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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler

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  • Yes the 2 door Wrangler is discontinued for '07 and it sucks. I want a 2 door unlimited rubicon also. Especially if it came with a diesel. The Jeep wrangler board would probably be a better place for this discussion.
    Jeep Wrangler Board
  • Yes, for now anyway, it is true that there is no 2 Dr Unlimited Wrangler on the books, however that can of course change.

    The thing I'm really waiting for is the diesel wrangler Rubicon. The rumblings that it will come next year continue to get louder and louder. I Guess jeep wants to keep the coveted position of producuing the worlds 'most capable factory 4x4 in history' - we will see where this trail leads.
  • "The thing I'm really waiting for is the diesel wrangler Rubicon"

    Not sure about a diesel... is it a very high-torque motor? 4 or 6 cylinder? There are some gas stations around here that don't carry diesel, and if it's a turbo diesel, there are extra reliabilty and maintenence issues.

    "I Guess jeep wants to keep the coveted position of producuing the worlds 'most capable factory 4x4 in history"

    I think some of Jeep's management should be castrated, for doing the same to Jeep! The Liberty and the softening of the GC was bad enough, but the car-like Compass?!? That is NOT a Jeep! The fact ALL Jeeps were Trail Rated said something (though I wondered how they ever got a Liberty up the Rubicon trail - or what was left after they did). Now being a Jeep means nothing. Yes, there is a market for those vehicles, but it's already saturated for one, and they could have built and marketed it as a Dodge, and kept the Jeep brand undiluted.
  • daedae Posts: 143
    >Don't think the Rubicon has that technology available.

    It does. It is a standard equipment on JK on every trim, not just 07 Rubicon - so you do not have to buy 2 upgrade packages (or hack it yourself) to get it.

    It work just as well, if not better. And on Rubicon you will also get rear and front locker (and they DO work better in many situations) and and electronic sway bar disconnect (so you can disconnect it for articulation, and connect it back on an off-camber pitch). And you do get 4:1 transfer, standard MT tires, standard rocker protection..

    Off-road FJ with ATRAC vs cheaper Rubicon is a no contest in the favor of Rubicon.
  • I agree they should be castrated for making the Compas! That thing is total garbage! It degrades the Jeep name to the same level as a Rav4 or Honda CRV.

    However unlike Honda, Jeep and Toyota still do build some capable 4x4s. The new Wrangler has only gotten better; pushing the 4x4 limits, however I do have my reservations about that minivan V6 - they need a diesel.

    You're right about the Liberty and Grand Cherokee, they are both watered down turds of what they once were. However thier countreparts from all the other makers are just as bad. Just thank God that the DaimlerChrysler morons in marketing didn't get ahold of the Wrangler too.
  • You might now be able to say that Jeep makes a FULL LINE of SUV 4x4s: From the most capable that you can buy to the worst piece of road debris to ever block the trail! (al la Compass)
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    I saw a rubicon and an FJC go up the same rocky creek bed... tough climb. Neither made it easily... 20 minutes or so for each with a lot of spotting. Both made it though and there was no obvious off-road advantage for either.

    So, equal off-road and you can get Toyota quality vs. Jeep quality... maybe there is a contest?
  • I saw a Rubicon and an FJC go down 34 street in my city - They both made it. It doesn't meant they have the same 4x4 potential. If you have a novice behind the wheel of the more capable machine it certainly hurt's it's perceived performance.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Actually the "novice" was in the FJC in this case though your point is a good one.

    This ride wasn't 34th street though. It was a pretty tough climb that challenged even the built 40's.

    One thing that has been pretty well established is that the FJC isn't a "mall cruiser". There are tons of them off road. Do the stock ones go where built up 40's go? No. Are they are going where stock Rubies are going? Yes. At least that's what I'm seeing on all of my outings.

