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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler



  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    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
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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: 10,059
    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.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    The first thing that surprised me was the size - it sure looked bigger than it had at the LA Auto Show in January. It just doesn't look like it would appeal to the same people - I didn't think they were particularly comparable. I did think it would compete very favorably with the H2 and the H3, but is a different animal than the TJ. Perhaps it will compare more directly with the re-designed Wrangler when it comes out in the fall. As they are now, they really are pretty different.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    You know, all being said, I agree with you the Wrangler and the FJ Cruiser really aren’t in the same class for the reasons you stated. However the 2007 Wrangler Unlimited will change that. It will be about 20” longer, more room, better ride, 4-doors, and still have a removable hard top and a soft top, with a fold down windshield including removable doors. It will also be available in the Rubicon package which will mean all the killer off-road stuff will be standard on that model. So in this case, I guess the FJ will not really have anything over the Unlimited and yet the Unlimited Rubicon model has all the off-road goodies that are not even available on any Toyota. The only thing Jeep could do to make this better is offer the CRD diesel in North American Wranglers.

    If you want to see more on the new Unlimited there is a cool article here:
  • Can you tow a FJ like you can a Wrangler? thanks Jeff 06 wrangler unlimited in Southern utah
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    A better question is, how many times will that Jeep have to be towed to the shop vs. the Toyota?

    I've had a jeep... and a couple of Toyotas... the Jeep didn't make it to 80k, all of the Toyotas were and still are going strong well over 100k. I spent a lot more on that jeep up to 80k than I have on two LC's over 100k.

    If Toyota built the Jeep, I'd buy it. Jeep is kind of like the cubic zirconium (sp?) of off road. Look great, kind of fun to play with, but at the end of the day, they really are worthless.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    Different story here. You should have said, If my FJ breaks down in the Mountains, I pray to God a Jeep comes along to tow me home!

    I have had Jeeps for the last 20 years. Yes, I have heard all the stories about Jeeps unreliability. However, and honestly, I have never had anything major go wrong with any of my Jeeps. I now have a 91 Cherokee 4L with 186,000, A 98 Wrangler 4L with 132,000 and a 2000 JGC with 105,000.
    No problems so far at all! My last JGC was a 1993 and I sold it with 189,000 on it(318 V8) and all I did to it was to replace the viscus<sp coupler at 180,000. Not bad!

    I never do any regular maintence either! When I get a car I change the oil and filter every 3k and lub it every 3K. I do the air filter about every 10K. I do nothing else unless something breaks.

    I do put breaks and standard stuff when it needs it. But no 6K, 15K, 30K 60K scheduled maintence, ever!

    Scheduled maintence is not necessary for the new cars. The will all go over 200K if you treat them right. (I do NOT take my Jeeps off road a lot) If I did I would be doing much more maintence on a regular basis.

    But to say a Jeep is always breaking down. I would say to that, no more than any other make, including Toyota, Honda, and Land Rover! :)

    NOW, about the new FJ. I don't know anything about it'off road ability, but I did go look at one. It has the poorest visibility of any car I have been in. It's worse than the H2. It's very nicely done on the inside , but the back seat don't really go all the way down.

    To me the FJ looks like it's aimed at the older guys like me who wanted one back in the 70's when many of us were in school and couldn't afford one. Now that we can, we also have a wife to live with, so Toyota made a reto, FJ that would be nice enough (soft and cute)so the little lady would let us buy one!

    I'm not bashing Toyota (who make great vehicles) but it's not your original FJ. It's not even close. It's a vehical made to look like an FJ and be soft and cute enough for the ladies. That in itself kills it for a really rugged 4X4. But a really rugged 4X4 is not what your wife wants! It's what you want, and sorry, but Toyota has to keep your wives happy or your kids won't buy their cars. So you get a very capable (soft and cute) (socker gramma) SUV.

    Now if you want a real good looking, off road, Not so pampering interior 4X4, go look at the new 4 Dr. Jeep Wrangler. It has more interior space than the FJ, and it's not a RETRO, It's style is just like the 1940's original! The new 4 dr. Wrangler als has a rag top, or a 3 piece removable roof! You can take the roof off over the driver, or passanger or off the rest of the back, or all of it. You can take the doors off put the windshield down, etc. It has ele. locking front and rear axles, and a host of other stuff that makes it a real off road 4X4. A rigg you can get dirty. The Jeep and the FJ are two different vehicles, built for two different markets.
    Both very good at what they were built for.

