Toyota FJ Cruiser History

Toyota FJ Cruiser History

Since you may not be familiar with the FJ Cruiser, we’ll start with little history.The creation of the Toyota FJ Cruiser was inspired by the original Toyota Land Cruiser  FJ-40 that was launched in 1960 . This iconic off road vehicle was sold in the United States until 1982 and has an amazingly large following. After the FJ-40, Toyota continued the Land Cruiser tradition with great models like the 60 Series, 80 Series, and 100 Series Land Cruisers. Today the Toyota Land Cruiser (200 series) has evolved into a luxury SUV, but it still maintains very good off road prowess. For more on the history of the Land Cruiser, visit these great sites:
The Toyota and Land Cruiser Association (TLCA)

Toyota FJ Cruiser Concept

In 2003 Toyota unveiled the FJ Cruiser concept at the Chicago Auto Show. The retro inspired design was immediately popular (although as many people hated it as loved it). From the very beginning it was clear that the FJ Cruiser (or FJC) was the grandson of the original FJ-40. The white roof, wrap around rear windows, and front grille are all very reminiscent of the original Land Cruiser. The FJ Cruiser team even convinced Toyota Corporate to use the “TOYOTA” grille badge instead of the modern Toyota logo.

Toyota FJ Cruiser on Black Bear Pass in Colorado

The FJ Cruiser went on sale in early 2006 as a 2007 model year (which is why some people refer to an ’06 FJ Cruiser, even though there is no ’06 model). For months before the FJ was even available, FJ-40 Land Cruiser and other off road enthusiasts were laying down thousands of dollars in deposits to reserve their truck.
Another great departure from normal Toyota corporate culture is the colors available for the FJ Cruiser. The original 2007 colors included: Sun Fusion (yellow), Black Cherry (maroon/purple), Black Diamond (black), Titanium Metallic (Silver), and the most popular VooDoo Blue (a light blue). Later in the model year, Toyota announced the TRD Special Edition version of the FJ, which is the only all black FJ Cruiser ever made. For a complete list of the FJ Cruiser colors available by year, see our handy FJ Cruiser Color Chart

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is one of the most off-road capable vehicles straight from the factory. What’s more, its starting price under $30,000 made it one of the most affordable as well. The only factory item that limits the capability of a bone-stock FJ Cruiser is the street tires. These can be upgraded at the dealer or by purchasing a new set of off-road ready tires.

A comparison of an Off-Road Ready FJ Cruiser vs. Other Vehicles



Rear Locker

Front Locker

Ground Clearance



Estimated MPG

FJ Cruiser
All Terrain Package








Nissan Xterra
Off Road








Jeep Wrangler








Hummer H3










We’d like to make a few notes about the limitations of the FJ Cruiser. Yes, as much as we love the FJ here at TCT Magazine, it’s not completely perfect. In order to drive such an amazing machine, you may have to overlook some minor issues.

First is visibility. The FJ is a good size SUV, and the pillars are large and windows are not, so visibility is an issue. The best thing to do to help with visibility is to purchase & install blind spot mirrors. These will eliminate 90% of the problem. Next up is the clam shell ‘suicide’ doors. While it’s good that they offer access to the back seat without having to pull the front seat forward, they can be a pain in cramped parking lots. If you have a lot of groceries or any children that need to get in the back seat, you’ll learn to do the ‘FJ Shuffle’ to get everyone in. You’ll also need to choose your parking spots wisely.

Overall if you’re looking for vehicle that’s fun, affordable, and very capable, the FJ Cruiser may be a good choice for you, even though it's no longer sold in North America. Backed by Toyota’s legendary quality and built on solid platform, the FJC is truly following in the footsteps of its predecessor the FJ-40. Within this website and the pages of each issue of our Magazine, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the Toyota  FJ Cruiser,. From modifications to maintenance and everything in between, TCT Magazine can help you make your FJ Cruiser unique. We hope you enjoy our publication!Sincerely,The TCT Magazine Team

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