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2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Last updated 6 years ago


Who Needs Roads When You Have Dirt?



The threat of snow can mean a lot of things for Baltimore residents. Some worry about road conditions during their commute to work and some (this one is for you kids) do their snow dances all night, hoping that school will be cancelled the next morning. At Jerry’s we did exactly what current FJ Cruiser owners do at the thought of a big snow storm. We put on our snow boots and hoped for the worse!

While we didn’t get the snow necessary to really have some fun with this bad boy, we did get to take it out on the road and play around with it. What we found is that the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser is not just fun to look at, it's also VERY fun to drive. Plus its dependability makes it fit right at home with the Toyota family.

The FJ Cruiser has maintained many of the same features that made us like it back in '07. It features a thick chassis, as well as a wide angle of approach and departure (which indicates a vehicle's ability to drive off a ramp or obstacle without damaging the vehicle’s body). The 2012 FJ Cruiser also has an available locking rear differential, to help make it a great off roading vehicle.

Body Styles and Trim Level

The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser is a four door, five-passenger SUV. It features two regular front doors and two half-sized hinged doors in the rear.

The 2012 FJ Cruise is offered in one trim level and it comes standard with 17-inch black steel wheels. On the inside of the vehicle there is an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, water-resistant cloth upholstery and heavy-duty vinyl flooring.

As far as entertainment goes the 2012 FJ Cruiser is equipped with a six-speaker sound system that you can be used to blast music out of the CD player or from the iPod/USB audio interface or auxiliary audio jack. Lastly the FJ Cruiser is equipped with Bluetooth, satellite radio and steering wheel controls.

Under The Hood

Each 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser comes equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 that is able to produce 260 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. It has standard rear-wheel drive and can be equipped to feature a five-speed automatic transmission and a limited-slip differential.

The FJ Cruiser features two available 4WD systems. The first is a part-time system that comes on the five-speed automatic, while the other is a full-time system attached to a six-speed manual along with a locking rear differential.

The FJ Cruisers EPA-estimated fuel economy as an automatic with 4WD is 17 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined -- typical for off-road SUVs. The manual 4WD FJ Cruiser gets 15/18/16, and the rear-drive FJ gets 17/20/19.



What the 2012 FJ Cruiser lacks in trims it makes up with its optional packages.

The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruise is offered with a number of available packages, depending on your region.

The Convenience package does exactly what the title suggests, make it more convenient and easier to use. This package adds power mirrors, a rear wiper, keyless entry, cruise control, a rearview camera as well as adding an auto dimmer to the rearview mirror. Other additions include a rear privacy glass, a rear wiper and a spare tire cover.

Next up we have the Upgrade package which adds an upgraded traction control system for the four-wheel-drive models as well as an electronically controlled locking rear

differential, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, extra gauge and trip computer functions and an 11-speaker JBL sound system that is equipped with a six-CD changer.  The Upgrade package also adds 17-inch alloy wheels, which are also available separately.

The Off-Road package adds Bilstein shock absorbers, the locking rear differential and the upgraded traction-control system and the extra gauges mentioned above.

The TRD package adds special 16-inch alloy wheels, BFGoodrich off-road tires and different Bilstein shock absorbers.

Aside from the above mentioned packages the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser has a number of noteworthy dealer-installed accessories including a large roof rack, a cargo cover and rock rails. Other additions include accessory driving lights and a passenger armrest. The incredible optional packages and additional accessories makes the FJ Cruiser a very customizable vehicle, that can be made to suit the driver.


The 2012 FJ Cruiser is standard equipped with antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, front seat side airbags, active front head restraints and side curtain airbags.

Interior Design and Ergonomics

The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruise has an awesome retro-themed dash that is color-keyed to match the car’s exterior. Controls are placed within easy reach and are easy to find and see which makes the vehicle very ergonomic. It offers a generous 67 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Driving Impression

The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser is able to drive over most obstacles with ease, making it a wonderful off road vehicle. However driving it is not strictly an off roading vehicle, as it was surprisingly good on pavement. The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser offers precise steering and a very smooth ride, which by comparison, puts the Jeep Wrangler to shame.

One thing that we noticed is that the 2012 FJ  did not have the greatest outward visibility, however after driving it for a while it was hardly noticeable. Still, for the next models Toyota should look into expanding visibility.



This is a vehicle unlike many other off road ready SUV’s. It offers a perfect balance in comfort and off roading power and has enough features to make the Jeep Wrangler look basic.

If you love having a little fun off the pavement, are looking for a comfortable ride with great options then look no further than the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser. We promise you, this is a car for sport, not kids.



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