Toyota FT-4X Concept is Not the FJ Cruiser Successor You Were Hoping For


For Toyota FJ Cruiser enthusiasts, this was supposed to be their version of the Supra.

Sports car lovers worldwide are anxiously waiting for the debut of the Supra’s successor – previewed by the FT-1 Concept – but not everyone cares about high-performance coupes. Over its years of existence, the FJ Cruiser built up a cult following of sorts before it got discontinued in the U.S. with the 2014 model. Now, there’s something to look forward to with the debut of the Toyota FT-4X Concept at the 2017 New York Auto Show.

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Penned by Toyota’s Calty Design Research Inc. in Newport Beach, California, the Toyota FT-4X Concept is a four-wheel-drive crossover that aims to bring “casualcore” to Generation Y city dwellers. The concept rides on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) C-Platform and the designers actually started with the rear of the vehicle rather than the nose or profile. That’s because after months of research, the designers noticed that basecamp for Gen Y explorers was oftentimes the destination itself, which means cherished experiences occurred at their vehicle’s tailgate or hatch.

Overall dimensions have the FT-4X Concept measuring 63.9 inches tall, 167.3 inches long and 71.7 inches wider, while riding on a 103.9-inch wheelbase. But since the focus is on the rear of the concept, Toyota created what it calls a “Multi-Hatch,” which opens two ways: horizontally in Urban Mode and vertically in Outdoor Mode. Urban Mode splits the hatch in half and makes it easier to load gear curbside when clearance is limited. In Outdoor Mode, the one-piece hatch opens upward to create a pop-up shelter when needed. The door’s design also incorporates a rotatable handle that users turn to select which mode the hatch operates in.

2017 New York Auto Show Coverage

There’s a bit of off-road appeal too, with the FT-4X offering “generous approach and departure angles,” says Toyota. There’s wide black-painted over-fenders and beefy Goodyear tires, while a vertical Picture Window is set above the driver’s side rear fender paying homage to the classic version of Toyota’s iconic Pickup Xtracab truck and first-generation 4Runner. The window glass is removable and interchangeable, so owners can personalize their FT-4X with multiple opaque color or tinted glass options.

Inside the concept, there’s plenty of open space with the cabin sectioned into three zones: Clean Zone, Wet Zone and Rear Cargo Zone. The Clean Zone is where the front passengers sit and features rugged floor mats and door sills inspired by Japanese sunoko slatted wood flooring. The Wet Zone also boasts all-weather floor mats and is located just behind the front seats, where passengers can stow damp swimsuits/snow clothing or even muddy boots. For the Rear Cargo Zone, there’s a completely flat floor and topside tracks for securing cargo. Hidden underneath is a deep storage compartment, which can be accessed by sliding the floor out toward the Multi-Hatch.

Unfortunately, Toyota didn’t go into very much detail about the powertrain, but did hint it would take advantage of a low-displacement, four-cylinder engine.

“The Toyota FT-4X is not simply a concept where style meets function; it is a thoughtful, charming and engaging experience that adds real pleasure and convenience to the journey,” said Calty president, Kevin Hunter. “We focused on how a crossover vehicle can add fun and value to casual adventures both in and out of the city, thinking about how someone would use it, and what they would love to do with it.”

Discuss this story on our Toyota TJ Cruiser Forum

  • Jdogg

    What in the actual F is that?

  • Shane Daugherty

    Looks pretty awesome in my opinion. Better than any Subaru out there. Compact, probably gets good gas milage, decent clearance… perfect for some people.

  • altos

    Butt ugly. Looks like someone really liked the Scion xb and copied 90% of it. Over accessorized. There is no class, no style, nothing that hints a land cruiser heritage. It’s a Scion with plastic wheel well arches. Big yip. The japanese sci fi cartoon design concepts continue. Pathetic.

  • Always easy to take shots from the cheap seats.

  • Brad Galbraith

    Quit calling it an FJ successor! It’s nothing of the sort. Do you guys even read your own articles before saying such a thing? There is nothing off road worthy about it in it’s current form.

    “…the Toyota FT-4X Concept is a four-wheel-drive crossover that aims to bring “casualcore” to Generation Y city dwellers. “

  • Brian Smith

    I have driven and loved my FJ Cruiser since 2008, and I am not sure what I am looking at, but it’s certainly not a replacement for an FJ Cruiser, it looks like some sort of city wanabe type vehicle. I was hoping for an FJ replacement. This certainly is not it!

