Why Is The Toyota FJ Cruiser So FLIPPING Expensive!?

Would you pay at least $80,000 for a used example? Because some have

Car vs. Trucks - Toyota FJ Cruiser
Would you spend $81,000 for a regular Toyota FJ? (Image: TFLcar)

Recently, a Toyota FJ Cruiser sold for $81,000 on Bring a Trailer.

That’s not only absurd (at least in our opinion) — it’s kind of unnerving too. Tommy explores why FJs might be so expensive.

We all love our long-term Toyota FJ, and so did many consumers. The Toyota FJ Cruiser started production in 2007, and exited the North American market in 2014. It is still being sold in the Middle East, Chile, the Philippines and South Africa, with the same archaic running gear and styling. Well over a quarter-million FJs were sold in North America, and the enthusiast community is massive, to put it lightly.

We bought our 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser for $33,000 – which is a lot for a vehicle with 60,000 miles on it. Mind you, it was in outstanding condition, and it may prove to be a real profit if we ever sell it. We bought it to be a foil to Jeeps, Land Rovers and Toyota’s current models in our copious amounts of off-road videos.

1st-gen Toyota FJ Cruiser

The Toyota FJ was (at the time) the only challenger to the Jeep Wrangler.

The FJ came with the reasonably beefy, but thirsty 4.0-liter V6. It made 260 horsepower and 271 lbs-feet or torque. You could get a five-speed automatic, or a six-speed manual transmission. Interestingly, the manual was only available with 4×4 FJs, as there was a rear-drive option.

Out of the box, the Toyota FJ Cruiser 4×4 had competitive off-road dimensions. It came with 9.6-inches of ground clearance, 34-degree approach and 30 degree departure angles, and a 27.4-degree breakover angle. It could ford over two feet of water, and had a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Softly sprung, the FJ had 9 inches of front suspension travel, and eight-inches in the rear. An electronically locking rear differential was available, as were several limited edition models. There were updates with its off-road system, and later models had a few minor tweaks – but the recipe stayed the same for seven years.

Compared to the Jeep Wrangler JK, the FJ Cruiser initially outperformed Chrysler’s anemic 3.8-liter V6 in most ways. Still, the Jeep Wrangler now had a four-door Unlimited version, and was at least slightly more capable off-road. On top of that, the updated and now ubiquitous 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 powertrain, among other tweaks, made the Jeep far more competitive.

Still, many felt that the FJ was more compliant on the road, more reliable, a better towing rig — and more unique — than any Jeep Wrangler.

With that being said, it doesn’t seem like the FJ has a huge X factor over its cousin, the 4Runner. Sure, it’s cool looking and slightly more compact, but the 4Runner is way more utilitarian, tows more, is potentially just about as good off-road, and it is remarkably robust. Despite that, comparably-aged 4Runners are not as ridiculously priced as FJ Cruisers.

Maybe people like three windshield wipers.