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Old 02-05-2011, 08:01 PM   #1
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YJ Jeep Wrangler Vs. Toyota FJ Cruiser? Anyone Know Which Is Better?

I found a video of the YJ Jeep Wrangler and the Toyota FJ Cruiser doing some offroad driving. The video was titled as if it was a comparison, which is why I watched it in the first place. It turned out that this was not a comparison, but it got me thinking about which one would be better off road. The video was pretty cool because it displayed just how good both are when the going gets tough. I was wondering if anyone knows which one is actually better?

In case you are interested, here is the video that I saw:
Jeep Wrangler Challenges Toyota FJ Cruiser | Ultimate Street Videos, Car Reviews, Car News

If you have any experience let me know... Pros and Cons for each...

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Old 02-05-2011, 09:15 PM   #2
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They are two very different vehicles produced at very different periods in time.
Comparing/ contrasting would almost be useless. I think in terms of off-roading it would come down to the driver. Most YJ drivers= experienced and intuitive. Most FJ drivers= soccer moms that can't even drive through a fast food lane flawlessly.
(If you are a wrangler and FJ owner, I mean no insult)

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Old 02-05-2011, 09:24 PM   #3
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um those are TJ's and JK's no YJ that i could see.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jgwalt View Post
They are two very different vehicles produced at very different periods in time.
Comparing/ contrasting would almost be useless. I think in terms of off-roading it would come down to the driver. Most YJ drivers= experienced and intuitive. Most FJ drivers= soccer moms that can't even drive through a fast food lane flawlessly.
(If you are a wrangler and FJ owner, I mean no insult)
No insult taken, However having owned 6 different jeeps and two Fj Cruisers, it's still amazes me how people can say only soccer moms drive Fj's. Heck my kids don't even play soccer! And she has no trouble navigating the drive thru.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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It's a funny stereotype, though. I think FJs are genuinely cool looking. What's the power like compared to a JK?
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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They are totally different in every way. Comfort goes to the FJ. Power goes to the FJ by a long shot. Coolness and fun to the JK. Summer time she always wants to drive the Jeep. Off road, and here's the biggie, I love my Jeep.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:02 PM   #7
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Fj is a unibody which is weaker than the frame setup on wrangler.
Not an open body design
Modifications are limited to what's been sold (unless you're reeeealy good at fabricating stuff)
God forbid you have a mechanical issue you have to have a degree to try fixing fj compare to YJ (although I can't say nothing about newer models, just don't know)
I doubt Toyota can take the amount of abuse wrangler can
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:05 PM   #8
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Fjs are cool looking imo . But I like a removable top!
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:32 PM   #9
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The FJ is very capable but you can't see out of it....and its fugly
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:32 PM   #10
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:33 PM   #11
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:05 AM   #12
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The FJ is very capable but you can't see out of it....and its fugly
I disagree on the fugly. Worst part of driving the wife's Fj, is when your first at a traffic light and have to practically put your face down to the steering wheel to see the light. And the way the windows are configured its hard to even use a drive up ATM or hand a drink tray through them. Funny thing though is the kids call it riding in a submarine because of the little windows in the back.
Better comparison would e the JK to the FJ, but still apples to oranges.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 60mg View Post
Fj is a unibody which is weaker than the frame setup on wrangler.
Not an open body design
Modifications are limited to what's been sold (unless you're reeeealy good at fabricating stuff)
God forbid you have a mechanical issue you have to have a degree to try fixing fj compare to YJ (although I can't say nothing about newer models, just don't know)
I doubt Toyota can take the amount of abuse wrangler can
Not a unibody.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk47882
Not a unibody.
Sorry. Thought of a different vehicle.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:34 AM   #15
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i had a 69 fj that i loved and wished i stilled wished i owned with all my jeeps.
i also had a 67 bronco with 44 monster mudders and 12 inches of lift that was as cool as they get and yep wish i stilled had it.
now i have a few jeeps that i love and will never sell at this point in my life.
but the new fj is a plastic joke compared to the old one's
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:08 PM   #16
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"Better" is a subjective term. Now, looking at some specific criteria:

Safety: FJ is a clear winner (much better in side crash and rollover)

Power / towing: FJ wins

Handling: FJ wins

Reliability: FJ wins

Build quality: FJ wins

Comfort: FJ wins

Off-road capability: Stock Wrangler Rubicon wins over stock FJ, other stock Wrangler models and stock FJ's are about the same. Jeep design is more optimized for off-roading, but Toyota's parts / build quality are better, less prone to break down.

