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Old 07-08-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
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JK longevity versus FJ Cruiser

Hi everyone, I've been lurking for a bit and am narrowing down my next vehicle purchase between a used JK 4dr 4x4 Unlimited and a used Toyota FJ Cruiser. The vehicle will see some off-road but mostly hwy/daily driver, and I'll probably be putting 10-12k miles/yr on the rig. (Off-road: not rock crawling. Likely, lots of dirty/muddy/boggy/snowy/icy roads that would otherwise be entirely impassable in a normal sedan, mainly to get out from civilization and find remote areas to hike into and camp.)

I've searched the forum as best as I can, but I can't seem to find how well Jeep components hold up. I recognize Toyotas tend to have some pretty amazing engineering and legendary longevity with vehicles lasting into 200k-300k+ miles without significant repairs or replacement.

So, how do Jeeps hold up? Should I expect transmissions to fail by 100k?

The vehicle will be in California, and I suspect I will find spots of time to visit the Sierras, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and more Norcal and Socal spots, etc.

Thanks for any insight, folks. I appreciate it.

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Old 07-08-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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I'm gonna say the one that last the longest isn't wheeled as hard. Having said that, I've seen some pretty old beat up jeeps on the trail that are over 20 years old.

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Old 07-08-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Well, I think that overall, the FJ will be more reliable and last a long time. However, the JK will be more capable on slow rough trails. I prefer the JK because it is smaller, narrower, and more nimble on the tight trails we have here. Plus, the solid front axle is a bonus.

The big problem the FJ has is a massive blind spot. Other than that, it will handle fast rough roads better (longer wheelbase and IFS) and be a bit more composed on the highway. If all you are doing is exploring and not rock crawling, the FJ may be a better option BUT check out that blind spot, and see if it bothers you. The visibility is much worse.
Longevity- the Toyotas outlast pretty much everything else, with much fewer major repairs. Most of my friends and family are Toyota fans, though I have owned Honda cars and still own a Subaru.

The offroading I do is not rock crawling- just exploring mining roads, forest roads, Moab and CO trails/passes, etc. Some are really slow going since they are rocky and steep. Others are more mild. You will be fine with either but the FJ may be more up your alley. Jeep does sell lifetime warranties too...just do not overpay if you go with a JK. They are overpriced at dealerships.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:09 PM   #5
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Jeeps vary more by year than FJ Crusiers do, so it depends to some extent on how far back you go to do the comparison. I had an '03 4Runner, similar platform and drive train as the FJ. It was reliable and well designed, but not nearly as much fun as my '12 Wrangler, which has all kinds of character and is always just fun to drive. (Did I say fun?) American cars have come a long way in terms of reliability, and the recent years of Wranglers benefit too. But Toyota reliability? I sort of doubt it, but too early to tell.

I'm going to say it's a close enough call to just get whichever you like best.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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Good thoughts so far; I think that Jeep parts will be easier to come by -- with Wranglers selling 100k+ units per year domestically and FJ's in the 15k range (latest figures I can find).

I agree, HK_Runner, the blind spots are pretty gnarly. Then again, the availability of parking sensors in used FJ's is handy.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:15 PM   #7
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Jeeps vary more by year than FJ Crusiers do, so it depends to some extent on how far back you go to do the comparison.
Good point. I was thinking 2007/2008 model year for both vehicles.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:20 PM   #8
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If your considering used, watch prices as used jeeps even with high mileage can sometimes come close or be over the price of a brand new one with a warranty. Jeeps are expensive to get and even more to have but they always maintain their resale.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:23 PM   #9
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my 2 pennies.....
i owned a 2010 FJ. quality was very high. interior and room was great. a TANK in the winter. it will go anywhere. one major FAIL: steering wheel shake at 55-65 mph. still doing it on the 2012's too! known problem. also i believe 07-08 had the inner fender aprons crack. again, it is a fun cult vehicle like the JEEP. and the FJ has loyal followers. BUT......the JEEP is so much more fun to own and drive! after awhile the FJ felt like driving a bus. LOL

SIDE NOTE: the FJ also holds high resale value. like the jeep does.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:58 PM   #10
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x2 on the FJ blindspot...also I dont like how the front windshield feels a mile away. Makes seeing the light change from red to green difficult if you are tall. But the FJ is a very capable vehicle and I would trust it anywhere exept maybe rock crawling. However, Jeeps are just more fun IMO.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:10 PM   #11
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x2 on the FJ blindspot...also I dont like how the front windshield feels a mile away. Makes seeing the light change from red to green difficult if you are tall. But the FJ is a very capable vehicle and I would trust it anywhere exept maybe rock crawling. However, Jeeps are just more fun IMO.
I followed too very well set fj's yesterday through a very hard trail involving a lot of rock crawling. They were probably the best set up fj's I've ever seen. Damn they were horrible in the rocks.

That being said I've always liked them and was going to buy one. After a test drive I decided to get the Jeep. Never regretted it.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:12 PM   #12
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OP... really?
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:16 PM   #13
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I bought the Wrangler because I could make it a convertible or any variation in between (dual tops).
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:33 PM   #14
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OP... really?
Yes, really. If there were a ton of threads specific to my question in search results, I wouldn't have asked
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:35 PM   #15
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I bought the Wrangler because I could make it a convertible or any variation in between (dual tops).
I want to say that this is a huge consideration for me; I've always loved renting convertibles and enjoying the fresh air. But getting older (balder!) means being more careful about sun exposure and blah blah blah and all that crap.

So I think it's a toss-up for me.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:07 PM   #16
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With the heritage of the FJ, the modern incarnation is a terrible, horrible, awful waste of potential. I grieve for what that vehicle could have been.

