A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser

If you’re looking for a hint of nostaligia in an SUV that can actually handle off-roading like a pro, the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser is the perfect choice for you. Designed specifically for tackling those off-road jaunts, what this vehicle lacks in luxury it makes up for in sheer off-road ability.

Key Features

With electronic A-Trac traction control, approach and departure angles for inclines, a ground clearance of 9.6 inches and 32-inch tires, the FJ Cruiser handles nearly any type of terrain. Add in a subwoofer switch that makes your music even better and you have a vehicle you will love to take camping.

Changes for 2012

The only changes on the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser was the addition of the Radiant Red paint option being available for the Special Edition Package.

What We Like

While obviously designed as a truck interior, it still provides a modern feel and plenty of comfort along with all that ruggedness. We also loved the available inclinometer that mounts to the dash – it’s always good to know when tipping is imminent!

What Concerns Us

You will have to deal with considerably less fuel economy and available cargo space than what is available in other vehicles in the class. There are also serious blind spots that can make driving a bit tricky if you aren’t careful.

Available Models

The 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser is available in three different configurations that all use the same 4.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 260 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. The 2WD automatic provides 17/20 mpg city/highway, the 4WD manual gets 15/18 mpg and the 4WD automatic comes in at 17/20 mpg fuel economy.

Major Recalls

There have been five major recalls for the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser. These include: Incorrect information on the tire placard that could result in improper inflation of the spare. The front lamps use 55-watt bulbs, which with the mounting angle, drastically increases the glare for oncoming vehicles and does not conform to the Federal Vehicle Motor Safety Standards. Load carrying capacity labels are incorrect, which could lead to overloading the vehicle and/or tires. The rear door access panels are prone to cracking, which could cause the retractor for the seatbelt to detach. Models with TRD brake kits could develop leaks in the brake tube due to insufficient clearance between the wheel and the outside brake tube.

Common Issues

The most common issues reported by owners is that the steering wheel vibrates at around the 55 mph range and above and that the factory lug nuts are prone to breaking.

Toyota FJ cruiser 2012 interior


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19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
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Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
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Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

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He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
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