"Cool" factor: Jeep wins
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jannikt View Post
"Better" is a subjective term. Now, looking at some specific criteria:

Safety: FJ is a clear winner (much better in side crash and rollover)

Power / towing: FJ wins

Handling: FJ wins

Reliability: FJ wins

Build quality: FJ wins

Comfort: FJ wins

Off-road capability: Stock Wrangler Rubicon wins over stock FJ, other stock Wrangler models and stock FJ's are about the same. Jeep design is more optimized for off-roading, but Toyota's parts / build quality are better, less prone to break down.

"Cool" factor: Jeep wins
I never got my YJ w/ these things in mind, If I did I'd have a Lexus GS400.
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jannikt View Post
"Better" is a subjective term. Now, looking at some specific criteria:
Stock vs stock?
Safety: FJ is a clear winner (much better in side crash and rollover)
Fine
Power / towing: FJ wins
Fine
Handling: FJ wins
I question this
Reliability: FJ wins
Whatever. I'd put my YJ up against any Toyota of this day or back in the day for reliability/dependability.

Build quality: FJ wins
If you mean by the way that it's designed parts are actually fabricated and put together than maybe, but if you mean simply design to final product than the FJ has some already stated inferiorities. As has been said the view outside is greatly compromised, and IFS < SFS.
Comfort: FJ wins
Irrelevant
Off-road capability: Stock Wrangler Rubicon wins over stock FJ, other stock Wrangler models and stock FJ's are about the same. Jeep design is more optimized for off-roading, but Toyota's parts / build quality are better, less prone to break down.
Again, I question this. IFS is inherently weaker than SFS. Google "solid axle FJ" and tell me that the IFS is better. And again, I would easily put my YJ up against any FJ in the "less prone to break down" arena. And I thrash my YJ harder than any FJ I know of.

"Cool" factor: Jeep wins
Goes without saying
I'm with SUBZERO on this one. :/
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:17 PM   #19
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YJs are simpler to work on. If the FJ beats me today through the mud hole, I'll come back tomorrow with bigger axles, bigger tires, and a bigger lift lol
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:43 PM   #20
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my boyfriend has a 2010 FJ cruiser, and i think it's hideous and it sucks... the seats are uncomfortable and the visibility is crap. he does have a buttload of extra goodies on it (his rig is regularly featured in 4WD Toyota Owner Magazine and the jerk gets all of his truck goodies for free), which means his FJ can pretty much crush my un-modded YJ on the trails.
i'm probably a leeeetle biased, tho.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:33 PM   #21
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I never got my YJ w/ these things in mind, If I did I'd have a Lexus GS400.
The reality is that Jeep is a nice weekend toy for overgrown immature American kids. When it comes to a serious vehicle that has to get the job done, Toyota is by far a much more dependable vehicle. There is a good reason why Toyota is the #1 choice in places where your life depends on your car's performance and dependability - Africa, Australian outback, Asia or South America jungle. If you look at serious expedition vehicles, all you will see are Toyotas, Land Rovers and Mercedes. You won't see any Jeeps on any serious off-road expedition into the wilderness.

I have travelled all over the world, and Jeep is virtually "extint" in any place where paved roads are an unknown luxury. Modern Jeeps simply aren't strong and durable enough to withstand the daily abuse that cars have to endure in these places. The CJ was a different story, but newer models are too "flimsy". Africa, Southeast Asia, South America and Australia are dominated by Toyota Land Cruisers, Hilux (and its derivatives, like the Prado, which shares the same platform with the FJ), Land Rovers Defenders (with diesel engines, because their gasoline engines suck), Mercedes G-Class. I have seen 10 years old Hiluxes and Land Cruisers with 200k miles on the clock, still running strong in spite of daily abuse. A Chrysler-built Jeep wouldn't last even a couple of years under these conditions.

Toyota trucks are built to a different standard than Jeeps. Jeeps are fine for American suburban dwellers, for whom a 20 miles run in a desert or a weekend play in the local mudhole is "an expedition" (and there is a tow truck just one cellphone call away). Toyotas are build to work hard, year after year, in the most inhospitable places.

