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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler

Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,968
How's the new FJ Cruiser going to stack up against the venerable Wrangler?


  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Not very well. I love, absolutely love the old FJs, but this thing looks like a something Barbie would drive, and contrary to what Karl says, it does not remotely stack up to a Rubicon off road, and I'm not just saying that because I am biased and own a Rubicon. :P
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    OK, could you explain why you believe that? I'm not being a smart butt, I'd just like to know what makes the Jeep better.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,968
    What Karl said:

    "I'll maybe give the Jeep Rubicon a slight advantage in pure off-road ability, but only because of the Wrangler's tidier dimensions, not because it has superior equipment or any other inherent "capability" advantage. And in terms of everything not related to going off road, the FJ pummels the Wrangler (BTW, I'm a big Jeep Wrangler fan, but I'm not going to let that fact warp reality)."

    Toyota FJ Cruiser vs. Jeep Wrangler (Karl on Cars)

    Steve, Host
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    4:11 gearing
    more useable torque in the low end
    heavy duty u-joints
    Good Year MTRs
    front and rear air lockers
    dana 44 axles
    fold down windshield
    removeable top
    removeable doors
    Coil Suspension

    Not to mention huge aftermarket offroad support. I'm sure the FJ will be very capable, but to say it's more capable than Jeeps except for the Rubicon is ridiculous. Karl has no idea what he's talking about, and then to say that it's equipment is comparable to the Rubicon is ridiculous.
  • steenh1steenh1 Posts: 28
    And you know it's capabilities aren't in line with a Rubicon how? Seen a live one? Driven one?

    I think Karl's got one up on you. He's actually driven one (and he likes jeeps).

    I don't know yet how it will stack up (I'll reserve opinion until I've driven one), but having owned a Jeep previously and a couple LC's today, I can speak from experience, if you get the jeep, better put in the budget a bunch of tows when things start breaking.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    And you know it's capabilities aren't in line with a Rubicon how? Seen a live one? Driven one?

    Nope, don't need to drive one to dispute what Karl said, besides, who has driven one besides the auto journalists? This topic was started based on Karl's artile, the first road test, and knowledge of current Jeeps.

    Karl said he gave the edge to the Rubicon based on dimensions not on equipment. I just gave you a list that the cruiser doesn't match. It does have a rear electric locker and slip. The Rubicon has air lockers front and rear and helical limited slip. Every other edge would go to the Rubicon except for out-of-the box tire size, which is an inch larger over the current Rubicon. The engine alone gives the Rubicon the advantage offroad. I have driven Toyotas with that engine and the Jeep inline six has much greater low end torque, which is what you need off road.

    And as far as things breaking, check out the Wrangler foruma and you'll see that the vast majority of Wrangler owners find the vehicle to be tremendously reliable. I have yet to have one mechanical issue in 13K miles. I could not say the same, however, for our Toyota Avalon, which had to have a new transmission at 10K miles.

    I'm really not trying to bash the Toyota. In fact, over all, I'm sure it is much more liveable than a Jeep. I'm sure it's much better on the road, but to say it rivals a Rubicon is premature at best. Before he says that, he needs to put them head to head in a true offroad test with several drivers, particularly drivers who know how to drive off road.
  • steenh1steenh1 Posts: 28
    I look forward to the head to head tests. Don't know which will take the prize. I'm sure the debate will continue long after that first test.

    I also know that one experience isn't necessarily indicative of all experiences but... I have two LC's, 97 and 99. Both have over 115k miles. I did have to change a starter in the 97 ($250) a few months ago, but other than that... nothing.

    I owned a Cherokee with the inline 6 for 4 yrs. At 5k mile a caliper froze. 15k miles the fuel injection system failed, and I constantly had major issues with hesitation on any trip over 2 hours. At 38k the clutch's went (why two in that vehicle, I don't know)... and then the replacements went at 62k. I traded in at that point. Like I said, that's one person's experience but I bet Consumer Reports wouldn't rate the Wrangler anywhere near as well as any Toy truck.

    I think the major weakness in the FJ will be the lack of solid front axle and no front locker.

    b/t/w, if Jeep sold a high quality product, I'd probably prefer it to the FJ. Would have liked to have seen Toy remake the FJ more like the old ones (very similar to today's Jeeps which haven't really changed in 30 years)

    I'll end up keeping the LC's... but look forward to seeing the debate.
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    Thanks for the reply.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I, too, will look forward to the head to head tests between these vehicles. I don't think either one will "naturally" have an advantage over the other. I personally prefer the looks of the old Wrangler (haven't seen the new one yet). I currently own 2 Wranglers (98 and 04, both bought new) and used to own a Tacoma (2000, sold before buying the new Wrangler). I've spent more on repairs for the older Wrangler, but only after it reached 100,000 miles. The Tacoma came close to stranding me in the middle of the desert once, something the Wranglers haven't. The Tacoma was the most uncomfortable vehicle I've ever owned, and we suffered with it for 4 years (and 177,000 miles). The '04 Wrangler has yet to have a maintenance problem in 67,000 miles, so I can't say that Jeep still makes junk.

