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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler



  • Do you even know what the point in having better articulation is??? Its to keep ALL the tires on the ground with the most contact patch. This also means you are not going to tip over. When you have wheels in the air is when you are in danger of tipping over!

    Keep in mind you can tip a Ferrari over if you try hard enough. And of course you’re going to see move videos of Jeeps rolled over since there about 50 times more Jeeps on the trails than FJCs. BTW I have seen pics of a rolled over FJC too.

    I also happen to know that when I have driven FJC’s that they don’t corner better than the old TJ Wranger, so I would really hesitate to say they have a lower CG to track ratio.

    Come to the mountains in the trees and I’ll show you trails where your FJ will not be able to follow a TJ or the new Wrangler simply because it can’t turn sharp enough or fit. The old Jeep CJ-5 is one of the best trail rigs ever since it’s got an 83” wheel base and is about 5 inches narrower than the old TJ Wrangler (much less the new wrangler). When I took that CJ-5 out to the trails I could follow most quad trails where the TJ (rubi or not) would not even fit. There were times when I was on an incline and where there were two trees so close that putting the windshield down allowed me to pass. There is no way on earth your FJC would follow a Wrangler never mind a CJ-5 in that area unless you brought a chan saw.

    ‘And I make it a point to go forward, so I don't need to see behind me much.’ This right here tells me the kind of wheeling you mostly do. If you never use reverse gear you never go into tight spots. And when you’re in tight spots you take all the visibility you can get. Maybe you are, but most off-roaders aren’t Jedi nights that can drive the trail blindfolded. Being able to see ground closer to the front of the vehicle over the hood and front corners is a big asset. Taking the doors off and even folding the windshield down further helps the situation. Hell, having the top off helps! Don’t worry bud, when Four Wheeler magazine tested the FJC their comment about visibility was ‘I would be nice to see the trail;

    The new Wangler has been around for 1 year (keep in mind it shares no components with the 2006 – it’s an all new design) and it has more aftermarket stuff than the FJC which has been out longer. Not to say there isn’t stuff for the FJC, there is, and it desperately needs these goodies to do the tougher trails.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Do you even know ... ???

    I do know that illumination is preferable to confrontation. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Yes, I know what the point of better articulation is. Do you know what the point of stabilizer bars is? Because the Wrangler only get that RTI with the stabilizers disconected. With them connected it's 652 for the '07. The FJ gets 515 with stock height and WITH sway bars to keep it from landing on it's head. With 3" lift you can get 704 and with the solid axle swap you get 1100! But RTI isn't everything now is it? I've seen Rubis roll with seemingly no effort. They go from all four wheels on the ground to rolling in no time. Seems like it doesn't matter if all four wheels on the ground. The point of articulation is to keep all four on the ground not just to keep from tipping over but to get traction. But with the atrac engaged, you don't need all four on the ground to get traction. The Rubi can only do that if it has a front locker. But then you're stuck with having your front end locked. Not the best way to do things in all situations.

    Look, the whole point of this thing is that you seem to think that the FJ is only marginally capable and yet the FJ has proven to be FAR more than just marginal. Not, it's not perfect and has it's drawbacks, just like the Rubi does. You prefer the Jepp, I prefer the FJ. We obviously do different things with our vehicles and you have chosen the one that works best for you. I've chosen the one that works best for me. If I were trying to make my way through the woods between tight narrow paths, I would take the Wrangler. But I don't really do that kind of wheeling. I do take it up into some of the forrests here in Oregon and have no problems with the trails here.

