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Old 09-05-2011, 09:14 AM   #1
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Why is Wrangler better than Toyota FJ Cruiser?

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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Old 09-05-2011, 09:22 AM   #2
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have never ridden in a FJ.....but i did stay at a holiday express.......and the jeep has the 3.6, 5 speed auto, option to get a Rubicon with the 4.10, locking differentials, removable top, removable doors, lowered windshield....and you get the option of a leak or no leaky top.

Sorry Keith, Its just a JEEP thing..... I can't give you a comparison but i konw I've always loved jeeps since my first spin in one in the Army. You may feel the same way about the Toyota if you decide to go that way. I know a lot of people that love the land cruiser.

Either way, just get out there in the dirt.......

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Old 09-05-2011, 09:31 AM   #3
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I tried searching but couldn't find the article. One of the major 4WD magazines did a comparison a few years ago and the JK won. that's about as unbiased as you will get. In general a solid axle will win out over IFS when it comes to the rough stuff.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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Toyota FJ Cruiser VS Jeep JK Wrangler - 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine

The primary things for most people will be the solid front axle, much better approach and departure angles, and a tighter turning circle (for the 2-door...4-door is roughly the same) and immense aftermarket support.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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Jeep. Solid front axle, gearing options, ease of modification, aftermarket support, etc.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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Bubba,
Thanks for the post. Seems like the major drawback of the testing was the Jeep lack of power. Hopefully, the new engine takes care of that. Great reading actually, should help answer the question.

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Old 09-05-2011, 10:04 AM   #7
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With a change of the diff. gears--


Quote:
Originally Posted by tcass View Post
Bubba,
Thanks for the post. Seems like the major drawback of the testing was the Jeep lack of power. Hopefully, the new engine takes care of that. Great reading actually, should help answer the question.

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Old 09-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #8
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The FJ only came close because of its extra power. With the new motor, I doubt it would have been so close. The JK just handles the rough stuff better. A quote from the article above: "if you want agility, visibility, and climbing ability, then the JK lays the smack down on Toyota's cruiser."


But even with it's off road advantage there is another big reason the JK beats out the FJ, and that's the ability to take the top off and enjoy the ride. You just can't do that with any other off road vehicle and that freedom of the open air while on the trail is worth the extra price hands down.

Not to mention the looks you get in your Jeep. It's not just the adults that walk out of the way just to look at your Jeep, but the young boys that say look at that Jeep because Jeep has always been the dream vehicle of boys from their first thoughts of what they want when they grow up. Well a Jeep and a fire engine anyways.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:10 AM   #9
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Heh Heh, I Take my grandkids in the back of my JKUR and they've gotta have the rear windows ---DOWN !!

Can't doit in the FJ

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Old 09-05-2011, 10:18 AM   #10
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I can tow it behind my motorhome. Try that with an FJ.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:29 AM   #11
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re: "Opinions are fine, but I prefer true unbiased data."

good luck with that!

re: opinion, mine:
Current FJ has become similar to what happened to the original Thunderbird when they added a rear seat and plushboat stuff. More people wanted that perhaps, but the original 2 seater TB was a basic rather nimble if not rather anemic yet enjoyable ride.

The FJ40s were pretty much a Jeep knockoff run thru the Japanese Military, of such close design parameters even their transmission would bolt up to a 350 chevy, IIRC.

The FJ40s had tops-off option and some dandy off-road capacity.

I drove a couple of the new FJs and simply did not care for them, either in design or execution of the styling. They didn't fit my largely pre-conscious notion of what "outdoor fun" and "off road adventure" meant. They weren't like those Jeeps of long ago that I grew up loving and knocking around in the outback country. Now if I were to consider taking up Mall Ninja activities, I'd probably look more closely at the current FJ....although I still am fond of the old FJ40 style a lot more.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:31 AM   #12
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I drove an FJ on road and wasn't impressed at all. Not to mention all the blind spots, no thanks!

Isn't the current FJ Cruiser FWD when not in 4WD? I'll pass on that too, I like RWD when not in 4WD.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demarpaint View Post
I drove an FJ on road and wasn't impressed at all. Not to mention all the blind spots, no thanks!

