I bought an FJ last week (6MT 4x4 with the convenience package, Pirelli tires and BBS rims, and a hitch). It's Voodoo Blue.
After owning a REAL land cruiser, I had said I'd never own an FJ Cruiser.
Anyway, here's my impression:
Engine: the Toyota 4Runner 4.0 liter is strong. It pulls hard in every gear, has no problems accelerating, builds revs easily, and has been proven in the 4Runner for a few years.
Transmission: the 6MT is clunky as hell when cold. 1 and R are distinguishable by variable rubberiness that increases when going into reverse, which is also accompanied by a convenient beep that is often drowned out by the fasten seatbelt beep (it sounds the same). First gear is really torquey, perhaps too torquey since the truck can be launched from 2nd in almost all conditions. The clutch is a numb affair that engages somewhere halfway in its travel--strangely no hill holder clutch is available. 6th gear will keep you cruising steadily at 80. Dropping down into 4th on the highway will let you blast by any geriatric dawdlers.
Brakes: excellent. Will throw you through the windshield. 4 wheel discs are awesome, if not prone to huge dust buildup.
NVH: there are rattles, buzzes, and creaks--standard Toyota crap. I had a 4Runner with a buzzy dash before this, this time there's some buzz coming from the passenger door.
Instruments: black on white, recessed in some dark hole. Hard to see and miles are in increments of 20, not 10. Nicely illumunated white at night, but then the Tacoma parts bin stereo and HVAC lights are orange. iPod input is cool and useful. Base stereo pumps better than any premium Toyota unit I've had. Of note, thereis a voltsmeter, but NO oil pressure or transmisson temperature gauge. There is ONE cigarette lighter outlet in the front.
One ****ing adapter!>
Ergo: driver's seat is very adjustable, but too low off of the ground, meaning tall people will sit FAR back. The waistline is high, so you sit in this car and I can't reach the windshield, hell I can barely reach the sunvisors--which do pivot, but the gunturret windows really limit their side efficacy. Front headrests jut forward for some random reason. There is surprising room in the back, better than a pickup, but the seats are a ***** to fold flat because the rear headrests get in the way.
Steering/Handling: the steering wheel is poorly assisted at low speed, which I know is an off-road boon, but all this does is feel vague and heavy. Tires deep in the fender wells and the seating position also means I can't stick my head out the window to see. Handling is like a lighter 4Runner on dramamine.
Off road: I took it on several logging roads. The truck does well, but unless you lock the center diff, you'll go sideways on slightly loose gravel. Low range is like a goat and the rear diff locker is suggested for 'emergency' uses only, but adds great stability to crawl over mud and dirt. There is incredible stability over bumps, but the crappy visibility can be a pain off road.
Visibility: see off road, but it's bad. If you can't see it in the two big front windows and the side view mirrors, odds are you're going to swat it. Some dumbass decided to put the long axis of the mirrors vertically not horizontally. Backing up requires more reliance on mirrors than looking back. The Parking sonar is schizo or ignorant at best. It also freaks out when using a bike rack and doesn't see things like curbs. Leave it off.
Economy: 17-18 city and highway combined on regular.
Durability: ? I wasn't able to break it, but I foresee the black plastic everywhere will fade and possibly crack. What the hell is wrong with chrome?
Other stuff: the white roof is great for keeping the interior cool. The black interior color is both stain resistant by default of color choice and depressing. Black plastic floors are impossible to stain and wash easily--strangely there are no drain plugs. No need for floor mats. Seabelt warning beeper is IRRITATING to the point of homicide when maneuvering to park or backing up a trailer. The marker lights on the mirrors are useless and I wonder who came up with them. The ambulance style door is infnitely more useless than a liftgate and I have to wonder why Toyota would not install a sliding rear window. Also, the spare tire takes up a LOT of space in the backlight...
Overall: great off road car. Okay onroad car. Too much appearance over common sense compromises. Fun as hell, but this is not your classic land cruiser--which is a good and a bad thing.
Would I buy one again?