2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street | Road Test

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 by
2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3.5 stars
  • Very Good
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  • FJ Cruiser Street
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 10, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 90%
  • Interior
    Editor: 80%
  • Quality
    Editor: 70%
  • Features
    Editor: 70%
  • Performance
    Editor: 80%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 70%

Review Summary:

Part of a special edition run by Al Futtaim Motors, the 2014 Street is one of just 100 vehicles to be kitted out and tailored for urban dwellers, rather than adventurers.

Pros

Chrome treatment along the wheels and various other parts, do a wonderful job of making the FJ Street stand out from the rest.

Cons

The ride is excessively harsh and a little too bouncy for most.

Introduction & Summary

Following in the footsteps of its ancestors, the styling and design of the current FJ Cruiser is reminiscent of the original Toyota FJ40’s that once transported our fathers and quite possibly even their fathers, through towns, cities and unmapped areas. Having undergone minimal artistic and mechanical alterations since the FJ nameplate was revived back in 2007, dwindling sales of the have forced dealers to come up with innovative solutions to get them rolling off the showroom floors.

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street

Limited to just 100 units each, Al Futtaim Motors has rolled out two special edition models; the FJ Cruiser XTREME and the FJ Cruiser Street. While the former is targeted at off-road enthusiasts with its Fox suspension and increased ground clearance, the Street is its bipolar sibling that flaunts 20 inch Boss Motorsport chrome wheels and sits closer to the ground with its lowered coil springs.

Styling & Design

With the intention of keeping the FJ Street within the confinements of an urban landscape at all times, the designers have gone to town with the Street in such a way, that had it not been done tastefully, passersby would be certain that the person behind the wheel is a bit of a loony. In addition to the chrome wheels, the Street welcomes more of the shiny, bling stuff on its door handles, grille, door mirrors and exhaust tip as well.

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street

As Street badges on the bodywork protrude to make the limited edition model stand out further, matte black housings for the daytime running lights and fog lamps, reside along the front bumper of the 4,670mm long Japanese SUV. Making itself more distinctive from the standard FJ Cruiser, the Street also bids farewell to the signature white roof of its sibling and welcomes a body coloured roof, but don’t get too excited. Because unlike the bright blue and funky orange colours that are available on the standard FJ Cruiser, the Street comes in just two colours; black and white. Influences of the legendary Henry Ford, maybe?

Features

Unlike the FJ XTREME which is based on a standard FJ Cruiser, the Street uses the VXR grade model as its starting point. In turn, this translates to armrests for the driver and front seat passenger, a leather steering with silver inserts, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and an absolutely brilliant 10 speaker JBL audio system that is capable of playing tunes off CD’s, a USB port, an AUX jack and Bluetooth as well.

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street interior

While the aforementioned features in the FJ Cruiser Street are definitely advantageous, you can’t help but question why a front skid plate protector, Active Traction Control system (ATRC) and a differential lock are present on a vehicle that is destined to spend the rest of its life on tarmac. Instead, fitting these onto the FJ Cruiser XTREME, a car that was born to be thrashed on the dunes of the UAE, makes a lot more sense.

Performance, Ride & Handling

Powered by the same 4.0 litre V6 Dual VVT-I engine found across the FJ range, 270 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 380 Nm of torque at 4,400 RPM, is what makes its way through a 5 speed automatic transmission to power the 20inch chrome rear wheels. While the FJ Cruiser Street hasn’t undergone any sort of muffler alteration, there is an oddly satisfying growl emitted from the exhaust system at precisely two points in the RPM band; the 1,500 RPM mark and the 5,500 RPM mark. Resonating through covered parking lots and enclosed tunnels, the bellow is a treat to the ears and a sound that can be confused by many for something a lot more powerful.

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street front

In terms of ride, the FJ Cruiser Street is fitted with a double wishbone suspension with lowering coil springs up front, and a much stiffer 4-link with lateral rod suspension and lowering coil springs in the rear. While the hardened suspension and larger wheels combine to create a ride that is unforgivingly tough on speed breakers and extremely bouncy on the highway, I reckon it’s probably acceptable to the young buck’s that Toyota is targeting this specific model to either way.

With a lowered ride height and stiffer springs, the obvious benefit is a significant reduction in body roll, allowing the FJ Cruiser Street to take corners at higher speeds more confidently and comfortably than the standard car. However, is the harsher ride and marginally better handling worth the numerous visits to the chiropractor? I think not.

Comfort & Practicality

Sticking to the bare basics with a cabin that is focused on functionality, the FJ Cruiser is home to a dashboard that looks and feels like it was put together using a set of Lego blocks. While other manufacturers cram in touch screen infotainment systems and panoramic roofs, there’s none of that going on with the FJ, not even in the top of the range model.

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street interior

While the FJ Cruiser Street is surprisingly airier and more spacious than it looks from the outside, people who haven’t experienced an FJ before could spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to open the rear suicide door; me being one of them. Once the concept has been grasped, however, it’s merely a matter of remembering how to open and close a cardboard box; big flaps first, followed by smaller flaps when opening and vice versa when closing.

Practicality wise, the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street does surprisingly well for itself, by allowing space for five individuals and a little extra in the boot for their accoutrements. Matched by a fuel tank that gulps an extremely impressive 159 litres of Octane 98 in one go, the Japanese SUV ensures even driver’s with the heaviest of right feet can go on longer, before having to queue up for another shot of gasoline.

Price & Verdict

According to many, the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street is what they’d describe as a massive failure. Taking a perfectly capable off-road vehicle and eliminating its capability, is the height of stupidity according to them. But while I respect their opinion, I personally think they’ve completed missed the point. Because at the end of the day, the FJ Street turns as many heads as a man in a florescent pink suit would at a funeral. And that, my friends, is what the custom car scene is all about…

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Street rear

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