2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser Review
2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser Review
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Used FJ Cruiser for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Impressive off-road ability
- distinctive interior and exterior styling
- comfortable front seats.
- Limited visibility fore and aft
- cramped rear seat with impeded entry and exit.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is unchanged for 2012.
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 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser is hard to beat.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.26 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
FJ Cruiser Base
Avg. Midsize SUV
Toyota is renowned these days for making straightforward, ultra-sensible and dependable transportation without much flair. That makes the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser the relative black sheep of the family. This dedicated off-roader is anything but straightforward and ultra-sensible. But what it lacks in sensibility, it makes up for with gobs of character; it's fun to drive and even more fun to look at. Plus, it maintains one of those well-known Toyota family traits: It's dependable.
The FJ Cruiser hasn't changed much since its introduction back in '07, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Its stout chassis, wide approach and departure angles, and available locking rear differential make it a genuine go-anywhere type of truck. It's also blessed with precise steering, a robust V6 and a comparably comfortable ride. But around town the FJ isn't as ideal. The thick pillars and gun-slit windows limit visibility and make maneuvering in tight spots difficult. Frequently taking on rear passengers can also get old due to the FJ's access-style rear doors.
Really, this sort of fun/practicality trade-off is commonplace among the dwindling number of off-road-ready SUVs. The Jeep Wrangler is even more compromised and could be considered downright crude compared to the FJ Cruiser, though it does offer a higher degree of off-roading talent. The Nissan Xterra goes the other way, offering the practicality of four full doors and better visibility while lacking the visual flair of its rivals.
Of course, there are also countless crossover SUVs for those shoppers who know they really do need something sensible. But for keeping it real in the old-school SUV sort of way, the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser continues to be an excellent choice.
Performance & mpg
Every 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser comes with a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 260 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the FJ Cruiser and when so equipped, features a five-speed automatic transmission and a limited-slip differential. There are two different 4WD systems available. One is a part-time system attached to the five-speed automatic, while the other is a full-time system attached to a six-speed manual and a locking rear differential.
EPA-estimated fuel economy with 4WD and an automatic is 17 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined -- typical for off-road SUVs. Getting the manual 4WD FJ Cruiser drops those estimates to 15/18/16, while the rear-drive FJ gets 17/20/19.
The 2012 FJ Cruiser comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the FJ Cruiser received the top rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side-impact tests, but a second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the roof strength test.
The 2012 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 that makes a Jeep Wrangler seem like an ox cart by comparison. But the FJ's 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, and exudes a nice exhaust bark that increases the "sport" quotient of this utility vehicle.
The FJ's retro-themed dash is color-keyed to match the exterior. Controls are placed within easy reach and are easy to find. Some are also oversized to a cartoonish degree, but we can't say that hurts their functionality. 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, a generous 67 cubic feet of cargo space is created.
2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser models
The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser is a five-passenger SUV with two regular front doors and two half-sized rear-hinged doors.
There is only one trim level and it comes standard with 17-inch black-painted steel wheels, air-conditioning, power windows and locks, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, water-resistant cloth upholstery, heavy-duty vinyl flooring, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB audio interface and steering wheel controls.
There are a number of packages available that are often grouped together into larger packages depending on your region. Occasionally, they are automatically included as well.
The Convenience package adds power mirrors, rear privacy glass, a rear wiper, a spare tire cover, keyless entry, cruise control, a rearview camera and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Upgrade package adds 17-inch alloy wheels (available separately), an upgraded traction control system on four-wheel-drive models, an electronically controlled locking rear differential, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, extra gauges and trip computer functions and an 11-speaker JBL sound system with a six-CD changer.
The Off-Road package adds Bilstein shock absorbers, the locking rear differential, the upgraded traction-control system and the extra gauges. The TRD package adds special 16-inch alloy wheels, BFGoodrich off-road tires and different Bilstein shock absorbers.
There are a number of noteworthy dealer-installed accessories including a large roof rack, accessory driving lights, rock rails, a cargo cover and a passenger armrest.
