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Nissan Xterra vs. Toyota FJ Cruiser

steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,009
Compare the X with the FJ - or the Xboxx if you're a Toyota fan vs the FakeJeep if you're a Nissan fan. :shades:

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Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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Comments

  • brianj1brianj1 Posts: 7
    Am considering the purchase of one of these vehicles and would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
  • brianj1brianj1 Posts: 7
    Sorry Steve, i dont get your reply.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,009
    Just trying to split out some of the comparison talk from the bigger discussions to make it easier to find the thread.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • 56bartman56bartman Posts: 8
    I'm considering both of these vehicles and can't seem to decide. Based on style alon, I'm drawn to the FJ. they both have similar stats in terms of fuel economy, pick up and braking ability, although I think the xterra is a little more road worthy and the FJ is a little more off road worthy. The negatives on the FJ are the lack of rear visibility and the limited access to the back seat and a rear side window that is small and fixed. But the style of the FJ really draws me in.

    Choices, choices!
  • aazevedoaazevedo Posts: 7
    I'm in a similar boat. The main thing right now is that I'm also planning on having this car for awhile, and while the FJ Cruiser would be fun now, and look cool, 5 years down the road it may not be as practical, or safe due to the visibility/suicide doors. Also, you can't even get an FJ cruiser now for below MSRP, while Xterra's are selling either at or near invoice plus a $1000 Manufacturer rebate (until the end of June.) The funny thing about these two cars is that there really isn't any other car like these two, and that they are really the only REAL SUV's out there - for a decent price.
  • 56bartman56bartman Posts: 8
    Have you tried using costco pricing? I am still undecided, but what has made it harder is that I was able to get invoice + $1500 pricing at the dealer that costco sent me to! On the xterra I was able to get invoice + 500, less the 1000 rebate which amounts to invoice less 500. The xterra pricing is a little higher than the FJ, so with all the desirable options, the vehicles are very close in price. What to do.....?????
  • tokastyletokastyle Posts: 2
    I'm debating between the two myself. C&D did a very similar Comparison a few months back but they included the Jeep Cherokee, and Hummer H3. In the C&D test Xterra was #1 and the FJ took 3rd behind the Grand Cherokee #2. I think I would be able to get an Xterra for a little cheaper (leftover 05) but I think long-term an 07' FJ will hold its value better. Does anyone know what the aftermarket support is like on the FJ vs Xterra? I know Tacomas and 4Runners typically have better aftermarket support than Frontiers and Pathfinders, but the Xterra is built on the Titan platform so I think down the line a lift kit for the Xterra might be easier and cheaper. Does anyone know how similar the FJ platform is to the 4runner or Tacoma? Anyone looking into these two should check out what Car and Driver had to say in their comparison a few months back. Having driven them both I favor the Nissan but I know that Toyotas typically hold their value better. I really don’t like the FJ's driving position even if it is better for off road it just isn't as empowering as the Xterra's ride position. Considering how closely matched these two are I think I will go with the Xterra
  • 56bartman56bartman Posts: 8
    The dealer called me yesterday to say that a blue fj had arrived and was not yet spoken for. After confirming what options it had I reminded him that we had discussed costco pricing at invoice +$1500. All of a sudden he had to check with the manager and when he came back he said oops, the fj is exempt from costco pricing and they would have to sell at MSRP. I'm in no rush and I'm going to wait it out, or buy the xterra!!
  • >>> The dealer called me yesterday to say that a blue fj
    >>> had arrived and was not yet spoken for. After
    >>> confirming what options it had I reminded him that we
    >>> had discussed costco pricing at invoice +$1500. All of
    >>> a sudden he had to check with the manager and when he
    >>> came back he said oops, the fj is exempt from costco
    >>> pricing and they would have to sell at MSRP. I'm in no
    >>> rush and I'm going to wait it out, or buy the xterra!!

    Well done! I also walked away from buying the FJ Cruiser when I saw the games Toyota and its dealers are playing. How are they even allowed to advertise a base model when it's actually not available for sale? I hope the DA of an aggressive state like California looks into this.

    I also hope everyone that's angry at what Toyota is doing refuses to buy an FJ Cruiser and then emails or calls Toyota customer service to explain that their business practice lost Toyota an easy sale, in addition to a lot of goodwill.

