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Old 09-05-2011, 03:05 PM   #31
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I would agree with you on this to a degree. But the improvements have been pretty good over time. I spent a lot of time in my CJ7. and it was pretty crude in some areas---not to mention rust. Not everybody who buys a Jeep is going to be an off-road wheeler who eats nails for breakfast and drinks gasoline. So, I'm not sure about the "wanna be" part of all this. There are a lot of people out there past and present who have NEVER taken a Wrangler off-road but continue to buy them as a favorite vehicle. But yes...they have become Hummerized a bit over time. But I think in a good way. My experiences with the old CJ weren't all good. So the "good-ole-days" weren't always so good.
Agree! The point is Jeep has made these changed incrementally and for the most part stayed true to the basic concept. Toyota just totally went off the rails with the FJ. Not the same as the original LC and looks wise its a Honda Element with an FJ grill.

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Old 09-05-2011, 03:13 PM   #32
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Nobody in a Jeep is worried about their 0-60 times.
2012'ers do.

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Old 09-05-2011, 03:17 PM   #33
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2012'ers do.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:18 PM   #34
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because FJ stands for FAKE JEEP,, and who would want to drive a FAKE JEEP..
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:42 PM   #35
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Um... I work for Toyota... And I've owned 4 jeeps. And one Toyota. For 3 months lol
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:43 PM   #36
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:16 PM   #37
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I've never seen these guys riding jeeps
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:34 PM   #38
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2012'ers do.
Right? This is the one topic that I keep repeating is lost on me. I have never once missed hp in a jeep. What exactly are they doing that makes them think "hmm..this lacks power"
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:02 PM   #39
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Right? This is the one topic that I keep repeating is lost on me. I have never once missed hp in a jeep. What exactly are they doing that makes them think "hmm..this lacks power"
Well.....in my case, I'm not loaded and can't have a jeep AND a sports car. So a jeep that can get out if its own way will have to do! Because a sports car isn't gonna take me down the trails. I am by no means broke, but don't exactly feel like having two car payments.
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:07 PM   #40
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If the top can't drop, then it's a soccer mom flop.

I've got no beef with Toyota- I made our atv paths on the acreage by bashing through trees with my 88 4runner... but when it came time to spend my loot on the new ride, the choice was clear.

Wranglers in their most basic form are competent, capable, and cool... ..and when the skies are wide open above you, even a commute feels like an adventure.

An FJ is an SUV, a Wrangler is a Jeep.
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:09 PM   #41
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I've never seen these guys riding jeeps
LOL I was wondering when someone would break that out as soon as I saw the thread title.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:04 PM   #42
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And I have the roaches behind my seats to prove it. :usflag:

Not to derail, because the JK is about as American-built as you'll find, with engines built in Michigan and the auto transmissions built in Kokomo (NSG370 is built in Germany).

But to me, it is un-American to settle for less than the best value for your dollar, wherever it may be built. I'm proud that Jeep and their workers have done so well with the JK, but I'm not giving any of these guys a mulligan with my money. You wanna sell me a car? Earn my business. Blind patriotism and loyalty to corporate name produces crap like the Compass and about 1/2 of GM's fleet.
Besides the fact the a majority of so called foreign vehicles are manufactured in the US. In some cases they even use more US made parts then many so called US brands do. I love when people spout crap about foreign companies not spending their profits in the US when almost all of them built factories in the US recently, while our US manufacturers move all of their production to Canada and Mexico.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:24 PM   #43
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Keep in mind...part of the reason that American companies outsource parts production to foreign countries is because we as Americans,always want cheap, cheap, cheap. Yet we all want to make top dollar. So next time you whine because something is too expensive, don't be suprised if you find it cheaper but produced in China in the future.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:42 PM   #44
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But to me, it is un-American to settle for less than the best value for your dollar, wherever it may be built. I'm proud that Jeep and their workers have done so well with the JK, but I'm not giving any of these guys a mulligan with my money. You wanna sell me a car? Earn my business. Blind patriotism and loyalty to corporate name produces crap like the Compass and about 1/2 of GM's fleet.
I agree, you've got to get the most from your dollar to keep your personal economy strong. But if it comes down to needing a tie breaker when all else is equal I'll take the American made product every time.

