When we are looking for a sport utility vehicle that can negotiate the urban jungle as well as the real jungle, the 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD (Toyota Racing Development) is an outstanding option. This descendant of rugged Toyota off roaders is no longer a one trick pony and has added urban practicality to its impressive off road reputation. Toyota has made the FJ Cruiser TRD a utilitarian option that can do both jobs supremely well whether it is navigating the parking lot at the supermarket or crawling over a sand dune in the Sahara.

Of the different versions and options offered for the vehicle, we picked the the 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser with the TRD package because it offers quite the bang for your buck ($33,461). For that price, we got a genuinely brilliant off roader that can seat five adults, but more importantly, receives a sportier feel with TRD 16-in. 6-spoke alloy wheels and hefty BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires. Then there’s the TRD-developed, high-speed–tuned Bilstein shocks for extra support.

The FJ is a relative newcomer to the market (introduced in 2006) . Now, the FJ is aiming to tackle the suburbs as well the trail. Let’s see if the FJ can truly be the best of both worlds.

Hit the jump to see if Toyota was successful.

  • 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    5 Speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    260@ 5600
  • MPG(Cty):
  • MPG(Hwy):
  • Torque @ RPM:
    271@ 4400
  • Energy:
    Fuel Injected
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.2 sec.
  • Price:
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD High Resolution Exterior
- image 409715

The FJ Cruiser was designed as a modern interpretation of the FJ40,the classic Toyota off roader from the 1960’s. You can definitely see the resemblance with the square, stout shape and the short wheelbase (105.9 in). The addition of the TRD package helps solidify this resemblance due to the knobby all terrain tires. The FJ Cruiser TRD is almost like a nice set of hiking boots, it feels most at home covered in mud and many miles from home. It can handle any terrain and will bring you home in one piece. Then after your exhausted body comes home, you needn’t worry because all your trusty pair of boots needs is nothing more than a quick hose off. The exterior is so classically simple and such a welcome change from the angular trend in automotive design.


2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD Interior
- image 409593

As soon as you open the door of the Toyota it feels like you just stepped into an REI store. As you plop down in seats that are covered in what could moonlight as a windbreaker, you are assaulted with outdoor paraphernalia such as the compass and the inclineometer on the dash. Initially we were shocked by the lack of the usual creature comforts. As we sat and drove it around town, we realized that it’s like camping in the sticks; there is an elegance that arises from its simplicity. What we also loved is the fact that the buttons are large and easy to understand and within easy reach. Don’t let the FJ fool you into thinking its a hardcore off roader that has no purpose being on paved road. The particular model we tested came standard with a 90 day trial subscription to XM satellite radio in addition to Ipod connectivity.

Our favorite feature was the fold flat seats in the back. With the seats folded, the back is a cave of convenience with 66.8 cu. ft of cargo room. Another subtle hint that this car is both designed for the ‘burbs and the dirt roads are the rubber floor and cargo area mats which are easy to clean. One small problem is the rear seat can be a little cramped with only 31.3 inches of legroom.


2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 409697

The FJ Cruiser is powered by a workhorse 4.0 liter V6 that has variable valve timing as well as dual overhead cams. This stout motor produces 260 horsepower and 276 lbs/ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. The model we tested came with a limited slip differential as well as a 5-speed automatic gearbox. This combination helped propel the FJ to 60 mph in an astounding 7.2 seconds. This was a pleasant surprise for an SUV with the aerodynamic properties of a shed. Even though its powered by a moderately sized engine and isn’t exactly as light as a ballet shoe (the 4x4 version tips the scales at 4300 lbs), it still returns 17 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway. In addition to this, our tester had the optional stainless steel exhaust tip which gave the engine a restrained but omnipresent sound.

One complaint we had is we noticed that in some corners, the FJ had a tendency to roll. However, the offroad manners of the FJ Cruiser are superb. Its standard skid plates protect all the important innards. In addition, the FJ Cruiser TRD comes with knobby BF Goodrich tires and off road tuned Bilstein shocks that help soften the uneven road. Its ground clearance of 9.6 inches and fording depth of 2.3 feet guarantees that any obstacle can be overcome.


2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD High Resolution Exterior
- image 409719

The Toyota FJ Cruiser comes in three different version with a variety of options and a few packages for customization. Check out the table to see the base price for these models.

