Baby with an unapologetic attitude

The all-new Toyota FJ Cruiser 2012 is a reincarnation of the much coveted Land Cruiser and it has just entered the Namibia motor market at Pupkewitz Toyota as the ‘baby’ of the Land Cruiser family and as the more luxury type of SUV.

In its own right, it can be placed in the same class of general heavy weights like the Range Rover Vogue, Jeep Wrangler and the Hummer 3, because of its sporty look and the incredible off-road abilities. And trust me, it is not that much of a ‘baby’ as it can tow up to 1500kgs!

What’s in a name, people may ask? In this case, FJ in FJ Cruiser simply means the ‘F’ designates of the engine type, with regard to fuel while the ‘J’ stands for Jeep. The original Toyota jeep was called the BJ (built for the US during the Korean War) but was later renamed the Land Cruiser. The FJ Cruiser comes in two models; one being the FJ Cruiser while the other is the FJ Sport Cruiser and they both come in automatic.

ENTER FJ CRUISER

A rugged, sporty compact-sized off-roader is what you get at the first glance of an FJ Cruiser. It makes its mark with the unique signature of a white roof, which is featured on all the models and it comes at a gross vehicle mass of 2510kg. The front incorporates black bumpers with silver trims. The bull bar and other accessories come as extras on the vehicle, like the tow bar and the fog lights.

The exterior windscreen is armed with three wipers, which one rarely seen on any vehicle and this can be attributed to the fact that this is an off-roader vehicle that encounters harsh off-road conditions and has to keep the screen clear.

The FJ Cruiser is uniquely equipped with five doors; two doors and two rear doors termed ‘suicide doors’, which open in opposite directions. Lastly, there’s the boot door with a spare wheel cover integrated with a reverse camera; one of the very impressive features on this vehicle. This ‘baby’ comes equipped with 17-inch heavy duty alloy wheels suitable for both on and off-road performance. It also has a ground clearance of 245mm; the highest in the Land Cruiser family.

UNDER THE HOOD

Equipped with 4.0-litre V6 4x4 engine with a fuel tank capacity of 72L, it ensures both a power-packed cruiser as well as the ability to go on, on and off-road experiences consuming 11.4L/100km. It also has maximum power (kW@r/min) of 200 @5600 whilst maximum torque is 380@4400.

This rugged cruiser uses the electronic fuel injection (EFI) while the transmission is a five-speed automatic on all models.

As for the environment’s sake, the SUV has carbon dioxide emissions of 267g/km, which is fairly eco-friendly. The FJ has a maximum speed of 180km/hr but the speed is regulated so it is pegged at 175km/hr.

INSIDE THE RUGGED CRUISER

Don’t be fooled by the exterior, this vehicle is laced with an interior that screams ‘comfort’. The front seats are spacious yet do not compromise the comfort of passengers seated at the back. The seat trim is leather so is the steering wheel which again, is your state-of-the-art technologically fit steering wheel as it includes audio, cruise control and Bluetooth switches.

The interior is also lined with FJ carpet set that is rubberised, making it easy to clean. The dashboard is also accompanied by an audio system that has RDS, CD/MP3 player and six speakers. It also has a 12-volt accessory connector. When it comes to security features, the FJ has a variety of these including the ABS and the BAS. This ‘baby’ also has a vehicle stability control as well as driver and passenger front and side airbags.

A fascinating feature yet again is the back sonar and ultrasonic sensors that detect objects behind you thus reducing the risk of accidents. For extra security, the car has power door locks and an immobiliser.

EXIT FJ CRUISER

All in all, this unapologetic small SUV generally meets the qualities of an SUV. It comes with a five-year service plan of over 90 000km and a three-year warranty of over 100 000km.

Price tag is pegged at $N435 500; pure change for serious motor enthusiasts. PF