2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota FJ Cruiser Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 260 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser

  • It's not the most versatile choice available, but if distinctive looks and outstanding off-road ability are important to you in a midsize SUV, the 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser is hard to top.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Impressive off-road ability; distinctive interior and exterior styling; comfortable front seats.

  • Cons

    Limited visibility fore and aft; cramped rear seat with impeded entry and exit.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, the Toyota FJ Cruiser receives minor equipment changes, including upgraded standard audio system and better access to the rear seat, plus folding headrests for rear seat passengers. The Trail Teams Special Edition debuts later in the year, complete with Army Green paint, fortified underpinnings and water-resistant seats and floors.

Full 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Toyota FJ Cruiser receives minor equipment changes, including upgraded standard audio system and better access to the rear seat, plus folding headrests for rear seat passengers. The Trail Teams Special Edition debuts later in the year, complete with Army Green paint, fortified underpinnings and water-resistant seats and floors.


No doubt influenced by its forebears, the 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser nods to the old school, with its boxy shape and narrow-set headlights inspired by the design cues of the original, iconic FJ40 that came to America in the 1960s. And just like the old FJ, it is as tough and agile as a mountain goat thanks to a robust engine, a rugged chassis and a nimble off-road nature.

The FJ Cruiser hasn't changed much since its introduction four years ago. Of course, this means that its strengths and weaknesses haven't changed, either. While it offers reasonable maneuverability and comfort on either blacktop or dirt, the FJ's thick roof pillars and high hood line compromise visibility. Rear-seat ingress and egress is also awkward. Despite the increased folding angle for the front passenger seat in this year's model, climbing (key word) into the back is still hampered by small rear-access doors and a high step-in height. Well, this is a vehicle for sport, not limousine duty.

As midsize SUVs go, the 2011 FJ Cruiser has formidable competition. The 2011 Nissan Xterra has four conventional doors, so it's a better choice for those who want a capable off-roader with maximum daily versatility. And there's always the venerable 2011 Jeep Wrangler. Although not as refined or powerful as the FJ, it has four real doors (in the Unlimited model) and about the best off-road ability of anything with four wheels. That said, the 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser is still a serious piece of off-road kit and should satisfy anyone who wants a rugged rig with the boulder-crawling spirit.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser is a midsize SUV with standard-size front doors and smaller, rear-hinge half doors. It's offered in a single trim level with a list of standard features that includes 17-inch steel wheels, two-tone exterior paint, air-conditioning, power windows and locks, eight-way manual adjustment for the driver seat and a six-speaker audio system with CD/MP3 player, satellite radio, Bluetooth, auxiliary/USB jacks, iPod integration and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Options include a Convenience package that offers keyless entry, power side mirrors, cruise control, rear privacy glass, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera. The TRD package includes 16-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires and off-road-biased suspension tuning. The Upgrade Package #2 (oddly, there is no #1) features 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels, a full-size spare tire (with matching wheel), active traction control (4WD), a locking rear differential, rear park assist, a 120-volt AC outlet, an upgraded 11-speaker JBL audio system with six-CD changer, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, silver-tone cabin accents and additional gauges including an inclinometer and compass.

The All Terrain package (available on 4WD models) includes Bilstein shocks, a locking rear differential, active traction control and the additional gauges of the Upgrade package. The Trail Teams Special Edition will debut later in the model year and offer Army Green paint, black bumpers/grille/mirrors, water-resistant seats and floors, the features of the TRD and All Terrain packages, skid plates, rock rails, rearview camera, multiple power outlets and the JBL sound system.

Powertrains and Performance

Beneath the hood of the 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser is a 4.0-liter V6 good for 260 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. Both a five-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission are offered. FJs with manual transmissions are only available with a full-time four-wheel-drive system; models with automatic transmissions come with either two-wheel drive or a part-time 4WD system.

Towing capacity, at 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, is about average. Fuel economy ratings stand at 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined for the 4WD with the automatic transmission. The 4WD with the manual gearbox drops to 15/19/17, while the 2WD is 17/22/19.


Standard safety features include stability control, traction control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags and rollover-sensing side curtain airbags. In Edmunds testing, the Toyota FJ Cruiser came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet -- very good performance for an off-road SUV.

The Toyota FJ Cruiser has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings, however, (which aren't comparable to the new methodology) were a top five-star rating for driver safety in head-on collisions, while front passenger protection rated four stars. In side-impact testing, front and rear passenger protection received five stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the FJ its top score of "Good" for the vehicle's protection of occupants in frontal-offset and side-impact collisions. The roof strength test resulted in a second-best score of "Average."