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Keep in mind...part of the reason that American companies outsource parts production to foreign countries is because we as Americans,always want cheap, cheap, cheap. Yet we all want to make top dollar. So next time you whine because something is too expensive, don't be suprised if you find it cheaper but produced in China in the future.
Absolutely! It's pretty bad when someone can build a comparable product overseas, pay to have it shipped across the ocean, pay the tariff on it, then sell it to us and still be price competitive. This is what happens when we let an unskilled worker command a $30/hr wage plus all the bennies that go with it and then continue to pay them out of the company bankroll after they are retired and no longer doing anything productive for the company.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #45
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I took my Wrangler off roading in some pretty deep sand in a river bed and the traction control really helped, so some advancements are good, Hummerized, no. I forgot to mention stock tires too.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:40 AM   #46
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Toyota's only offroad vehicle is the Land Cruiser. I have a 2008 and love it. However it is still not the same vehicle as the Jeep Rubicon which stands alone. Just ordered a new 2012 Rubi to replace my 2004 Rubi I sold at a good resale price. I do not consider the FJ an offroad machine compared to the Rubi or the LC.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:53 AM   #47
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I would consider the FJ more in the same class with the Grand Cherokee (still rather have a GC though) not even in the same class as the Wrangler. Not to say that the Toyota's aren't good vehicles but the main reason this country is going down hill as it is, is we are making other countries richer because we buy their products over our own. Wouldn't be so bad if they were buying from us but their not. We built this great country years ago during the industrial age but we are letting if fall behind now. We would rather go to Wal-Mart and buy Chinese cheaply then to buy USA. We demand high wages which drives up production cost then we refuse to buy the product because it is too high. But saying that, at least Toyota has many of it's plant in the US to build US models so I wouldn't bad mouth anyone that owned one but still think the JK is a lot better and a whole lot more fun.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:53 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012-Rubicon

Well.....in my case, I'm not loaded and can't have a jeep AND a sports car. So a jeep that can get out if its own way will have to do! Because a sports car isn't gonna take me down the trails. I am by no means broke, but don't exactly feel like having two car payments.
I'm in the same boat financially. But seriously, I have never had my jeep fail to be able to get up to the speed limit and stay there. And if someone is driving below the speed limit i have always been able to accelerate up to the speed limit and go around them. So I repeat, it is lost on me. What are you trying to do that this won't do? If you are trying to use it on the street like a sports car on a track, then save the whine, you're misusing the vehicle. And I don't mean "you" directly unless it applies, I mean in general. You realize that until a few years ago, jeep offered a 4cyl option? It was waaaay slower than the 3.8, and it still got up to the speed limit and would maintain it! And that's all it needs to do.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:55 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by KimKman
Toyota's only offroad vehicle is the Land Cruiser. I have a 2008 and love it. However it is still not the same vehicle as the Jeep Rubicon which stands alone. Just ordered a new 2012 Rubi to replace my 2004 Rubi I sold at a good resale price. I do not consider the FJ an offroad machine compared to the Rubi or the LC.
The LC...the one that looks just like a sequoia is an off road vehicle? That huge thing?
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:11 AM   #50
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You will hardly get an objective answer on a Jeep enthusiast forum. :-)

Now, I had both - a 2008 FJ and a 2009 JKU. After three years I decided to keep the FJ, and sold the JKU. The Jeep is a great vehicle but ...