    If you are going to ORV's, I'm sure you are seeing them as well.
  • Steehn,

    I admit the FJC is not a mall cruiser (even though that's what I see a lot of them doing). It has potential. However it really doesn't have that much on a properly equipped 4 Runner for example. The have basically the same drive line, with slightly tidier dimensions on the FJC.

    However there is a marked dividing line between the Rubicon and the FJC. Sure there are difficult trails they will both be able to complete, but there are also trails where the Rubicon will leave the FJC behind.

    Admittedly, I only did some light off-road when I test drove the FJC, however the differences were apparent even there: The FJC's v6 has significantly less bottom end torque than the Rubi's I6. The articulation, especially in the front, was lacking compared to the Rubicon too. Not to mention very obvious things like the Rubi can physically fit more places than the FJC and it also has a tighter turning radius. One of the biggest differences I noticed from the driver's seat is that the visibility is so much better from the Jeep. I could not believe how much better it was. It seems that in keeping with 'Hummer styling', Toyota gave the FJC a very short windshield and a wide hood. Because of this, not only was upward visibility hampered, but forward and front side visibility was extremely limited. For every one spotter that you would need in a Wrangler you would probably need 2 or 3 for an FJC.

    I really don't think the TJ and FJC, and especially not the Rubicon, are in the same league. Sure if you poured LOTS of mods into an FJC it could be a counterpart for a Rubi, but out of the box, I don't think so.
  • I'm starting to notice a lot of solid axle swaps for the FJC in various off-road magazines - advertized advantages: better articulation. This should be a little tip for Toyota: dump the IFS and go with solid axles like Jeep has on the new Wrangler.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    You pretty much listed the things about the FJC that I don't like as well... IFS and visibility. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how well it does on the trail though.

    Solid axle swap would be a great mod. No a bit surprised that is popping up out there. I hear that the reason Toyota doesn't put them on US bound trucks has to do with the inherent safety gains you get from IFS in terms of on-road stability. Don't know if they are trying to reduce end user insurance rates, or avoid lawsuits, or if that reasoning is a bunch of bull, but that's what I've heard.

    Hope things are going well for you!
  • You know, I can see a lot of the maker's saying that IFS is more stable and I think that is partly true in a small percentage of the situations: On washboard at high speeds there is no doubt that IFS will give you more control. However, it means way more moving parts and the system is far weaker, taking much less abuse than it's solid counterparts.

    I think stability/rollovers, has a lot more to do with the center of gravity in 90% driving conditions than it does with IFS or solid axles in the odd washboard condition. And the funny thing is, I think most makers lift the vehicle way up there so that it looks 'cool'. It’s really not about function, because the minimum ground clearances stays the same under the axles or A-arms no mater how high you lift the body. This is an area that really burns me about a lot of 'SUV' makers.

    Have you had your 40 out lately?
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    A little bit... here's a shot of "hands free driving"
    image

    image

    Going on a 3day "expedition" in NC this weekend... 17 trucks in all. Should be a blast!

    Got the rear locker in last week so this will be the maiden voyage.

    I'll take pics. Been lots of rain over the last few days, so should be a bunch of mud!
  • Well I used to own a Wrangler and had to do the whole waving thing? Now, I was just driving down the street in my FJ and a fellow FJ owner waved to me. Now, is this a new thing? Because, if it is, I'm not doing it. If it is a old 60s, 70's thing, then ok. Thanks in advance for the input.
  • daedae Posts: 143
    >I saw a rubicon and an FJC go up the same rocky creek bed... tough climb

    07' Rubicon? Not many of those around yet, mostly the 4 door. I was referring to 07 as havng the electronic limited slip (like ATRAC) - in addition to selectable lockers and other goodies.

    By all accounts they are quite an improvement as far as driving concerned, over TJ. Of course there are plenty of people unhappy with some plastic fenders, or some other really important thingy...
  • daedae Posts: 143
    >Don't know if they are trying to reduce end user insurance rates, or avoid lawsuits, or if that reasoning is a bunch of bull, but that's what I've heard.

