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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler

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  • I had a 98 Toyota Tacoma x-tra cab 4x4, at 67,000 miles the steering broke and the wheels were like this /\ in front and it kept getting worse till i sold it. I now have a Jeep Wrangler and it is a far better vehicle, trust me. Its much much tougher, and a good bit more capable off road as well. Also solid axles rule and so do coil springs, Jeeps are the best bang for the buck off-road these days.
  • drewmeisterdrewmeister Posts: 168
    Anyone else just get the SUV comparo that C&D put out? Got it myself on Friday.

    Interestingly, the Xterra won. (They tested a Grand, not a TJ, for the Jeep entry). The H3 blew chunks. Well, not really, but I've driven it, and it was a bit silly. But less silly than the H2. Too bad the H4 got delayed.

    The all-steel wheels look a little weird on such a "techno" styled truck. Otherwise, there was lots of positive. I think it's a lot bigger than I imagine from the pictures, as my Wrangler is very narrow. Overall, I see it as taking the best features from the Element and Wrangler and combining them. The question is, would Wrangler owners give up the convertible options and some at the limit off-road capability for a little better mileage and Toyota reliability. Even the price will be pretty close.

    In the end, I can't wait to see the 07 Wrangler interior up close. It addresses almost everything I would improve on the current version. I think it outclasses the FJ in that category.
  • daedae Posts: 143
    MotorTrend comparo looked like a bit less odd in regards to the weight given to the actual off road capability.

    As my excellent Odyssey minivan can not take me to some of the spots in the mountains I like, I will be getting an FJ when the prices settle down.

    I will get the dead base AT model, it will get close to invoice eventually, will put front and rear ARB air lockers and bolt on rock rails. That will make it quite a capable vehicle, with a lot of utility, for much less $$ then a Wrangler.

    ARB bull bar, winch, OME susp, to lift it an inch or two - maybe to fit 33" - will wait if needed - if I manage to tear up stock bumpers that is, and if I really need a fixed winch over usual slow high-lift jack pull or a portable. But I doubt I will need that. That's not for hard core wheeling - but it will make it up almost any road in Sierra Nevada.

    Rear axel in FJ is on par with 44, front is OK, with 8" diff gear (7.5 was too weak). transfer case does suck, but not too much. IFS - well, it is more capable then most drivers. And it can actually drive fast. And it is 200 miles to get to the mountains here.

    Wrangler is too small, not much, if any, better then my intended setup for off roading, handles on road much worse, and it is somewhat more expensive.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    The original FJ Cruiser (FJ-40) was designed to be a competent off-road vehicle for off-roaders of the 70’s and 80’s. Though there was never a factory V-8 option like Jeep offered in the CJ-5 and CJ-7, the FJ of the day was still considered the Jeep’s Japanese counterpart and well respected.

    Now Toyota has revived the FJ, and promoted it through print and video adds as an incredible 4x4 for the 21st century. Leaning heavily on the original FJ’s good reputation, Toyota seems to hope we will consider this new product as an option for the serious off-roader. BUT Does it stack up to it’s serious competition: The Jeep Wrangler?????? Lets see:

    Comparing the best of the best, we pit the 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon’s specs against the 2006 Toyota FJ Cruiser C package (the best they offer for off-road).

    Turning Circle Curb to Curb – Jeep: 33.5ft, FJ:41.7ft, difference: you need 8.2 more feet to turn around in the Toyota.

    Minimum Ground Clearance – Jeep: 10.3in., FJ:9.6in, difference: you can drive over boulder’s that are 0.7” higher with the Jeep.

    Approach/Departure Angle – Jeep: 44.9/33.9, FJ: 34/31, difference: you can tackle steeper embankments without digging the bumpers into the dirt if you have the Jeep.

    Crawl Ratio – Jeep: 66:1.0!!!!!!, FJ 41.8:1.0 ???? duh??

    Bumpers – Jeep: Steel with tow hooks, FJ: Plastic with NO tow hooks, Comment: PLASTIC?????? How Fisher Price.

    Locking Differential Axles – Jeep: lockers in the front and back, FJ: Rear Locker only

    Suspension – Jeep: solid axle front and back, FJ: independent front and solid rear, difference: Solid is solid! with better articulation, Toyota needs to look back at the ORIGINAL FJ!

    Tires – Jeep: 31” Good Year Mud Terrain, FJ: 265/70R17 All Season Wadials – Cwazzie Wabbit

    Wheel base – Jeep: 93.4in, FJ: 105.9in, difference: 12.5in, if you’re thinking FJ at this point you might also consider a yellow school buss as an off-roading option.

    Tread – Jeep: 59.5in, FJ: 63.2in, difference: 3.4in, Hmmmm Hope all the trees on the trails are further apart than 63.3in!!

