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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler

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Comments

  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Actually I didn't say in North America. I said the 2007 Wrangler will further the expansion of the Jeep. Expansion meaning in countries other than North America(s). Unfortunately North America is the only place that will not get the diesel. However, I think domestic the demand for it is so strong that Jeep will roll over for us and start offering it in the next year or two.

    If there is one thing that Jeep has shown us its that they are willing to dedicate at least one model to the nich hard core off-road market here in Canada and the USA.
  • xthecatxthecat Posts: 30
    Hope your right on the Diesel coming, it's the only thing holding me back from making it a 2nd car. If they do eventualy put a diesel in it would it be the same as in the Liberty.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Yeah, a diesel would be really nice in a wrangler. I have to say that the only thing that really ticks me off about the new 2007 Wrangler is that stupid v6 they put in it. I hate all V6 engines at the best of times, including the one in the new FJ. In my opinion a V6 is a poor compromise. Sure it’s a more compact shape, but they don’t naturally run as smooth as an I6, they have way less torque off idle and the bottom end is way, way weaker.

    I think if I couldn’t get the new Wrangler with a diesel I’d have to rip that V6 out, throw it in the trash, and bolt a 4.0L I6 in.
  • lccressidalccressida Posts: 5
    Actually, the 14b-t is more expensive than the I-6. And even more awkward to me is the diesel comes standard with locking diffs operated via floor levers, and electric lockers are optional.. The winch is operated if I remember correctly via lever on the ground right by the transfercase.

    I remember somebody was showing off his LC-78 diesel with fiber top and when he engaged the winch, he used the throttle to control the speed of the spooling. I don't remember if theres a winch option for the gas version. But the ride is very nice compared to the older LC-70 series. Handling is typical pushrod steering. Sloppy, but hey, thats what sports cars are for.

    The diesel in the LC-70series with the turbo is very quick on its feet but it kinda fades away after 4000rpm. Theres two leds on the dash, red and green. Green = spooling healthy and red = maxed out.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Yeah, it really is too bad that Toyota does not see fit to offer some of the better off-road options they have to North America. If they offered some of this stuff on the new FJ I wouldn't really have much of a beef. However, as I have said, the FJ's intended market is for 'image people' showing off their bling. It's really a shame.
  • chiefjojochiefjojo Posts: 39
    It's more like the XTerra and the Jeep Liberty.

    I'd say more like XTerra, Hummer H3, and 07 Wrangler Unlimited 4dr. The Liberty is not in the same league.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,052
    I'd say more like XTerra, Hummer H3, and 07 Wrangler Unlimited 4dr. The Liberty is not in the same league.

    Edmund's compares the FJ to the Liberty and also the Honda Element. The Wrangler would be a different category. Toyota has put a lot of effort in off road publications pertaining to the FJ. It will be interesting to see how it is accepted and how it stacks up in off road competition. If it wins a couple hill climbs at Glamis or Buttercup it will be accepted by the off road fraternity. Toyota had the FJ out to Glamis and did some testing and photo shoots. They must be interested in selling to the segment that they lost years ago.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    I agree. But you must remember that even a chevette can be made to dominate the hill climbs given enough money and work poured into it. To really mean anything the FJ has to stack up in completely stock factory form - many would argue that even includes stock tires. I don't think it will even come close to a stock Wrangler never mind a Wrangler Rubicon and Toyota knows this. However, they are hoping that all the fancy commercials (they probably paid George Lucas to make) of it diving into the mud and going over boulders will convince people and give it a tough image. And real capability won't matter anyway, because 99.99% of the FJ Cruisers will never leave the tarmac, so people won't really know for sure how their FJ really performs! But the commercials will give the 'image' that Toyota needs to sell to those who need an image prop. My prediction is that in the first two years Toyota won’t be able to make enough of them to fill the demand. And like any novelty vehicle, such as Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, after that, FJ sales will drop like a stone.
  • lccressidalccressida Posts: 5
    This thing is incredible offroad. Rear suspension articulation is really nice. This may not be as capable as the LC-70, but this thing does what the advertisements say. Although, the width is alil to worry about. But its a very capable offroader. VERY Capable. I'm just surprised how good this thing can claw up different terrain.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    I haven't seen a single commercial for FJ other than the generic Toyota commercial with it sitting on the car carrier?

    I'm not the least surprised by the off-road ability. Take a look at some of the videos on the Toyota FJ Trail Rides site... pretty impressive! They should use those in some adds.