    Bunch of bull. They just did not have a dedicated platform to slap the FJ overtyled bodywork on. They had Prada/4Runner.

    Time to marked and cost of production.

    Wrangler is in a class by itself now...
  • On the weekend I was reading an article on the all new 2007 Jeep Wrangler. With the exception of the V-6 engine and the crappy plastic bumpers its a pretty impressive machine – especially with that electric sway bar disconnect.

    I did a little checking on Ramp Travel Indexes tests for various stock vehicles, here are just a few RTI numbers I found:

    1991 Honda civic hatch back (factory stock): 319 - (I put this one in just for a refference point)

    1997 Jeep Wrangler (factory stock): 607

    2002 Jeep Cherokee (factory stock): 575 (approximate)

    2007 Toyota FJ cruiser (factory stock): 491

    Although the FJC’s RTI numbers put it in second last place out of the four listed, we have to remember that it has IFS and the two Jeeps were designed with stock axles. That’ being said, 491 is pretty respectable for a vehicle with IFS. You probably wont see too many stock IFS SUVs that will score higher than this.

    However the really depressing thing for the diehard FJ cruiser fans is when you compare it to the 2007 Wrangler’s RTI figures:

    Driving right off the dealer’s lot the new wrangler will give an RTI of 652 (with the sway bar). If you hit the sway bar disconnect button on the dash, it will pull a whopping 832 RTI! This is on a completely stock Jeep!

    Now if they can only get their heads on straight and put a diesel in that little machine for North America!
  • The other thing I found in that SAE article was the that new Jeep Wrangler has electronic traction control in the same way the FJ Cruiser’s A-track works. Through activating any given brake caliper, once wheel spin is detected, at least 50% of the engine's tourque is delivered to the wheel(s) that can use it best. Apparently, the Rubicon model ALSO still comes with the solid lockers. So if you buy the new Wrangler Rubicon you get the best of both worlds.
  • I'm currious, I sell Toyotas and would love to know what the problem was with the transmission on your avalon. It had to have been a fluke. (even the best tree can have a few bad apples)

    As far as the Rubicon vs FJ debate....
    In the trail trials the FJ produced some impressive results for any vehicle in its class. That is not to say that it is the absolute best at it but when you couple it with the rest of the package (smooth on road opperation, mileage, toyota reliability(your avalon being the exception) and the roominess, coupled with the retro style(call me barbie but I like it)) makes the FJ an excellent choice for people who want the capability but would like a bit more refinement when not powering over rocks and through mud etc.
  • artemis,

    Few people here would dispute Toyota's quality of construction. However I guess many of the people on this forum are disappointed that the FJC didn't follow closer to the off-road heritage of the original FJ-40.

    Back in the 70's the FJ-40 and the Jeep CJ (wrangler) were very close counterparts. They were both extremely capable for the day. In the past 30 years, Jeep has continued to refine and hone the Wrangler's off-road ability while at the same time making incremental creature comfort improvements. In that time span Toyota killed the FJ and now brings it back. However, in real off-road ability it doesn't seem to have progressed that much beyond the original FJ, and some things like the visibility, plastic bumpers, no soft top, lack of under carriage protection are actually much worse than the original.

    If I was faced the desire to buy a new hard core off-road machine today, it would be one of three choices:

    1. Buy the new Wrangler Rubicon

    2. Buy an old Jeep CJ and put the extra money into mods to make it as good or better than the Rubicon.

    3. Buy an old FJ-40 like Steenh did, and put the extra cash into mods to make a killer machine.

    The FJC wouldn't even get a second look.
  • Based on Toyota's reputation and success, I honestly expected much more in the FJC's off-road ability than what they delivered. I expected a Toyota 'Rubicon' or maybe something even more capable, but instead they spit out this thing that couldn't out 'wheel' the previous generation of Jeep Cherokee.

