Long-term update: Can the Toyota FJ Cruiser be a family car?
One reason why some people skip the Toyota FJ Cruiser in favour of a 4×4 with four proper doors is that they see the FJ as a car with two doors, with the rear-hinged back doors there only for show. Hence it will make a bad family car. However, we managed to use it as one just fine.
When our aging Range Rover ended up in the shop yet again, the FJ Cruiser became our primary ride to transport our newborn baby between our home and the hospital several times in the course of a couple of weeks. Luckily, as we suspected, the rear-facing child seat fits perfectly in the central position of the back seat, which is where we believe is the best position for a baby seat. Our resident photographer Faisal “Worry-Wart” Khatib raised objections that the child seat should not touch the front seatbacks and be level, which is exactly how it fit in the FJ, so no worries on that front.
While there are no side airbags, at least it has three proper seat-belts in the rear and a big boot. Access to the back seat is only slightly more difficult than an SUV with conventional rear doors, with the rear doors needing to be opened along with the front doors, as well as the tall ride height, but if my wife could manage it five days after giving birth, so could anyone else. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s doable, even with the horrendous aftermarket tubular side-steps the dealer installed on our base model. We might try hunting for stock side-steps later on in the spare-parts market. However, don’t bother buying a lifted TRD or Xtreme version as a daily family car. Then they’d really be unusable.
On another note, we managed to rack up about 950 km on a single tank of petrol simply by driving a bit more conservatively and shifting early. That amounts to a fuel consumption figure of 16.7 litres/100 km, still nothing to write home about, but a fair bit of improvement from the last time we spoke about our whopping 159-litre fuel tank.
Original Mileage When Bought: 5,500 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 8,500 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 16.7 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 0