I got a lot done during the week I had the 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser, logging over 1,200km – not all of it on the road. (It’s name is a hat-tip to Toyota’s earlier go-anywhere Land Cruiser series from the ’60s.) I can honestly say there are more practical vehicles for getting from A to B. But A is for average and B, boring.
In the city, gearheads will approach you and start babbling
Considering it weighs 4,335 pounds, parking is easier than you’d think. Or maybe because of it. You can go pretty much anywhere you please. Only thing is, wherever we went, guys approach and start talking nav systems, inclinometers, and floating ball info displays.
A gearhead’s wet dream, this beast is awash in gadgets. You’ll notice that the shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive isn’t practical in the city (except for making friends) but in the country? Read on!
On the highway
First, I took my family to Montreal, a tedious 6 hours. There wasn’t much room in the car for luggage – but the towering roof rack rocked. (It tops out at over 2 meters. Avoid parking garages!) The ride is comfortable enough on the highway and you miss nothing from that high up. But it squeezes out just 9.6 litres per 100km.
Solution? Get off the highway.
Take your new gearhead friends out for some fun. It has the power and torque to drag half the city into the country with you. My friend Jay’s boat weighs half a ton – could have dragged two – and I wanted to help him put it away for winter but he’d already done it (with another Japanese manufacturer’s luxury crossover). Nonetheless I’d made the trip to his farm, so we took a tour.
The FJ Cruiser’s wheelbase is almost 2.7 metres. Its tires are 17 inches wide. The front and back suspensions feature gas shock absorbers, coil springs and stabilizer bars. Translation? You don’t need a flat surface to move.
We trekked and bumped through his fields, getting stuck once, climbed an abandoned ski hill and then, like Maria from The Sound of Music, we actually forded a stream. This is not a vehicle for getting from A to B but it did bring us back to doe.
MSRP Starts at $31,900, but do load up on toys