2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser Review

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List Price Range:$16,900 - $29,995
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Toyota FJ Cruiser model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Impressive off-road ability, distinctive interior and exterior styling, comfortable front seats, strong crash test scores.
  • Limited visibility fore and aft, cramped rear seat with impeded entry and exit.

Though not the best midsize SUV in terms of versatility, the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser more than makes up for it thanks to its distinctive style and superior off-road ability.

Vehicle overview

In the science fiction TV show Stargate SG-1, a small U.S. Air Force military team uses an ancient alien device to travel to other worlds. The team's adventures typically entail going to other planets, shooting guns, speaking to inhabitants who strangely speak English and saving Earth from otherwise certain destruction. All good stuff, really. But here in the real world, we don't have a Stargate or even Richard Dean Anderson at the ready to reach faraway places for adventure. What we do have is the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Now in its second year, the FJ Cruiser is the modern reincarnation of the legendary "FJ" series of Toyota's Land Cruiser. The old FJ 4x4 was known for its rugged capabilities and durability and has become a very popular classic SUV. Stylistically, the FJ Cruiser pays homage to the old model via a squared-off stance, close-set round headlights, a retro-look Toyota grille badge and an offset rear license plate. It's a look that screams "I'm ready to go rhinoceros hunting," or if you're a Stargate fan, "I'm ready to scale the mighty dunes of Abydos!"

Though carlike crossovers are increasingly popular with consumers, the FJ maintains the SUV tradition of truck-based heritage and true off-road ability. It's related to the Tacoma pickup, and relatively compact dimensions, a torquey V6 engine, stout underpinnings and plenty of ground clearance and wheel travel allow the FJ to be one of the best off-roading rigs you can drive off the showroom floor. Yet it is surprisingly maneuverable around town on wild adventures to Best Buy.

This dedication to off-road performance and style does come at the expense of some utility. The vehicle's outward visibility is poor even by SUV standards, and its rearward-opening doors aren't as convenient as one might think. As such, you might find the FJ's main competitors, the Hummer H3, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Nissan Xterra to be a little better in terms of daily-use versatility. But the FJ's faults are pretty easy to overlook given how enjoyable it is to drive and own. For an adventure vehicle, it doesn't get much better than the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser -- unless of course, you have access to a Stargate.

2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser models

The 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser midsize SUV comes in one body style, essentially a two-door SUV with a pair of smaller, reverse-opening doors behind the standard front ones. There is a single trim level that comes with 17-inch black steel wheels, a two-tone exterior paint scheme, air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo, power windows and locks, eight-way manual adjustment for the driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Options include a convenience package that includes keyless entry, power side mirrors, cruise control, rear privacy glass and rear park assist. There are also two "Upgrade" packages that add features such as alloy wheels, a locking rear differential, an upgraded audio system with a six-CD changer and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a 115-volt power outlet, active traction control (4WD models only) and an information display that includes a compass and inclinometer. A Garmin portable navigation system that mounts above the gauges is now available. This year's new All-Terrain package includes special 16-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, Bilstein shock absorbers, an additional engine air filter and a locking rear differential that's optimized with the stability control system for better rock-crawling performance.

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2008 Highlights

An all-new model last year, the Toyota FJ Cruiser rolls into 2008 with minimal changes. Last year's optional side and side-curtain airbags are now standard. The TRD Special Edition model is no more, but much of its additional equipment is now contained in a new off-road package.

Performance & mpg

Powering all 2008 FJ Cruisers is Toyota's refined workhorse 4.0-liter V6. In this application, it makes 239 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. FJ Cruiser buyers can choose between a five-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission. Most automatic-equipped FJs will come with a part-time four-wheel-drive system, though Toyota also has a two-wheel-drive version available. Vehicles equipped with the manual have a full-time 4WD system. In our testing, a 4WD automatic FJ Cruiser went from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Towing capacity, at 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, is about average, as is fuel economy. A 2008 FJ Cruiser automatic has a 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway rating.


Stability control, traction control, antilock disc brakes, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are all standard. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser earned a top five-star rating for driver safety in head-on collisions. Front passenger protection rated four stars. For the side-impact test, front and rear passenger protection received five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the FJ a top score of "Good" for its protection of occupants in frontal-offset and side-impact collisions.


The 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser simply rocks off-road. Its supple suspension articulation enables it to clamber over boulders, tree roots and most anything else. On pavement, the FJ handles better than you might expect. The steering is precise and the ride is smooth over most types of pavement. At the same time, the V6 engine is able to get the FJ up to speed in quick fashion, and the automatic transmission shifts smoothly and accurately. Wind noise on the highway is often noticeable due to the vehicle's blocky exterior shape.

Read our Toyota FJ Cruiser Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test


The FJ's retro-looking dash is color-keyed to the exterior, and most of the controls are straightforward and functional. Seating in front is very comfortable, but getting into the rather cramped rear compartment requires a high step up and a contortionist dance, even with the rear doors open.

Those rear access doors open up a big portal, but in actuality they're not particularly convenient. The front doors must be opened first to get the rears open, and the rears can be hard for people seated in the rear to close. As a children-schlepping vehicle, an FJ isn't the best choice. Flipping that split rear seat down results in 66.8 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity. Unfortunately, rear visibility is tanklike because of the wide C-pillars, tiny rear side windows and tailgate-mounted spare tire. Front visibility also takes a hit due to the high hood line, making both parking maneuvers and off-road obstacle-spotting a bit tricky.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.38 out of 5 stars
Rock Doctor,04/04/2010
4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 6M)
This is my 5th Toyota truck over 26 years, which like the previous 4Runners (2) and Tacomas (2), is used to get me back and forth from drilling rigs. It is used to get through deep mud, heavy snow and generally drive down rig access roads that other drivers would call off-roading.
4.63 out of 5 stars
FJ Cruiser Review
Kevin Voges,08/26/2007
4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 6M)
Fun to drive - looks great. Really look forward to driving FJ daily. I realize this is strange, but non-aerodynamic windshield does not deflect bugs, so one must be ready to clean windshield quite a bit.
4.88 out of 5 stars
130,000 Reliable Miles and Counting !!!
4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
After driving 130,000 miles on my 2008 FJ Cruiser, I have found this SUV to be very dependable. I love the plastic floors which I just spray down and wipe down. Don't miss carpeting . I enjoy the easy to clean durable interior fabric, however I would like to have as an option a leather interior. A fellow FJ owner told me there is a shop in Buffalo NY that sells leather skins that simply stretch over existing seats. Most people that ask me how I like FJ follow up with gas mileage question. I get around 18mpg which is fine for a vehicle that can tow up to 5000lbs.I'm not risking life for mileage!This vehicle gets top marks (5 star rating) for rear and side impact crash testing.
5 out of 5 stars
Best SUV I have owned
4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
This truck is everything I like about an off road SUV and everything I needed for small family transportation.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser Overview

The Used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser is offered in the following submodels: FJ Cruiser SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), and 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 6M). Pre-owned Toyota FJ Cruiser models are available with a 4.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 239 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic, 6-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser Base is priced between $16,900 and$29,995 with odometer readings between 58785 and183790 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruisers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2008 FJ Cruisers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,900 and mileage as low as 58785 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Can't find a used 2008 Toyota FJ Cruisers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale - 10 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $9,361.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $22,465.

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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