The Toyota FJ Cruiser, which uniquely melds the brand’s off-road performance legacy with distinct heritage design in a modern SUV, rolls into 2013 with a new color scheme choice for the high-capability Trail Teams Special Edition. Even with its considerable off-road capability, the FJ Cruiser offers comfortable everyday usability and Toyota reliability.
The Trail Teams Special Edition Package incorporates a standard Off-Road Package and features a new color, Cement Grey, which replaces Radiant Red. With the optional Class Four receiver hitch, the FJ Cruiser can pull a trailer up to 4,700 pounds (per SAE, J2807 regulations), enough to take the fun with it, such as a pair of watercraft, a powerboat, dirt bikes or even a racecar.
On pavement or off, the 2013 FJ Cruiser offers convenient audio and connectivity features. New for 2013, the FJ Cruiser gains standard power outside mirrors with illuminated markers, and a new Magma Red exterior color.
Trail Teams Special Edition
The 2013 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition sports a monotone Cement Grey exterior and projects a tough, slightly menacing look, accentuated by black bumpers, front grille and door handles. Matching Cement Grey accents on the door trim, steering wheel and fabric seat inserts complement the exterior styling.
The Trail Teams’ styling compliments its off-road capability. Under the hood, a cyclone pre-air cleaner (standard on all models) is effective at trapping sand and dirt, while being easy to clean. The Trail Teams package beefs up chassis performance with trail-tuned Bilstein® shock absorbers; rear differential lock and the Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) system; engine, fuel tank and transfer cases; skid plates; rock rails; plus Toyota Racing Development (TRD) alloy wheels and BF Goodrich 265/75R16 All-Terrain tires with wheel locks.
The Trail Teams Edition also preps the FJ Cruiser’s body and interior for serious off-road driving. The power-side mirrors feature illumination markers, and the auto-dimming rear-view mirror integrates a backup-camera monitor. The water-resistant seats, rubber-type floor and rear deck make it easy to clean the “trail” out of the Trail Teams Edition, while 12V,DC/120W and 120V,AC/400W outlets enable the driver to keep “plugged in” to civilization when necessary. New TRD aluminum doorsill scuff plates stand up to wear and mud; and an aluminum shift knob and transfer case knob add to the rugged interior design.
In addition, the Trail Teams Edition comes ready for road and trail with a “floating ball” type multi-information display, remote keyless entry, cruise control, rear privacy glass and rear wiper. The final touch is a Trail Teams exterior badge.
Performance and Efficiency
The FJ Cruiser is powered by DOHC, 4.0-liter V6 engine that specifies regular-grade fuel. This powerful, responsive V6 incorporates dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i = variable phasing for both the intake and exhaust cams) and produces 260 horsepower and 271 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The broad torque curve facilitates easy cruising on or off-road. The FJ Cruiser meets the stringent LEV II/Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions certification.
The 2013 FJ Cruiser is available in 4×2 or 4×4 configurations. The 4×4 offers a choice between a six-speed manual transmission and an electronically shifted five-speed automatic transmission; the 4×2 model is equipped exclusively with the five-speed automatic. The automatic transmission varies the shifting pattern based on road conditions and driver input.
A Flex Lock-Up feature allows the clutch in the torque converter to maintain a half-engaged position, enhancing fuel efficiency and increasing the lock-up clutch’s operational range. The driver can manually shift the automatic transmission using a console-mounted, gate-type shift lever. The gearshift position is also displayed in the instrument panel.
Capability, Handling and Ride
The FJ Cruiser’s two-speed transfer case provides a 2.566 low range. With the manual transmission, the transfer case uses a TORSEN® limited-slip center differential with a locking feature and distributes the engine’s power 40:60 under most driving conditions. The TORSEN unit varies power distribution as needed, based on steering angle and wheel slippage. In the Lock position, the differential switches to a 50:50 power distribution.
The 4×4 FJ Cruiser with the automatic transmission employs a part-time four-wheel drive system with a 3.727:1 rear differential ratio and provides a 33.76:1 crawl ratio. With the manual transmission, the front and rear differential ratio is a lower 3.909:1 for a crawl ratio of 41.84:1, an attribute that helped the FJ Cruiser traverse California’s famed Rubicon Trail.
An electronic-locking rear differential is standard with the manual transmission and optional with the automatic transmission. The ring gears in the 4×4 FJ Cruiser’s front and rear differentials measure eight inches. The 4×2 model comes standard with a virtual automatic limited-slip differential, provided and operated by an advanced traction-control system to enhance traction of both rear wheels in slippery driving conditions.
Toyota engineered the FJ Cruiser for serious trail driving capability. Its tough, wide stance is based on a boxed steel ladder-braced frame to which the welded steel body is mounted. Skid plates for the engine, transfer case (4×4 models only) and fuel tank are standard. Double-wishbone independent front suspension offers 7.87 inches of wheel travel for outstanding suspension articulation. Its geometry is optimized for excellent road feel and ride comfort.
The solid rear axle uses a four-link coil-spring suspension system with a lateral rod, tubular shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar. This system provides 9.1 inches of wheel travel. The four-wheel disc brake system uses ventilated 12.6-inch front and 12.3-inch rear rotors. The FJ Cruiser employs a variable-ratio, hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering system. Standard wheels are 17-inch steel with P265/70 R17 tires; aluminum-alloy wheels are available.
With the FJ Cruiser’s standard 32-inch tires, ground clearance is 9.6 inches (8.7 inches for 4×2 models). Approach and departure angles are 34 degrees and 31 degrees, respectively, for the 4×4 model, and 32/30 for the 4×2. Maximum towing capacity with the optional Class Four receiver hitch is 4,700 pounds.
The FJ Cruiser’s comprehensive standard safety package includes front seat-mounted side airbags, and first- and second-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags. A front driver and passenger Advanced Airbag System deploys based on impact type and severity.
Additionally, the FJ Cruiser is equipped with active headrests for the front seats. In certain rear collisions, a cable-actuated mechanism in the active headrest moves the headrest upward and forward to help limit the movement of the occupant’s head. The LATCH child-restraint system secures child seats.
As with all Toyota models, the FJ Cruiser is standard equipped with Toyota’s STAR Safety System that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST), Toyota’s brake override system. The roll-sensing side-curtain airbags can detect a potential rollover and signal the VSC system to help reduce a lateral skid. In addition, the rollover sensor can signal the standard seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags to deploy.