    I might add, The original Jeep helped win the War against (who) in the Pacific?
    So, if Jeeps were really worthless, you would be speaking Japanese and living in a paper house! :)

    Now I HAVE heard that all the owners manuals and info on the FJ are printed in ENGLISH and most of the dealers speak ENGLISH. I don't know of one Jeep dealer that speeks JAPANESE! And my Jeep owners manuals are all printed in ENGLISH! :)

    So my friend, and all you others who buy and use Toyota products, remember, YOU CAN SLEEP WELL TONIGHT,BECAUSE THERE WAS A JEEP WHEN WE NEEDED IT! It's still here, it's still good and it's getting better. AND, Jeep is very happy to have Toyota's as friendly competition now days. :)
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    You have had an amazing experience with Jeeps... I unfortunately didn't, and Consumer Reports would suggest that overall, my experience is more the norm. That said, I do agree with some of your comments about FJ.

    I finally went to a dealership to look at one yesterday... not to buy, keeping my LC's, but to get a feel for what they are really about. Looks like the substance under the body is there, but above the substance, it's got a lot of plastic! Bumpers are silly, almost pulled off the plastic front side piece just checking to see if maybe it was covering some real metal... none there. Interior looked nice, but cavernous. I would tire quickly of the limited view. Noticed that as small as the side and rear windows are, they also have a convenient blacked out circle around the outside that makes the real view even more constricted.
    I have to believe that with FJ, they are just beginning the off-road battle for the masses (LC is the king, but not for masses due to $$) and will have to modify the FJ to appeal to the hard core off-road enthusiasts... at least put metal under the plastic?

    I've said it before, if Toyota would just build a jeep like vehicle, it would win the battle just for the reliability.

    How many Jeeps are sold in Japan? They might have won that part of the war.

    All in fun my friend.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    I also agree with you . Toyota builds great cars! Their reliability is fantastic! I loved the original FJs. They just looked like the should be on safari in Africa! AND they were! But the new FJ is a little "softer" version of the original. It doesn't look as rugged. It will be a great vehicle Don't get me wrong but I know the new Wrangler will be great too! I think you should wait to get one of the vehicles until you get a change to see and drive the new Wrangler. It think it's going to be a real winner. One thing I like about a Wrangler, is that it is a car that I feel I don't always have to keep clean for my wife. The new FJ looks so nice on the inside my wife (and most wives) will make us keep it clean, because they want to drive it too! My wife lets me do with my Wrangler as I wish. She never drives it! THAT MAY BE THE KEY! The new FJ may be TOO nice us.

    Look at the Liberty! I don't think it should be called a JEEP, due to it's styling! It's a "girly Jeep" in my opinion. And it really does appeal to the ladies.

    I am going to buy a new Wrangler or the Toyota. I'm going to drive them both on the same day and really put them through their paces :) , then I'll weigh all the fact and make my decision, just as soon as I talk to my wife!!!! :)
  • And if you want to have your vehicle towed from all ends of the earth, get a H**P! :P Otherwise get yourself a landcruiser.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    I have certainly had several problems with our '04 Grand Cherokee, but I've also had my Rubicon for 2 years next week, and have never had a problem except for a door rattle fixed during an oil change.

    We've owned Toyos, and they're fine, reliable, boring cars. They have no soul or heritage.

    Jeep Wranglers are a true piece of Americana with a heritage that no other vehicle on the road can match. Any 5 year-old child can identify a Jeep. In fact, that same child could identify a Jeep from 50 years ago. Is there another car that can say that? Maybe the VW Bug.

    If a car is just a piece of transportation to get you from point A to point B, then a Toyota or a Ford Taurus will fill the bill. If you want to be far removed from the mechanics of a vehicle, with no road noise, no engine vibration, no torque, then a Toyota is for you.

