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Towing Capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser – How Much Can It Tow?

by Jordan Harris
Towing Capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser

Are you planning to purchase a Toyota FJ Cruiser and you want to learn the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser? Well, if that is the case, then you have come to the right place because this article will be all about the FJ Cruiser, where we are going to learn all the interesting details about this model, including the towing capability.

Doing your own research on a car or SUV that you intend to buy should be one of your top priorities. Why we are saying this? Well, because it is true. Nowadays cars have gone up in value quite a bit. Especially the FJ Cruiser which is almost worth a whole fortune on the used market.

People just love to buy these cars and there are no new FJ Cruisers around. So, understandably the prices of these vehicles have gone up pretty substantially. So, in this situation, you need to learn all about this model and the problems it has. And then you can draw your own conclusions about whether or not it is worth your attention. And we are going to help you out with your pursuit.

First, we will learn what is the Toyota FJ Cruiser and we will familiarize ourselves with the model. Then we will dive into the specs of the model. We will cover the dimensions, the engines, and transmissions used, the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, fuel economy, etc. After we are done with that, we will move on to the common problems and reliability of this model. We will learn all the important issues with this car. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

What Is The Toyota FJ Cruiser

Now before we start discussing rather complex topics like the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser. Let’s take a look first at the origins of the FJ Cruiser and understand more about the early beginnings of this model. This would be quite useful for people that are not already familiar with the FJ Cruiser and want to learn a bit more about the legendary status of this model. So, let’s cover this briefly.

The FJ Cruiser is probably one of the most legendary off-roaders. The FJ Cruiser is the same as the Defender is for Land Rover, and the Wrangler is for Jeep. This ancestor of the FJ Cruiser known as the J40 was created back in the 1960s for the sole purpose to be an army vehicle and tackle off-road tasks and drive where most vehicles would end up stuck.

And just like the Defender, the Toyota Land Cruiser J40 has evolved throughout the years and become really popular in the mainstream market as well.

Towing Capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser

So, Toyota in the early 2000s decided to create a homage to the FJ40 and that’s how the FJ Cruiser was born.

The FJ Cruiser debuted in 2006 and the first model year was 2007. This model implements a retro-futuristic design that greatly resembles the original FJ40 model from the 60s.

This model caught a lot of attention from the off-roading community and sold really well during the first couple of years. But the sales slowly started to decline in the following years so Toyota decided to remove it from the lineup in 2014. Even though this model is still available in other markets. But what about the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser? More on that in a bit.

FJ Cruiser Specs

Now let’s start discussing more about the FJ Cruiser and learn about its specs, including the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser.

The concept of this model debuted in 2003 and immediately got the attention of the public. So, Toyota decided to create a real production car. And this model debuted in 2006 and 2007 was the first model year of this vehicle. This model was in production up until 2014 when it was canceled. Still, the FJ Cruiser is offered in 2022 in the Middle East. Even though, the production is ending in December 2022.

This model was built on the same platform as the Toyota Land Cruiser and the 4Runner. The model also shares the same suspension with the 4Runner. Also, the powertrain is shared with the 4Runner as well. So, we can consider the FJ Cruiser as an FJ40 body on a 4Runner frame. Even though the FJ Cruiser has a bit smaller wheelbase than the 4Runner.

The exterior of the FJ Cruiser is the one that grabs all the attention though. This model implements a retro-futuristic design that was quite popular in the 00s. And even today with the new Ford Bronco. Nostalgia sells better than anything else out there in these modern times. And the FJ Cruiser is all about nostalgia. It has those classic lines that greatly remind me of the original FJ40.

And what is interesting about this model is that it became a true modern classic and is really in demand when it comes to FJ purists and people who want something rather unique. And this understandably increased the price. But what is the towing capacity Toyota FJ cruiser? More on that in a bit.

Dimensions & Size

Now let’s discuss a bit about the dimensions and size of the FJ Cruiser before we discuss the towing capacity FJ Cruiser.

In terms of dimensions, this SUV falls in the mid-size class of cars. Not too large and also not too small. In other words perfect. The wheelbase of the FJ Cruiser is 105.9 inches and the overall length is 183.9 inches. The model is 75 inches wide and 72 inches tall for the 4WD model, while the 2WD is only 71.3 inches tall.

The FJ Cruiser has a very good ground clearance of 9.6 inches and 8 inches of front and 9 inches of rear suspension travel. Making it perfect when it comes to off-roading and tackling uneven terrains.

The FJ Cruiser’s weight is between 4,050lbs and 4,442lbs. Depending on whether you opt for the 4WD or 2WD. The 4WD model is understandably heavier than the 2WD because it carries a lot more weight in terms of parts. But what about the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser? More on that in a bit.