    Weight – Jeep: 3776lbs, FJ: 4290lbs, difference 514lbs, That’s like four of your buddies or two fat chicks!

    Engine – FJ: 278TQ & 239hp, Jeep: 235TQ & 195hp, difference: ok the new FJ’s variable valve timing engine has some more hp and more torque. However where you need the torque for most trail driving is just above idle. The Jeep’s 4.0L in-line six produces an incredible 85% of it’s peak torque at idle. This makes for about 200ft-lbs. Oddly enough the Toyota 4.0L V-6 produces the same amount at idle. So even here the Jeep is not really handicapped. Furthermore, that extra 514lbs of lard the Toyota carries around soaks up the extra hp and TQ difference to make things pretty even in this department.

    Well I guess I could go on and on, but really if Toyota thought they were making a trail rig to beat out Jeep’s best, it looks like they should try again. This is while neglecting to mention that the new FJ’s doors are not easily removed, the top does not come off, and the windshield does not fold down. My prediction is that Toyota will sell piles of these FJs in the first two years as novelty vehicles just as Chrysler did with the PT Cruiser. However, off-road, when every one sees the Wrangler beat the snot out of it like Mike Tyson on Pee Wee Herman, the sales party will be over.
  • chiefjojochiefjojo Posts: 39
    in action, click here! Wrangler wins on the rocks, but FJ is no slouch, and equal or better in all other areas... reliability, cargo room, all wheel drive, traction control, mpg, etc.
  • funpilotfunpilot Posts: 66
    Tonight I drove for the first time a regular Rubicon, the unlimited Rubicon and the FJ Cruiser. Between the Rubicons, the unlimited was much better. But between the Rubicon and the FJ, for street manners, the FJ is far superior. Was going to buy the Rubicon, but no more.
  • bctroutbctrout Posts: 1
    Noisy roof rack & poor folding config for rear seats.

    Kickin around, I let a few dealers know I was interested in the FJ. All were to be pre ordered but with no hassle to walk away. One dealer called back with a tester – Oh yeah - we went for a ride. Well, not off road, after all I had to bring it back clean.
    The bad stuff.
    Anyways - in around 80kms/hr the very strong roof rack with multiple cross blades makes a heck of a lot of noise. Makes you think you have real mudders on with only hollow tins between you. Cargo area and back of the rear seats are plastic lined but the seats don’t fold down flat. To bad, if they did you might just have enough room to sleep diagonal. If the weather gets nasty, there is definitely not enough room to sleep in with the highly tilled rear folded seats. I also felt like drop kickin those cheap plastic front corner bumpers. Front wheel wells have floppy inner void cover that may not last. Side and rear door thresholds for stepping on are poorly supported plastic that dip and distort under light foot pressure. It is very wide, oh you’ll have fun finding parking locations you can open the doors in. Off road – lots of other options and what is with the no diesel option in North America.
    Good STUFF
    This puppy is made for where it will be used most of the time, city. It has great visibility, high as any full size truck. The automatic with slip shift and multi drive modes is actually tempting to those die hard manual lovers. Specially if cruising in the city. Anyways after I lulled my test driving escort to sleep with my cautious driving we pulled a little foot stomping burnout just trying to see if it could go. Pretty good squeal for not really trying.

    By the way I don’t have a real off-roader but have taken more types of domestics further along blown out discontinued logging roads than most wanna-bees can dream of. I drive a standard 97 RAV and I drive the snot out of it. Protect what I can with real synthetic. Actually go off-road once a month and get reasonable mileage. It works on the job site and gets me out fishing. I was just hoping the FJ might fit the bill.

    bctrout
  • dizzle65dizzle65 Posts: 20
    First off. The FJ Cruiser is in fact a solid vehicle. Anyone who knows anything about wheelin' knows about the FJ40. And no one is stupid enough to argue with Toyota's reputation for quality and reliability -- it's second to no one!!! AND ITS NOT A JEEP -- I mean "HEEP"!!!

    As far as first impressions go, I am still not a huge fan of the large C pillars. That being said, GO SEE ONE IN PERSON!!! I did. It is much better looking than in the pics. Also, I test drove one last week, and then immediately placed a deposit for one. PLENTY OF POWER and decent cargo room. I do plan on doing some upgrades, however, including an ARB bull bar and warn winch; Donahoe coil overs, possibly OME in the rear; and American Racing Mojave teflon rims matted to P285 BFG Mud Terrain tires (maybe beadlocks instead; cannot decide). Anyway, it should be a pretty good rig when I am done with it.

