Happy Trails to Toyota’s FJ Cruiser

by | Nov 6, 2013

I remember when the FJ Cruiser was originally introduced. Mary and I really liked it and wanted to buy one so we headed down to a local Toyota dealer (that is no longer in business) and there it sat in all it’s retro glory.  But the salesman told us that we could not drive it or even sit in it because “it was a VIP car” and evidently we were, in the words of Wayne and Garth, “not worthy.” Only through the kindness of Toyota USA where was I able to drive an FJ Cruiser on an off-road course at the SEMA show and was impressed.  I have a feeling that maybe you don’t have to be a VIP to own the final year’s version of the FJ.


The 2014 Trail Teams Ultimate Edition shown at SEMA is a special edition of the FJ Cruiser with a limited production of 2,500  and ends its production at the conclusion of the 2014 model year. The FJ Ultimate Edition pays tribute to the iconic Land Cruiser FJ40 of the 1960’s, which the FJ Cruiser draws its DNA, inspiration and design.  A white painted front grille surround and newly developed “Heritage Blue” paint are reminiscent of the classic FJ40.

A race-inspired Toyota Racing Development (TRD) off-road suspension was developed and tuned for the Ultimate Edition. The new suspension includes Bilstein race shocks with increased damping, articulation and high speed stability. The front shock assemblies are 66mm with new TRD race coil springs, which raise the front of the FJ just enough to level out the stance and improve the approach angle.  The rear shocks are 50mm and are equipped with remote reservoirs to decrease damping fade.

A newly developed TRD front skid plate, made from one-quarter-inch thick aluminum plate comes standard on the Ultimate Edition. The TRD stamped front skid plate not only looks great,but improves approach angle and provides an increased level of underbody protection. TRD 16-inch bead lock wheels with BF Goodrich A/T KO tires, rock rails and roof rack complete the exterior.

The Ultimate Edition FJ Cruiser is only available in 4×4 and comes standard with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Crawl Control (CRAWL available with automatic transmission only), Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) with off switch and electronically controlled locking rear differential.  In addition, the Toyota Star Safety System is standard.

With sales of more than 200,000 units sold since 2006, the FJ rides into the sunset leaving lasting memories of one of the most iconic vehicles in Toyota’s rich SUV history.