    Hey 4 X 4... I guess a couple of FJ's are actually going off road and impressing people? Surprised?
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    You tested it, bought it and loved it... that's good! I tested it, and said it’s ok, but not for the hard core stuff I love to do, so I didn’t buy it. The FJ is good at what it was designed for: The weekend camper that likes to do medium rated trails. It's not a hard core off-road machine like the Wranger Rubicon. It's more like the Grand Cherokee and perhaps to a lesser extent the Jeep liberty in off-road ability and that’s still not too bad :)

    Toyota's videos (probably made by Lucas Films) depict it as much more hard core than it really is - but then I guess that's easy to do when you can splice video, touch things up etc. Heck, it would be pretty cool to show a Yugo doing the rubicon trail wouldn't it??!!??!
  • msandalismsandalis Posts: 20
    Guys,

    Great discussion. I have a quesion for you all, thanks in advance for your replies.

    I currently have a 04 Unlimited on a 2 yr lease that expires next month. It was a test since I never owned one before and did not want to make a long term commitment. I have a love/hate with this truck. I never drove off road or even had the top off but love the utility and ability in the snow. I hate however, the wind noise/engine on the highway (which I do most of my driving). Not bad when I am alone as I turn up the radio but when my wife or kid are in the car, or I get a phone call it is another story. The reliability has been fine but in 2 years I only out < 20kms on it and had a few minor repairs (all warranty). I will not be keeping the truck or trying another Jeep.

    My question is that will the FJ fit the bill in your opinion with good utility and truck like looks but lower noise/more comfort? I will take one out for a drive soon but I wanted to trow this one but you. I am also looking at a used MB G-Wagon cause I love the look of these rigs (all 3 realy)but I guess I am not hard-core as the guys/girls that wave to me and do these vehicles justice by taking them off-road.

    Thanks again,

    Michael
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Did you test an FJ off road? My guess is you didn't. You seem to have a strong "first hand" opinion of something you've never done or seen first hand, don't you think? I haven't either, but I'm not making any "first hand" claims either. I'm relying on what I'm hearing from those that own and drive them off road... and the videos look more like home videos than Lucas Films.

    But, to your credit, you can't believe everything in a video. Jeep videos never show them being towed to the shop... common as that is. It would be pretty cool to show a jeep with 100k problem free miles too... better call Lucas!
  • tacocattacocat Posts: 1
    This silver FJ is relatively stock:
    http://www.4wdtoyotaowner.com/FJCruiser.html

    Every Jeep I have owned has been in need of upgrades to really go off road. The Fj is no different. Granted, the Rubicon has answered 99% of all of the Wrangler's shortcomings, but it still took 20 years. This is the FJ's first year. FJ's(and H3 for that matter) biggest drawback is the IFS, but a good driver should be able to accomplish a lot with the vehicle. The FJ isn't perfect in stock form, but most Wrangler's aren't either

    Here's a list of some of the previous Jeep upgrades I needed to do.

    Lift - because the ground clearance sucked. A 4" lift was needed to clear 33's. 31" was the limit on first generation TJ's.

    Wheels and Tires - Wrangler's used to come stock with bicycle tires. The factory offset did not allow for tires wider than 10.50", so aftermarket wheels were necessary. The FJ stock tires are not any better.

    Axles - Whoever designed the Dana 35C needs to be shot. The Dana 30 front was no picnic either. I think Jeep owners around the world shouted in joy when the Rubi was going to be equipped with D44 front and rear. Oh yeah, factory ratios sucked.

    T-case - Who thinks it's a good idea to place a long slip yoke in a SWB Jeep? The SYE was one of the best investments ever. I hated the AX-15 tranny. The NV3500 was an improvement. I liked the auto the most.

    Skids - Yeah the skids were metal. The T-case skid was more than adequate, but the gas skid sucked. I believe the Rubicon is the first Jeep to offer factory rocker protection.

    Bumper - They're metal, but not very strong metal. Most used TJs have a slighlty bent front bumper. I ugraded to a set of Curries. The YJ didn't even have a rear bumper. Every Wrangler needs an aftermarket tire carrier.

    I think the FJ does have a lot going for it. The IFS is a limiting factor, but it provides a good platform for an off-road rig. The IFS will limit articulation, but it should be comparable to CJ and YJ with 4" SUA leaf spring lifts, and I took my YJ into a lot of places. The FJ needs some aftermarket improvement, as does any stock 4WD (yes the Rubi needs some too). There is a good aftermarket for the FJ (considering it has been available for only 6 months) and more is coming.

