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8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 9.5
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Review

The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser ranks near the top of its class, thanks to its perfect reliability rating and outstanding off-road performance (when properly equipped).

Pros & Cons

  • Sterling reliability rating
  • Stellar off-road capability
  • Tepid highway passing power
  • Tight rear seats

2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Overview

Is the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser a Good Used SUV?

A used 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser is a good choice among midsize SUVs. It’s more than just a reliable all-weather SUV – it’s a great off-roader as well. When equipped with the new-for-2013 Off-Road package, the FJ Cruiser can climb and rock crawl with the best of them. However, it’s not a good choice if you need spacious rear seats or lots of highway passing power. The FJ Cruiser’s higher-than-average price can be a deterrent for some buyers. However, that also means you’ll likely get a good return when it’s time to sell.

Used 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Performance and Interior

A 260-horsepower V6 engine comes standard in the FJ Cruiser. It has adequate power for most needs, but it feels taxed when passing vehicles on hilly sections of highway. Compared to other midsize SUVs, the FJ Cruiser’s fuel economy is substandard: 15-17 mpg in the city and 18-20 mpg on the highway. However, other off-roading SUVs get about the same gas mileage.

FJ Cruisers equipped with either rear-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive come with a five-speed automatic transmission. Models with full-time four-wheel drive instead have a livelier six-speed manual transmission. The FJ’s high ground clearance, steep approach and departure angles, strong brakes, and available off-roading gear make it a trail-ready SUV. While it doesn’t have the smoothest ride on paved roads, the FJ Cruiser is a little more civilized than other off-roading SUVs.

Read more about FJ Cruiser performance »

The FJ Cruiser comes standard with seating for five on water-resistant cloth upholstery. Unlike many SUVS, the FJ Cruiser doesn’t offer leather upholstery or heated seats. The front seats are comfortable, but rear visibility and back-seat legroom are limited. Getting into and out of the rear seats can be difficult, partly due to the FJ's rear-hinged back doors. There are two complete sets of LATCH connections for installing child seats. Compared to others in the class, the FJ Cruiser comes up short on cargo space. It offers just 27.9 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seats in use and 66.8 cubic feet with the seats folded.

Unlike some of the FJ’s burly competitors, it comes standard with common conveniences like power windows and door locks. A standard six-speaker audio system features Bluetooth, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio port, and a USB port with iPod connectivity. The FJ Cruiser’s audio and climate controls have a logical layout. Available upgrades include cruise control, keyless entry, and an 11-speaker audio system.

Read more about FJ Cruiser interior »

Used 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Prices

A used 2013 FJ Cruisers costs about $27,800 on average. That’s quite high for a midsize SUV, especially considering its $27,000 starting price when new. The vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and demand can result in price drops and hikes.

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We Did the Research for You: 86 Reviews Analyzed

We researched 86 FJ Cruiser reviews and included information on price, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a complete overview of the 2013 FJ Cruiser.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To keep our reviews unbiased, we refuse pricey gifts and trips from automakers, and a third party handles the ads on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser?

The 2013 FJ Cruiser has a perfect reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

See FJ Cruiser reliability scores »

How Safe Is the FJ Cruiser?

Compared to the rest of the midsize SUV class, the 2013 FJ Cruiser has decent safety scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the highest score of Good in three out of four crash tests. In the roof strength test, the FJ Cruiser earned the second-highest rating of Acceptable. The 2013 FJ Cruiser received three out of five stars in rollover testing at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are available.

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Is the 2013 FJ Cruiser the Best Model Year to Buy?

Toyota launched the FJ Cruiser for 2007 and discontinued it at the end of the 2014 model year. A Trail Teams Special Edition package became available for 2013. To mark the model’s discontinuation, Toyota offered a Trail Teams Ultimate Edition package for the 2014 FJ Cruiser. You may also want to consider an older model than the 2013 FJ Cruiser; you’ll get many of the same features, likely at a lower price.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 FJ Cruiser »

Which Used Toyota FJ Cruiser Is Right for Me?

Instead of trims, there are four packages available with the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser. We recommend finding a model with the Convenience package, which adds cruise control, keyless entry, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated rearview camera. Serious off-roaders should consider the Off-Road package. It adds a multi-information display, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), trail-tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, and other off-road gear. For even more upgrades, seek out a model with the Upgrade packages. It gives you 17-inch alloy wheels, 11 speakers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear parking sensors, and the contents of the Off-Road package. The Trail Teams Special Edition package includes the Convenience and Off-Road packages, in addition to even more off-road gear.

Buying a certified pre-owned vehicle is worth considering. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its CPO 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. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser or 2013 Jeep Wrangler?

The FJ Cruiser was essentially Toyota’s answer to the Jeep Wrangler, which is offered in both two-door and four-door models. The Wrangler has a much lower price, livelier acceleration, standard four-wheel drive, and roomier rear seats (in the four-door model, called the Unlimited). However, the FJ has a better reliability rating and higher safety scores. Out on the road, the FJ Cruiser has a smoother ride and better composure around turns than the Jeep. With the Toyota, you also get more cargo space and a longer list of standard features, including air conditioning and power windows and door locks. If you can swing the higher price, go for the FJ Cruiser.

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser or 2013 Nissan Xterra?

The Nissan Xterra and the FJ Cruiser both offer specialized off-road equipment, so-so on-road performance, and utilitarian cabins. Like the FJ Cruiser, the Xterra has good around-town acceleration that diminishes when passing other cars on the highway. While there are many common traits between these two models, there are a few differences as well. Although the Xterra has a slightly lower price and more rear-seat legroom, the FJ Cruiser has a higher reliability rating and more standard features, like USB and auxiliary ports, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. Unless you’re on a tight budget or need the extra rear-seat space, go with the FJ Cruiser.

Compare the FJ Cruiser, Wrangler, and Xterra »

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