    If I was in the market for a Toyota, wanted creature comforts and some reasonable off-road ability, I would just buy a 4Runner and forget the FJC.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    They could have "slapped" the FJ body on the LC 70 Series that's sold overseas in higher volumes than the FJC will here in the US? I don't think that cost was the reason. They "chose" the IFS... So, granted that the rock-crawling ability is limited by IFS, there had to be a reason. I'm betting insurance and wanting to increase the on-road drivability were the driving factors. Very respectable performance for IFS though.

    I personally hope they go solid in the future. Might trade in the 100 for it someday. 40 stays forever though.

    4x4... good to see you back in action!

    Trip this weekend was perfect... got to camp at 5500 ft, no rain while we were awake, enough at night to make for some great mud for the day rides, great trails, minor breakage. 17 LC's in all. 40 yrs between oldest and newest. My '67 and a couple of '07 FJC's with pretty much everything inbetween including a 60, and a few 80's.

    Covered about 35 miles over three days. A fantastic trip.

    My favorite pic...

    <img src=http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l144/steenh/Lithonia/DCFC00099.jpg

    Camping up on the bald.

    <img src=http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l144/steenh/Lithonia/DCFC00038.jpg
  • Steenh,

    Sounds (and looks like) it was a great trip! I must say though as much as love to hit the swamps and mud holes, I'm not really fond of the clean up when I get home. I mean the last time I went on a really muddy trail with my CJ I had lots of mud inside, on the back seats, the floor, even the dash somehow got mud on it. When I got back it took about $20.00 at the car wash to make it look half respectable. However, as I'm sure it is with you, the memories are all good.

    Chears bud!
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    artemis,

    I didn't mean to imply that the Avalon was a piece. It was a very, very nice car. I was just highlighting that any vehicle can have issues. I'm not sure what was up with the tranny since it was fixed under warranty I didn't pry. The only other problem we had was the alignment. It never did track straight. All Toyota would say was that it was within specs.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Sounds like you had a blast. That is great looking FJ.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    "If I was in the market for a Toyota, wanted creature comforts and some reasonable off-road ability, I would just buy a 4Runner and forget the FJC. "

    Or even better, the 4-door Tacoma and have some pick-up utility to go with it.
  • I owned a Wrangler, sold it bought an FJ. I'll say the wrangler went a little better off road, but that is the ONLY thing better. Quality, durability, and a company that stands behind the warranty, rather than prentending the problems do not exist stands for a whole hellva lot more in my book, than a lower quality poorer made vehilcle sold by a buch of scumbags who will not even fix it. Daimler can only sit back and use such drivel as "legendary" when extorting the name "JEEP" todays Jeep vehicles are purely nothing more than mass produced cheaply made junk. Why have they rolled back the 7/70,000 drive train warranty to 3/ 36,000 at the same time GM has gone to 100,000? It is because they are too cheap to last, and the scumbags are losing customers by refusing to fix the problems. I know, I have owned 3 Jeeps! Never Again!
  • Hmmmm, strange, my 2005 Wrangler Rubicon has a 5year/100 000 warranty. I have had no problems with it; runs like a top. And actually the Wrangler has a very good customer satisfaction rating if you bother to look it up in surveys. Furthermore, the Wrangler has one of the best resale values of any vehicle sold - I believe it's tied with the Toyota Tundra.

    I try to buy and use a vehicle for what its designed for, hence I don't try to go rock crawling with my muscle cars and I don't expect to beet a Porsche at Le Mans with my Wrangler.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    I hand my jeep bashing torch to you. (I thought I was rough)

    Not sure about the accuracy of the warranty data, but agree that the wranglers are fine off-road, but lack quality compared to most makers, and to Toyota especially. That's always been my complaint about them.

    Some of the reason for the "satisfaction" is the cult like following jeeps have due to being unique in the market. My FJ40 will have lot's of problems due to it being 40 yrs old, but I'm very "satisfied" for the same reasons jeep owners love their vehicles... unique and great at what they were built for. Doesn't make a jeep high quality though. My experience was similar to yours... one was enough.

    You have ATRAC on your FJC?
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