New models: FJ Cruiser

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VIEWS

All Systems Go

The FJ Cruiser is unquestionably one of South Africa’s most capable 4x4s. This retro-styled SUV earned its off-road reputation through incredible clearances, a rear diff-lock, and a highly-effective TC system, dubbed A-TRAC. Incidentally, this is the same TC setup found in the Land Cruiser Prado.

And, despite the FJ’s already generous 4×4 abilities, Toyota has further enhanced the vehicle’s go-anywhere status by recently installing yet another off-road driver aid. This one goes by the name of Crawl Control; and it makes the FJ Cruiser the most capable Land Cruiser ever built.

Crawl Control first appeared in the Land Cruiser 200 Series, where it offered supreme traction with little, if any, driver input. The system works solely in low-range and allows the driver to select one of five predetermined speeds: from slow, to very, very slow. Once a speed is selected, the system automatically maintains this speed by simultaneously controlling engine output and brake pressure, thus allowing the driver to concentrate fully on the vehicle’s steering movements without worrying about pedal input.

The system is designed to work on extreme ascents and descents, as well as cross-axle scenarios. Crawl control has the added benefit of reducing load on the drivetrain by smoothly controlling engine output and brake application. However, the primary benefit of Crawl Control is that it allows novice 4×4 drivers to venture off-road without needing to know about, or have experience in, things like momentum or compression braking.

Whether this is a good thing… well, time will tell! To complement the FJ’s expanding arsenal of off-road driver tools, all models are now equipped with a roof consol that centralises these controls in one place.

Another fresh feature of the FJ range is the fitment of an auxiliary fuel tank. This additional unit expands the FJ’s fuel capacity from 72-litres to 159-litres. If one uses the vehicle’s claimed economy figure of 11.4 l / 100 km in the calculation, then the auxiliary tank more than doubles the FJ’s driving range, taking it from 631 km to a far more practical 1 395 km. Lastly, all versions of the FJ Cruiser come with a 5-year / 90 000 km service plan and a 3-year / 100 000 km warranty. These models are also supported by the ToyotaCare Roadside Assistance Programme which entitles customers to 24-hour roadside assistance.

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