Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Toyota FJ Cruisers

I’m a Toyota guy. When we first moved to Southern Sudan back in the 70’s, we had an old Toyota short-wheelbase FJ 40. It was the toughest car in the world – managing to cart our family around the African bush or out on hunting trips – and is probably still beating around in Africa somewhere.

I could argue all day about the relative pros and cons of a Toyota Landcruiser versus a Land Rover, but we’ll save that for another day. 🙂

Recently, I came across Toyota’s NEW FJ Cruiser in a store parking lot. I couldn’t really tell what it was at first, but it looked interesting, so I went and checked it out. Obviously, it is appears to be much more of a “street” car than the old FJs. Upon further research though, it looks to be a capable off-road vehicle.

Toyota FJ Cruiser Inside the FJ Cruiser Sideview of the FJ Cruiser

The pricing starts at $21,700. You can get it in 4WD, or 2WD, and you have the option of getting it as a stick shift or automatic. Personally, if I were to get one, I’d have to go with a stick 4WD.

Overall, I really like the new vehicle, especially for here in the US. I’d like to see how it survives on real African roads though – Toyota has a great reputation for building solid vehicles that last a long time. I would hope that this new FJ does as well.

Take a look at the video and a review of the vehicle on this site.

Here’s a link to some nice large wallpaper sized images of the FJ Cruiser.


  1. man – those things are cheap and cheaply made. i don’t know what you are talking about. this is a cheap rip off from Toyota. the thing looks like it was glued together from recycled plastic!

  2. Swoosh, you baboon! Have you test driven one or even seen one in person? Until you have something constructive to say, go back to your tree. 🙂

  3. Hi – I see one of these everyday here where I live. They are interesting looking. Would rather have an old time short wheel base landrover, but anyhow.

  4. FOOL!!!!!!!
    of course I have seen and even been inside one, but no I have not actually driven it or gone offroad with it.
    but why would I?
    I tell you it is a ripoff; have you seen the prices for these rubbish bins?
    They look cool, i’ll give you that, but go up to one and look at it and you will see how terrible it is.
    You are better of with a 4runner or highlander if you want a small Toyota, but still, nothing beats the LR 90 or 110…


  5. Hey guys, I am 6,3 ft. tall and will have to squeeze myself in a ’93 Suzuki Samurai in Kenya. Now that’s what I call off road feeling on tarmacked roads 🙂

    Hash, you remember this story on the Mercedes-Benz MB320 ParisBeijing challenge I recently blogged about? Turns out that it has become one the most commented threads on my blog. Applicants from Germany posted their experiences so far and some even joined the test drives in Germany last month. Which goes to show that posts on cars & sports always generate a lot of blog traffic.

    As for the FJ – great car. But as you said, we should ask Toyota for a test drive in EAK. You know, viral marketing & co – us blogging on it could be a smart investment for them. Ama?

    @Baboon: added your blog to my blogroll + the “camel” looks nice. My bro-in-law has an old light-weight LR 88 (from the Dutch army, with extra gas for the passenger when the driver gets shot!) which he enjoys driving around. The car is so light – it can even be attached to parachutes and dropped out of an airplane. Now, I wouldn’t do that with one of those new FJs.

  6. You know, I always liked those old Suzukis though. They were so light that when everyone else was sliding off the muddy roads into ditches, we floated along the top right through it. Also, if you get in trouble with a Suzuki, you just throw it in the back of a lorry. 🙂

    Let’s see if we can get those guys at Toyota to let you put one up for a test while you’re in Kenya… Who knows, stranger things have happened.

  7. Looks:
    Front – Fugly
    Read – Nor bad
    Overall – 6/10

    Will have to see if they are around like the old Toyota bakkies you see all over South Africa used by farmers every day. My grandfather, who passed away last year was driving his 1975 Toyota Bakkie until then, and now my Grand Mother drives it as needed… 31 years and counting.

  8. Sorry, I will try and type again.
    Front – Fugly
    Rear – Not bad
    Overall – 6/10

  9. good stuf jke – thanks for the promo.
    as for this FJ (F’in Junk), keep in mind, this spot is brought to you by the same fellow who shika’s a nice 75 VW van on his camping trips, he he

  10. Swoosh! Don’t make me come down to your house and samba you. You know you’re jealous of my ’68 VW camping van.

    You know, we took that thing on a 10 day, 1000 mile vacation just 2 years ago. Sure, it had a few hiccups – like the spark plugs popping out – but a little jua kali work made everything just fine. 🙂

    Boerseun – I’m going to give it an 8/10 for looks. I don’t think it shares many of the characteristics that made the original Landcruisers great, but I do like the funky look.

  11. I would be more than happy to test one out here on some African roads. Just send me one and I will let you know how it holds up.

  12. Johnny! Long time my friend. I’m sure the FJ would get a good workout in, and around, the Nakuru area. Shoot, that Naivasha-Nakuru stretch is the worst I’ve seen in a long time. I’m not going to forget that matatu ride any time soon.

  13. YEAH!

    N O T H I N G beats old VWs on Kenyan roads.

    (even not in FL)

  14. Looks super! although it looks almost like the hummer. I sure hope they come up with a convertible

  15. I don’t know why people are criticising the FJ! If you haven’t driven one, then don’t say anything!! I have one and drive it on a dirt road a few times a week and it is withstanding the craziness that other vehicles cannot! It’s awesome and it looks good! I have recieved so many compliments on it! Those who have ridden in it agree that it is one tough cookie!!

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