Engines & Transmissions

The engine used on the FJ Cruiser is the 4.0L 1GR-FE V6. This engine is very capable of what is intended. And is included in other Toyota products like the Tacoma, and 4Runner models. The engine has variable valve timing which adjusts the timing on the camshafts for maximum fuel efficiency.

The engine produces about 239hp and 278lb-ft of torque when run on 91 octane fuel. For the 2010 model year, the engine got dual variable valve timing that improved these numbers to 259hp and 270lb-ft of torque on only 87 octane gas. And for 2011, the numbers increased slightly to 260hp and 271lb-ft of torque.

The transmission used in this model is a RA61F 6-speed manual. And this transmission comes with the 4WD only. There is also a 5-speed automatic transmission offered as well.

The model implements a TORSEN limited slip differential that is rather good when it comes to off-road performance. But what about the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser? More on that next.

Towing Capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser

When it comes to the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, we can say that according to the official numbers, this SUV model is able to tow about 5,000lbs.

Which is nothing crazy though. So, if you need something capable when it comes to towing, you will see more benefits from a Toyota Tacoma which can tow up to 6,800lbs.

The 4Runner is also similarly capable to the FJ Cruiser and can tow up to 5,000lbs. Basically, that is the limit of the 4.0L V6 engine. And if you push it too hard, you risk damage to the engine, transmission as well as on the differential.

Basically, the whole powertrain is in danger if you decide to overload the vehicle with a very heavy trailer on it. Enough on the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, let’s move on to other topics and finish up the specs.

FJ Cruiser Miles Per Gallon

Now since we discussed towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, let’s take a look at the fuel economy of this model. How fuel efficient is this model?

The 4WD version of the FJ Cruiser gets about 17 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined.

The fuel economy is not bad considering the size of the vehicle and that its aerodynamics are like the ones of a brick. Even by today’s standards, this is relatively good fuel economy.


Now that we covered the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, let’s take a look at the safety aspect. Still, you are purchasing an old used car and you want to be safe right?

Well, in terms of safety, the FJ Cruiser was tested by the NHTSA, where it got 5 stars on most of the tests. Except on the rollover test where it only got 3-stars.

The model was also tested by the IIHS. Namely the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. And this model also performed well on their tests and got Good ratings. A good grade on their tests is the highest score. This model was also awarded the Top Safety Pick Award for its safety performance. But what about the common problems? Does this model has any issues? Let’s find out next.

Toyota FJ Cruiser Problems

We have covered the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser. As well as the rest of the specs of this model. But what about the problems? Does this model has any issues whatsoever?

Knowing the possible issues is really important for you as a future owner of this model. This is why we are going to cover the common problems with the model in detail in the following chapters and find out more about what you can expect if you purchase one for yourself. So, let’s get into it.

1. Frame Is Rusting

So, we covered the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, now let’s start discussing more on the problems that this model has. And the biggest issue with this model is the frame rusting issue.

This is a known headache for Toyota models from this era. The frames on the early FJ Cruiser, Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner have rust issues.

Even though the rusting is not that scary on the FJ Cruiser like on the 4Runner and Tacoma, it is still a headache. Especially if you live in the northeastern part of the country where there is a lot of salt thrown on the streets.

Salt is the worst enemy of these frames because it makes them rust at a very quick pace. Even new trucks and SUVs after a few years of driving are falling apart. So, the first thing you want to look at when purchasing a used FJ Cruiser except for the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser is the rust issues because these issues are tremendously expensive to fix.

2. Paint Chipping Out

The second most common problem with this generation of the FJ Cruiser is the paint chipping away. This is a fairly common issue on trucks from the early 00s era.

Paint quality was not on the strong side when it came to carmakers from the early 2000s. Especially the Asian and American carmakers. The clear coat of the paint job often can start to crack and start to chip away or fade.

And this will damage the paint. Requiring a full respray of the panel once this issue starts to develop. And that is not cheap. So, when learning the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, you should also pay close attention to this aspect as well.

3. Crumple Zone Bulge Or Cracks

The next common problem with the FJ Cruiser is the crumple zone cracks that develop on the chassis. But what is a crumple zone?

Well, each car out there is designed with safety in mind. There is a crumple zone that is created around the strut towers.

And what happens on this FJ Cruiser is that the front end starts to sag. And since the front end sags, the crumple zone will start to crack.

These cracks usually occur at each side of the engine bay. If you see a big giant crack, this means that there could be some structural integrity issues.

And in these situations, you will need to reinforce these parts with extra metal plates on both sides to make sure that the front end is in check. So, besides the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, be also very aware of this problem as well.