    After over 20 years of buying Toyotas, I'm walking away and won't be back unless there's a significant change at Toyota.
  • chiefjojochiefjojo Posts: 39
    Dude, be patient. If you really want a base model FJ, they will come eventually. The market is tight right now for FJs, so dealers can maximize sales and profits with loaded FJs. It's just supply and demand. I expect base models to come in later this year.
  • >>> Dude, be patient. If you really want a base model FJ,
    >>> they will come eventually. The market is tight right
    >>> now for FJs, so dealers can maximize sales and profits
    >>> with loaded FJs. It's just supply and demand. I expect
    >>> base models to come in later this year.

    "Dude", I have been patient. I've also been a Toyata customer for decades. And I've been waiting for 20 years* for Toyota to bring out anything even remotely similar to the FJ40. The FJ Cruiser could easily have been a much better vehicle, but in my enthusiasm for the FJ history I was willing to cut Toyota some slack. But by gouging the very people (offroaders) they're trying to use in legitimizing the FJ Cruiser, I believe Toyota went too far.

    In terms of actual numbers, the sales of FJ Cruisers are a drop in the bucket for Toyota + its dealerships. This is a "halo" vehicle that should have brought some cachet to a brand that now mainly appeals to older (40+) people. Would bringing in a couple thousand basic 4 x 4 FJ Cruisers from Day 1 really have killed Toyota? Isn't Toyota tring to inject some youth appeal into its brand with the Scion models? Well the FJ Cruiser could have single-handedly accomplished more to revitalize Toyota's image in a few months than Scion has done in 3 years. Imagine the PR Toyota could have generated by having a bunch of FJ Cruisers selling to the under 30 crowd (people who are unlikely to be able to afford vehicles that have $5000 worth of options piled on).

    Yes, I realize dealers are trying to make a quick buck, but I wish everyone was just a bit more honest. (All the dealers I've spoken to claim they are just selling what Toyota sent them and have no control over the product mix; Toyota USA's representitives claim they're only building what the dealers have requested. And since Toyota apparently refuses to build special order vehicles, unless you're willing to buy $5000 worth of useless options the FJ Cruiser is out of reach.)

    Yes I realize that once the Yuppies and soccer moms have satisfied their demand for an attentiog-getting vehicle and bought the first 6 month's worth of FJ Cruisers at MSRP (or higher), the prices will come down + Toyota will start being more flexible in what options are being forced onto customers. It would be interesting to see what people here would do if they heard the following:

    1) A diesel version of the FJ Cruiser will be offered in 2008.

    2) Freeborn Red, Rustic Green and Dune Beige will be added as color options in 2008.

    I just cancelled my FJ Cruiser order today and will be picking up my deposit later this week. Diehard Toyota customers deserve to be treated better than this.

    Best of luck to everyone else who has decided to wait for the insanity to end.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    *Ironically, I just noticed the slogan on the FJ Cruiser ad on the side of this page: "FJ Cruiser: The Wait Is Over." Hilarious.
  • Well the manager of the dealership I had placed the order with just called me back after I left a message this morning telling him I was cancelling the order. He indicated that Toyota has now started building FJ Cruisers with LESS (not NO) options and he is going to check to see if he can "preference" a vehicle with no options. [I don't want the silly "upgrade" and "convenience" packages (want steel rather than aluminum wheels, tinted windows make the back seat area feel like a dungeon, the sonar is a joke, the inclinometer etc cluster is a waste of space, stereo is pretty lame); nor am I interested in the side airbags (the vehicle was recently crash tested WITHOUT side airbags and received a 5 star rating).]

    I stopped by the Nissan store to look at the Xterra again. I still don't think the Nissan is in the same league as the FJ Cruiser in terms of build quality, but the Xterra is not a bad SUV for the price. I'll wait to hear what the local Toyata manager has to say, but I'm not optimistic...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    I'm not sure if it is part of Toyota marketing. They seem to be aiming for the upper middle class. All the hybrids are way over priced. That is supposed to be their claim to "Greendom". Yet none of their hybrids are selling to the under $85,000 per year demographic. They have the cheapo Scion brand that they push to the masses. Scions are even way over priced when I looked at them. Good luck and keep them honest. It is not easy with any car dealer.
  • I hope that you mean that the dealership that you went to you are boycotting and not including all toyota dealerships in your comment. You cant blame all stores for the attitude of a few that dont care to sell more than one car per customer. they are the problem and the ones that give all a black eye in that respect.
  • >>> I'm not sure if it is part of Toyota marketing. They
    >>> seem to be aiming for the upper middle class. All the
    >>> hybrids are way over priced. That is supposed to be
    >>> their claim to "Greendom". Yet none of their hybrids
    >>> are selling to the under $85,000 per year demographic.
    >>> They have the cheapo Scion brand that they push to the
    >>> masses. Scions are even way over priced when I looked
    >>> at them. Good luck and keep them honest. It is not
    >>> easy with any car dealer.

