The New York Automotive Show has just closed its doors, and there was quite the buzz around Toyota’s FT-4X concept.
Rumours that it was shaping up to be the new FJ Cruiser replacement and a potential rival to the new Jeep Wrangler and yet-to-be-built Ford Bronco were flying around automotive circles thick and fast. The anticipation was hot … however the reality was a massive disappointment.
Make no mistake, this is no hardcore 4×4, nor is it even designed to take on much beyond a tidy dirt road. It’s turns out to be just another crossover.
It has plenty of gimmicky tech that would make you feel like you’re driving a cross between the Apple store and a outdoor clothing outlet.
With a fake gauge cluster, an armrest that doubles up as a sleeping bag, a stereo that is removable for parties with your self-described “adventurous” mates, windows that can be popped out and swapped for clear, tinted or just left out altogether, a tailgate that can be opened either as barn doors or a hatch, door handles that are actually water bottles seriously?, rear seats with more fold-ability than a gymnast, GoPro-integrated rear-view mirrors and (wait for it) there’s even low range!
Nevertheless, this is much more Rav-4 than FJ Cruiser, and there is no contest against a Wrangler or Defender.
Still, there is a certain appeal to a fuel efficient small 4X4 with city traffic nippy-ness, low-range capability (even if it’s modest) and Toyota reliability. We’re sure it will suit those modern young folk who like the idea of being “weekend Bear Grills warriors” who take the back lane to the supermarket, and that is fine. We don’t hate it, it’s just that we were so very very hopeful for much much more.
We feel Toyota missed a chance here to give to the world the new FJ Cruiser for the next decade …