    The FJ Cruiser, TK, and H3 should prove to be capable vehicles. Each has their drawbacks and their caveats. To blindly label them is ignorant. Driver skill and knowledge is more important than the vehicle.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Wranglers aren't real quiet, are they? Be glad you bought the Unlimited - the SWB Wranglers are noisier. I'm sure that the FJ will be quieter than the Unlimited, even though I haven't test driven one. If I were looking just for a snow vehicle, I'd be looking at a Subaru (better economy, still like them even though I don't own one). If I were more interested in utility, I'd be looking at a 4x4 pick-up, but NOT a Tacoma. If I were going for a mix of rugged looks, and decent utility I'd probably be looking at the Liberty, FJ or H3. That's just my 2 cents.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Steenh! LOL why don&#146;t we just argue about Pesi vs Coke! My guess is you&#146;re a Pepsi drinker.

    ANYWAY……

    I did take it on a light off-road trip; made the rear suspension flex, while the front didn&#146;t flex etc. I put it to the bottom end torque test too just to see how it will idle over rises in the ground without my foot on the throttle . As you can understand the salesman was not too enthusiastic about me bouncing it off rocks or getting it totally covered in mud. So my hands were tied some. However, that being said, I don&#146;t have to try to swim to England to know that I can&#146;t do it! In the same way I can see that the FJ is woefully under equipped to do the stuff that a Rubicon can do off-road.

    The Toyota video looked far from a handy cam shot too me. It was pretty polished and nicely edited.
    They should have put some of that video budget into a presentation to Toyota Execs on why the company needs to make a true hard-core FJ Cruiser like the old FJ was.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Sorry,
    Classic Coke wins every time... doubt Edmunds has a board to discuss that though.

    I do have bad dreams about Pepsi... must be that last time my Jeep broke down and the nearest convenience store was out of Coke and I had to drink a Pepsi... vowed never to drink and drive again... (drink Pepsi and Drive Jeep)

    I double dog dare you to try that swim! ;)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,286
    Classic Coke

    No way, unless you are talking about the stuff before the high fructose corn syrup days (there's a reason the "real" Coke gets imported from Mexico all the time - even to Atlanta; we're talking cane sugar for the sweetener).

    I'm a Diet Coke fan myself (and long ago Jeep owner). Looks like we're taking a poll. :shades:

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    I need real sweetener... nothing from a lab. Diet anything except water just isn't quite right.

    I live in Atlanta, and of course have to proclaim my Coke loyalty or I might not make it out of here alive. :sick:

    Yoda loyalty is all from the heart though. :blush:
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Michael,

    Well after having tested the FJ and a driving a new Wrangler Rubicon, I can tell you that the FJ rides some better on the road, it also has less wind noise at highway speeds. However I was somewhat surprised to find that, around town the engine exhaust noise is actually noticeably louder in the Toyota! So if you&#146;re asking will the FJ suit your family needs as a daily driver and do LIGHT off road in better comfort than the Wrangler I think the answer is yes!

    Though I have never test drove a G-Wagon, they are very impressive in looks and their specs. From what I understand, if properly optioned they are second only to a Rubicon in off-road capability &#150; that&#146;s just coming from what I have heard and read.

    One thing to consider Micheal, is the 2007 Wrangler Unlimited is a completely redesigned platform. It will offer a segmented 3 peace hard top, with a soft top too, 4 doors with more room than the FJ. It will have a better ride than your current Unlimited and be quieter. Plus it will apparently be offered in the Ruibcon package which means you can get all the killer off-road stuff like front and rear locking axles, 66:1 crawl ratio, electronically disconnecting sway bars, 32&#148; BF goodrich mud tires, complete skid plate package and much more. So you could possibly have your cake and eat it too with the new Unlimited. Rumor is that it may even come with diesel power after 2007.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,052
    I am also looking at a used MB G-Wagon

    If you can get a good buy on a clean G wagon, I would go for it. It will cost more to maintain. It is a tank and has more panache than any other off road vehicle on the market. It will hold its value forever. I think 2005 is the last sold in the US. Not great mileage, but none of the vehicles you are looking into are very good on mileage. If you want solid 4X4 performance with good mileage, the ML320 CDI is due out in October.

    Then again if snow is your main thing and a quiet ride. The FJ Cruiser may be the ticket.
  • msandalismsandalis Posts: 20
    Well, the G-wagon would be my first choice if I had the funds but the one I am referring to would be a late 80's as they still sell for around $20-$25k CDN in good shape. I would just be scared of getting hit with a big bill if somethin went wrong.