  • Rob

    I’m not impressed at all Toyota… I heard about this concept and was anticipating a REAL 4WD unit, not some whacky urban city slicker trust fund baby BS..

  • Perry F. Bruns

    I like it!…but then, my daily driver is a Scion xB, so I’m predisposed.

  • Rob

    I agree, I own an FJC and love it, was hoping for an even better ‘cruiser’ maybe with a straight axle package or something for us old school mini truck and FJ40-60-80 lovers out there

  • humblejoy

    Um, I just puked a little and can taste it in my mouth. Thanks, Toyota. Now go back to the drawing board.

  • srandyt

    I would agree that calling this a replacement for the FJ is quite a stretch. I am more inclined to think of it as a beefed up RAV4. We know that a production vehicle very rarely looks anything like its concept. So, I am inclined to take the “wait and see” approach and hope for some calming of the radical elements. I like the features incorporated into the rear compartment. The one thing I detest about my FJ is the side opening door with no roll-down window.

  • Fuzzywuzzy

    Too feminine for me…

  • Jason W

    I am disappointed to see this come out as a crossover. The initial postings touted this as the FJ Cruiser successor and a possible competitor of the Jeep. What this article describes is something different. While I like a number of the different options like removable glass or a verticle lifting back gate, I just wish they were part of a more rugged vehicle. There are many FJ enthusiasts who truly appreciate the off road capabilities but don’t want a pickup truck to do it. A crossover like this is not going to satisfy those desires. It looks like a great little “go anywhere” Subaru contender if that is what you are looking for. Sadly, I believe those who liked the FJ for its true off road capabilities and being something other than the same ol’ Jeep, will be looking elsewhere if this is what goes to production.

  • It’s no FJ successor, that’s for sure.

  • Toaster

    Nothing gets me excited quiet like the prospect of a low displacement four cylinder engine in a large vehicle!

  • Roy Rogers

    LOL looks like competition for the discontinued Pontiac Aztek

  • Jason W

    Heh. It looks like a Kia Soul with fender flares.

  • Rocky Evans

    I agree with seeing a similarity to the Renegade – except this is 2 door. And since I own both a Renegade (wife’s) and an FJ C, I am qualified to “take shots” Bruce.

  • Gutterboy

    No thanks Toyota, I’ll be keeping my 2011 TT.

  • Mec-One

    Now that’s just rude LOL

  • Jeff Carter

    Yuck. I like the Split Doors and Cargo area, That is it. Ill keep my FJ thank you

  • elmerew

    That is the ugliest vehicle I’ve ever seen.

  • Name

    So it’s their version of the Jeep Renegade

  • roughman

    Successor to the FJ?

    “Casualcore?” “City dwellers?”

    Don’t make me LAUGH!

    You blew it, Toyota. After I rolled my FJ on a trail last October, I bought a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. Miss the FJ for sentimental reasons, but other than that, no regrets…

    P.S. Bet I never see one on the trail to Mt. Tipton! (Or any other jeep trail.)

  • MadMax

    I know it’s early but I’d have gone with a real retro look to bring back the masses. Not that Toyota lacks followers but that looks way too small for humans

  • roughman

    Right. But “Some people” doesn’t include the folks who treasured the FJ for it’s rough-country, primitive road, four-wheel-drive capabilities.

  • al

    I concur!

  • pizzle

    YAWN……What a waste of development time and money. I was hoping the “new FJ” was going to replace my ’08 Rubicon Unlimited….guess that’s not happening.

  • al

    I had a 2007 FJC and sold it because there were blind spots when looking in the rear-view mirror and the rear doors were essentially useless. They will have to fix those obvious defects to earn my business again. This new design looks even more worthless! I considered and drove a Jeep Wrangler but it felt cheap. I may have to reconsider an Xterra though I have never liked the way it looks. Here’s hoping Ford decides to come out with a new Bronco with a diesel engine option.

  • Patrick Bouldin

    Thanks, Toyota! Yes, appreciate you just adding a lot of value to my 2014 FJ! Nobody’s going to trade for that thing! 🙂

  • LarryNC

    Toaster, Very well said, sir.

  • Patrick Bouldin

    Agreed, besides, if I were making the thing I think I would love the feedback before preparing for production, don’t you think?

  • Patrick Bouldin

    There are actually very few blind spots if you position the side mirrors correctly. There are very few people who position the side mirrors to catch the transition from rear to front – most don’t and it’s not easy to change.

