When it debuted back in 2006 it became an instant classic and a decade later, Toyota is to say farewell to the retro-inspired FJ Cruiser. Plenty of tears will no doubt be shed over this one.
Taking cues from the legendary FJ40 such as the grille, two round headlights, wheel-arches and the rear-mounted and exposed full-size spare tyre, the rugged FJ Cruiser – which made its Middle East debut in 2008 - has been a massive success for Toyota. Developed as a capable off-roader combining plenty of utility for all types of activity be it the school run or flattening dunes, it’s become one of the most iconic models ever built by the Japanese giant.
It was first seen as a concept at the 2005 Chicago motor show and Toyota put it into production after overwhelming public interest in it. Many referred to it as the baby Hummer and it was easy to see why what with it boasting a similar blocky exterior. Powered by a 270bhp 4.0-litre V6 mated to a five-speed automatic (a six-speed manual was offered here too), its part-time four-wheel drive and electrically activated rear differential lock made it a hit with off-roaders – especially since it had the best approach and departure angles in the Toyota 4WD range, 36 and 31 degrees respectively. It truly had go anywhere capability just like the FJ40, first seen in 1960.
The FJ Cruiser was plenty safe too what with six airbags, vehicle stability control, anti-skid brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution. It even had active front-seat head restraints and a reversing camera while other neat features included rear parking sensors, rear fog lamps and privacy glass.
However, with sales taking a dip and the ever increasing emissions regulations, Toyota’s decided to call time on one of its best-ever models.