2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Review

Pros & Cons

  • Impressive off-road ability
  • distinctive interior and exterior styling
  • comfortable front seats
  • simple controls.
  • Poor outward visibility
  • cramped rear seat with impeded entry and exit.
Other years
List Price Range
$31,331 - $43,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser is hard to beat.

Vehicle overview

For a brand long known for building cars that put practicality and reliability before "hey-look-at-me" styling, the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser is a bit of an outlier.

While this midsize SUV shares much of Toyota's core dependability DNA, its rugged looks make it stand out anywhere it goes. The FJ's traditional body-on-frame design and excellent off-road capability also go against the recent trend toward building car-based crossover SUVs. But even if it's an outlier, the FJ Cruiser has a lot going for it.

On the road its strong V6 engine, responsive steering and reasonably comfortable ride quality make it a lot less truckish than you might expect -- and more fun than the average Toyota as well. Off the pavement is where the FJ Cruiser really shines, however, thanks to its high ground clearance, generous approach/departure angles and serious four-wheel-drive hardware including low-range gearing and a locking rear differential.

The FJ Cruiser's quirky design saddles it with several inherent weaknesses, though, including the short windows and thick roof pillars that create blind spots large enough to make negotiating tight urban environments a little dicey. The rear half-doors also make getting in and out of the backseat a hassle.

That said, we still are fond of the unapologetic FJ. Its main competitor, the 2013 Jeep Wrangler, is even less refined for everyday driving, though it does provide superior off-road capability and greater opportunities for aftermarket modifications. The Nissan Xterra takes the opposite approach, offering more livable qualities like four real doors and better visibility. As such, the FJ Cruiser represents the middle-ground choice for a rugged SUV that's happy to spend a lot of time in the dirt.

2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser models

The 2013 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, an electronically controlled locking rear differential (manual transmission 4WD only), full power accessories, air-conditioning, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, 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 and an iPod/USB audio interface.

There are a number of option packages available. The Convenience package adds 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, an upgraded traction control system on four-wheel-drive models, 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, an upgraded traction-control system and extra gauges. The TRD package adds special 16-inch alloy wheels, BFGoodrich off-road tires and different Bilstein shock absorbers.

The Trail Teams Special Edition bundles unique gray exterior paint, special interior trim, 16-inch alloy wheels and off-road tires, an upgraded suspension, an electronically controlled locking rear differential, a large roof rack, rock rails and most of the content from the Convenience and Upgrade packages.

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2013 Highlights

The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser gets a new off-road-ready Trail Teams special edition package.

Performance & mpg

The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 260 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque.

A five-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive and a limited-slip differential are standard. There are also two different four-wheel-drive systems available, including a part-time system that comes mated to the five-speed automatic transmission and a full-time system fitted with a six-speed manual and a locking rear differential.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the two-wheel-drive model is 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined -- not great, but typical for off-road SUVs. With four-wheel drive, those numbers are 17/20/18 with the automatic and 15/18/16 with the manual.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. 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.

Driving

On the road, the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser performs surprisingly well for a vehicle with such an off-road slant. The V6 engine offers plenty of grunt, while the suspension tuning and precise steering feel put the Jeep Wrangler to shame. Again, the limited visibility all around is a distinct negative in about any situation you can name. The robust-looking exterior also creates a fair amount of wind noise at highway speeds.

Leave the pavement behind and the FJ Cruiser is in its element. The combination of ample ground clearance, excellent approach and departure angles, ample wheel travel, low-range gearing and the available locking rear differential gives it the ability to tackle rugged trails with ease.

Interior

The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser sports a no-frills interior with dash panels color-matched to the outside body color. Controls are well placed and easy to use, though some buttons and knobs are so big they look a little silly. Front seats offer good comfort and the water-repellent upholstery and rubber floor covering are built to take abuse.

The bad news here is that the wide rear roof pillars and outside-mounted spare tire create enormous blind spots and diminished rear visibility. Even the view forward isn't that great because of the high dash and hood. You may look good in the FJ, but seeing other people is a bit of a problem.

The rear seat has its own problems, starting with the rear-hinged back doors. Like those on extended-cab pickups, they require you to open the front doors every time someone gets in or out of the backseat. You'll also find getting into the second row requires a bit of a climb and, once you're in, the accommodations are fairly tight. Folding down both sections of that 60/40-split rear seat creates a cargo hold with a healthy 67 cubic feet of space. That's about the same as in a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

My ICEBERG FJ
FJ Rocks,01/04/2016
4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Best vehicle i have ever owned. Best of both worlds. I live in a remote area an do alot of driving an when the weather gets bad i need a suv that will preform safely for me an my family. This one is the best i have ever had. Drives great on road an will go where i need to go. I have owned alot of vehicles but nothing even compares to the fj. If you want a vehicle that will go like a jeep but last like no other buy a fj. Toyota made another great product with the fj. Too bad they dont sell them anymore in the us. I love it. An the aftermarket parts selection are unreal. You can make it customized to your liking in no time.
2013 FJ Cruiser 4x4
fj_reaper,09/06/2013
4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
So far this has been one of the funnest vehicles I have owned. There is plenty of function, mixed with a handfull of play! Between the ample off road capabilities and the smooth ride on hard surfaces the FJ is a joy to drive.
Nothing Compares!
Sawboss,01/18/2017
4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I've owned a Jeep Wrangler, 4x4 Tacoma(2011) and older 4x4 S10 and a Civic. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that the FJ is the funnest vehicle on the road! It blows the Wrangler out of the water! Lots of power, great suspension, lots of leg room. I could go on and on. Off road in the mountains of Tennessee or the Orange Groves of Florida it's second to none! You can take the FJ virtually anywhere. Love this vehicle! Never getting rid of it! Great in Rain or Snow. Toyota made an amazing vehicle in the FJ.
Lots of Issues and Not a Platform Vehicle
CSS,03/03/2020
4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I’ve had issues galore with my 2013. Had metal flakes show up in my oil pan, stealership ended up replacing the entire engine after trying to resolve the issue right up until my near warranty expiration. What a nightmare there already. Add in that while Toyota sells peeps on the idea of this being a platform, DIY friendly, Wrangler competitor, it actively blocks such things by not allowing for something as simple as a REPAIR MANUAL or GUIDE. So frustrating. Oil changes are a nightmare in the post 2010 FJ’s and the suspension is loud and sees things like the rubber boot covers, ball joints, the exposed pulley wheels which aren’t enclosed for some reason, and myriad other things that they clearly cut corners on but didn’t have to that go bad way more readily than any other vehicle I’ve owned. That said, it’s an absolute beast off road, it isn’t the worst car on the road, the MPG is awful, the roof rack is a joke, and visibility is a death wish to all those around it.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover25.6%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Acceptable
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Used 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Overview

The Used 2013 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 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic, 6-speed manual. The Used 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Base is priced between $31,331 and$43,998 with odometer readings between 32622 and110378 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 2013 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) 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2013 FJ Cruisers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $31,331 and mileage as low as 32622 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 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser.

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Find a used Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale - 7 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $14,903.

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Should I lease or buy a 2013 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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