Here are the reasons why I kept the FJ and let the Jeep go:

- The FJ is a much more well-rounded vehicle. During the time I owned both, I haven't found a single place or situation that the FJ was not able to handle as well as the Jeep. When it comes to off-roading the only advantage the Jeep has is rock crawling due to more front axle articulation. However, in every other situation (mud, snow and ice, etc.), the FJ works equally well if not better. Tires and driver's skills are much more important than small differences between vehicles when in comes to difficult off-road situations. Both my vehicles are 100% stock.

- FJ has a better drivetrain (engine, transmission, transfer case). They are stronger and built to last. I have used the FJ to tow my boat in 102 deg weather, the temperature gauge stays nicely in the middle of range, and the transmission stays cool. The JKU did not like hot weather, even without towing.

- The Jeep is easier to modify due to availability of large number of relatively cheap accessories and parts.

- The JKU is more fun due to removable top / doors. It makes a great weekend vehicle when the weather is nice. But the FJ is much nicer for longer highway drives or when weather does not cooperate.

- FJ IFS results in much nicer highway handling. JKU solid front axles makes high-speed handling quite unpleasant, especially on uneven surfaces, and requires much more intervention from the driver to keep the vehicle under control.

- Toyota's service is nicer. So far we did not have any problem with the FJ, but I have owned other Toyota vehicles and they stand behind their vehicles. With Chrysler, I always felt that their approach is to try to get off the hook, and place the burden of proof on the customer - if something breaks in a Jeep it is always your fault, unless you can prove your innocence.

- Both vehicles have excellent resale value. I got trade-in offers for both vehicles, and I the FJ has lost only $3k vs. the price I paid in 2008. Toyota has started to sell the FJ globally in 2011 and the demand is higher then supply so they fetch very high prices. They go for as much as $50k in the Middle East and Australia, so Toyota is limiting the number of vehicles sold in North America.

- The FJ built and parts quality is better. After 3 years and many more miles that the JKU, the FJ still feels and drives like new. On the other hand the JKU has started to age much less gracefully, and with only 1/3 of the mileage it actually feels more worn out, especially when it comes to the mechanical side (suspension, steering, drivetrain). Toyota uses better materials and parts, and Japanese workers put more attention and "love" into building their cars compared with their American counterparts. The FJ is built 100% in Japan and it shows. We have (had) other Toyotas, some of them built in the US, some in Japan, and I am sorry to say that, but Japanese cars are built much better.

- The only complaint I have about the FJ is rust protection, but the Jeep wasn't any better anyway. But is every other aspect, it feels that the FJ will last much longer than the JKU. The FJ is built on proven and time-tested platform that Toyota has been using for ages for Hilux and Tacoma pick-up trucks.

- Some people have reported problems with front fender aprons and rear differentials. The differential problem only happened in early 2007 vehicles and has been traced to a bad batch of gears. Newer FJ's don't have the problem. The "fender bulges" are much more mysterious - they have appeared both in stock and modified vehicles, some FJ that have never been off-roaded have them, other FJ that have been heavily abused are problem-free. Toyota has modified the inner fender aprons in late 2008 and then again in 2010. Time will tell if this has cured the problem. Still, it is a fairly isolated problem that affects a small number of vehicles. The problem has also been reported in other Toyota vehicles that share the same frame / platform (Prado 120), but it appears to be purely cosmetic, and does not compromise the structural integrity of the frame. 120-series frame vehicles (Hilux, Tacoma, 4Runner, Lexus GX, Land Cruiser Prado) have been successfully used all over the world and are the preferred choice of people who need a dependable, off-road capable vehicle.

During the three years I put over 30k miles on the FJ, but only 12k on JKU. The reason is simple - more often then not the family and I would pick the FJ over the JKU for our driving needs. The JKU was fine for short errands or brief off-road adventures. But if the place we were going was more than a couple of hours away or the weather was less then perfect, the decision was obvious and unanimous - the FJ always won.

Being an engineer, here is how I would summarize both vehicles. The Jeep is an excellent concept, but FJ execution is much better because of the attention to the details (both in detail design and fabrication). They epitomize the difference between American and Japanese approach to vehicles.

