What Changed for 2009:
- Active headrests to combat possible whiplash
- Rollover sensor
- Driver-side vanity mirror
- Three new colors
- Updated convenience package
- Daytime headlamps now a stand-alone option
The FJ Cruiser was added to Toyota's U.S. model lineup for 2007. Developed with a younger audience in mind, this 5-passenger SUV's retro styling recalls the Toyota FJ40s of the 1960s. With its body-on-frame construction and choice of rear- or 4-wheel drive (RWD or 4WD, the latter complete with a 2-speed transfer case), the FJ Cruiser is designed to be durable enough for serious off-road driving, while retaining civilized on-road manners, according to Toyota.
First introduced in 1960, the Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser was designed to be a serious piece of off-road hardware in the same vein as the original Jeeps and Land Rovers. The FJ40 was a no-frills, no-nonsense, no-holds-barred 4x4, and Toyota produced it well into the early 1980s. The FJ40 is still sought after by serious off-road enthusiasts. Now that the Land Cruiser has evolved into more of a luxury yacht than a jungle-crusher, Toyota seeks to revive the FJ40's spirit with the FJ Cruiser.
The FJ Cruiser's styling, particularly in front, clearly recalls the original FJ40, as do the color choices. Simple, non-metallic colors combined with a white roof recall the limited palette of the original FJ40, though it's doubtful that the old FJ40 would be found with amenities such as vehicle stability control (VSC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), air conditioning, power windows and locks, and a CD player, all of which are standard on the FJ Cruiser.
Only one model of the 2009 Toyota FJ Cruiser is offered. It includes air conditioning, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, power windows and locks, rear-window defogger, manually adjusting front seats, and tilt steering. The side-access door opens 90 degrees to allow access to the back seat. New for the 2009 model year are three new colors: non-metallic black, silver and Iceberg White.
All 2009 Toyota FJ Cruisers are powered by a 4.0-liter V-6 engine producing 239 hp and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. RWD models are available only with a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the 4x4 offers a choice of the 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission. Automatic 4x4s get a part-time 4WD system, while manual-transmission models enjoy a full-time 4WD system with a lockable limited-slip center differential. Vehicles with an automatic transmission allow manual shifting with the gated shifter. An optional Class IV towing package allows the FJ Cruiser to tow up to 5000 pounds. The optional Off-Road package adds 16-inch alloy wheels with BFG Rugged Trail tires, Bilstein shocks, Cyclone pre-air cleaner, and a rear differential that works with the FJ's Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) setup.
As with other Toyota SUVs, the Star Safety System on the 2009 FJ Cruiser includes dual front air bags, side-mounted side air bags, 2-row side curtain air bags, stability control, traction control, and ABS. All are standard equipment. For 2009, that list of standard safety equipment expands, with active headrests designed to mitigate whiplash forces should the FJ Cruiser be struck from behind, and a rollover sensor that triggers air bags to enhance protection should the vehicle be knocked onto its side, Toyota says. Also new for 2009 is an expanded convenience package that now includes the option of a backup camera.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2009 Toyota FJ Cruiser receives 5 stars (the agency's highest rating) in frontal crash testing for the driver and 4 stars for the front passenger. It also rates 5 stars for side-impact scores for both front- and rear-seat occupants. The FJ Cruiser receives 3 stars for rollover resistance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2008 FJ Cruiser \"Good