    I will definately check out the new Jeep but I feel that it will be similar to mine in noise but who knows. I do not mind the milage but the FJ and the new Jeep come with 5 speed autos so I think that would help if in fact I do get another auto as mine had no choice in the first year.

    Any other experiences are welcome as I will try and drive one this week and I will let you know.

    Michael
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Yeah the G-wagons look like they really rock. I have had eyes on getting one for a while now, but either they are so old or they cost a mint - $110 000 new is not trivial and the 20-25K you speak about is for one 20 years old. Sigh :cry: However the Canadian military just bought a bunch of them last year. I read in an article that they paid $40 000 for the regular unit and $80 000 for ones with the armor package. They already wrecked several of them in Afghanistan: mines, RPGs etc, but in each case the vehicle has protected the occupants. They all came with diesels I guess. Hmmmm Maybe in 15 or so years when they are replacing them I can get a used one for cheap. These military units are pretty basic, certainly FJ lovers would hate them because they don&#146;t have the creature comforts of your rich uncle&#146;s Cadillac. With those solid axles, the ride is probably only slightly better than a Wrangler. But certainly have the basic plat form down with the solid axles, great approach/departure angles, and available locking axles to be kick butt off-road machine. It's kind of like a $100 000 Rubicon with more bells and bling - but then I guess they are both made by Daimler Chrysler. I would certainly buy one giving the right opportunity.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    The prospect of owning an old G-wagon weather it was privately pre-owned or by the military is very tempting, however I think your are right. Despite how well designed anything is once stuff gets to be over 20 years old there are going to be repairs and repair bills. I think the best approach to this is to learn to do your own maintenance and repairs - it would save a ton of money.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Do you really like the ML? I don't know... it's so much of a pavement pounder. The total lack of solid axles, lame ground clearance, poor brakeover angle, acres of plastic ... I would say the FJ, Jeep Cherokee, Liberty, H3 etc would all be better off-road choices than the ML. I guess for on road comfort it's pretty nice, but I really can't see it coming even close to its big brother the G-wagon off the pavement.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,052
    I would only get the ML if it is offered with the 320 diesel engine. I drove one and they are nice. Not for rock climbing for sure. My four wheeling consists of washes in the desert and old trails. They are far more of an off road SUV than say the RX series from Lexus. I like the VW Touareg if they offer the smaller diesel. I don't need no V10 even if it does get 27 MPG on the highway. Touareg sets altitude record of 19,947 feet. Broke the old one held by a Land Cruiser. Something for the Rubicon and FJ Cruiser to go for. Better schedule a long weekend.

    in a standard Touareg Expedition to achieve the world&#146;s altitude record for vehicles. The altimeter and GPS system displayed. On February 16, the record was officially recognised by the &#147;Guinness Book of Records&#148; at an altitude of 6080 metres.

    http://www.4x4news.co.uk/4x4news2005janfeb.html#24feb
  • 1finejeep1finejeep Posts: 29
    It never seems to surprise me when a customer pulls up in truck with 20's or a BMW loaded out and they say "I WANT A RUBICON" so we take to one, they drive it, come back and say "its rough riding, loud, and does it keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter."

    Well yes it is a four wheel drive, rag top, with NO insulation to speak, and who cares about the A?C and heater put the top down.

    I don't understand how any of y'all can compare the FJ to the Wrangler. But if we are going to I have one big complaint, the top seems to rust when you cut it off the FJ, and the doors are to hard to remove, other than that I like them both and own both. The TJ (which I own already and love) and FJ for my wife to crawl over the speed bumps at the store and may be a curb or two in heavy traffic.

    F J
    a e
    k e
    e p
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Do I understand this right. You sell Jeeps and couldn't keep your wife away from an FJ? Either the FJ is fantastic, or Jeeps really stink.

    (notice, I didn't mention sales skills...)
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    LOL! your post had me rolling on the floor!
    '...the top rusts when you cut it off..." LOL!

    F J
    a e
    k e
    e p

    LOL, yeah that's original. I should make up some temporary letters to supplement the chrome ones on any FJ i might see parked. LOL
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    hey Steenh,

    Do you use a hammer to put screws in, a wrench to pound nails and a micrometer as a c-clamp? Guess you haven't tried to use a knife in a fire fight yet cuz you're still around to post jibberish about how an FJ should be used for the same things as a Wrangler.
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