  • Michael

    Bring back the FJ!!!!!!! Not this hipster wanna be. No wonder all they showed for months was the wheels they are the only thing looking at on this truck.

  • Matthew Carter

    Was anyone else waiting for the Dancing Hip-Hop Gerbils to exit the thing? Come on Toyota, what is THIS ?! Not going to be a replacement for my FJ that’s for sure.

  • disqus_ZeMUxAQ7Kr

    This is nothing to get excited about. I am underwhelmed. Looks like a Bronco might be in my future.

  • Southern Man

    Glad I have my FJ. I would not buy one of these.

  • Misanthropic Twit

    I’d sooner buy a Homer from Powell Motors…

  • Darkness v2.0

    It looks like a bigger more retarded version of the Nissan Cube. Way to go Toyota!

  • Shinard Woody

    Same here! This new truck sucks!

  • iTrove

    Are you friggen kidding me? Has nobody been paying attention to the resurgence in people building overland style vehicles? What a complete miss and frankly waste of an opportunity.

    sheese. Obama and his ilk may want one of these… for the rest of us no thanks… NEXT!

  • Craig

    Butt-ass ugly. Ugly as sin. Worst design than anything I’ve ever seen. WTF is Toyota thinking?

  • Craig

    There are no blind spots in the FJ and mirrors are easy to adjust for transition. I have a 2007 FJ so I know. Anyone who bitches about blind spots doesn’t know how to adjust their mirrors.

  • Craig

    Seriously??? You blame the FJ because YOU rolled it???

  • Dano

    Are you kidding me. I previously owned a 2014 FJ, traded it on a Tundra to pull my travel trailer. Loved the FJ. Fully loaded in cement color. This concept is horrid. Looks like a cross between a Kia Soul and a Nissan Cube. DON’T BUILD IT Toyota!!! Huge disappointment.

  • GforceTrivers

    I am OUT! The storage inside looks good. Level floor is nice. But it is FUGLY!

  • roughman

    Is that what I said?

    Reading comprehension seems not to be your forte…

  • Chris Nagle

    Keep Obama out of your BS 🙁

  • Lon James

    After spending $5,000 my fj was off road ready. BUmpers that a jack will work on, a lift, a winch, and tires it was off road ready. What would it cost to get this Yugo Offroad ready?

  • Craig

    Yep pretty much. You said you got a Jeep after rolling your FJ. What else would one think?

  • Peakbagger

    It is unfair to bill this as a successor to the fj as it clearly is not. According to the author, toyota is pursuing its next target market in millenials and gen y. So it is a financial decision by toyota. They arent trying to develop a true 4×4. So if u are an offroad enthusiast, hold onto your body on frame 4runners and fjs. In light of the ft4x, they should hold their values quite nicely.

  • iTrove

    HA! Touch a nerve did I? Go buy one then… you’ll fit right in.

  • Chris Nagle

    Hey sonny, FUK off 🙂

  • Edward G. Roberts

    I’m with you. I thought that was pretty obvious. The title of the article kind of dooms the design reviews. It’s like hating the Dodge Magnum because it’s not a Superbird. WTF??? This is not aimed at the FJ market.

    Taken on its own I think this thing has real potential as a get-out-of-the-city snowflake glamping wagon.

  • jay w

    It’s a Kia Soul or Nissan Juke or the crappy Cube. I hate its look. HATE it. The FJ was an awesome vehicle, this looks like it belongs in my nephew’s sandbox. What’s next? Terrible idea, Toyota.

  • CitizenV2

    Ugly ugly ugly

  • John

    This is the worst looking vehicle Toyota has put out, EVER. I’ll look elsewhere when it comes time for my next 4wd.

  • Kurt

    WOW ! What A Let down. All The Hype For something that looks like a Hot Wheels Car, That I’m Reasonably Sure I Have Seen on a Rack At Wal-Mart.


  • Patrick Bouldin

    That’s what I said. But to be clear, yes, even when positioning the side mirrors properly X/Y, you can still have a Z direction blind spot, particularly with low profile cars, and also in multi-lane freeways. But yes, I agree, in most cases optimum position eliminates most blind-spots.

  • Eric

    Should call it the Toyota Turd

  • Chippy Wood

    I’ll keep my first generation Tundra Ltd. and my RAV4.3 V6 thank you very much. I’m not an off roader but this vehicle is simply ugly. Visually it does not even remotely recall the FJ. Sorry Toyota but you goofed this time.