    So far the FJ has been more than satisfactory for what I want to do. I guess maybe you're more hard core than me. Maybe not. But who cares? I'm having fun with it. I don't think anyone who buys an FJ expects it to do anything it's not capable of doing unless they plan on doing some major mods. I'm really strugling with what the point of this thread is to begin with. Why bother comparing the two when they are very different vehicles meant to aproach off roading in different way? Makes no sense really. But you've been trying to say that the FJ isn't anygood for any of it, and I'm sorry but you're very wrong. The FJ continues to prove that it's very good at what it does and far better than most will give it credit for. But hey, why do I even care what you think of MY truck? YOU don't have to drive it if you don't want. Keep your Jeep in the trees where it belongs so you don't clog the places I like with your wrecked and overturned and stuck Jeeps.
  • Ok First off – Four Wheeler tested the FJC at 491 RTI – I trust their tests since they have been doing it for about 20 years. 652 (with stock ride height) on the wrangler is noticeably different than 491. Second the OPTION to disc
    onnect the sway bar with the push of a button is a HUGE advantage. Sway bars are mainly for cornering and keeping the contact patch of all four wheels on the ground on a SMOOTH surface for best cornering traction.

    A-track is nothing new and nothing special, its simply an active limited slip system for the front and back axle that uses the brakes to redirect the torque. GM has been doing this on vehicle for almost 20 years. It does in NO WAY come close to comparing to a locker. Neither A-track or the Lockers will replace a Good RTI. Good RTI means you have more rubber on the ground and you can apply MORE torque if you have more rubber on the ground – PERIOD. So it certainly does matter if all four wheels are on the ground – to think otherwise is folly!

    Any dolt can roll any vehicle just about anywhere, regardless of make or model. And we know that there is no shortage of dolts on the trails!

    Second, are we talking about an FJ here or an FJC??? They are not even remotely the same thing!

    More than one year ago (before the 2007 Wrangler was out) I said the FJC had an advantage in soft sand because of the torque profile. The Jeep’s 4.0L engine, while superior in just about every other off-road situation, did not make the power at the right RPM for soft sand. Now the new Wrangler does well in the soft sand also with the new engine. Plus its superior in many other areas to either the old Wrangler or the FJC. AND you can get it in a more roomie 4 door with decent back seat access and more cargo room than either the 2 dr Wrangler or the FJC. So as far as I can see, unless you love the way the sheet metal is folded on the FJC there it has nothing on the Jeep.
  • murphydogmurphydog SeattlePosts: 723
    makaser -

    Very well put, and I agree with you 100%, however this is pointless. fourx4ever will not accept that the FJC is a solid performer on and off road. In his mind if it is not a rubicon it is not suitable for anything other than a fire road. He will not change his mind.

    The rest of us know that both machines will likely cover the same ground with no problems. :shades:
  • murphydog-

    Yeh, I agree. Oh well. fourx4ever. we'll agree to disagree. At least that's what i've been trying to do. In the end, the proof is in the pudding. I'm sure that even that won't be enough for you. You'll come up with any number of reasons to think that the FJ that just passed you on a trail can't possably be what it is. And I'm sure you'll refuse my assistance when I (or any other FJer) offers to yank you out of some hole somewhere. I personally think the whole rivalry between all the various brands of rigs is pretty stupid and childish. I'm not sure where I read it, but on one of the forums recently, someone made a very good point about this. Why is it that we are infighting when we should be spending the enery we put towards this and put it towards an effort to preserve the access we enjoy to public lands. While we are fighting over IFS vs. solid axles, the Green Party is going behind our backs and legislating our sport away.
  • You guys are smoking some seriously bad stuff. To say that a vehicle without Lockers, Without, (real) skidplates, without solid axles, and a lame 42:1.0 CR can keep up on any trail with a vehicle that has those things with a 72:1 CR that's also physically smaller: that's being stupid. Get real. You guys are deluded. Bring your knife to a gun fight!

    I'm not saying the FJC is totally useless, I'm just saying out of the box it's not even close to being in the same league as a Rubicon. Moreover, a 4Runner has pretty much the same potential as the FJC and it's more practical.
  • makaser,

    It's not rivalry between brands, its the triumph of reality. The two vehicles don't have the same off-road potential off the show room floor - not even close. The same driver can take the Rubicon places the Toyota would only see hanging from a helicopter.