    Yeah, you're probably right - Toyota knows they can grab a quick buck from those of us with significant disposable income, but that's a short-sighted strategy. Cadillac is toast because it watched its target audience get older year after year and they lacked a product that would appeal to new blood (who frequently now associate European + Japanese imports with luxury, while the Cadillac name means "old", unreliable" and "shoddy" (Cadillac Cimarron, anyone?). Of course, Toyota is not dumb enough to allow itself to get Oldsmobiled or "Cadillaced" (I invented that term!), but after the desperate move pulled by introducing Scion I would have thought they'd be more willing to use vehicles like the FJ Cruiser to generate buzz among younger customers.

    Hybrids are also currently targeted at the upper middle class, but that's who typically are early adopters of "green" technologies anyway. (Just don't tell any of the tree hugging Prius drivers in Marin, California that if looking at things OBJECTIVELY, a Prius compares poorly to non-hybrid vehicles like the Civic and Corolla. Hybrids currently cost way more than they pay back in terms of gas savings and environment savings. Of course, eventually Toyota will cut the costs of producing hybrids to a more reasonable level. Right now I'd rather see everyone driving 60 MPG diesel versions of the Honda Fit...)

    It's funny what happened to Toyota's Scion plans - they seem to be more popular with the over 40 crowd (especially seniors and empty nesters living in bigger cities) than they are with 20-somethings. I disagree with you about the pricing of Scions. For the quality and reliability of the Scions I think they're a KILLER deal. $14,000 for an xB is more than fair in my books. I almost bought an xB as a grocery getter/city car when they came out but in the end I decided my 1995 Civic sedan was still a much better vehicle and in no need of replacement. (I still think the Japan-made 1992 - 1995 Civic sedans are the best reasonably priced small cars ever made. Even Honda has been unable to match those cars with its subsequent generations of Civics.)

    When I spoke to a local Toyota sales manager off the record, he admitted that they were planning to keep selling loaded FJ Cruisers as long as they could and have no interest in selling base models. But the frenzy has already started to die down and many dealersips are seeing their loaded FJ Cruisers sitting for weeks unsold. They will likely start to discount below MSRP just to move inventory. I didn't think it would happen so quickly given how few FJ Cruisers are being imported, but then again I never thought the Honda S2000 would ever sell below MSRP and I recently bought one for below invoice! Manufacturers must have nightmares trying to figure out what people are willing to spend on cars...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    $14,000 for an xB is more than fair in my books

    I took my wife and we sat in the xB. It is roomy and great visibility. But the price was just under $20k. They had 3 sitting together and one with a manual drive was I think $17k. Not worth it. I can buy a lot of gas and just use my truck for grocery runs. They had a blue FJC on the lot not sold. He tried to get us to look at it. The wife who loved our 1964 FJ40 said the new FJ looked awful.
  • aazevedoaazevedo Posts: 7
    I just drove them both back-to-back. The only FJ Toyota had on the lot was a fully loaded Blue 4x4 with a manual transmission ("for the real off-road enthusiasts"). I wanted to test drive a manual Xterra next to it, but sadly had to deal with an automatic. The FJ definitely has a presence on the road, you can feel the other cars looking at you. The manual transmission was awesome, the whole 6th gear thing took me a second to get used to, but I really enjoyed the over-all feel of the manual transmission (read: FUN). I tried getting in the back seat of the FJ and had difficulty, I accidentally hit my head trying to ease my way behind the drivers seat, but once I was back there I had enough leg room. I also didn't like the fact that the back seats didn't fold all the way flat, I think that this is something that should be standard in all SUV's by now, and was sad to see that the FJ couldn't do it.
    The Xterra did not have the same presence as the FJ (possibly due to the color) but the automatic transmission was extremely responsive and I could feel the engine wanting to plow through the tiny cars in front of me. Since the engine in the Xterra comes from the 350Z platform, I asked the dealer if the transmission also comes from the Z's platform, he said that it does although in both cases adjustments were made due to the differing uses of the two vehicles, but he said the manual transmission does feel similar to the Z's, which excites me. On the Xterra I like the fact that it's simple, the FJ had so many toys and switches, that I couldn't figure how to disengage some of the features, the Xterra's knobs and idiot proof (yes, I just called myself an idiot), also the visibility in the xterra was great (which is important to me because I HATE relying on my mirrors).
    I'm recent college grad, and honestly I think Nissan is unbeatable. On the Xterra they are providing a $1000 manufacturer rebate, and on top of that a $500 rebate, and since it's my first car they will also provide me with 6.9% financing with proof that I have a job! It is going to be hard to find a deal like that on any toyota, even right around the 4th of July.
    I definitely recommend trying the two back to back, ask questions, play stupid, and then you'll realize why you too should by the Nissan Xterra!
  • I also drove the Xterra and FJ on the same day and went with the Xterra for the same reasons. I was hoping for more from Toyota on this vehicle. As the previous owner of a 1988 4Runner I was excited to see what the FJ had to offer. The old 4Runner was a beast but the FJ just comes up as soft compared to it. People talk about the "presence" of the FJ, the roof of the 88 4Runner came off and it had a rollbar in the back, that turned heads on the road.