  • disqus_ZeMUxAQ7Kr

    Looks like they have gone over to the anime side. This vehicle doesn’t even remotely look like a real truck.

  • John

    Fugly. Light duty. A 4×4 for the Latte and scone crowd. DOA, Toyota. Stop wasting resources on development and just offer a two-door 70 series in the USA and never look back. Why on Earth are you targeting a questionable market niche that has eschewed vehicles and ignoring a market that wants J**p capability and robustness in a reliable short wheel base UTE ???

  • Jdogg

    I’ve owned 3 FJ’s. So yea, I’m earned my right to take cheap shots ; )

  • gramon55

    I had an FJ Cruiser. It’s gas consumption was abysmal. There was one reason to have it. OFF ROAD CAPABILITY. Very high ground clearance, great power, excellent low 4wd and a rear locker, combined with the A-track, which is a computerized distribution of power, using the breaks.It is excellently sealed, letting you go in water to about 40 inches.
    The FJ is like a Jeep wrangler, but more comfortable. The main drawback is that almost every time I went off-road, I damaged something: sand in the starter, breaking the fromt bearings, a damaged Z-joint, etc. Each, at least $1000 to repair.
    I also had a Jeep Wrangler. It was probably a little bit less capable than the FJ, but MUCH CHEAPER to repair.
    This new vehicle Toyota is working on looks like it will be much less capable than the FJ.

  • roughman

    I ran my FJ on some VERY rough trails here in Arizona, and never broke anything. Untill I rolled it, that is…

  • gramon55

    Here in south Florida, we run on a mix of mud, cement, sand, and water, with long grass and rocks. The cement and sand penetrate everything. That is how the started got damaged. The front end got damaged by falling in ditches that are covered by mud and grass. Jeeps also get damaged. However, the repairs in the FJ are way more expensive.

  • roughman

    Oh. Makes sense… I drove my FJ to Tallahassee three times, but did no four-wheeling.

  • gramon55

    There are great places here for mudding, but not rock crawling or mountains

  • roughman

    aye, yi, yi… (Wonder how you spell that?)

  • Amanda Payne

    I miss my FJ and was SO looking forward to a new model option. This is a huge disappointment. Ugly. I guess my FJ days are over. Very sad to see them lose the entire concept in this disaster of a 4 cylinder eyesore.

  • dts3204

    I picked my 2014 FJ to pull an AFrame. Hasn’t disappointed me yet.

  • Dano

    My travel trailer weighs close to 5,000 lbs. I pulled it home from the dealer (50 miles) and it scared the crap out of me. Also the transmission smelled hot by the time I got it home. I traded for the Tundra a week later. The FJ is still one of my favorite vehicles and it did pull our 2600 lb. pop up camper just fine. I may purchase another to replace the wife’s Lexus GS. She never drives it. I’d leave the Tundra just for camping and drive the FJ everywhere else.

  • dts3204

    I figure my A Frame runsa about 3200lbs. Been quite happy with the FJ

  • Trond (Deplorable) Larsen

    Looks like a Kia Soul. 🙂

  • Nathaniel Munsun

    You are a bullshit!

  • NotMe

    My 2007 4Runner V8 with the same driveline has no problems what so ever pulling my race car or our travel trailer. It does have the 7k tow rating, about the same as 2007 Tundra & most other 1/2 tons had though, in fact the reliability and ease of towing is why we kept it so long.
    My travel trailer is just under 6k loaded and we’ve pulled it 2500+ mile trips a few times without any issues you mentioned and it felt perfectly safe, wife drives too with no complaints.
    Took our travel trailer to Virginia once through the Appalachian Mountains in it no problem, we plan on going there again someday.
    Doubt I’ll ever have a crossover regardless what they call it in my life so no thanks Toyota, keep your cars for the girls out there. I’ll keep my truck frame SUV and we do thank you for that.

  • Tom Ross

    I love it. Would buy it.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    Same here. Ain’t nothing wrong with this thing. It’s simple, practical, and it looks good. Efficient, and reliable too, what’s not to like?

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    They built this thing with the majority in mind which makes good financial sense. It would be a waste of resources to build something that not many people will take seriously off-roading. This thing was made for what most out doors people will use it for: “casual core” hate the term, but it’s description is accurate. Having said that, I bet this thing can handle anything a stock Jeep can, and have the reliability to drive back home after doing it.