    Regardless of what Toyota's propaganda department (marketing) has told you doesn't change the fact that their design department didn't equip the FJC to do the same things as a Rubicon. Plain and simple! For the future FJCs who knows what they will do.

    And yes, I could pour about $15K into an FJC and be close to a stock rubicon, but the physical size wont be any smaller and the visibility won't be any better.
  • m6vxm6vx Posts: 142
    You’ve never ‘done the rubicon trail, but from what you know it’s a pretty good test’????

    And what does 'doing' a trail really mean?

    I've seen vehicles 'do' a trail. They get stuck half way through an obstacle and get pulled/winched through the rest of the obstacle!
  • Exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My point well made. Just because it made it over some trail does not make the FJC or the Jeep Liberty amazing off-roaders. I could probably get a deepfreeze over the Rubcon trail too, does that make it a good off-road machine???
  • m6vxm6vx Posts: 142
    I could probably get a deepfreeze over the Rubcon trail too

    What kind of lift would you put on it? ;-)
  • I just have to weigh in here. I have both an FJ and Rubicon. The rubi is three times or more the off road rig the Fj is, mostly because of flex. The FJ is cool and gets the kid to school and I really like it, but it is not much off road, not bad but not like the Jeep. The FJ has 4 inches of skyjacker lift, rear locker, A-Trac and 33 inch rubber, lots of armor. The rubi has a 4 inch rough country lift, 33 inch rubber and lots more rubber because it will go lots more places. I thought the longer FJ would do better in some pleces but at both windrock and tellico the rubi is just so much better.

    The gearing in the jeep, the crawl and low end grunt just make it much much better.

    If you really want to play get the rubi.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,417
    The sale numbers are not a reflection of the quality of the FJC.

    Do you think the newness is wearing off yet? I see the October 07 FJC sales are off 25% from October 2006. You think everyone that just wanted a different looking CUV has got it? Too many negatives for the FJ to be anything but a novelty vehicle. Do you hate the suicide doors yet? I disliked the ones in my 2005 GMC PU so much, that I sold that turkey. It was a hybrid so I got more than it was worth from a private party.

    If I wanted an all out off road vehicle without spending a fortune on upgrades, I would still buy the Wrangler. Truth is I would not buy either of them without a diesel engine. Both are gas hogs.
  • Hi all,

    I'm in need of some assistance. I have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4, 4 door, 4.0 L, V6.

    My rear passenger tail lamp is out. I've tried replacing it and it still won't work. I've checked on my fuses and they are all working.

    Any suggestions?

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,417
    You need to post in the thread for the Jeep Cherokee. Not many will see you here.

    Try this thread with a search. You may find your answer.

    cavman2x, "Jeep Grand Cherokee Maintenance and Repair" #1, 1 Apr 2001 3:16 pm
  • I agree gargrice,

    Sales numbers are certainly not a reflections of quality. The Ford Edsel in the 60's was a very well built car in the day but people hated the styling so it was a major sales flop.

    I also think that the slowing of FJC sales is mostly to do with the fact that the fad is wearing off. Remember when we first started this post I said the FJ Cruiser is a lot like the PT Cruiser in that they are fad vehicles. I said the FJC sales would drop rapidly at the 2 year mark and we’re not at 2 years yet but trend is playing out my prediction. The demand for fad vehicles is always crazy at the beginning even though vehicles like the PT Cruiser isn’t much of a hot rod and the FJ Cruiser isn't a super great off-roader; they have the very different style that attracted a market segment.