    The FJ uses better materials on the interior and might be slightly better than the Xterra off-road with 545mm of articulation on the rear wheels the Xterra takes it everywhere else. I done like the FJ's cartoonish looks, the rear seats dont fold all the way back, only has 2 doors, dungeon like visibility, and it felt softer on turns and on the hwy. I picked up an off-road 4WD 6-speed manual black Xterra on the 4th of July weekend and love it. I got mine for $3800 below MSRP including the $1500 in rebates, Toyota was way over MSRP on the FJ making the decision easy. The Rockford Fosgate stereo was definetely worth the extra few bucks.

    Someone also pointed to the C&D article on the rock hopper SUV competition and the Xterra beat out the Jeep, FJ, and H3. Check out the link below, it is a good read.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/10776/comparison-test-review-2006-hummer- - -h3-vs-2006-jeep-grand-cherokee-laredo-4wd-vs-2006-nissan-xterra-off-road-4wd-vs- - -2007-toyota-fj-cruiser-4wd.html
  • detourdetour Posts: 4
    I'm glad I found this discussion. I've been looking mainly at the FJ versus the RAV4, but now I'm starting to consider the Xterra, as well. I'm pleased to see the good reviews (from C&D, etc.) and other things that people have posted. My big hesitation with the Xterra over the FJ is that while Toyota's reputation for reliability is well-established, I'm not as sure about Nissan. Perhaps I'm biased because I remember my sister bought an old used Datsun station wagon in the early 80s and that thing was a rolling rust-bucket. Does Nissan's reliability rival Toyota's these days? What are people's experiences in that regard.
  • >>> I'm glad I found this discussion. I've been looking
    >>> mainly at the FJ versus the RAV4, but now I'm starting
    >>> to consider the Xterra, as well. I'm pleased to see
    >>> the good reviews (from C&D, etc.) and other things
    >>> that people have posted. My big hesitation with the
    >>> Xterra over the FJ is that while Toyota's reputation
    >>> for reliability is well-established, I'm not as sure
    >>> about Nissan. Perhaps I'm biased because I remember my
    >>> sister bought an old used Datsun station wagon in the
    >>> early 80s and that thing was a rolling rust-bucket.
    >>> Does Nissan's reliability rival Toyota's these days?
    >>> What are people's experiences in that regard.

    The FJ Cruiser and RAV4 compete in different segments - I'm surprised you were comparing the two. The RAV4 is a modern station wagon for people who don't want to admit they need a station wagon. With the optional V6 the RAV4 changes personality, turning into a poor man's Porsche Cayenne (at 1/3 the price!). The FJ Cruiser is a nice (but needlessly flawed) little vehicle that works equally well on or off road and is probably the easiest-to-live-with hardcore offroad-capable SUV on the market today.