If you are looking for a second vehicle that will be mostly dedicated for weekend off-roading fun, go for the Jeep. On the other hand, if you are looking for a daily driver that is also quite capable off-road, then the FJ is a more sensible choice. During the first 3 months of ownership, I liked both vehicle equally, but after 3 years the FJ feels like a long-term friend you want to keep forever, while in the meantime I got tired of the Jeep's shortcomings. A Jeep is a like a motorcycle - people ride them for fun, not because they are the most sensible option.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:39 AM   #51
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A very well written post. The only thing that I would say a bit on and off topic at the same time. This will be my second Jeep. I didn't buy either on of them for their ability on the highway or in the city. One thing you hit spot on is, the FJ is a more well rounded vehicle. I, as most who buy them was/were more interested in an off road vehicle. Any of the nice features Jeep has added in recent times. Are welcomed with open arms. But I could live without all of them in my Jeep. I guess my point is you are probably %100 correct.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:44 AM   #52
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Anyone else had guys in modded FJs try to race you on the street? I've had it happen a few times. They get mad when you tell them to "Call me for a tow when you get stuck".
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:57 AM   #53
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Is the Wrangler a better off-road vehicle than the FJ Cruiser? Why? How? Opinions are fine, but I prefer true unbiased data.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jannikt View Post
You will hardly get an objective answer on a Jeep enthusiast forum. :-)

Now, I had both - a 2008 FJ and a 2009 JKU. After three years I decided to keep the FJ, and sold the JKU. The Jeep is a great vehicle but ...

Here are the reasons why I kept the FJ and let the Jeep go:

...
To keep this short, I left out your explanation. But summed up, you kept the FJ based purely on its on road attributes and subjective notes about how each one's quality felt. If anything, your answer was more biased than many of the others, which listed verifiable facts and published sources to answer the question of off-road capability.

No one will argue the Wrangler makes more than a few on-road compromises for off-road supremacy. Had he asked about that, we'd be talking a completely different ballgame.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:17 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by jannikt
You will hardly get an objective answer on a Jeep enthusiast forum. :-)

If you are looking for a second vehicle that will be mostly dedicated for weekend off-roading fun, go for the Jeep. On the other hand, if you are looking for a daily driver that is also quite capable off-road, then the FJ is a more sensible choice. During the first 3 months of ownership, I liked both vehicle equally, but after 3 years the FJ feels like a long-term friend you want to keep forever, while in the meantime I got tired of the Jeep's shortcomings. A Jeep is a like a motorcycle - people ride them for fun, not because they are the most sensible option.
It's all individual perception. My wife has a 2008 4runner, that only gets driven to work and back, and it would be considered a better "on road" vehicle than even the FJ, but when we decide to go anywhere together (kid included), the 2 door JK wins the vote unanimously. So even on road in bad weather on the freeway, our family can't find any jeep shortcomings that make the 4runner a better choice.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:16 PM   #55
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Is the Wrangler a better off-road vehicle than the FJ Cruiser? Why? How? Opinions are fine, but I prefer true unbiased data.

- Keith -
The answers to these 3 questions are fairly simple and straight forward...

1. Yes
2. 3 words: "solid front axle"
3. The ground clearance under the axle remains constant and the increased articulation keeps both front wheels in contact with the ground longer improving the opportunity for traction, and thus, forward progress.

With IFS, clearance is constantly changing under the 'axle'. And, for example, driving your driver side front tire up on a rock effectively drives the passenger side down, keeping all 4 wheels on the ground longer and improving 'the opportunity' for traction, that doesn't happen with IFS.

My $0.02-

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Old 09-06-2011, 02:07 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jannikt View Post
You will hardly get an objective answer on a Jeep enthusiast forum. :-)

Now, I had both - a 2008 FJ and a 2009 JKU. After three years I decided to keep the FJ, and sold the JKU. The Jeep is a great vehicle but ...

