Toyota FJ Cruiser not long for this world

The FJ Cruiser will get the axe after the 2014 model year.

Already an endangered species, the old-fashioned, truck-based SUV will soon become rarer still with the demise of one of the most sturdy, off-road-ready models left on the market.

A posting on Toyota's fleet website (discovered by Autoblog) has revealed that the automaker intends to discontinue the aging FJ Cruiser after the 2014 model year.

While the news seemingly flies in the face of Toyota's recent declaration of support for its truck-based SUVs, the FJ Cruiser was actually launched as a single-generation model, so its death doesn't come as a shock.

A modern tribute to the classic FJ40 Land Cruiser, the FJ Cruiser debuted for the 2007 model year and has changed relatively little since. Though sometimes criticized for its inconvenient half rear doors and pillbox-like visibility, the FJ Cruiser has developed a small but dedicated following due to its considerable off-road talents, which are enabled by generous ground clearance, solid body-on-frame architecture and low-range gearing.

Available in rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive forms, the SUV is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 260 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include a five-speed automatic and a six-speed manual.

FJ Cruiser sales peaked at 56,225 units for the SUV's first year on the market; last year, just 13,656 examples found new homes. Volume through the first seven months of 2013 has climbed by about six percent to 7,854 units.

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