Inside they are a cave. Visibility for an expedition vehicle is terrible. I do like the rubber flooring VS being forced to buy carpet.

Oh, and the FJ won't last as long because you'll trade it off. The JK will stick to your soul and stay with you longer.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:16 PM   #17
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With the heritage of the FJ, the modern incarnation is a terrible, horrible, awful waste of potential. I grieve for what that vehicle could have been.

Inside they are a cave. Visibility for an expedition vehicle is terrible. I do like the rubber flooring VS being forced to buy carpet.

Oh, and the FJ won't last as long because you'll trade it off. The JK will stick to your soul and stay with you longer.
This.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JamesWyatt View Post
With the heritage of the FJ, the modern incarnation is a terrible, horrible, awful waste of potential. I grieve for what that vehicle could have been.

Inside they are a cave. Visibility for an expedition vehicle is terrible. I do like the rubber flooring VS being forced to buy carpet.

Oh, and the FJ won't last as long because you'll trade it off. The JK will stick to your soul and stay with you longer.

Perfectly put. Especially how you'll fall in love with your Jeep.

And, for the OP...

Here's my old 1942 GPW. A SEVENTY (70) year old jeep that I owned for for 32 years, pictured as it stands now with it's new owner, who is a member....

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Name:	GPW with new owner 2012-3.jpg
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Edit: still running on it's original engine and drive train!
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:27 PM   #19
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Man that thing is sexy ^
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:30 PM   #20
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Get the jeep and for an extra two grand... as I did... buy the Chrysler lifetime bumper to bumper warranty
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:33 PM   #21
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I've never had a chance to wheel with some FJs. It's kinda a shame to not have the two groups get up together more. Maybe I can change that here in NC? Hmmm......"gears turning"
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:41 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by neilah View Post
Hi everyone, I've been lurking for a bit and am narrowing down my next vehicle purchase between a used JK 4dr 4x4 Unlimited and a used Toyota FJ Cruiser. The vehicle will see some off-road but mostly hwy/daily driver, and I'll probably be putting 10-12k miles/yr on the rig. (Off-road: not rock crawling. Likely, lots of dirty/muddy/boggy/snowy/icy roads that would otherwise be entirely impassable in a normal sedan, mainly to get out from civilization and find remote areas to hike into and camp.)

I've searched the forum as best as I can, but I can't seem to find how well Jeep components hold up. I recognize Toyotas tend to have some pretty amazing engineering and legendary longevity with vehicles lasting into 200k-300k+ miles without significant repairs or replacement.

So, how do Jeeps hold up? Should I expect transmissions to fail by 100k?

The vehicle will be in California, and I suspect I will find spots of time to visit the Sierras, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and more Norcal and Socal spots, etc.

Thanks for any insight, folks. I appreciate it.
If the decision is a toss-up, or even close, you might consider which country you will be supporting...unless of course you have lots of customers from the other country...? Just sayin', Ohio needs the work.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:58 PM   #23
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Seriously. Like we needed another Fake Jeep thread, like really.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JamesWyatt View Post
With the heritage of the FJ, the modern incarnation is a terrible, horrible, awful waste of potential. I grieve for what that vehicle could have been.

Inside they are a cave. Visibility for an expedition vehicle is terrible. I do like the rubber flooring VS being forced to buy carpet.

Oh, and the FJ won't last as long because you'll trade it off. The JK will stick to your soul and stay with you longer.
I have to agree with James on the above.
The original FJ was a formidable opponent for the Jeep, with its tough little engine and drive train, solid axles and removable top. The new FJ, not so much. Go with the Jeep, you'll thank us later

PS. And dont forget the Jeep wave!!!
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:23 PM   #25
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Seriously. Like we needed another Fake Jeep thread, like really.
X2

Could you imagine going to a FJ forum and talking jeep ?
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:26 PM   #26
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I was gonna buy one until I found out the window in the sucide doors doesn't roll down.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:33 PM   #27
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Things I didn't like about the FJ:

-Suicide door windows don't roll down, so rear seat passengers feel "trapped".
-Windshield feels like it's 10 feet away
-Vehicle "feels" big and heavy, not like a Jeep at all
-No option to remove the top
-Don't like the way the rear gate works

As far as dependability, Toyota reliability is a MYTH. They are not going to last any longer than a U.S. brand that's taken care of. I've seen PLENTY of Jeeps with 300,000 to 500,000 miles on them and still driven daily.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:45 PM   #28
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X2

Could you imagine going to a FJ forum and talking jeep ?
I would've done exactly that kjeeper10, but my searching at FJCruiserForums.com turned up a number of threads talking about longevity, including engine types, transmissions, and more. Despite there being like 8x more new Jeeps on the road every year, I find the size of the online communities about equal.

I'm really not here to bash Jeeps -- Taoshum, I actually grew up in Ohio and still have family there.

I want to spend my money on the right product that will last. I can wrench things myself, but don't want to spend every other weekend under the hood for the 'typical' use I've outlined, hence my question. Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:47 PM   #29
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[snip]

As far as dependability, Toyota reliability is a MYTH. They are not going to last any longer than a U.S. brand that's taken care of. I've seen PLENTY of Jeeps with 300,000 to 500,000 miles on them and still driven daily.
GREAT! Where can I get more than anecdotal data that shows this?!?
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:50 PM   #30
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Here's my old 1942 GPW. A SEVENTY (70) year old jeep that I owned for for 32 years, pictured as it stands now with it's new owner, who is a member....

Edit: still running on it's original engine and drive train!
THAT is awesome. Thanks, that is a terrific reference point in terms of reliability.

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