2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition

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“The Off Road Adventurer”

The Toyota FJ originally dates back to 1954 in which it was introduced with a 3.9L type F gasoline engine hence FJ. It was a series originally paired to the Land Cruiser lineup which still lives strong to this day and is the bigger brother to the now separate FJ. It was Japans answer to the popular jeep although it was and is slightly larger. The latest FJ debuted in March 2006 here in Canada and has had great success despite being fairly unchanged since its debut with minor tweaks and goodies added here and there. The one being tested is the 2013 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams edition, in cement grey metallic the only color for this package. It is one of 125 for Canada and is one of only 110 5speed automatics. The differences between the regular FJ and the trail teams is the Trail Teams has monotone paint (no white roof) Bilstein upgraded suspension, matte black front grille, off road roof lights with air dam, off-road rock rails, matte black bumpers, door handles and mirrors, trail teams badges, 16” TRD black bead lock wheels with BF Goodrich all terrain T/A tires, unique door sill plates and polished black shift and 4wd selector knobs.


The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams edition has a very rugged and straight to the point interior, there’s no carpet on the floor whatsoever, just rubber mats and all weather rubber floor mats making it very easy to clean after an adventure. Look inside and expect little change to the 2013 as it’s pretty much a carryover from 2006, although the trail team’s pack does have color-tuned interior trim. You do have some very neat features such as an inclinometer, compass and outside temperature gauge. The stereo was very user friendly and easy to navigate as well as the hands free setup. The HVAC controls are easy and made larger to accommodate wearing gloves while using it according to Toyota. The seats could be a little more comfy however as they are fairly hard and not very adjustable. The rear seats do fold down almost completely giving you plenty of space if needed. The one noticeable feature of the FJ when you enter the front or rear seats is the more than ample headroom throughout the entire cabin. The only downside is the rear pillar is over 17 inches wide making shoulder checking very difficult to see and the windshield is very flat producing wind noise over 50km/h and collecting rock chips on highways as it does not deflect off of the windshield.


The Trail Teams package offers a 4.0L 24 valve VVT-i V6 that churns out 260hp and 271ft lbs of torque which is ample for this sized SUV. It feels more geared for off-road, as it has to skip down many gears to pass other vehicles when driven on the street but has plenty of crawling power when used off-road. New for 2013 is the CRAWL feature that is available on all FJs as long as you choose an automatic transmission. The CRAWL feature is similar to cruise control but also slows down the wheels and maintains your selected speed (up to 25km/h) which is very handy if you’re on a logging trail and it is difficult to keep your foot steady on the gas and maintain your momentum. The slick 5 speed auto transmission is seamless when shifting on or off the road. Other features include a locking differential (if you don’t want to use 4WD just yet) VSC vehicle stability control which is very handy here in rainy British Columbia, and A-TRAC active traction control which aids you when in 4WD to help you not spin the tires and get stuck. And finally the variable gear ratio steering gets less responsive when at higher speeds to keep you from accidentally making sharp maneuvers.


All of the FJ Cruisers have an outstanding array of features including: Vehicle stability control (VSC), traction control (TRAC) anti-lock brake system (ABS) electronic brake force distribution (EBD) brake assist (BA) and smart stop technology (SST). As well as the usual features such as dual driver and passenger SRS airbags, front seat mounted side airbags with roll sensing front and rear head/side curtain airbags. Considering the base price is $33,000 that’s allot of safety for your money, and with all the off-road features making it safer and more user friendly the FJ may look like its predecessor from the 60’s but underneath the skin lies a world of technology.












Perry Takhar