There is a good reason while in Africa they say:
"Buy a Land Rover and it will take you anywhere. Buy a Toyota and it will take you there ... and bring you back home."
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:27 PM   #22
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A couple of comments on SFS. SFS excels in one area - slow-speed rock crawling. However, when it comes to all-around off-road performance, IFS (actually all-wheel independent suspension) is better. There is a good reason while solid axles have been abandoned in modern military vehicles (HUMVEE, Iveco LMV, URO VAMTAC, Bushmaster PMV, you name it). These vehicles are designed for ultimate performance, mobiiity and dependability, and all have double-wishbone suspension in the four corners. SFS may be fine for weekend toys, but for serious, professional use it has been superseded by 4-wheel independent suspension.

Now, even assuming that Wrangler's SFS is indeed better - a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And the Wrangler is plagued with "weak links" - engine, transmission, steering, electrical system.

On the other hand, FJ Cruiser is built on the "120" platform. This is the platform used in Hilux, Land Cruiser Prado, Tacoma, 4Runner (until 2010), Lexus GS430. So under the "Tonka Toy" body there is some serious heavy metal. All the above mentioned vehicles share the same frame, suspension and drivetrain. They are not perfect, but they are as good as money can buy (within reasonable affordability limits).

The advantage of Toyota is the attention to detail - they don't overdesign / overbuild one element while overlooking something else. The "120" platform is a time-proven design, which is well known for its durability and longevity even under most strenuous conditions - just look at the thousands of Hiluxes that are used and abused day-in, day-out in Africa or Asia. Ask the people who drive them if they would ever exchange one for a Jeep, and you will hear a resounding "No way".
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:53 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by 60mg View Post
fj is a unibody which is weaker than the frame setup on wrangler.
Not an open body design
modifications are limited to what's been sold (unless you're reeeealy good at fabricating stuff)
god forbid you have a mechanical issue you have to have a degree to try fixing fj compare to yj (although i can't say nothing about newer models, just don't know)
i doubt toyota can take the amount of abuse wrangler can
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:59 PM   #24
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My daughter just got her fj and seems to like it a lot. Hasn't done much offroading yet but once she gets the hang of it, I'm sure she'll be pushin it to it's limits....

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Old 03-15-2011, 11:03 PM   #25
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@ jannikt: Dude, you're at the wrong forum. If Toyota is that good what are you doing here (just out of curiosity)? Besides, G-Class and Land Rovers? Please!

Toyota makes good cars but nowhere near to what they were when they started. They have grown to rely on the reputation they built up over years and now letting some crap fly through.
In all fairness as a daily driver Toyota will win due to luxuries it has. As a fun car it will suck beyond believe (well maybe not as much but you get the point) There rest of it is up to driver.
Re: reliability - my 95 YJ has 176K on odometer and a thick file of mental and physical abuse by previous owners regardless of which it keeps on running. Minor things here and there don't count as that happens to all abused cars (even so incredibly indestructible as Toyota ). Also, look around and check how many Toyotas that were abused similarly to Wranglers of equal years are still out there running. That will pretty much conclude it All that "Toyota makes the best ..." is in all reality nothing more but a sales pitch to those who have "big ears" to listen to it.

P.S. In all seriousness, I'm not bashing FJ. It's a nice offroader with whatever is left of real Toyota reliability and some luxury options but out of Japs I'd go with XTerra rather (could be just me). However, for exploratory driving on medium trails with less than moderate amount of mud and other body-damage-inflicting obstacles and objects it would make a great vehicle. Wrangler gives you much more fun though while doing the same thing.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:40 PM   #26
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There is no way to compare a Wrangler to a FJ... Just completely different.

FJ is like an Xterra You can get both with rear lockers but make over 200hp
Both have a longer wheel base than the Jeep.. Both have much more room than the Jeep. Ive wheeled a Xterra for years and my Jeep.. Both bring different things to a trail. The Jeep wins in aftermarket support... Hands down.. The Xterra was much smoother on the trails. I did some hard core rock climbing in the Xterra too. But if Im going to build a truck to do just hard core trails its going to be a Jeep. Any Xterra you see built for hard core rocks will be straight axel'ed IFS just can not flex like the SAS.

Just a thought
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:44 PM   #27
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YJs are simpler to work on. If the FJ beats me today through the mud hole, I'll come back tomorrow with bigger axles, bigger tires, and a bigger lift lol
Sure the YJ is simpler to work on.. its a 35 year old design (Including CJs)
No computers.. Just simple simple simple

But if that FJ beats you in a hole.. your going to throw money at that Jeep to make it do what the FJ did?

