This Could’ve Ended Badly: The Toyota FJ Cruiser Takes on Our Hardest Off-Road Course!

That was a close one!

(Images: TFL Studios)

This 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser battled our off-road course, with surprising results!

Actually, this 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser belongs to our friend Chris’ fiancée, and they tastefully built it up. Rolling in at 111,000 miles, the FJ has a bunch of upgrades including steel bumpers and skid plates. It has an Icon lift, paired with Total Kayos upper control arms. Underneath, it has 33-inch Falken Wildpeak A/T tires. Chris mentioned that there is an inherent weakness in the third member assembly, so he replaced it with and East Coast Gear Supply unit.

About the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser

The FJ is one of the most coveted off-road vehicles Toyota built (and still produced in some markets until this year). Look up the price for one of these, I guarantee it will surprise you how pricey they still are.

When you compare the 2008 FJ to a similarly aged Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, you’ll see that they are remarkably close, at least on paper. There is one huge difference: the FJ is a Toyota. It came with a dependable 239-horsepower 4.0-liter V6. It made 278 lb-ft of torque and sent its power through either a 5-speed auto or (in some cases) a 6-speed manual transmission. People know the 1GR-FE V6 for its rugged durability, which is why the 111,000 miles on Chris’ fiancée’s ride might as well be good as new.

Unlike the Wrangler, though, the FJ has an independent front suspension. This meant that its off-road articulation is not quite as good as the Jeep’s, but its on-road drive was superior. That explains its upgraded lift and upper control arms. Done right, a slightly modified Toyota FJ Cruiser can match a Wrangler on almost any terrain.

Lots of people, including Chris’ fiancée, like the looks of the FJ. While it is handsome and unique, it is difficult to see out of. On top of that, the back seat isn’t the most accommodating. Its charm isn’t lost on me, or on Tommy. TFL Studios owned one for a while, and it ended up sticking around longer than pretty much any of our fleet vehicles.

Check out the video below and watch as this FJ crushes the obstacles on the onX Offroad course!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.