4. Check Engine Light On

The next very common problem with the FJ Cruiser is the check engine light. This issue is reported by a lot of owners and the check engine light in this model is easily triggerable.

Many owners have reported that they replaced multiple parts but the light kept appearing. Probably because of some issues with the ECU.

It is worth noting that this is a fairly common problem in the 2007 model. So, if you see a check engine light and the car seems good and the components are good when you test them with a multimeter, you shouldn’t worry much. Just clear the codes and you will probably be good. Now let’s continue with the common problems since we learned about the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser.

5. Automatic Transmission Shudder

Another quite common problem with the FJ Cruiser is the problem with the automatic transmission. This transmission can be clunky and create a shudder. At least during the first production years, this was the case.

The transmission created noises that alarmed drivers of the FJ Cruiser at speeds between 35 and 45 miles. This is why we would advise you to get the manual transmission (as you would with an Audi TT manual transmission). An FJ Cruiser has to be experienced with a proper manual transmission. Especially the 4WD mode. Now let’s resume with the problems of the FJ Cruiser since we covered the towing capability Toyota FJ Cruiser.

6. Other Problems

So, we have covered the quite common problems with this model. Now let’s take a look at other less common problems.

Another very common problem with the FJ Cruiser is the problem with the driveshaft. Driveshaft components can fail quite often on these models. Some owners even reported a differential failure.

There were also some issues with internal panels falling apart. Namely, the driver’s footrest coming off and the armrest splitting, cruise control lever falling off.

Overall, the build quality was not a big priority back in 2007. Luckily, in more recent model years, these problems were sorted out. So, since we covered the problems and the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, we can now cover the reliability and give the model a score.

Toyota FJ Cruiser Reliability

So, we learned more about the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, now let’s take a look at the overall reliability of the model. How reliable is the FJ Cruiser?

Well, besides some minor issues during the first two or three production years, the overall impression of the FJ Cruiser is rather good.

This model has some flaws but nothing too serious when it comes to overall reliability. The biggest problem is probably the cracking of the crash structure of the front end.

This is a problem that could rather affect your safety because the crash structure’s purpose is to protect you.

Other issues are minor and they can be sorted out. So, when you buy one, you should have at least $3,000 to $5,000 for possible issues to sort out. Remember that these are worn-out vehicles that can have a ton of miles and the transmissions and engines can create problems.

Best Year Toyota FJ Cruiser

When it comes to the best year for Toyota FJ Cruiser, we would say to go for the 2013 or 2014 models. These are the models that are most updated from all.

Even though there is not a lot of difference overall, Anything from 2009 to 2014 can be considered a good model year. But what are the worst years? More on that next since we covered the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Worst Year Toyota FJ Cruiser

So, we covered the towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser, now let’s take a look at the worst year for the FJ Cruiser. Which are the bad ones that you should definitely stay away from in terms of problems?

Towing Capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser

Well, we would definitely recommend staying away from the 2007 model. This is the case because the model has the most reports from any other production year when it comes to problems. The second worst is 2008.

So, try to avoid these ones if you want to avoid some possible problems that can get rather expensive to repair. Now let’s conclude this article.

Towing Capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser: In Conclusion…

In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to the FJ Cruiser. First, we learned what the FJ Cruiser is and its specs. We covered the dimensions, powertrain options, fuel economy, safety, as well as towing capacity Toyota FJ Cruiser.

In the second part of the article, we discussed more on the problems that this model has, the reliability, best years, and also the years to avoid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Why Are FJ Cruisers So Expensive

FJ Cruisers are expensive mainly because of the hype and the high demand for these cars. People love to talk about them and this hype that is created boosts the price of the used models that are sold.

Why Did Toyota Stop Making The FJ Cruiser

They stop making them because there was no demand. The model also was a competition to the 4Runner which sold really well and still sells extremely well. So, They didn’t see a point to continue selling the FJ Cruiser because of the lack of sales.

Does Toyota Still Make The FJ Cruiser

Yes, they still make the FJ Cruiser, primarily for the Middle East. But the production will come to a halt in 2022 when the model will be discontinued.

How Much Does An FJ Cruiser Weigh

The FJ Cruiser weighs about 4,050lbs for the 2WD model and 4,442lbs for the 4WD model. It is quite light considering its size.

Are FJ Cruisers Reliable

Yes, they are rather reliable. The engine and transmissions used in this model have proven that they work really well. Even though, before you buy, make sure that you make a good pre-purchase inspection on the powertrain, as well as on the frontal crash structure for cracks.

How Much Can An FJ Cruiser Tow

The model can tow up to 5,000lbs. Not a lot, to be honest. Mainly because of engine and transmission limitations. But this is enough for most people out there who need to tow a smaller trailer.

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