Test Drive :: 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition
For over 50 years, Toyota’s FJ has conquered the competition — the 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Special Edition takes it to another level.
Review and Photos by Russell Purcell
I remember being at the launch for the FJ Cruiser when it first arrived in Canada back in 2006. After exploring the rather interesting looking vehicle’s road worthiness and handling on a scenic route of rural roads, highways and byways, the Toyota team had arranged for the assembled journalists to play with the FJ at a gravel yard just outside Ottawa. A series of obstacles had been set up to reveal that the FJ Cruiser was not just another cute-ute, but was in fact, a carefully engineered and cleverly packaged SUV that could tackle all but the most extreme terrain. The company was so confident in the FJ’s abilities that they even had a headlight deep water crossing that caused more stress for the drivers and passengers than it did for the rugged FJ Cruiser.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a week with the latest and greatest variant of the FJ Cruiser, that being the Trail Teams Special Edition. This is a limited edition that features a few upgrades that help augment the standard vehicle’s already impressive off-road capabilities. When I say limited, I do mean limited. Toyota plans to offer a mere 125 units (110 fitted with automatics and 15 sporting the manual transmission) of this mountain goat for the 2013 model year, which is unfortunate, as it really does have the extra curb appeal adventurous types tend to look for.
Special Edition styling
The Toyota Motor Company has been manufacturing off-road vehicles for more than half a century, and the FJ40 Land Cruiser from which the FJ Cruiser derives its name is a legend.
The FJ40 was known for its unique paint scheme which always featured a white roof panel. This theme carried over to the FJ Cruiser when it debuted and continues today, unless of course you order one of the special Trail Teams Edition units which feature a different monochromatic paint scheme each year they have been offered. This year’s exclusive colour is called Cement Grey Metallic which gives the Trail Teams FJ a rather industrial look that is very rugged and masculine.
The Trail Teams Edition is also the only FJ model to feature blacked out trim pieces. The matte black bumpers, grille, mirrors and door handles look sharp, as do the similarly painted16-inch, TRD Beadlock-style alloy wheels. These beefy wheels are wrapped in aggressive BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires (LT265/75R16) which proved themselves capable on sand, mud, gravel and snow during my week long test period.