Model Engine Transmission Fuel Economy Price
FJ Cruiser 4X2 AT V6 5-speed Automatic 17/22 $25,790
FJ Cruiser 4X4 MT V6 6-speed Manual 15/20 $26,970
FJ Cruiser 4X4 AT V6 5-speed Automatic 17/21 27,380


2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD Exterior
- image 409609

All in all we loved the Toyota. It was perfect for every occasion, from comfortably hauling dogs to carving up your favorite dirt trail. Its healthy power plant delivers fuel economy and get up and go. It also provides you a simple but elegant interior that gives you everything you want. This vehicle does all that and comes up south of 40K. What’s not to like?

2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD High Resolution Exterior
- image 409722
  • Leave it
    • Has a tendency to roll
    • Lacks creature comforts
Thomas Nelson
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  (472) posted on 02.9.2012

Oh this Cruiser looks cute despite its massive platform. Its blue color made it
appear adorable to me.I love its off-road capabilities, and its rugged look!

  (776) posted on 02.1.2012

This is a total SUV. This has a rugged look. It’s better on the paved road, but it was the best on the off-road. Who will not bite into the opportunity to have this SUV, which more looks like a tank, but can go up and go? It also offers a ninety-day subscription to XM satellite radio and Ipod connectivity. Isn’t that great? 

  (419) posted on 01.11.2012

This Cruiser was good enough as a sporty utility vehicle. This Toyota was very classic on exterior and interior design. The most interesting it is capable on crawling on the sand an can navigate the locator of parking lots.

  (427) posted on 12.28.2011

V6 engine can’t really give an efficient performance for this kind of vehicle, but I would admit also that I admire this cruiser for it truly looks so lovely and attractive on its exterior detailing.

  (428) posted on 11.29.2011

FJ Cruiser is really one of my favorite Toyota vehicles! smiley I just truly love the looks of it, so simple but very attractive. Even the fact that I could drive this one for an outdoor activity.

  (501) posted on 11.23.2011

Cruiser is really one of their impressive vehicles, but I hope that they also use an awesome and great engine output for this, so that it would surely be a complete packaged with it.

  (530) posted on 11.21.2011

Cruiser is one of my favorite outdoor vehicles here at topspeed! smiley I just really love the angst and the simplicity of this one. However, I think that Toyota still needs to boost more the engine of it.

  (830) posted on 11.16.2011

For an outdoor car like this, I don’t think that its V6 engine that had only an output of 260 HP is enough good on it. It is better if they reinforce it more. Anyway, I love the aesthetic design of this Cruiser.

  (676) posted on 11.15.2011

The exterior detailing of this cruiser is truly very attractive, but I noticed that its interior is not so comfortable, which lessen the admiration that I have on this.

  (382) posted on 11.13.2011

I love the rugged look of this Cruiser, it also looks so classy on its body paint and detailing. smiley I love the fact that it is very capable for an off-road activity. I just only hope that its engine will be quite good enough for it.

  (459) posted on 11.2.2011

The V6 engine of this one that can only deliver 260 HP at 5600 RMP, is I think didn’t enough for this kind of truck. I think they should boost it more, but anyway, I love the classy appearance of this one.

  (428) posted on 10.18.2011

I love the rugged looks of this Toyota FJ cruiser TRD, and I can say that it is already looking great on that body paint, but I don’t think that its engine would give a better performance on it.

  (412) posted on 10.6.2011

I’m really fond with the muscular appearance of this FJ Cruiser. Anyway, the V6 engine with 260 horsepower of this is I don’t think quite good enough for this kind of car.

  (296) posted on 09.30.2011

It really had a muscular appearance but with its V6 engine that can only deliver 260 horsepower at 5600 rpm I think it is too wick for a utility vehicle, maybe if they should enhanced and improved the engine of this cruiser, it will more be a strong one.

  (714) posted on 09.27.2011

Off-Road FJ Cruiser TRD has more developed function with assured long life engine. That’s very impressive and very significant car motor.

  (224) posted on 09.14.2011

One of the best Toyota cars i love to drive. But i don’t like the interiors of it, looks like an old SUV type of car.

  (592) posted on 07.25.2011

This sport-utility car is quite cool. You can really depend in this one when you want some driving experience on some rocky road, and it’s a good thing that it has a very affordable pricing.

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