    Finally, a word regarding off road capability and Jeeps. People seem to defend their CJs Tjs, etc. like one of their own children. A little hint: the Wrangler is not the end all, be all small platform trail and rock rig; that would be the LAND ROVER DEFENDER 90, which I am proud to own. Check the stats on that rig; they're quite nice. I just couldn't wait till the new Defender comes out, which should probably stomp all over the new Heep Rubicon just as my 1994 D90 ST does. Thus the FJ in the interim. (only other vehicle I would consider is a Galaendewagen).

    So, I plan on keeping my D90 (nothing like going topless in the summer) and adding the FJ Cruiser primarily because of its better amenities and reliability factor. With both of these rigs I will be unstoppable!!! :shades:
  • t26reddt26redd Posts: 2
    Hey I've got a question for you regarding the repairs you got done to your Wrangler. I have to get both front and rear pinion seals replaced on mine. What should I pay to get those replaced? Also, in case you might know I have a 4.0 Auto 97 Wrangler. A second or so after I pull out i get a rattle from under my seats near the transmission. It only happens when i accelerate hard. Any suggestions?
  • First, t26redd check the problems forum to find out how to fix your junk, but here you go anyway. The pinion seals are pretty easy to replace, just mark the yoke and nut before you begin so you can get the same pre-load when you put it back together ($50 per end is a good price). The rattle is probably exhaust components coming in contact with the cross member.

    Now, I drove a FJ yesterday...have owned all types of Jeeps over the past 30 years. While I covet the Toyota's quality and on road ride, it cannot fill my need to take to top down, clearly see all the vehicle's corners and achieve maximum articulation with a mild lift (OME 2.5"). I rate the FJ as poor in line of sight over the hood and out the back corners. Yes, the FJ's insides are cool and out pace the TJ, but the TJ we are comparing it too is nearly 10 a year old design. I look forward to wheeling my TJ beside an FJ on the trail one day to get a better idea of its capabilities. Dizzle65, if you are actually buying one and want to wheel it let me know when and where. If you bring the D90, we can enjoy our tops being down while we fix them on the trail. :P
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    It is hard to beat the Rubicon. Even with an older FJ-40 there is a weight penalty. But if we are talking on road then there are a lot of choices better than either one. The Rubicon is like an off road vehicle domesticated for street use and the FJ is like a street vehicle converted to go off road. If you spend a lot of weekends out with the other dirt guys get a Jeep. If you go out once in a while or plan on taking the family the FJ would fit the bill. The New FJ looks more like the Liberty on paper so it is hardly like comparing apples to apples when you toss in the Rubicon. If you are into off roading the Rubicon would seen the better starting point because of the weight and the greater number of aftermarket parts suppliers. But we will have to wait till we see more on the trail to tell. Just how I see it with what experience I have.
  • Just got back from Moab and there were a few FJ's there. They looked low but then again most Jeeps had modifications to them and some were unreal. There was something that looked like a cross between a FJ and a Hummer. The FJ's looked like toys but neat. I hear you can set the cruise control in low range (just kidding). I'll stick to my 06 wrangler unlimited
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,912
    How was the weather? Looks like they had record rainfall yesterday just to the northwest of Moab. Was there an event or just the usual slickrock visitors?

    It's pretty wild just to cruise the grocery store parking lot there; you may see a Unimog next to a Pinzgauer next to a Wrangler that requires a step ladder to get in.

    Steve, Host
  • It was THE big event. 4x4's everywhere. at 9am they all split into their safari groups all over town. I heard the BLM permits cost over 50k, weather was good till the end of the week. I plowed snow at a ski resort in Southern Utah for 6 years in a 406 Unimog. 6 speed 4 speed transfer case reverse was in and out so I could upshift in reverse and diff lockers. what a machine but a beast to work on. It had reduction gears like the old VW buses
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,912
    Hey, you should set up your image page and post some pics. Just log in with your Edmunds id and password and you're in.

    I'm heading to Utah soon for some camping so hope the good weather kicks back in.

    Steve, Host
  • xthecatxthecat Posts: 30
    I'm thinking of buying a 4X4 as a second car for fishing/sking etc. Looked at both the Toyota FJ and a 2006 Jeep unlimited. Honestly if you look at the price in Canadian; toyota $29K, Jeep $32K, it's a no brainer. The Toyota is twice the truck, if you look at everything you get, from a larger more powerful engine to all the standard features your comparing a Cadillac to a Chevette. That being said, I didn't like all the plastic on the FJ and the Jeep is more of a "guys" truck. I'm going to wait for the 2007 before making up my mind.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    In this comparison between TJ and FJ I think someone recently best said it:

    The TJ (Rubicon) is designed to be an off-road vehicle with reasonable road ability. The FJ is designed as a road vehicle with reasonable off-road ability.

