2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser

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Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

183.9” x 71.3”


Rear-wheel drive



1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

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2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser review: Our expert's take

By Sherrice Gilsbach

If I had to pick the most powerful weapon for defending myself against the trials and tantrums of life as a mom, the 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser would be right by my side.  For starters, the car looks like a giant toy with exaggerated tires, dials and other interior finishes. This look thrilled my boys and made them excited to hop in.  Just knowing the size and sheer strength the FJ brought to my commute made me feel empowered on the road.  I felt as though my kids and I were safer in this machine, but almost to a fault as I noticed myself developing a serious road-hero ego.

Yes, the FJ had its drawbacks such as poor fuel efficiency (my tester used a half tank of gas in only 119 miles), the complications of the center-opening swing-wide doors and the cargo area’s swing gate, and the reduced visibility resulting from the shallow windows.  However, I enjoyed driving this beast and even got used to its rigid trucklike drive feel to the point that when it left I missed my rugged sidekick.

Due to its size, don’t expect this five-seater to burst onto the roadway with race-car speeds. You’ll have to plan your entre into traffic with ample time and space for an easy, safe transition.  That said, once the FJ gains speed you’ll have to be careful because it feels like it’s moving slower than it is.  It’s one of those cars where 80 mph feels more like 50, so more forethought is needed for stopping this weighty tough guy.

I was surprised by the smooth, swift turning capabilities of the FJ.  It turned more like a smaller car than a truck, which helped in parking lots and tight city streets.

The sticker price also surprised me. The rear-wheel-drive FJ Cruiser starts at $24,180, while the four-wheel-drive configuration starts at $25,770. My test SUV, a four-wheel-drive FJ with the Trail Teams Special Edition Package, had a sticker price of $33,363.  I had expected it to be much higher.  Of course, what you don’t shell out at the dealership, you will be paying at the pump.  The FJ uses regular gas, but it consumes a lot of it 17/21 mpg city/highway. I averaged 12.5 mpg in city driving, so be prepared.


As I drove the FJ Cruiser, the comments on the street were neverending.  Most moms with little boys said it reminded them of a Tonka truck.  In truth, the FJ Cruiser was inspired by the old FJ40 military-use vehicle.

With the Trail Teams Special Edition Package, my FJ came with the Sandstorm exterior paint and a blackout hood.  I thought this color combo was attractive and brought an element of upscale style to this rough-and-tumble truck.

Because of its large step-in height, getting into the FJ was tricky.  I wouldn’t recommend this car for people who can’t hop or jump or at least can’t remember the last time they performed either of these activities without ending up in the ER.  My boys and I enjoyed jumping in and found it to be a novelty that was part of the excitement of FJ’s character.

The center-opening doors were heavy, and my kids couldn’t open them on their own. It was an awkward setup, because once the backseat passengers were loaded in they needed to close the rear door before the front door could be closed. My oldest son was determined to close everything himself, so I had to wait for him to struggle a bit before finally giving in and letting me shut both of his doors. It was one of those things that just becomes an ordeal.

I wasn’t thrilled with FJ’s rear cargo door, either.  This swing gate is huge.  When opened, this door took up a lane of traffic in the parking lot, so other drivers had to maneuver around it while shooting me evil looks and rude hand gestures. I almost wished I had a bumper sticker saying that the car was not actually mine. 

The FJ Cruiser has a 259-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 engine that uses regular gas. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard; a six-speed manual transmission is optional.

Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Not Really 
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times


For a vehicle with a massive exterior presence, the interior seemed less roomy, especially in the second row. I did like the water-resistant seat upholstery and rubber floormats throughout.  Both of these features, plus the removable, washable cupholder inserts in the front row, calmed all my mess-making anxieties. 

On the dashboard, the large dials and instruments added to the FJ’s rugged style, and they also made life simpler for the driver. You won’t need several manuals or a trainer to teach you how to navigate through the FJ’s stereo system or heating and cooling options.

In the second row, my two kids had enough legroom, but it would be a much tighter squeeze for most adults. The kids were also able to buckle up on their own. In the backseat, my boys were able to easily reach the cupholders, which were in the doors.

The cargo area offered enough space for our grocery bags and soccer excursions, but it also seemed small considering the overall size of the SUV.

Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair 
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair 


The 2010 FJ Cruiser scored the highest rating of Good in frontal, side-impact and rear crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In past years, these scores and the FJ’s standard stability control would have earned it a Top Safety Pick status. However, for 2010, IIHS instituted a new roof-strength test as part of the Top Safety Pick qualifications. In that test, the FJ scored the second-place Acceptable, so it wasn’t eligible to be a Top Safety Pick.

Aside from the invincible feeling you have driving this massive road warrior, the FJ Cruiser is loaded with some serious safety essentials. They include four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, rear-wheel drive, active front head restraints, an electronic stability system with traction control, and six airbags, including side-impact airbags for the front row and side curtains for both rows.

While it wasn’t standard equipment, I was grateful for my test SUV’s backup camera with the image that popped up on the rearview mirror. The camera is part of an Upgrade Package that costs $2,600 and also includes active traction control. You can also get the camera in a number of options packages, including the Trail Teams Special Edition Package ($6,695).

As for the practical day-to-day safety applications like seat belts, my kids were able to buckle themselves in independently. I found the two sets of Latch anchors to be easy to reach.  With cars that are high off the ground like the FJ, the seats are at hip height instead of at the knees like a sedan.  This makes it easy to install child-safety seats in it. However, if you’re in the habit of transferring car seats in and out of your car, the FJ’s narrow center-opening doors would make it cumbersome.

Despite its mammoth size, the FJ has a shallow backseat, making it a difficult fit for some car seats. Space is at a premium in the second row, so some rear-facing child seats may not fit back there. A forward-facing convertible and a booster would fit fine in this car.

Get more safety information on the 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser here.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.4
  • Interior 4.4
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value 4.5
  • Exterior 4.7
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews


Fj owner

Wanted and looked for and fj for a long time . Finally found it at sunnyside toyota in Olmsted , Ohio . Can’t be happier . This vehicle all I expected and more. Getting harder to find a good one but we did


So far so good

It's a great vehicle. I didn't expect to spend $1000 on a new Transmission line the day after I bought it, but its doing well so far.


Great toy

First I only driven German made car and alway been not like how Toyota sterling wheel so soft, but other than that is is a wonderful truck. And by all means I have lost a penny on the value over the last four years and actually I gained.

See all 35 consumer reviews


Based on the 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser base trim.
Frontal driver
Frontal passenger
Nhtsa rollover rating
Side driver
Side rear passenger


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Toyota
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
7 years/less than 85,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12, 000 miles
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
160- or 174-point inspections
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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