The Toyota FJ Cruiser will start appearing in dealers’ showrooms in Australia late next month. Early next month I’m of to the press launch of the FJ Cruiser and I’m really looking forward getting behind the wheel and seeing what this 4WD can do.
Now I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that something that looks like this does is not really going to be a serious 4WD. Up until now what marketing Toyota has done here in Australia for the FJ Cruiser has seemed to target a younger market … the type who might want to take a vehicle like this on a surfing trip so they can do some beach bashing in it.
If that’s the impression that you might have gained about the Toyota FJ Cruiser then the lasted information that Toyota has released about this vehicle might change your mind.
Sure it’s all bright and shiny and doesn’t look like the sort of 4WD you might want to take away into the bush but don’t let all that bright shiny paintwork and trendy body panels fool you.
The FJ Cruiser has the best departure and break-over angles in the Toyota 4WD range – 31 and 29 degrees respectively. Its approach angle of 36 degrees is bettered only by the 70 Series.
Larger angles can allow a vehicle to negotiate steeper climbs or descents without having parts of the vehicle body, such as the bumpers, make contact with the ground.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser also provides good ground clearance under the rear differential and vital chassis components – a minimum of 224mm, second only to the LandCruiser 200 Series.
And those big 17-inch wheels and short overhangs – 865mm at the front and 1115mm at the rear – contribute to the FJ Cruiser’s off-road prowess.
A vehicle’s break-over angle is particularly important for off-road transitions from a level area into a descent and from a climb to flat ground.
A good departure angle can enable a driver who has overshot a turn-off on a steep, narrow track to return in reverse, rather than doing a three-point turn.
And just to reinforce the idea that the Toyota FJ Cruiser is a serious off-road vehicle in the minds of us scribblers, Toyota is taking us into some rough country in South Australia so they can show us just what this bright and shiny 4WD can really do.