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8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Review

The 2014 model year marked the end of the road for the Toyota FJ Cruiser. On the trail is where this SUV shines, which keeps its demand and value high. Its on-road performance will disappoint everyone except die-hard fans of Toyota’s off-roading SUVs. 

Pros & Cons

  • Great off-road capability

 

  • Rivals are more comfortable for daily driving

 

New for 2014

  • Final model year of production
  • New limited production 2014 Trail Teams Ultimate Edition

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Overview

Is the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser a Good Used SUV?

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is built for mudding and rock crawling, making it a good vehicle for off-roading enthusiasts. Its retro styling and bright array of available colors make it a real head turner as well. It handles well enough in the urban jungle, but if you want it mainly for driving over pavement, there are better options.

Every FJ Cruiser has a 4.0-liter V6 engine that makes 260 horsepower. Models with the standard automatic transmission will be slow, especially when climbing hills or moving around traffic on the highway. A six-speed manual transmission (available only in full-time four-wheel-drive models) makes slightly better use of the engine’s power. There’s plenty of torque to get the FJ Cruiser moving – 271 pound-feet – and its brakes are plenty strong. It maneuvers well in tighter spaces, but its gas mileage of 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway doesn’t stack up well against non-off-roading competitors. However, it’s comparable to competitors like the 2014 Jeep Wrangler and 2014 Toyota 4Runner.

Read more about FJ Cruiser performance »

The Toyota FJ Cruiser seats five people in two rows. The seats are made with waterproof fabric and are fairly comfortable. The dash has lots of hard plastics and the floor mats are rubber, making for easy cleanup. Front-seat passengers have plenty of head- and legroom, while those in the back will find legroom somewhat cramped. It’s also tough climbing into the back seats due to the small, rear-hinged (or suicide) doors. Rearward visibility is also poor, as the FJ has small, boxy windows and thick rear pillars. You’ll get a lot of use out of the rearview camera, which Toyota added as standard equipment for 2014.

There isn’t much in the way of features with the FJ Cruiser. A six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, and a USB port are standard. You’ll find some models with cruise control and an upgraded 11-speaker stereo system. Cargo space is not the FJ Cruiser’s forte, and it’s hard to access the space that is there. The cargo door swings to the side instead of raising up and has a spare wheel and tire mounted on it, which makes opening it more cumbersome than with other SUVs.

Read more about FJ Cruiser interior »

Used 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Prices

The FJ Cruiser has held its value much better than most vehicles. Used 2014 FJ Cruiser prices range from around $29,600 to around $31,100, depending on the features, location, condition, and mileage of the vehicle. 

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser?

The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser is one of the most reliable midsize SUVs you can buy. It earns five out of five circles in reliability from J.D. Power and Associates.

How Safe Is the FJ Cruiser?

The FJ Cruiser comes standard with a rearview camera and the Toyota Star Safety System, which includes vehicle stability control, traction control, an anti-lock brake system, and brake assist.

The 2014 FJ Cruiser has a mixed bag of crash test scores. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only rated the FJ Cruiser in the rollover test, in which it earned three out of five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the FJ Cruiser a rating of Good (the highest score possible) in front, side, and rear crash protection, as well as a rating of Acceptable (the second-highest score) in the roof strength test.

See FJ Cruiser safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used FJ Cruiser?

Toyota produced the FJ Cruiser from 2007 to 2014. Minor changes were made over the years, like the introduction of an available rearview camera in 2009 and a standard USB port in 2011. However, there were no significant redesigns or upgrades. Therefore, the biggest reason to consider an earlier model is price. Used 2012 models, for example, range from around $16,300 to $29,300. If you’re shopping for an earlier model, get one with the optional rearview camera. It’ll save you a lot of headaches and potentially some fender benders.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 FJ Cruiser »

Which Used FJ Cruiser Model Is Right for Me?

The 2014 FJ Cruiser comes in either 4x2 or 4x4 models. The latter comes in part-time and full-time four-wheel-drive setups. If you plan to spend significant time off road, you’ll want to look at the 4x4 model with full-time four-wheel drive – preferably one with the off-road package. This will get you an electronic locking rear differential, active traction control, and in some models a six-speed manual transmission. If you just plan to scoot around town, the 4x2 model with rear-wheel drive can work, but we don’t recommend it. There are many SUVs with smoother rides and more practical interiors.

Buying a certified pre-owned FJ Cruiser has several advantages.Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »
We Did the Research for You: 74 Pieces of Data Analyzed

To review and rank the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser, we analyzed 74 pieces of data. This data includes safety and reliability information, total ownership costs, and published, credible reviews of the FJ Cruiser from when it was new.  

Why You Can Trust Us

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking vehicles for a decade. Our team has a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry, and you can trust that our decisions aren’t influenced by outside forces. We don’t accept gifts from automakers or take trips on their dime, and our advertising is handled by an outside team.

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser and Other SUVs to Consider

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a midsize SUV designed for off-road use, not for shuttling the family from school to soccer practice. Visibility in nearly all directions is poor and the vehicle lacks a full set of rear doors, making it impractical. The Cruiser’s natural competitors are SUVs like the 4Runner and Wrangler. They have the necessary four-wheeling gear to go off road, but they also have more practical features that make them easier to live with.

Which Is Better: 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser or 2014 Toyota 4Runner?

The Toyota 4Runner can go off road like the FJ Cruiser, but it can also work as a family SUV. Some 4Runner models have a third row that raises seating capacity from five to seven. There are more standard features in the 4Runner’s cabin, too – like Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Other features you won’t find in the FJ Cruiser include dual-zone climate control and a sunroof. The 4Runner offers a good amount of cargo room – 89.7 cubic feet behind the first row. That’s much more than you’ll get in the FJ Cruiser. Both SUVs also offer full-time and part-time four-wheel drive and are capable off-roaders. Gas mileage is about the same for both, but you may save a little by choosing the 4Runner thanks to its average price of $26,700 compared to the FJ Cruiser’s $30,000 average price. Go for the 4Runner if you want to take on both off-road trails and the carpool lane.   

Which Is Better: 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser or 2014 Jeep Wrangler?

The 2014 Jeep Wrangler is an iconic off-road machine with classic retro styling that nearly matches the FJ Cruiser’s. The base two-door model with a cloth top comes standard with part-time four-wheel drive and a two-speed transfer case. The Rubicon trim includes an electronic locking rear differential and an upgraded suspension, making it the most capable – and the most expensive – off-road Wrangler model. It has a more powerful engine than the FJ Cruiser (285 horsepower vs. 260 horsepower), and a six-speed manual transmission is standard. The big differences between the Wrangler and FJ Cruiser emerge in the areas of price, reliability, and safety. A used 2014 Wrangler (average price $22,900) costs much less than an FJ Cruiser (average price $30,000). However, the Wrangler has the lowest possible reliability rating from J.D. Power, and its safety scores are much worse than the FJ Cruiser’s. Both vehicles offer lots of four-wheeling fun, but the FJ is worth the extra money.

Compare the FJ Cruiser, 4Runner, and Wrangler »

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