Here are the reasons why I kept the FJ and let the Jeep go:

- The FJ is a much more well-rounded vehicle. During the time I owned both, I haven't found a single place or situation that the FJ was not able to handle as well as the Jeep. When it comes to off-roading the only advantage the Jeep has is rock crawling due to more front axle articulation. However, in every other situation (mud, snow and ice, etc.), the FJ works equally well if not better. Tires and driver's skills are much more important than small differences between vehicles when in comes to difficult off-road situations. Both my vehicles are 100% stock.

- FJ has a better drivetrain (engine, transmission, transfer case). They are stronger and built to last. I have used the FJ to tow my boat in 102 deg weather, the temperature gauge stays nicely in the middle of range, and the transmission stays cool. The JKU did not like hot weather, even without towing.

- The Jeep is easier to modify due to availability of large number of relatively cheap accessories and parts.

- The JKU is more fun due to removable top / doors. It makes a great weekend vehicle when the weather is nice. But the FJ is much nicer for longer highway drives or when weather does not cooperate.

- FJ IFS results in much nicer highway handling. JKU solid front axles makes high-speed handling quite unpleasant, especially on uneven surfaces, and requires much more intervention from the driver to keep the vehicle under control.

- Toyota's service is nicer. So far we did not have any problem with the FJ, but I have owned other Toyota vehicles and they stand behind their vehicles. With Chrysler, I always felt that their approach is to try to get off the hook, and place the burden of proof on the customer - if something breaks in a Jeep it is always your fault, unless you can prove your innocence.

- Both vehicles have excellent resale value. I got trade-in offers for both vehicles, and I the FJ has lost only $3k vs. the price I paid in 2008. Toyota has started to sell the FJ globally in 2011 and the demand is higher then supply so they fetch very high prices. They go for as much as $50k in the Middle East and Australia, so Toyota is limiting the number of vehicles sold in North America.

- The FJ built and parts quality is better. After 3 years and many more miles that the JKU, the FJ still feels and drives like new. On the other hand the JKU has started to age much less gracefully, and with only 1/3 of the mileage it actually feels more worn out, especially when it comes to the mechanical side (suspension, steering, drivetrain). Toyota uses better materials and parts, and Japanese workers put more attention and "love" into building their cars compared with their American counterparts. The FJ is built 100% in Japan and it shows. We have (had) other Toyotas, some of them built in the US, some in Japan, and I am sorry to say that, but Japanese cars are built much better.

- The only complaint I have about the FJ is rust protection, but the Jeep wasn't any better anyway. But is every other aspect, it feels that the FJ will last much longer than the JKU. The FJ is built on proven and time-tested platform that Toyota has been using for ages for Hilux and Tacoma pick-up trucks.

- Some people have reported problems with front fender aprons and rear differentials. The differential problem only happened in early 2007 vehicles and has been traced to a bad batch of gears. Newer FJ's don't have the problem. The "fender bulges" are much more mysterious - they have appeared both in stock and modified vehicles, some FJ that have never been off-roaded have them, other FJ that have been heavily abused are problem-free. Toyota has modified the inner fender aprons in late 2008 and then again in 2010. Time will tell if this has cured the problem. Still, it is a fairly isolated problem that affects a small number of vehicles. The problem has also been reported in other Toyota vehicles that share the same frame / platform (Prado 120), but it appears to be purely cosmetic, and does not compromise the structural integrity of the frame. 120-series frame vehicles (Hilux, Tacoma, 4Runner, Lexus GX, Land Cruiser Prado) have been successfully used all over the world and are the preferred choice of people who need a dependable, off-road capable vehicle.

During the three years I put over 30k miles on the FJ, but only 12k on JKU. The reason is simple - more often then not the family and I would pick the FJ over the JKU for our driving needs. The JKU was fine for short errands or brief off-road adventures. But if the place we were going was more than a couple of hours away or the weather was less then perfect, the decision was obvious and unanimous - the FJ always won.