    Toyota and Honda have the highest quality vehicles - Nissan is still a level below in terms of reliability + manufacturing quality.
  • Dealers that say they have no control over the product are not being honest with you. With Toyota Canada (the US should be the same) the dealership orders whichever packages they think will sell. Also, in most of Canada we have fair pricing which means we don't sell above or below MSRP
  • Nissan's reliability is nowhere near Toyota. They are 8th among manufacturers in this years consumer reports predicted reliability. In my experience the Japanese built Nissan's are good (VIN starts with a J) and the North American ones are bad-especially the Mexican ones (VIN starts with a 3). That being said I am competely biased as I am a longtime Toyota owner and a Toyota salesman
  • >>> Dealers that say they have no control over the product
    >>> are not being honest with you. With Toyota Canada (the
    >>> US should be the same) the dealership orders whichever
    >>> packages they think will sell. Also, in most of Canada
    >>> we have fair pricing which means we don't sell above
    >>> or below MSRP

    Things are not the same in Canada (just look at how difficult it is to get info on invoice prices there, etc). I'd be interested in hearing from someone who knows FOR SURE whether or not dealers are truly unable to order base FJ Cruisers in the US, or that they're making this up in an effort to sell as many option-stuffed vehicles as possible to those anxious to own the vehicle.
  • aazevedoaazevedo Posts: 7
    I don't know for sure whether or not the individual dealerships are able to order the different models. At one dealership in Northern California there was a base 4X2 Dodger Blue with the Convenience Package (power windows). The dealership had three others, one of which they had lifted 3" and put high profile crome wheels. They then took the alloy wheels from that car and marked up the base model, because it had the alloys. The whole experience there was horrible, because they spent an hour trying to sell me a fully loaded one even aftger I told them over and over it was out of my price range, when i was finally ready to leave the miraculously found the one I was looking for, saying that they didn't know they had it and that it came in the night before. Somehow it was already on display at the opposite end of the lot.....I had pretty much already decided to buy an Xterra, this made my decision cake.
  • gypsyjongypsyjon Posts: 38
    I looked at xTerra too, but I barely fit into one of those things. The cab on the FJ is WAY roomier. Also the tilt on the wheel in the xT just barely moves the wheel up so you have to jam your leg underneath it and it put a black smudge on the leg of pants!!

    I should mention that I am 6'6" tall so lots of vehicles dont fit me, but the FJ is just fine...I can even where a hat while driving!!! Now that is novel, for me anyway...

    GypsyJon
  • Are you sure you put the seat back all the way? I don't really see how that is possible. The front seat dimensions are nearly identical between the two cars, actually if you look at the numbers, with the exception of headroom (which has 1" less than the FJ), the Xterra is larger in all other catergories, including leg room. I would suggest checking it out again.
  • gypsyjongypsyjon Posts: 38
    I don't know about the measured dimensions, but that acutal useable sitting down space is WAY smaller in the X-Terra. Not to mention the swing on the tilt wheel sucks. It barely moves up at all.

    The salesman was right there and had me get out while he put the seats to maximum adjustment and at 6'6" I flat do not fit into one of those things.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Has anybody seen the recalls that Toyota has issued lately? I would suggest that people check their perceptions of Toyotas quality and look at the reality of the situation. 3 million vehicles recalled in 2006 does not scream quality to me.
  • Of course for any car you would like to buy below the MSRP. However, when comparing vehicles, how much you pay above or below MSRP really has no bearing. You need to compare the quality vs. the total price. My wife tells me all the time how much money she has saved me by buying things on sale at high priced stores. Jewelry and Furniture stores also play the game of selling things for 50%/75% under retail. Just because you can buy a car under MSRP does not make it a great deal. That being said, any smart buyer who has patience and tenacity can wait the dealers out until a downturn/overstock event takes place where it is a buyers market. Just my 2 cents. :)
  • Y'all are not looking hard enough. I wanted a loaded FJ this spring and I could not wait since I needed a new truck NOW, due to the fact that my kid blew the engine in her Jeep and she was getting my 10 yr old Blazer.

    I live in Atlanta so I looked all over there with no luck. All those dealers wanted MSRP plus up to $2500 bucks. Not happening.

    So I went on the Toyota website and started sending emails to dealers right on up I-75 with the specs on what I wanted and how much I would pay. They all responded and some were close but I am a tight [non-permissible content removed], so I was holding out. Finally, I sent the message to a dealer in Toledo, OH and in about 5 minutes I got a message back asking when I wanted to pick it up.

    It takes effort, but you dont have to pay the full load. I used a Skymiles one way ticket to Toledo, the guy picked me up at the airport, bought me breakfast, I paid him and was home in Atlanta by midnight.

    So, try doing your home work and you may be pleasantly surprised. Who knows? It is worth a shot and it worked for me.
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