Toyota FJ Cruiser
The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser comes in a single trim level, with choice between rear-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive. Rear-wheel-drive versions come only with a 5-speed automatic transmission, while 4-wheel-drive versions can be equipped with either that or a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The V6 makes 260 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, with the dual independent variable valve timing allowing strong low-rev torque for off-roading exploits. Manual-transmission versions with 4-wheel drive get a system that distributes 60 percent of power to the rear wheels under most conditions but can be locked to a 50/50 split. With the automatic transmission there's a separate part-time 4WD system--allowing better gas mileage when you're commuting or driving on the highway in clear conditions. Both versions include a separate low range for low-speed rock crawling, and all manual versions get a locking rear differential while that's optional with the automatic. Rear-wheel-drive versions get a limited-slip rear differential to help, with the included electronic stability and traction control, get the surest footing possible.
The FJ Cruiser is a true truck, with body-on-frame construction and a boxed steel ladder-braced frame. A 4-link coil-spring rear suspension with solid axle and a double-wishbone front suspension, together 4-wheel disc brakes, hydraulic power rack-and-pinion steering altogether provide maneuverability and relatively responsive handling on the road, combined with some of the strongest off-road ability in a stock SUV.
Altogether, the FJ with its standard tires has 9.6 inches of ground clearance plus approach (34 degrees) and departure (31 degrees) angles. Towing capacity rates up to 4,700 pounds.
The FJ Cruiser doesn't completely forgo comfort. With an 8-way-adjustable driver's seat, most will be able to get comfortable in front and have a good view out. And in back, a 60/40-split rear seatback with removable bottom cushions can be folded to a nearly flat cargo floor. In the cargo area there are cargo-net hooks, bag hooks, and cargo tie-down points.
Standard features on the FJ Cruiser include air conditioning, power windows, locks, and mirrors, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, a rear defogger and a 6-speaker sound system with USB port, iPod interface and Bluetooth streaming audio.
The special Trail Teams Edition, slotting between SR5 and Limited models, in 4WD only, adds various exterior and interior equipment that's of use to off-roaders, such as special Bilstein off-road shocks, TRD alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, a rear differential lock in combination with the A-TRAC traction system, additional skid plates, rock rails, illuminated side-marker lamps, an AC outlet and a backup camera monitor (part of the auto-dimming rearview mirror), as well as a 'floating ball' multi-information display, TRD aluminum doorsill scuff plates and an aluminum shift knob. From the outside, the model is easy to pick out from the crowd, thanks to its new Cement Gray paint scheme, with black bumpers and blacked-out grille and door handles.