    Now here we are coming up on 2 years since the FJC came out. The word is out that the raunchy killer off-road ads Toyota made with it are not possible with the show room machine. While it's build quality seems to be good, the design is not even close for optimum off-road use, and does not follow in the foot steps of the original FJ-40. It’s one thing to come out with fad styling and sell them like hotcakes for a couple years, but to keep the sales there has to be substance behind the vehicle, it has to prove to be very useful. Toyota told us at the beginning the FJC was going be a killer off-road machine to be serious competition to the Wrangler. When it debuted, some of us took a look at it and knew right away it would never keep up to the Wrangler and certainly not with a Wrangler Rubicon; while others had to do the off-road comparison to find this out. Toyota didn’t deliver on their promise. The hard core off-roaders are buying Wranglers, by now all the Faddy people have their FJCs, and so sales are in a nose dive.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,417
    The bulk of the FJCs sold were based on their quirky looks for sure. They are not a good soccer mom CUV. The Highlander and even the RAV4 are better for hauling passengers. I have one friend with one and he likes all but the doors. He did not realize what a pain to have to open the front door to let people open the back door. Dropping the kids off at school is not nearly as easy as with all the other CUVs on the market. Being a bit nostalgic about my old FJ40 I was looking forward to the FJC. It only took one look to turn me completely off. I suppose for those that never experienced the real deal it was the latest and greatest. They have dropped to about 4k per month. Do not know how long Toyota will keep the model. If I could justify a vehicle for mainly off road use it would still be the Wrangler. When and if they add a 4 cylinder diesel engine.
  • Just found this forum, obviously an old thread - anyway... I was at the toyota dealer getting stuff for my '02 Tac and I went through the new FJC. Geez, that back seat is indeed claustrophic - no functional windows. just staring at the front headrests. Glad I'd be driving. The plastic throughout and underneath I see as problematic. I don't know.
    I've had Cruisers in the past: a '73 FJ40 and a '76 FJ 40. The '73 was basically stock and pristine - North Carolina vehicle orginally. (I sold it to pay for kid's tuition.) We also had a '91 FJ80 - great vehicle; had it all over the US. Gotta say, however, that FJC doesn't impress me. My FJs were basically tractors with multiple seats, and they did need occasional attention (they weren't bullet-proof), but they did what they were designed to do. Personally, I'm considering a Rubicon of '04 vintage. They seem more akin to the old FJ except w/ manners and some technology thrown in - and after my 40s, technology is not a bad thing - not opposed to it at all. I've got no complaints w/ my present Tac, however, except it's a bit light on a wet road - but it's not bad on the forest service roads here in the Blue Ridge, and I certainly don't mind the mpg in the 20s.
  • soonerdog,

    I had a lot of the same thoughts when too the FJC out for a test drive over a year ago. You are right, the only thing it really has in common with the original FJ is the name.

    The FJs you owned were true off-road machines that could be built up with very little cost to be killer crawlers, or bogger. The diesel FJs were even more suited to the true trail driver. There is no doubt Toyota is missing out on a solid long term market by not producing something like the original FJ. What they did with the new FJC reminds my a lot of what Chrysler did in the 80's by bringing out a front wheel drive with a 2.2L four cylinder engine and calling it a Charger.

    I think you will be a lot closer to your original FJ's performance and potential if you pick the Rubicon. The locking front and back axles will impress you, beyond what the old Jeep CJs and old FJs could do back in the day too.
  • Appreciate your thoughts... my 23 yr. old son who has always been around my bikes and trucks was anxious for me to test the FJC. He's in CA, and as a cop he sees quite a few "off-roaders" and he was sure I'd be impressed w/ this reincarnation of our old FJs; but, like I mentioned, after crawling in it, under it (in the showroom, no less) and all through it, I was kind of disappointed. The axles, the overall dimensions, the plastic -espeically the tank - and the lack of the I6 made me turn down the test drive. Off road, my old FJs gave me a sense of using "all fours" so to speak - kind of figurative, but they had a life-like agility, and I don't sense that at all in this FJC - sheer size alone precludes it. I'm trying to work a deal on a '04 Rubicon w/ 16K on it. (They're asking almost 18K.) Like you say, it feels more akin to what I had - yet with some civility. Cheers.
  • As the title says, I am going to buy a Wrangler, but first, I want to talk to people who have bought wranglers in the past.

    here are my main questions:

    1) I drive a 2005 Dodge Neon SXT, 5-speed manual, and I have never driven a manual SUV. Is it much different than that of a sports car?