Being an engineer, here is how I would summarize both vehicles. The Jeep is an excellent concept, but FJ execution is much better because of the attention to the details (both in detail design and fabrication). They epitomize the difference between American and Japanese approach to vehicles.

If you are looking for a second vehicle that will be mostly dedicated for weekend off-roading fun, go for the Jeep. On the other hand, if you are looking for a daily driver that is also quite capable off-road, then the FJ is a more sensible choice. During the first 3 months of ownership, I liked both vehicle equally, but after 3 years the FJ feels like a long-term friend you want to keep forever, while in the meantime I got tired of the Jeep's shortcomings. A Jeep is a like a motorcycle - people ride them for fun, not because they are the most sensible option.
Also being an engineer, I am not so sure that I agree with your comment "FJ execution is much better because of the attention to the details". They seemed to pay attention to everything other than driver visibility and the related ergo's. It would seem to me that more attention should have been paid to that since 90% of its life would be spent on the street in traffic than wheeling. Only a small percentage of FJ owners (and Jeep, too) are doing any serious off-road wheeling. That argument can also go both ways regarding the solid axle and IFS. But to me I didn't like a vehicle that could easily lead me into side swiping someone due to the horrible blind spots in DC traffic. Other than that they are pretty similar vehicles in the niche. Both more capable off-road than I will ever be.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:53 PM   #57
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There are quite a few words that compare things subjectively such as "better" and "stronger" without any back up in that post.

I have a TJ and would take it any day over the FJ. In its stock form it's not thebest highway vehicle, but isn't terrible either. Even with mine being modified I have no problems driving at 70mph for hours, and that's without cruise control. I don't know the specs oon the FJ drivetrain, I do know that the 4.0L is neatly bullet proof and seems to run forever. Same is true for the NV3550 transmission, which happens to be a popular swap for older Broncos powered by the massive 351 Windsor, and finally I think it's a rare occurance to destroy a NP231 unless you're really abusing it. So the Jeep parts are most definitely not "weak".
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:55 PM   #58
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:01 PM   #59
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I'm still amazed at how great my tj with 4" lift and 32's drives on the highway. It's actually more comfortable than my truck.

I wanted an FJ for a while, but couldn't get past the price tag for something without a removable top/doors. It has the same blah interior materials (cheap plastic) as other toyotas. This is from a mostly toyota family. It would be interesting to see a soft top version of the FJ, but I'll stick with my jeep.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:14 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jannikt View Post
You will hardly get an objective answer on a Jeep enthusiast forum. :-)

Now, I had both - a 2008 FJ and a 2009 JKU. After three years I decided to keep the FJ, and sold the JKU. The Jeep is a great vehicle but ...

Here are the reasons why I kept the FJ and let the Jeep go:

- The FJ is a much more well-rounded vehicle. During the time I owned both, I haven't found a single place or situation that the FJ was not able to handle as well as the Jeep. When it comes to off-roading the only advantage the Jeep has is rock crawling due to more front axle articulation. However, in every other situation (mud, snow and ice, etc.), the FJ works equally well if not better. Tires and driver's skills are much more important than small differences between vehicles when in comes to difficult off-road situations. Both my vehicles are 100% stock.

- FJ has a better drivetrain (engine, transmission, transfer case). They are stronger and built to last. I have used the FJ to tow my boat in 102 deg weather, the temperature gauge stays nicely in the middle of range, and the transmission stays cool. The JKU did not like hot weather, even without towing.

- The Jeep is easier to modify due to availability of large number of relatively cheap accessories and parts.

- The JKU is more fun due to removable top / doors. It makes a great weekend vehicle when the weather is nice. But the FJ is much nicer for longer highway drives or when weather does not cooperate.

- FJ IFS results in much nicer highway handling. JKU solid front axles makes high-speed handling quite unpleasant, especially on uneven surfaces, and requires much more intervention from the driver to keep the vehicle under control.