Interior Design and Special Features

The FJ's retro-themed dash is color-keyed to match the exterior. Controls are placed within easy reach and are easy to find. The front seats are comfortable, but the rear compartment is a tight fit and requires a high step-up for entry. Wide roof pillars, small rear windows and a tailgate-mounted spare tire all contribute to poor rearward visibility. Front visibility is also less than optimal due to the FJ's high hood line.

The rear-access doors, like those on most extended-cab pickups, open rearward. Though this configuration offers a wide portal with both front and rear doors open, it's tiresome if you're frequently carting rear passengers, as the rear doors won't open with the front doors closed. This is a vehicle for sport, not for kids. With the rear seats folded, 67 cubic feet of cargo space is created.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser is in its element when off-road. With ample suspension articulation, it crawls over boulders, ruts and most other obstacles with ease. The FJ is also surprisingly good on pavement, offering precise steering and a smooth ride. But the boxy shape creates noticeable wind noise at highway speeds, and poor outward visibility can make parking or identifying off-road obstacles difficult. Acceleration from the V6 engine is brisk, particularly at low- and midrange speeds. Notably, the FJ does not require premium fuel.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Great truck!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 6M)

I bought the FJ used with around 9K and have put about 18K on it myself. Excellent, is about all I can say. It's what the FJCruiserForum folks refer to as the 2011 NSSE (not so special edition; check out threads if you want to know more). It did come with several amenities such as rack, JBL system plus woofer, TRD wheels and cat-back, TRD air-filter, auxiliary lights on bumper and roof air-dam, locking rear diff, and A-TRAC traction control; it's the army green version top & bottom (like the TT version). Drives extremely well on and off-road. I owned and loved my 2006 Nissan Xterra, but the FJ is twice the vehicle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The most reliable serious offroader

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I had a '99 Wrangler that was a piece of junk. The new Jeeps aren't that much better. I moved to Colorado for offroading and bought an FJ. Lifted, rock armor, winch, roof rack, the works. This truck is a tank. It goes everywhere I want with no reliability or performance issues. On-road performance is nice too because of the independent front suspension (the Jeep is still a solid front axle). I can beat this truck up for 7 hours on Chinaman Gulch near Buena Vista then set the cruise to 70 MPH while driving home on US 285 and do so in comfort. This is why the FJ is the #1 resale value vehicle in the country, I have no idea why they can only sell 13K of them a year.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great ride

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Purchased my 2011 FJ Cruiser early spring and have put almost 9,000 miles on it to date. Coming from a 2002 4Runner, the FJ is a lot more roomy and comfortable. I live on a dirt road and the FJ glides over the rough sections giving a very smooth, quiet and comfortable ride - better than my wife's 2011 Subaru Outback. My FJ has the upgraded sound system with sub in back - great sound and way too loud if I turn it up. The FJ has handled everything I've asked of it without issue. MPG running around 19 city, 21 highway at 75-80 mph. I have had no issues with it and don't expect to if it is like all the other Toyota's I've owned. My one improvement would be a power roll down rear window.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Fj bruiser

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I have the Trail Team Edition and love it. I get looks and comments on it all the time. I have around 5,000 miles on it and so far it has done what I expected. It rides great, has one of the best stereos I have ever heard, and feels like it could go over anything. The engine has great power and good low end grunt.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Love it!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I love this car. My favorite one yet. Drives great and is great off road. Stereo is really good too. I have the Trail Teams Edition one and get a lot of comments on how it looks. Its a lot of fun to own and my 3 dogs all over 95 lbs seem to love it too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

What a cool ride!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I have a loaded 2011 Iceberg white 4x4. My whole family loves the FJ. My kids say that it would make a great Transformer! I agree...We came up with the name 'Brutus.' There really isn't anything to not love about the FJ. It's super rugged, capable of tackling the street or offroad, and doing it with finesse. The interior is rugged and simple. I don't have any visibilty complaints, though without the back up camera, it would be tricky. Power seems to be about right, and fuel economy is excellent. Higher RPMs do sound a little harsh. Build quality is fantastic and I love the crash test results. It's like you're driving a tank.

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2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser Discussions See all Started By

6. 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser (21)...

But the Prius and the Scion, as well as the rather over-designed FJ Cruiser made me think Toyota is getting a bit younger and more stylish....

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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