    So it's a matter of choice: If you really want to go furthest into no-man's land then buy the Jeep. If have a family and need a daily driver that can still do some off-road then buy the FJ. But to compare them head to head really makes no sense. The room and comfort of the FJ exceeds that of the TJ and the TJ would kill the FJ off-road.
  • ron41ron41 Posts: 37
    I own a 4x4 automatic FJ Cruiser and it drives smoothly on road . But the amazing news is about its off road talents. I drive my FJ through more than four feet of water in a stream and it was amazing. It crawled over a few bolders and drove up a steep hill and more. So those people who like their Jeeps cool !! But the FJ Cruiser isn't a low level SUV that can't multi task on road and off road. To those FJ critics why don't you actually drive the vehicle first before you give your opinion. THAT'S REALLY AN INFORMED OPINION !!!!!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    why don't you actually drive the vehicle first before you give your opinion. THAT'S REALLY AN INFORMED OPINION !!!!!

    That's like saying that I have to pilot a 747 to have an informed opinion about air safety! ;)

    tidester, host
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Well after talking about it so much I had to go test drive the FJ Cruiser, so none of you can say I don’t know what I’m talking about. Toyota markets this vehicle as a capable hard core off-road vehicle. Here are my observations of the FJ when compared to what many 4x4 magazines have referred to a the 21st Century’s factory off-road bench mark: the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

    The FJ is more comfortable inside than the Wrangler, is significantly bigger and there for has more interior space. It offers easier access to the back seat too. The clutch/starter override button for starting on hills is a nice touch and it would be nice if Jeep included this feature in future Wranglers.

    The FJ’s ride stiffer and perhaps in some ways more jarring than the Wranglers, but since the FJ’s wheel base is almost a foot longer than the Wrangler it does not give the front to back buck-board ride exhibited when driving the Jeep over road swells. Cornering is perhaps marginally better than the Wrangler as well. Despite all the extra horse power and VVT the FJ boasts, it did not feel any faster than the Wrangler – probably because the FJ is almost 600 lbs heavier. Both vehicles offer six speed manual transmissions. However the FJ’s shifter seemed notchy and not as smooth as the Jeep’s.

    The FJ’s Crawl ratio of 42:1 is respectable, but does not hold a candle to the Rubicon’s 66:1. I found the Wrangler’s visibility from all angles to be far superior to the FJ. The FJ’s high hood combined with the short window made it really terrible to see the ground in front and hard to see even up to close traffic lights when stopped at many intersections. The side and rear visibility were also poor at best.

    The FJ’s lack being able to remove the top, doors and fold down the windshield are some of the more obvious short comings, compared to the Jeep, but there is a grocery list of things that are missing if this is to be a real off-road machine. When compared to the Wrangler Rubicons, standard features, like front and back tow hooks, fog lamps, checker plate rocker guards, push button locking front and back axles, and a six point roll cage, the FJ comes up empty. However, some things like a rear only locking axle can be added to the FJ at extra cost. Moreover, the FJ’s all season radials really cant be compared to the Good Year Mud terrains that come standard on every Wrangler Rubicon either.

    I found that despite the variable valve timing on Toyota’s V6 it did not have as much bottom end torque as the Wrangler’s 4.0L in line six and I kept stalling the FJ when I tried to crawl it over some of the light off-road terrain. So the FJ really can’t idle over the same kinds of things you would in the Jeep.

    Some of the FJ’s equipment really made me shake my head if the really intended this vehicle to be an out- of-the-box off-roader. Unlike the Wrangler’s standard equipment frame rail to frame rail skid plate, the FJ has really nothing protecting the aluminum transfer case from the rocks. Plastic also seems to be the main theme with this vehicle. Starting with the plastic door handles, to the totally plastic bumpers, right down to the plastic gas tank that had NO skid plate protection what so-ever, it seems that FisherPrice might have contracted to do design work here – maybe FJ stands for FisherPrice Jeep?

    Pricing is another issue that surprised me. The FJ starts at $32 000 (Canadian). Including the limited number of off-road features Toyota does offer on the FJ you’re going to be pushing $39 000! While you can get a Wrangler Rubicon with all those previously mentioned standard off-road options for about $34 000. So this one seems like a no brainer: get more for less if you buy the Jeep.

    Toyota markets it as a hard core off-roader, but unlike the original FJ, it’s really not equipped for this type of service any more than a Jeep Liberty or the new Grand Cherokee, and personally I don’t consider them real trail rigs. If you are a family man and you need a daily driver, and perhaps want to do some light off-roading, the FJ is a good choice. However if you want to be able to drive to the end of the earth and you’re in the market for a truly capable, well equipped 4x4 that you just put the key in and go, there is still only one Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
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