Toyota steals the 2005 Chicago Auto Show with its new retro SUV
Photo 1 -- Exterior FrontThe new 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser looks more than tough - it is tough, thanks to a foundation and powertrain shared with the current 4Runner SUV. Shorter in length and wheelbase than the 4Runner, the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser is a two-door SUV with rear access panels like a Honda Element, but is designed for serious off-roading. Judging by the 4Runner's capability in the rough, combined with the FJ Cruiser's greater approach and departure angles, 9.6 inches of ground clearance, standard skid plate, optional locking rear differential, and 17-inch 265/70 all-terrain tires, it appears that Toyota is splitting the difference in terms of capability between the Element and the Nissan Xterra. And like the Element and Xterra, Toyota offers the FJ Cruiser with rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive.
The 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser arrives in dealer showrooms in early 2006, at a price yet to be set. Toyota promises extraordinary value in the FJ Cruiser, and though plans are to build 40,000 units annually, the company thinks it will be an easy sell-out. Based on what we saw in Chicago - an authentic, unique, expressive, value-laden SUV - we have little reason to doubt that the FJ Cruiser will be a tremendous hit.
Chicago's Second City comedy troupe faked a newscast during the introduction of the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. The simple-minded automotive journalism community was easily amused and excited by free swag like camouflage canteens spiffy FJ Cruiser T-shirts.
Could the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser be any more retro? The front end strongly recalls the legendary FJ 40 of the 1970s - the one that looked like a Jeep CJ, but wasn't. Under the hood is a 245-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 engine. Note the white-capped roof, just like the FJ 40.
Photo 3 -- Exterior Side
The 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser features rear access panels like the Honda Element to access the back seat.
Photo 4 -- Exterior Rear
Based on the same foundation as the 4Runner, the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser is shorter and features increased angles of approach and departure for true off-roading capability. A locking rear differential is optional.
Photo 5 -- Headlight
Round headlights and old-school turn signals on the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser look almost identical to the classic FJ 40.
Photo 6 -- Grille
It's been a long time since a Toyota grille has worn a badge that spells out the company's name.
Photo 7 -- Wheel
The 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser features standard 17-inch wheels and tires. These brushed aluminum alloy rims are optional.
Photo 8 -- Exterior Rear
A full-size spare is standard on the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser, mounted to a rear tailgate that features a flip-up rear window.
Photo 9 -- Exterior Rear
Wrap-around rear windows are one of several design cues that tie the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser to the original FJ 40.