2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 20, 2013
  • Trail Teams Special Edition package adds off-road capabilities
  • New colors are available on certain trim levels
  • 6.1-inch touch-screen display now standard on upper trim levels
  • SUV can tow up to 5,000 pounds
  • Two 4WD systems are available


The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a body-on-frame midsize SUV, known for its off-road capabilities and its distinctive profile. It offers a high ground clearance and two types of 4-wheel drive (4WD) in addition to rear-wheel drive (2WD). The Toyota FJ Cruiser competes with SUVs such as the Jeep Wrangler and Nissan Xterra that emphasize off-roading. The FJ Cruiser is available in a single trim level, with various option packages. Changes for the 2013 model year include a Trail Teams Special Edition package, plus new exterior colors.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser is offered in a choice of six standard exterior colors--black, white, Army Green, Cavalry Blue, Quicksand, and Magma Red--plus a premium grey paint available with the Trail Teams Special Edition package. Standard equipment includes 17-inch steel wheels, painted black.

Interior Features

Standard interior features on the Toyota FJ Cruiser include power windows with driver's side auto up/down; air conditioning with air filter and rear-seat vents; cloth upholstery; 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat; 6-speaker sound system (including 2 speakers in the headliner) with satellite radio, auxiliary jack, USB port, and hands-free phone capability; water-resistant fabric-trimmed 60/40-split fold-down tumble rear seat with removable bottom cushion and folding headrests on outboard seats; heavy-duty flooring; 4 assist grips; 4 cupholders and two bottle holders. Storage space with the rear seats folded is 67 cubic feet.

Optional Features

Several option packages are available. The Convenience package includes cruise control, keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear privacy glass, rear wiper, and a spare tire cover. The Upgrade package upgrades the traction control system on 4WD models and adds rear park-assist sensors and 17-inch alloy wheels. The package also includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an 11-speaker JBL sound system, plus a somewhat more elaborate cluster of gauges. The Off-Road package includes Bilstein shock absorbers and locking rear differential (for 4WD models). The TRD (Toyota Racing Development) package includes off-road tires and 16-inch alloy wheels, plus Bilstein shocks. The Trail Teams Special Edition includes the TRD features plus an upgraded suspension, an electronically controlled locking rear differential, rock rails, large roof rack, and most of the Convenience and Upgrade features. Individual options include alloy wheel locks, exhaust tip, hood protector, paint protection film, roof rack, rock rails, spare tire cover, ashtray, various cargo organizers, passenger armrest, security system, first aid kit, and rear storage net.

Under the Hood

The Toyota FJ Cruiser's standard engine is a 4.0-liter, 260-horsepower V-6 model that produces 271 lb.-ft. of torque. The FJ Cruiser is available in 2WD, full-time 4WD, or part-time two-level 4WD. The part-time 4WD and the 2WD models are fitted with a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the full-time 4WD system features a 6-speed manual transmission and a locking rear differential. The FJ Cruiser features an independent, high-mounted, coil-spring double-wishbone suspension with stabilizer bar up front; the rear gets a 4-link suspension with lateral rod, coil springs and stabilizer bar.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser are:

  • FJ Cruiser with RWD: 16/20/18 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • FJ Cruiser with 4WD and manual transmission: 15/18/16 mpg
  • FJ Cruiser with 4WD and automatic transmission: 17/20/18 mpg


Standard safety features on the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, and a complement of 6 air bags.

In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 FJ Cruiser received "Good" ratings--the Institute's highest--for frontal-offset and side-impact protection, and "Acceptable" for roof strength.
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