Isn't the current FJ Cruiser FWD when not in 4WD? I'll pass on that too, I like RWD when not in 4WD.
+1

I came to the same conclusion. I didn't care for the blind spots or the funky paint schemes. I drove one around Toledo one afternoon and just wasn't dazzled by it.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:28 AM   #14
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The salesman cracked me up when he told me they sold for higer than sticker price. After I stopped laughing I told him I sold cars, and didn't feel the love for the FJ, that shut him right down. The easiest way shut a pushy saleman down is tell him/her you don't feel the love. There's really no comeback for that.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demarpaint View Post
I drove an FJ on road and wasn't impressed at all. Not to mention all the blind spots, no thanks!

Isn't the current FJ Cruiser FWD when not in 4WD? I'll pass on that too, I like RWD when not in 4WD.
+2

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Old 09-05-2011, 11:50 AM   #16
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I believe they sold higher then sticker because Toyota either cut production all together or limited it significantly over the last few years. I was looking into one and loved the ability to put a camping tent system on the roof. But in the end there were only 2 total available in my area between 7 Toyota dealers. Why would they make a deal on the price when there are so few. In the end the FJ has been neglected so long by Toyota I feared they were going to discontinue it and thus never pursued it further. It's due for a significant overhaul and it's engine and interior need major updating to be competitive. I don't fault any of the FJ's abilities as a competent off-roader just don't feel Toyota cares much about it. When executives start to let a model twist in the wind you start to wonder if it's a good idea for you to purchase it.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:53 AM   #17
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FJ versus JK

Well, both are very off-road capable machines. Both have far more "gusto" than I will ever use. But, when driving the FJ Crusier on the street (where it would be 90% of the time) the blind spots made negotiating traffic a little tricky. I found it downright annoying. You realy have to rely on your mirrors and doing a basic "head check" is pretty much impossible. Guess I'm old fashioned. Plus I prefer the 4-doors of the JKU to the 3-door design of the FJ.

FJ people get crazy when you say something about "visibility" and their vehicles. I joined the FJ forum to learn about the vehicle and got cussed out and called ever name in the book when I asked if anyone had issues with the visibility. It was a fiercely defensive crowd that acted like a bunch of children. That's the Internet for you....
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:57 AM   #18
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When the FJ first came out, August 2006 (?), I bought one and traded it a week later.
The driver seat aggravated my lower back and the blind spots were bad. Luckily, FJ demand, at that time was still great, so I didn't get killed on the trade.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:29 PM   #19
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Had an 04 TJ. Traded on an 07 FJ in 07. Back in 2011 JK Rubi. FJ was clearly a step up on the road from the TJ. JK a step up on road from FJ. Off road, visibility in FJ is a problem. Also back seat on FJ not good! About even with my two door JK. TJ and JK both have better fuel economy than FJ. Suicide rear doors on the FJ a PITA! About as easy getting people in and out of my JK even though it is a two door. Missed my TJ about every day when I had the FJ. Never missed the FJ not once now that I have my JK. BTW, FJ auto's are RWD. FJ manual's are AWD.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:17 PM   #20
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Despite that I owned a YJ in high school, and considered myself a "Jeep" guy, I was always impressed with Toyota's reliability.

In 2007 I was torn between a JK and a Tacoma. I went with the Tacoma. The transmission felt like crap from 3k miles on. The clutch felt like crap after 30k miles. The transmission went after 88k miles (still drivable though). Toyota claimed it was normal wear and tear.

This time around, it was between a JK and a FJ. I was not impressed by the FJ. It was sluggish, handled like a minivan at high speeds, had terrible blind spots, and getting passengers into the back was no easier than a 2 door JK. All this, combined with the sticker price, and my previous experience with Toyota, made the JK an easy decision for me.

I expect to keep this Jeep for 20 years...
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demarpaint
I drove an FJ on road and wasn't impressed at all. Not to mention all the blind spots, no thanks!

