Farewell, Old Friend: A Tribute to the Toyota FJ Cruiser
As we bid farewell to 2014, we must also bid farewell to Toyota’s quirky off-roader—the FJ Cruiser. This serious SUV is being discontinued after 2014, so chances are if you haven’t bought one this year, you’ve missed out. The FJ Cruiser had its quirks—it was somewhat impractical, pretty inefficient, and expensive compared to its competition—but boy, did we love that boxy vehicle. As a tribute, we want to take a moment to look back at the FJ Cruiser and see just what made it so incredible.
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The FJ Cruiser was first introduced back in 2006, with styling and performance based on the classic FJ40 Land Cruisers. This was a true SUV in what would become a sea of crossovers. Production of the FJ40 Land Cruiser had ended in 1984, and enthusiasts saw a gaping hole appear in Toyota’s lineup in its place. When the FJ Cruiser concept made its first appearance at the North American International Auto Show in 2003, enthusiasts leapt for job, especially when it became apparent that this car was destined for production.
From the beginning, Toyota made it clear that the FJ Cruiser would be a one-generation vehicle. The SUV enjoyed success from 2006-2014—a good run for a single generation. Through its lifespan, the FJ Cruiser had many variants, including the TRD Special Edition FJ Cruiser, the Trail Teams Special Edition, the FJ-S Concept, and the Trail Teams Ultimate Edition. The latter was one last special edition designed as a farewell to what had become one of the most recognizable vehicles on the road.
Although the FJ Cruiser was still appealing to many drivers, sales had dwindled enough that Toyota decided it was time to say goodbye. So that’s what we will do—but we’re sure that we’ll still be spotting the FJ Cruiser regularly, and it’ll soon become a classic icon on its own.
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