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
No problems at 50k miles, UPDATE at 210k
2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
This is my first Toyota, and I bought it new, a 2010 Trail Teams Edition. After 50K miles, I have not had to repair anything. In fact, there isn't even a rattle or squeak. I have taken it off road and it has performed well. There are negatives about the vehicle, but you should know them before you buy. The vehicle has blind spots, not because there aren't enough windows to see the … vehicles, it is because the vehicle is so tall, that most passenger cars are below the view of the window. Remember, this vehicle was designed for off-road, and ground clearance is important. A couple cheap convex mirrors cures this problem. The gas mileage is average for an SUV, but this is obvious too. UPDATE at 105k miles. No problems or complaints to discuss. No mechanical problems of any kind. I just replaced the rear brakes. UPDATE at 126K miles. No problems or complaints to discuss. No mechanical problems of any kind. I change the oil every 5K miles and it discolors very little and no loss is noticed. Update 178k - No mechanical problems and I towed a camper 18000 miles to Alaska and across the country. I still have a small timing cover leak, but it isn’t getting worse or affecting the oil level. I have so much confidence with this vehicle, that I would take it anywhere. Update 225k, ultimate reliability, done!!
4.88 out of 5 stars
It's an FJ thing....
2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 6M)
It's obvious that most "professional" automotive journalists don't get the FJ and don't understnd it's purpose. It isn't a AWD cross over, it is a very capable Off Road Vehicle. A properly equipped FJ is unequaled in off road capability, comfort and reliability. The often complained about "limited visibility" is easily remedied by adjusting your mirrors properly. Gas Mileage? Do you … really buy an off road vehicle for gas mileage? I'm getting between 23 and 24 on the highway...much better than my Dodge Ram! All in all, you either understand the purpose of the FJ and love it or you don't get it and the vehicle just confuses you.
4.88 out of 5 stars
I am 52 and look for excuses to drive my FJ
2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Well it is still brand new, so only can say limited, but this is my 8000 mile report, just drove thru a tough winter and this thing was the easiest thing I have ever seen in deep snow. I would go out after a huge storm and people stuck all over and it just seemed weird because it was SO easy. You just cant help getting the feeling of a very well built truck. I feel like a kid in a way, I … keep driving down dirt roads looking for a hill to climb over. Its actually pretty quite, unless going highspeed on x-way. You get a FJ Cruiser if you want easy. Easy in the snow, easy on the ice, easy off road, easy around town.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Just got my 2nd one
2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I had a 2007 Silver manual FJ and absolutely loved it! 2 weeks ago we were in an accident on I95 where we were hit from behind and then swerved and smashed head-on into the concrete barrier (ever see the insurance industry/gov't crash tests with the crash test dummies? - that was us) at around 60 mph. I came out w/o a scratch; my wife & kid had some buising and a couple broken ribs, but … overall very well off.The truck was totalled, but we walked away from the accident - very impressive!I just got a brand new 2011 model to repalce it (Brick Red).If you want a fun, tough, and safe vehicle, this is definately it. I truly believe that my 1st FJ saved us very serious injury or even our lives!
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser, so we've included reviews for other years of the FJ Cruiser since its last redesign.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 17 City / 20 Hwy / 19 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.0 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: rear wheel drive
- Transmission: 5-speed automatic
- V6 cylinder
- Horsepower: 260 hp @ 5600 rpm
- Torque: 271 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
- Length: 183.9 in. / Height: 71.3 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 75.0 in.
- Curb Weight: 4079 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 27.9 cu.ft.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover3 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover25.6%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestAcceptable
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Used 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser Overview
The Used 2012 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 260 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic, 6-speed manual. The Used 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ 25000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser?
Price comparisons for Used 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser trim styles:
- The Used 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser Base is priced between $22,000 and$35,990 with odometer readings between 50188 and124605 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 2012 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) 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2012 FJ Cruisers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $22,000 and mileage as low as 50188 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 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser.
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Should I lease or buy a 2012 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.