2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Well, we think it looks cool. So why not badge it as a Scion, Toyota's fledgling entry-level marque that currently outcools its parents? Lentz says this was discussed, but Scion has never had a 4x4, while Toyota has a rich off-roading history. Lentz also sees the FJ Cruiser as an aspirational vehicle for trendsetting young buyers who may start out with Scion. (That, and Toyota is trying not to put all of its youth-oriented eggs in the Scion basket.)

Will the active-lifestyle Generation Y target audience be able to afford the FJ? Toyota vaguely claims it will be a "surprising value." We can ascertain only that it will be priced between the RAV4 and the 4Runner, so expect it to cost $25,000 to $30,000.

The FJ will get loads of standard equipment, including some things that would have seemed Jetsonian on the original FJ40, such as a CD player, air-conditioning, power windows and locks, and-as with the rest of the Toyota SUV lineup-stability and traction control, ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist. Optional front-side and front and rear side curtain air bags add to the safety factor.

Plentiful Scion-like accessories also will tempt the projected 40,000 FJ customers. Unfortunately for open-air enthusiasts, Toyota has no current plans to give the new FJ removable roof sections like those on the original FJ40. Likewise, Toyota does not anticipate offering the FJ in four-door or hybrid form.

Our only real disappointment with this vehicle is its name, reminiscent of Chrysler's worn-out PT Cruiser. We reckon Toyota should steal the Land Cruiser name from its upscale SUV and slap it on the side of this FJ, which stays truer to its paternal roots.

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