Isn't the current FJ Cruiser FWD when not in 4WD? I'll pass on that too, I like RWD when not in 4WD.
The FJ is based on the Land Cruiser platform, which is old-school body-on-frame truck style chassis. It has been proven capable off road for decades and 2wd mode turns the rear wheels like a real off road vehicle should. The LC has a solid front axle, iirc, the FJ definitely is IFS.

If you want to drop $80K on a luxurious land yacht that can take you on safari, the Land Cruiser is a good choice. Have sone Sherpas carry some extra gas for you, the LC is a V8 powered guzzler.

The FJ's weaknesses are well documented, although they are fine vehicles if you can find a good deal on one. They do come up short to the JK on maneuverability, live axle, visibility, and being open-top. Toyota tried to create a "Rubicon killer" and failed. This is a shame, the old FJs would have been a better target for them to emulate.

The FJ has been discontinued for 2012, and came up well short of the Jeep's 70 year run. Yet another generation of Japanese have grown to hate the Jeep.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:09 PM   #22
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If you care about Made in America at all, the JK is built by Americans in Toledo, Ohio and the FJ is built in Japan by the Japanese. I would rather have my money stay here and help our economy instead of go over there and help theirs. There are getting to be a lot of so called American cars built in foreign contries, but thankfully the Jeep is still homegrown.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:17 PM   #23
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Yes Jeep is an American icon still made in America! FJ stands for Failed Jeep.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:20 PM   #24
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Good link Bubba, Thanks.

OK, I got some good data. One theme I'm seeing in all the FJ pictures is a severe lack of suspension articulation. The front just doesn't move leaving the back to do all the twisting.

Any FJ envy I once had is now gone. Well done all :-)

- Keith -
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:26 PM   #25
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FJs were discontinued? First I've heard..
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:36 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilwell1415
If you care about Made in America at all, the JK is built by Americans in Toledo, Ohio and the FJ is built in Japan by the Japanese. I would rather have my money stay here and help our economy instead of go over there and help theirs. There are getting to be a lot of so called American cars built in foreign contries, but thankfully the Jeep is still homegrown.
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.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:41 PM   #27
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While I think Jeep is incrementally "Hummerizing" the Wrangler to please soccer moms and wanna be's, Toyota went all out. The New FJ is nothing like the old ones, which had a lot in common with CJ's. The JKs are still wranglers. Tons of shared parts, lots of aftermarket support and totally capable, just a little more bling on the inside.

As for power, more is only usable to a point for most of us. You can only put so much on the ground with the tires and suspensions most of us run. I didn't buy my TJ to drag race or carve corners on curvy roads. I bought it for off-road and the 4.0 has plenty of power for that without overdoing it. I'm sure the JK's do to. Nobody in a Jeep is worried about their 0-60 times.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:49 PM   #28
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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.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:50 PM   #29
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The FJ is based on the Land Cruiser platform, which is old-school body-on-frame truck style chassis. It has been proven capable off road for decades and 2wd mode turns the rear wheels like a real off road vehicle should. The LC has a solid front axle, iirc, the FJ definitely is IFS.

If you want to drop $80K on a luxurious land yacht that can take you on safari, the Land Cruiser is a good choice. Have sone Sherpas carry some extra gas for you, the LC is a V8 powered guzzler.

The FJ's weaknesses are well documented, although they are fine vehicles if you can find a good deal on one. They do come up short to the JK on maneuverability, live axle, visibility, and being open-top. Toyota tried to create a "Rubicon killer" and failed. This is a shame, the old FJs would have been a better target for them to emulate.

The FJ has been discontinued for 2012, and came up well short of the Jeep's 70 year run. Yet another generation of Japanese have grown to hate the Jeep.
I didn't crawl under an FJ but the salesman told me when it was in 2WD it was FWD. I found that odd, and if I was a buyer of an FJ that was all I had to hear not to want one. Is this another case of a saleman not knowing nothing about the product he's selling?
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:53 PM   #30
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While I think Jeep is incrementally "Hummerizing" the Wrangler to please soccer moms and wanna be's, Toyota went all out.
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.

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