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Toyota Doubles Down on Off-Road Heritage with Another Classic's Revival

Toyota is working towards bringing back the FJ Cruiser and it will, likely, appear alongside the new Toyota Stout pickup truck.

A lot is happening in Toyota's kitchen of late. Between Toyota Gazoo Racing's high-performance models like the soon-to-arrive Supra GRMN, the hybrid-only, retro-styled Land Cruiser J250, and Toyota's work involving hydrogen combustion engines, it seems the brand is hellbent on embracing the future head-on.  

We recently reported on new updates regarding Toyota's revival of the Stout pickup truck, but it will not be the only iconic model that's going to make a comeback. Remember when Toyota and Lexus unveiled 16 concept models, previewing the company's future?

The boxy-looking, Toyota Compact FJ Cruiser was among them, and it's geared to make it to production in 2026. Based on all the information so far, and Toyota's other plans, we are, likely, looking at the next-generation Toyota FJ Cruiser. Here's what I think we should expect from the production version of Toyota's next compact SUV.

Will the next Toyota FJ Cruiser be fully electric or hybrid? 

Toyota's Compact Cruiser EV concept previews a small, neo-retro SUV model that's heavily reminiscent of the FJ Cruiser. That one, in turn, also featured a neo-retro design, inspired by the FJ40 Land Cruiser. Koji Sato's vision of blending old with modern comes at the perfect timing when rugged, 4x4 SUVs like Toyota's 4Runner began gathering pace once again.  

The Compact Cruiser EV concept previews a compact SUV, which begs the question: what platform will it use? Having “EV” in the name suggests fully electric propulsion, but it's worth noting that hybrids are also electric vehicles.

Moreover, Toyota and many other carmakers began back-pedaling from the mass electrification strategies, imposed by governments. Toyota, in particular, is doubling down on hybrids, while simultaneously working on making hydrogen combustion engines viable for mass production. 

A very good case against the FJ Cruiser going fully electric 

There is one more thing to consider. Toyota Stout is set to debut within the next two years and reports indicate the supposed FJ Cruiser (we don't yet know if it will keep that name) will debut by 2026. Will they use a similar platform?

If so, the future FJ Cruiser will be underpinned by the TNGA-C platform, and feature Toyota's fifth-generation hybrid powertrains. This includes the Camry's hybrid powertrain, which is also expected to be in the upcoming Toyota RAV4 model, so we are looking at a system output of around 236 horsepower.  

But the most important reason why Toyota's new FJ Cruiser will probably not have an EV-only version is because Toyota also showed us the Urban SUV concept, which is expected to be based on the e-TNGA platform that underpins the fully-electric Toyota BZ4X.

Essentially, it is a raised, more boxy-styled version of it. Since EV models make much more sense in urban environments, where they make the most out of their range, the Urban SUV is much more likely to assume the mantle of an EV-only model, focused on urban driving. 

Is a new FJ Cruiser feasible right now? 

2022 Toyota Compact Cruiser EV

The short answer is, yes. Toyota's FJ Cruiser always screamed adventure, which together with the model's off-road capabilities, is why the quirky SUV still has a loyal fanbase.

With the resurgence of rugged off-roaders and the arrival of affordable, practical pickup trucks like the Ford Maverick and its future competitor, Toyota Stout, compact, rugged 4x4s like the FJ Cruiser will find a loyal fanbase once again, especially if priced accordingly, which Toyota is typically known for. 


Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.