    2) Pros and Cons of the 2007-2008 Wrangler?

    3) We also own a 2005 Jeep liberty, Special Edition, 3.7L 4X4, 5-speed manual. Does the 2008 Wrangler drive anything like the 2005 Liberty?

    Please answer ASAP!
  • Well first of, all the Wrangler you are looking at is a 6 speed not a 5 speed like your Neon. The other thing you will notice is the shifter throws are longer on the Jeep than what your Neon's are. It will have a different feel however its nothing that a few hours driving to get used to it won't cure.

    The pros: World class best off-road ability, A convertible with a soft top and a hard top if you order it as such. A 6 point roll cage which enhances safety on and off road. The only 4-door convertible currently being produced, again if you order the 4-door. Very good visibility for on and off-road precision driving.

    Cons: It has a V6 - the old Wranglers had a much better In-Line 6, however rumors are that a nice little diesel is on the way for next year. It will not be as comfortable as many cars for 4 and 5 hour road trips.

    I have not spent much time behind the wheel of a Liberty, however I think you will find the Wrangler quite a bit different. Obviously even the 4-door wrangler is different from the 2-door.

    Best thing to do is go test drive a 2-door and a 4-door. And pick the one that best suits your needs. I would highly recommend the Rubicon package. For the little bit of extra money you get a lot of off-road goodies that will cost literally about 5 times the money to add on later.
  • That's great information. The reason I need all this information, is because my son is turning 16 pretty soon, and his WHOLE life, literally, he has wanted a wrangler. What is the difference between the Rubicon and the X model, besides the off-road capabilities?

    (he wants two-door)
  • I can help (I hope)!

    First of all, your son is very lucky. My Dad has an '05 Liberty CRD Limited and it drives great as you know. I have a '97 with 153k miles and an '00 Wrangler Sport with 104k miles, both TJ's with the simply bullet proof 4.0 l I-6. I rented an '08 Wrangler X, the new JK, for a week when I was on vacation and was so impressed with it that I had to check the Jeep site to see what the differences were. Every iteration of the Wrangler/CJ improves dramatically in on road manners and off road characteristics. It drives like a truck, but the coil over suspension is forgiving unlike the leaf springs of the YJ and older and the vehicle did not wander a bit. The new JK X model you're looking at is outfitted with several of the goods that the previous generation TJ Rubicon was. The front differential is the newly revised Dana 30 and rear differentials have been beefed up on the base Wangler to the legendary Dana 44 bone stock! The new Rubicon is simply amazing, but at nearly 30k it's a bit pricey and its resale will take a noticeably larger initial hit vs a Wrangler X. I guess it's because that Rubicon means business and everyone knows it's going to have a fun life.

    For a beginner driver, I would not recommend the Rubicon as a starter vehicle. It's a little too much truck for someone that young. Remember, the more capable it is the further off road you get stuck, haha. I recommend getting the X. If in a few years you still want the Rubicon, sell your X for a surprisingly high resale and pick up an '08 Rubicon for about $10k less than when it was new and someone was already courteous enough to break it in a little for you ;-). It's win- freakin win. I'd like to add that my bone stock '00 TJ is amazingly capable and can readily keep up with my modified '97 even if it has to work a little harder to do it. The Wrangler will amaze you!

    I hope that helps a little. Good luck with your purchase!

    (I agree, stick to two doors)
  • WOW! That helped a ton! Thanks. What options should I get? Or should I just stay original, and go NOTHING fancy, and get completely stock, 4X4?

