Looks like an SUV. Drives like an SUV. Feels like an SUV. Okay, that would be an unfair assessment of the new FJ Cruiser. Design concept of the new FJ series came from Toyota’s R & D division, Calty Research. Targeting the young buyers and off-road enthusiasts, the design team blended the classic features of the FJ40 into a contemporary and modern package. Not being very young and definitely not an off-road enthusiast, nevertheless, I feel that the new FJ Cruiser is visually attractive and dauntless underneath that pretty exterior.
On-road driving experience was very good while adjusting for the ultra-dimensions of the FJ. At a stop light I pulled along side a Mercedes-Benz SUV and noticed the beltline of the GL-class was a little lower than the FJ Cruiser. Sorry folks. I didn’t have time to jump out and measure the exact difference in height between the two vehicles because the light was about to turn green. I can tell you that the ride was comfortable on the many types of surface roads I encountered and the suspension did not feel too stiff or bumpy.
My test drive with the FJ was limited that day, but the experience was good after an hour of driving this black and white wonder. I did notice the truck being swayed by crosswinds when traveling at 65 or above. The tall profile accounts for the FJ acting like a huge windsail in breezy weather. The solution is to slow down and allow the heftiness of the truck to stabilize the ride.