Throwback Alert: FJ Cruiser

Rewind to 2005, when Toyota unveiled a new mid-size SUV with a decidedly retro feel.
by Kristen Orsborn
March 2021
Throwback Alert: FJ Cruiser
From Concept to Reality
This FJ Cruiser concept, shown here in Voodoo Blue, debuted in 2003 at the North American International Auto Show.
Today, we take a look back at the FJ Cruiser. While it’s no longer in production, it still has a very loyal following.

The FJ Cruiser was first introduced as a concept vehicle in 2003. CALTY Design Research looked to the legendary FJ 40, original 4Runner, and 4x4 compact pickups for inspiration. Designers wanted to create a basic and affordable off-roader, targeting young buyers with a love of the outdoors.

The consumer response was overwhelmingly positive, and the vehicle officially entered production in 2005.

"The FJ Cruiser effectively fills a gap in the Toyota lineup which was once our core heritage - capable, affordable and durable vehicles that are youthful, fun-to-drive, aggressive and tough," said Don Esmond, then the senior vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division, at the vehicle’s reveal in 2005.

"The FJ Cruiser will deliver true off-road ruggedness, image and performance at a very low price, making it highly accessible for a large volume of young buyers."

FJ Cruiser went on to sell more than 200,000 units before riding off into the sunset in 2014.
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