    I briefly looked a the FJ at the LA Auto Show. My other half took one look at it and said he didn't like it, so we didn't spend much time (can't say if the seats are any better than the Tacomas. If not there's no way I'd buy one). The thing I noticed was on one that they had tricked out. It had the winch mounted behind the grille. My first thought that this would be really awkward - poor access. The way the bumper fits on the front of the vehicle, it looked like there isn't any other choice without doing some extensive modification (not as simple as changing the bumper like on the Wrangler). Do others see this as a potential problem?
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    You have great taste in vehicles. I love the Land Cruisers dating back to the orignal FJs. In fact, I periodically think about buying an early 80's FJ40 or a full size FJ, what were they called? 60s?

    Jeep has certainly suffered from reliablity issues on some models. We also have an 04 Grand Cherokee 4wd that has been in the shop for stupid things, like window actuators, but still we love Jeeps. It is one of the most recognizeable vehicles in the entire world, not to mention one of the most capable. This new FJ, unfortunately, cannot compete with that.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Mtngal, I was beginning to wonder if any of the Wrangler crew was going to join this topic. *lol* Where in the world is Mac, Tom and Paul?
  • steenh1steenh1 Posts: 28
    The old FJ40's are really special vehicles... classics. It's too bad that Toyota gave up that market to Jeep, and didn't take the opportunity to really compete by building something that had the hard-core 4x4 looks. When they moved to the 60 series, they gave up that segment... not to say the 60's, 80's and 100's gave up anything off-road, just gave up competing directly against the Wrangler.

    In reality, the FJ40's were so much more expensive than the Wrangler back in the day... if you were in the market for that type of vehicle, you bought the FJ if you had money... the Wrangler if you didn't.

    We'll need some vocal FJ owners on this board in March when someone has actually driven one... or this place will be over-run with you Wrangler folks!
  • goducks1goducks1 Posts: 432
    And as far as things breaking, check out the Wrangler foruma and you'll see that the vast majority of Wrangler owners find the vehicle to be tremendously reliable.

    How about "moderately reliable." I've owned two over the past 10 years, including my current 98. It's had three semi-serious repairs (new radiator, new coil, and the infamous cracked exhaust manifold) a few small ones (leaking rear pinion seal, intermittent gauges). It's not self-imploding like a Volkswagen, but it's not worry-free either.

    The new FJ doesn't do much for me though. Maybe if I saw one in person.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I thought the FJ was nice looking and will certainly be cross-shopped with the Wrangler and the H3 (thought that wasn't bad, but not as cute as the Wrangler). It isn't all that different than what I remember from the old Land Cruisers, just not quite so primitive. I now wish that my other half hadn't rushed away (there were tons of people looking at them at the show).

    It will be interesting to see how well received they are, and how quickly there will be aftermarket options available. One of the things the Wrangler has going for it is how easily customizable it is.
  • cruiser vs wrangler??
    this 4runner owner thinks the 2007 wrangler far surpasses the cruiser.
    the toyota is a gimmicky thing designed to appeal to posers.
    have you seen the 2007 jeep? it rocks.
    the jeep is nice because it is truer to the utilitarian ideal, and it will be hard for toyota to beat jeep when jeep offers you different wheel lengths, different tops, etc.
    i've owned both toyotas and jeep suvs, and they seem to be about equal in reliability -- maybe the statistics will weigh in favor of toyota, but the difference really aint that much.
  • lou62lou62 Posts: 9
    "The toyota is a gimmicky thing designed to appeal to posers?????" Have you seen the FJ
    video filmed on the rubicon trail? Give me a break. Oh and how about that beast of and
    engine jeep has decided to put in the wrangler. That really gets my pulse jumping...
    Due to reliability issues and a lack of space, my friend just dumped his wrangler for a
    4x4 tacoma. He says he'll never go back. If this FJ model doesn't get your attention,
    maybe the Moab edition due out next fall will. Either way, get used to it.
  • Thats ok, I'll be there with a tow strap to pull him out.....
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Other than they are both designed to go off-road, there's really quite a bit of difference - about 2 feet, and a removeable roof. Unless you're single, or plan on doing nothing more than off-roading, I think the FJ would be far more useful.

    When I go camping, and the weather turns bad, I like the option of sleeping in the vehicle. I'm positive the FJ would be better; I'll have to measure it, and see if the front seats fold forward.

    I think the Xterra is much closer to an FJ than a Wrangler. The closest thing Jeep has to the FJ is the Liberty.
  • pjalnpjaln Posts: 8
    toyota made a vehicle 40 years ago that stacked up as good or better than the original jeep it was the FJ40 that is the only thing that can be put up against the rubicon , the 2 door G wagen or LR defender , those trucks are in there own class because of there styling similarity,coil sprung or leaf spring front and rear axles removable tops etc. i already ranted about this new fj in earlier posts so i wont do it again all i can say is i currently own 2 landcruisers a 93 fj80,a 90 fj 62 ,which both have straight axles and a 01 tacoma xtra cab 4x4 which i use for work and beleive me i work it. the new forerunner platform is not as beefed as the 04 and older taco you can check out forum under imported trucks and there are some very knowledgeable guys who know all the particulars as to why the newer suspensions are just not able to take front end abuse .......paul
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Ship building huh? Well that sounds pretty interesting too. I bet you have a lot of good stories to tell from your experience there too - Any kind of engineering interests me, especially the ones that have to do with transportation.

    Hey, didn't you buy one of those 2007 Wranglers? 4 door? How do you like it so far?

    Happy trails
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