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The Toyota FJ Cruiser Convertible Is Something Toyota Should've Done

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author photo by Doug DeMuro May 2017

Not too long ago, I was walking around in Laguna Beach, California, and I stumbled upon a Toyota FJ Cruiser convertible. This was a bit unusual because -- as you will know if you're an expert on Toyota SUV convertibles, as I am -- there is not an FJ Cruiser convertible.

So I studied the thing for a minute, and I looked it over, and I decided something: Toyota didn't make this. But they absolutely should've.

Indeed, the FJ Cruiser convertible secondary market is a real one, and there are more than a few of these aftermarket, chopped-top, customized Toyota FJ Cruiser convertibles out there running around for people who really wanted to enjoy the FJ Cruiser experience while getting a sunburn. Just put "FJ Cruiser convertible" into Google images and you'll be treated to dozens of pictures of drop-top FJ Cruisers in various stages of modification, many of which appear to be registered and on the road.

The reason for this is, of course, quite obvious. The FJ Cruiser's primary rival was the Jeep Wrangler, and the Wrangler is offered with a removable top. But while open-top Jeeping is a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy while getting sunburned, Toyota never offered an open-top FJ Cruiser. So, why not?

The obvious reason is, of course, production costs and low demand. Another reason might be the fact that Toyota was basing the FJ Cruiser off the original FJ40 Land Cruiser, which wasn't an open vehicle. But given the fact that every single Jeep Wrangler can have its roof removed, shouldn't that also have been an option with the FJ Cruiser?

I'd love to know if this went through the minds of the people at Toyota when they created the FJ Cruiser -- and I'd also love to know why they quashed it. And, I imagine, so do all the people driving around in converted FJ Cruiser convertibles, wishing they could've spent a lot less to get one that came that way from the factory.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser Convertible Is Something Toyota Should've Done - Autotrader