of icon

Townsville Bulletin - - Nurrse -

Retro in­spi­ra­tions are car­ried through to the cabin, a wide and spacious af­fair up front, roomy but cosy in the rear. It is a sub­stan­tial ve­hi­cle --the big wheels add ground clear­ance, short front and rear over­hangs make for bet­ter ap­proach and de­par­ture an­gles, a hose-out in­te­rior should make clean­ing eas­ier. Pas­sive safety fea­tures in­clude six airbags and ac­tive head­rests on the front seats. There’s good vis­i­bil­ity to the front and sides and, where com­pro­mised by the rear-mounted spare wheel, there’s a rearview cam­era. The B-pil­lars are clev­erly in­cor­po­rated into the for­ward-open­ing, rear doors. Ac­tive safety fea­tures in­clude switch­able trac­tion con­trol, sta­bil­ity con­trol and ABS with elec­tronic brake force dis­tri­bu­tion and brake as­sist. Just as im­por­tantly for safer driv­ing, the FJ’s sus­pen­sion and steer­ing were tuned for Aus­tralian con­di­tions over 100,000km of test­ing. This is a com­fort­able and com­pe­tent ma­chine, both on and off the road. The ex­pe­ri­ence be­gins with that wide, high and hand­some cabin --from the get-go the FJ feels sub­stan­tial. steer­ing re­sponse is a lit­tle re­mote but af­ter a day, and par­tic­u­larly in the rough, it is well-weighted. ( Toy­ota en­gi­neers sug­gest off-road feel was more the pri­or­ity here.) Ride qual­ity is im­pres­sive --the FJ rarely loses com­po­sure on bi­tu­men or dirt. The big V6 is smooth and nicely mated to the 1955kg wagon. It runs freely to the max­i­mum 200kW at 5600rpm and, with 310Nm of torque from 1200rpm ( lift­ing to 380Nm at 4400rpm), high­way cruis­ing and over­tak­ing trans­late well to off-road­ing. Where some may be dis­mayed at the lack of a diesel, this en­gine and trans­mis­sion ac­quit them­selves well when the go­ing gets slow. Low-low range is more than ad­e­quate for an auto and there’s good en­gine re­sponse for the quicker parts of the track. The FJ Cruiser is one of those rare cases where form and func­tion mesh into a most stylish ma­chine with real off-road cre­den­tials. Lack of a diesel may in­hibit sales but not the FJ’s sta­tus as a hero ma­chine in the Toy­ota

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.