    I love the liberty, drives like a dream. :D
  • You're welcome! If it were me, I'd go for the X with package S. It's a really good deal and packs on a lot of extras including air conditioning (I like it every now and then, but it's really for resale value), the sunrider softop (essentially a soft top with a folding front panel that mimics a sunroof = damn cool), temperature and compass gauge, and a full center console. Bypass the power locks and windows as they are near blasphemous in a Wrangler. Other options I would seriously consider are the Track-Lok Limited Slip Differential, and the 3.73:1 gears. They'll give you an extra boost of confidence off-road with only a minor hit to fuel economy and a measly $345 hit to the wallet. Front and rear tow hooks for $75 are also a good deal and may unexpectedly come in handy were you to get stuck. As for safety options, the seat mounted side airbags are good for peace of mind, resale value, and lowering insurance! Let's face it, any reduction in the cost of insuring a teenager is a blessing.

    There is an electronically controlled locking rear diff available for about $800, but think long and hard about the kind of wheeling you plan on doing and whether you can justify that extra cost.

    In general, all the options available are cheaper when installed by Jeep at the factory than you could buy and install yourself. However, if you add enough of these features you'll be in Rubicon price range before you know it.
  • Thank you for everything! My wife and I went ahead and bought him the Rubicon yesterday. He LOVES it. I will post details on it later, he wants me to let him drive it now.

  • Along the same lines, as I mentioned above, I'm looking for an '03 - '04 Rubicon but the suckers seem to remain a bit pricey. I know basically nothing about Wranglers. When I had my old FJs, I resented people calling them "Jeeps", and here I am....
    anyway, a quick lesson would be appreicated. I've Googled it to death, and I still can't find the exact differences between the X trim and the Sport and the Sahara. I know the Rubi has the upgraded axles. I have a chance at an '06 X w/ 20K on it for 13.5K, but what am I getting? I thought I read where the Sport has upgraded axles, also. Any info would sure help. thanx much.
  • Yeah Jeep guys didn’t like to hear an FJ refereed to as a Jeep either. Now I think the FJ guys don’t like their classic rigs being compared to an FJ Cruiser ;)

    Yeah Rubcons are on the pricey side. But then you’re not only getting much stronger axles front and back with lockers, but a much stronger transfercase with a low 4:1.0 ratio that yields a crawl ratio between 66:1 or 72:1 depending on the year of Rubicon you end up with. This is far better than what the regular Wranglers and most other good 4x4s offer – somewhere in the 40:1 to maybe 50:1. You also get the rocker skid plates (not that that’s a huge deal). However if you had to add all those things to a Sahara, Sport or X you would be over $10 000.00 in parts alone, never mind the labor. So in this sense the Rubicon is a hell of deal.

    The model order in trim and goodies goes Rubicon, Sahara, Sport, X with the X being a base model. You’re not getting a lot of things in the X. I think the 6 cylinder engine is an option in it but other than that you get the 4. I don’t recommend the 4. The fuel consumption of the 6 is only a little bit more, and you get way more power. Other than the obvious engine and transmission options, the difference in the Sahara down to the X is mostly about trim, and creature comforts. Mechanically they could all be optioned the same at the time of purchase as far as I know.
  • A belated "thanx" for the info. I finally got around to reading some of the pages in this rather extensive thread - had some rather heated debates going on!
    You know, after 40+ yrs of this-and-that off-road, I know for a fact, no matter what you're using, it has to be maintained. My FJ 40s had to be constantly monitored, just like my '60 chevy 3/4 ton pick-up, just like my 61 dodge lancer. My '91 FJ 80 that I bought in '97 needed new window tracks, a new power mirror, and a rebuilt radiator - all before 111K miles. My '02 Tac has been pretty cheap - course it doesn't really get off-road too much.
    Anyway, you're right about the standard stuff on the Rubicon - compared to the other trims, it is a deal indeed. It apprears to me to be "over-engineered" which is exactly what I want. I'm presently at the point of purchasing an '04 with 45K. Again, thanx for the info.
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