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Old 03-16-2011, 01:09 PM   #28
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As it was said it is mater of versatility, modifiability, and fun. Fj owners like to drive their vehicles for one reason or another however it doesn't include working (I mean everything from easy fixed to hard core fabrication) on their trucks unlike Wrangler owners. Again, as it was said, it's like comparing a hippo and an alligator - both can swim and move on land but two completely different species.

P. S. ... although new wrangler unlimited seems to be leaving the family in terms of leaning toward comfort and all of that stuff, so those a probably possible to compare.

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Old 03-16-2011, 01:58 PM   #29
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Jannikt, I agree with you, but you're kind of missing the point here. He's comparing the newly designed FJ Cruiser to a Wrangler. I'd say that's a fair comparison. However, I wouldn't compare my YJ to a Hilux...ever. They are to extremely different vehicles, designed for two different purposes. Every Jeep is designed as a recreational vehicle, not a work horse. The Hilux might as well have work horse stamped down the side of it.

You're view is also kind of skewed here. The Jeep Wrangler is designed for the American market, where we have the luxury of paved road. Why would American car makers design their vehicles to be driven with the thought of not having paved roads? I'm not trying to make a political poke here about how America is the greatest country in the world or anything, because I'm not that kind of guy. You just need to bring your argument into context here.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:19 PM   #30
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A couple of comments on SFS. SFS excels in one area - slow-speed rock crawling. However, when it comes to all-around off-road performance, IFS (actually all-wheel independent suspension) is better. There is a good reason while solid axles have been abandoned in modern military vehicles (HUMVEE, Iveco LMV, URO VAMTAC, Bushmaster PMV, you name it). These vehicles are designed for ultimate performance, mobiiity and dependability, and all have double-wishbone suspension in the four corners. SFS may be fine for weekend toys, but for serious, professional use it has been superseded by 4-wheel independent suspension.
I couldn't give two $#!+s about the HMMWV in this case. We're talking about the FJ Cruiser here. Again, I point you to Google. If independent suspension is so much better why is everyone that owns an FJ for serious off-roading looking to swap in a solid axle? On top of that Toyota did not go to IFS because it was "better" they went to it (all the way back in the 80's) because it offered a smoother on road drive. A compromise on performance for comfort. Why does the FJ have a solid rear axle if independent suspension is so superior?
Quote:
Now, even assuming that Wrangler's SFS is indeed better - a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And the Wrangler is plagued with "weak links" - engine, transmission, steering, electrical system.
Depending on the year you're talking about yes, but that goes for every brand ever made. Need I remind you of the problems Toyota had just last year? On top of that I have had not one problem with my engine (the fact that you even include this in your argument means you know very little about Jeeps), transmission, steering, or electrical system. Hell, I hose my Jeep down inside and out and the only electrical problem I've had was the aftermarket cd player the PO installed.
Quote:
On the other hand, FJ Cruiser is built on the "120" platform. This is the platform used in Hilux, Land Cruiser Prado, Tacoma, 4Runner (until 2010), Lexus GS430. So under the "Tonka Toy" body there is some serious heavy metal. All the above mentioned vehicles share the same frame, suspension and drivetrain. They are not perfect, but they are as good as money can buy (within reasonable affordability limits).
Get back to me when the current FJ Cruiser is 20 years old and still doing all you say its predecessors are.
Quote:
The advantage of Toyota is the attention to detail - they don't overdesign / overbuild one element while overlooking something else. The "120" platform is a time-proven design, which is well known for its durability and longevity even under most strenuous conditions - just look at the thousands of Hiluxes that are used and abused day-in, day-out in Africa or Asia. Ask the people who drive them if they would ever exchange one for a Jeep, and you will hear a resounding "No way".
I'd also ask them if they'd exchange them for a new FJ. You've gone from comparing Toyota's FJ Cruiser to its back-in-the-day work. You've changed the argument. Jeep is still built on the same platform is was originally designed to be, but you can't use advances of the past to shore up the compromises of today. Toyota today is not what it was a decade ago. Granted platforms like the Tacoma and FJ Cruiser were not subject to them, but it goes a ways in describing the overall mentality of a company, that prides itself on its quality, when their premier vehicle (Camry) all of a sudden becomes plagued with problems.

Is Toyota good? Of course. Is the FJ Cruiser a good platform? Sure. Is it this David vs Goliath comparison you're making? Not even.

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