By on September 14, 2017

Toyota FJ Cruiser Final Edition - Image: ToyotaHas there ever been a better time for a Toyota Tacoma-based, offroad-oriented, style-conscious SUV? It’s 2017. Americans are fully invested in the idea of riding high. Jeep is selling 17,000 Wranglers per month. At the other end of the spectrum, Toyota just sold a record number of RAV4s: more than 43,000 in August. In between, Subaru is selling more than 38,000 crossovers monthly.

As total industry-wide auto sales fell 3 percent through the first two-thirds of 2017, SUV/crossover volume is up 6 percent.

Toyota itself is selling more than 16,000 Tacomas per month, the pickup on which a potential second-gen FJ Cruiser would likely be based. That fact alone is likely a factor that limits an FJ Cruiser rebirth. Indeed, Toyota hasn’t sold the FJ Cruiser in the United States since the 2014 model year, having reached its end just as the U.S. SUV/crossover trend really broke through. Americans now buy 14-percent more utility vehicles than cars.

But the Toyota FJ Cruiser lives on, at least for a little while longer, if only in the Japanese domestic market. This is — say it in a movie trailer voiceover pitch — the Toyota FJ Cruiser Final Edition.

Toyota FJ Cruiser Final Edition - Image: ToyotaAll Final Edition FJs wear 20-inch wheels. All are equipped with the 4.0-liter V6. All V6s transmit their power through a five-speed automatic, not the six-speed manual that was once optional. More tellingly, all Final Edition FJ Cruisers are painted in a special shade of beige. And they’re all clad inside with beige upholstery. In other words, the least beige vehicle Toyota sold in America in the last 10 years exists this world — on the other side of the world — in spectacularly beige fashion.

Toyota reported 222,246 FJ Cruisers in the United States between 2006 and early 2018. Most of those were sold early on in the lengthy run. After selling over 140,000 between 2006 and 2008, Toyota averaged fewer than 14,000 annual U.S. sales between 2009 and 2014.Toyota FJ Cruiser Final Edition Interior - Image: ToyotaThere’s persistent talk of an FJ Cruiser replacement, but with Toyota achieving such tremendous sales success with the Tacoma, 4Runner, RAV4, and Highlander, it’s certainly not a necessary void to fill.

Moreover, the latest concept to project historic FJ cues, the FT-4X from the New York International Auto Show earlier this year, was far less rugged than the offroad-ready FJ Cruiser.

[Images: Toyota]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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8 Comments on “The Toyota FJ Cruiser Liveth! For a Little Longer, In Japan, In Beige...”

  • avatar

    “In other words, the least beige vehicle Toyota sold in America in the last 10 years exists this world — on the other side of the world — in spectacularly beige fashion.”

    Still looks “Insurgent Tan” to me. Just the perfect thing for high tailing it across the desert. ;-)

  • avatar

    I could see a 6MT FJ Cruiser in my fleet in the future. My favorite Toyota of its time.

    I do hope they build the FT-4X, not because its a suitable FJ Cruiser replacement, but because its a suitable Honda Element mixed with first gen xB replacement.

    • 0 avatar

      The resale on used ones now is unreal. My friend bought a well worn and modified stick shift ’08 a few years back and its treated him really well. I think he paid $14k, and he could probably sell it for barely less several years and 30k+ miles later.

  • avatar

    What’s up with those ghetto wheels? They look like ones that were offered on the Dodge Nitro.

    • 0 avatar

      They’re the stock wheels on the 4Runner Limited, and totally horrible looking IMO. If you ever drive behind a 4Runner Limited you see how they’re actually quite a skinny profile. Just plain silly, especially on the FJ.

  • avatar

    Ugh, what is it with “Band Aid Beige” as a paint color? Hideous, right up there with that “Creamy Canary Yellow” offered in the Malaise Era.

  • avatar

    I like what the FJ Cruiser (very capable offroad-oriented SUV based on rock solid Prado bones), but I hated the body for how form was emphasized over function. The rear seat is claustrophobic, rear visibility is horrendous, the interior is not particularly commodious considering the exterior dimensions, the high dash and gunslit crack-prone windshield is silly, the interior way too “tonka truck” for me. In other words, nothing like the utilitarian and functional FJ40 they were trying to mimic. My much “plainer” looking 3g 4Runner happens to have the same wheelbase and ground clearance, same approach angle with admittedly a worse departure angle. But it has a much more functional interior with real rear doors, excellent sightlines, and significantly better cargo capacity (credit that rear overhang). Toyota just needs to throw a stick shift at the current 4Runner and maybe release a more stripped out version to sell for slightly less. Or maybe a cool removable rear roof section to hearken back to gen 1 4Runner days?

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