- Toyota's service is nicer. So far we did not have any problem with the FJ, but I have owned other Toyota vehicles and they stand behind their vehicles. With Chrysler, I always felt that their approach is to try to get off the hook, and place the burden of proof on the customer - if something breaks in a Jeep it is always your fault, unless you can prove your innocence.

- Both vehicles have excellent resale value. I got trade-in offers for both vehicles, and I the FJ has lost only $3k vs. the price I paid in 2008. Toyota has started to sell the FJ globally in 2011 and the demand is higher then supply so they fetch very high prices. They go for as much as $50k in the Middle East and Australia, so Toyota is limiting the number of vehicles sold in North America.

- The FJ built and parts quality is better. After 3 years and many more miles that the JKU, the FJ still feels and drives like new. On the other hand the JKU has started to age much less gracefully, and with only 1/3 of the mileage it actually feels more worn out, especially when it comes to the mechanical side (suspension, steering, drivetrain). Toyota uses better materials and parts, and Japanese workers put more attention and "love" into building their cars compared with their American counterparts. The FJ is built 100% in Japan and it shows. We have (had) other Toyotas, some of them built in the US, some in Japan, and I am sorry to say that, but Japanese cars are built much better.

- The only complaint I have about the FJ is rust protection, but the Jeep wasn't any better anyway. But is every other aspect, it feels that the FJ will last much longer than the JKU. The FJ is built on proven and time-tested platform that Toyota has been using for ages for Hilux and Tacoma pick-up trucks.

- Some people have reported problems with front fender aprons and rear differentials. The differential problem only happened in early 2007 vehicles and has been traced to a bad batch of gears. Newer FJ's don't have the problem. The "fender bulges" are much more mysterious - they have appeared both in stock and modified vehicles, some FJ that have never been off-roaded have them, other FJ that have been heavily abused are problem-free. Toyota has modified the inner fender aprons in late 2008 and then again in 2010. Time will tell if this has cured the problem. Still, it is a fairly isolated problem that affects a small number of vehicles. The problem has also been reported in other Toyota vehicles that share the same frame / platform (Prado 120), but it appears to be purely cosmetic, and does not compromise the structural integrity of the frame. 120-series frame vehicles (Hilux, Tacoma, 4Runner, Lexus GX, Land Cruiser Prado) have been successfully used all over the world and are the preferred choice of people who need a dependable, off-road capable vehicle.

During the three years I put over 30k miles on the FJ, but only 12k on JKU. The reason is simple - more often then not the family and I would pick the FJ over the JKU for our driving needs. The JKU was fine for short errands or brief off-road adventures. But if the place we were going was more than a couple of hours away or the weather was less then perfect, the decision was obvious and unanimous - the FJ always won.

Being an engineer, here is how I would summarize both vehicles. The Jeep is an excellent concept, but FJ execution is much better because of the attention to the details (both in detail design and fabrication). They epitomize the difference between American and Japanese approach to vehicles.

If you are looking for a second vehicle that will be mostly dedicated for weekend off-roading fun, go for the Jeep. On the other hand, if you are looking for a daily driver that is also quite capable off-road, then the FJ is a more sensible choice. During the first 3 months of ownership, I liked both vehicle equally, but after 3 years the FJ feels like a long-term friend you want to keep forever, while in the meantime I got tired of the Jeep's shortcomings. A Jeep is a like a motorcycle - people ride them for fun, not because they are the most sensible option.
Jannikt, you are really kicking a dead horse. My God!!! give it up already, the FJ is done.
The 2012 Wrangler is far better,and a much better seller here and abroad.

The FJ is done. Enough already!AMERICA DISAGREES WITH YOU,AND SO DO I.
I feel sorry for you guys whom work for Toyota.
Jannikt , buy a 2012,you won't even look at the FJ anymore.

AJ

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