cruiser.  For a proper farewell to an SUV icon, Toyota unveiled the 2014 Trail Teams Ultimate Edition as a commemorative final special edition of the FJ Cruiser.    It was the toughest and most capable FJ ever and paid tribute to the iconic vehicle that ended its production run at the conclusion of the 2014 model year.  With limited production, only 2,500 were built.

The FJ Ultimate Edition paid tribute to the iconic Land Cruiser FJ40 of the 1960’s, from which the FJ Cruiser drew its rugged DNA, inspiration and design.  A unique white painted front grille surround and newly developed “Heritage Blue” paint were reminiscent of the classic FJ40.

Designed and built for rugged off-roading, the Ultimate Edition raised the bar one more time for off-road capability with all new performance upgrades.  A race-inspired Toyota Racing Development (TRD) off-road suspension was developed and meticulously tuned for the Ultimate Edition.  The new suspension included TRD Bilstein race shocks with increased damping, articulation and high speed stability.  The front shock assemblies were 66mm with new TRD race coil springs, which raised the front of the FJ just enough to level out the stance and improve the approach angle.  The rear shocks were 50mm and were equipped with remote reservoirs to decrease damping fade. 

The list of new TRD goodies didn’t stop there.  A newly developed TRD front skid plate, made from one-quarter-inch thick aluminum plate came standard on the Ultimate Edition.  The TRD stamped front skid plate not only looked great, but improved approach angle and provided an increased level of underbody protection.  TRD 16-inch bead lock wheels with BF Goodrich A/T KO tires, rock rails and roof rack completed the exterior.
           
Chiseled from nearly a half-century tradition of tough off-road performance provided by the legendary FJ40, the original 4Runner, and 4x4 compact pickups, the FJ Cruiser was developed as a basic, capable and affordable off-roader aimed specifically at serious off-roaders looking to push the limits.  Hailed by consumers and critics alike, the FJ Cruiser became an instant classic.

With sales of more than 200,000 units sold since 2006, the FJ rides into the sunset leaving lasting memories of one of the most iconic vehicles in Toyota’s rich SUV history. 
 

What does it mean?
FJ Cruiser:  The FJ nomenclature refers to the original FJ-series Land Cruiser platform.  It gives a nod to the rugged styling and core concept values of the original. 
 
Where is it built?
FJ Cruiser was produced at the Hamura Plant in Hamura, Japan.
 

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