    If you want to feel and hear the rumble of the engine, the wine of the tires, the wind in your hair, the notchity feel of the shifter, the head snapping torque off the line, and the ability to go anywhere you want to go, then the Jeep maybe the right vehicle for you.
  • ron41ron41 Posts: 37
    Something is wrong if you're comparing a Toyota with a Ford. I own a FJ the ride on road is smooth and the off road abilities are fine as well. Both vehicles are great but the Fj has more power than both wranglers new and the limited. It's great the top on the wrangler limited can be remove but the jeep still needs more horsepower. Happy trails !!!! No vehicle is perfect.
  • toyorsmtoyorsm Posts: 2
    The FJ can not be towed on all four wheels. It doesn't have a a transfer case disconnect. There are a few companys ( after market) who have made kits but they are not available yet
  • toyorsmtoyorsm Posts: 2
    Toyota's FJ 40 from the late 50's 60's are the hardest vehicles to find. II have seen FJ 40's go places that jeep drivers said no to.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    Does the FJ have a two speed axel?

    They are 2 different cars for 2 different uses.

    The Jeep is a more rugged hose out vehicle. The (NEW) FJ is a, Honey, can I drive the FJ today, Pleasesssssss!

    The original FJ was a true rugged hose out vehicle. A true Jeep twin brother. The new FJ is the White shirt and tie cousin to the blue collar, home boy Jeep, who want's to come down to the sandbox and play with his friends. Too bad his mom won't let him. She doesn't want him to get dirty.
    (no joke) That is the problem with the new FJ. Even if you guys buy it to take it off road. Your wife isn't going to let you do that. It's too nice inside to get it dirty. I'm not kidding. You watch. You guys who get one. See how your wife reacts over the next year about you taking the new FJ off road mudding! Ain't going to happen.

    But we with the new Wrangler are always willing to share the sand box, any time. Come on down and let's be playmates! :)
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Gotta take offense to "no soul or heritage" for Toyota. The Landcruiser... in pretty much every series since the FJ40 has been the worlds most rugged and most used truck in the places where ruggedness and reliability are critical.

    Most of the other Toyotas are just very well built and have become the standard. Guess rattles and squeaks are "soul and heritage" in your eyes... me, I'll take well built and reliable any day... and will put my LC's up against a Jeep on any criteria... including soul.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    Tried to add a photo. Couldn't get it to stick.

    Jeep goes back with a heritage a lot longer than than the FJ. I'm sure they both have their points.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    I'm sorry, but the original FJ/LC was a blatant copy of the Jeep CJ, or should I say rip off? I do love the old FJ40, but how does your 99 LC compare to that? It doesn't.

    The reason Jeeps still look the same is because the original designers were all about function over form, and that heritage has been maintained. Would anyone ever point to your LC and say, oh, yeah, I had one of those 30 years ago? I didn't think so.

    Look what's happened to the LC. You, yourself, didn't buy one new. The FJ40 has morphed into a 50+K vehicle that few can afford or even identify. Where is the heritage in that?

    Who would take a 50+K vehicle off road or even your used LC?
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Toyota's FJ 40 from the late 50's 60's are the hardest vehicles to find. II have seen FJ 40's go places that jeep drivers said no to.

    A 50's FJ would be hard to find indeed, particularly since it wasn't manufactured until 1960 and not available in the US until 1963.

    Btw, specs for the Jeep were laid down in the 1940. I don't think we can compare heritage between the two.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    FJ would be hard to find indeed, particularly since it wasn't manufactured until 1960 and not available in the US until 1963.

    I bought one of the First FJ40s sold in CA. It was the small window 1964 model. It was rugged and held it's own against the Jeeps in the annual Tierra del Sol runs. I would not say it was reliable or a copy of the CJs. The engine was a near blueprint copy of the Chevy 6 cylinder from the 1940s and 50s. Many parts were interchangeable and I needed to change many. The engine was very cheaply built. Fiber timing gears went out 3 times in 50k miles. Finally put in a Chevy steel gear and ended that problem. Used high quality US made valves and ended the valve burning problems. I do miss the vehicle, it was a lot of fun. I would not consider the current Land Cruisers true off road vehicles. They became too big after the FJ45 PU for getting in and out of tight places. The new FJ is not in the same league as the FJ40.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    A copy from almost 50 yrs ago... That's older than most car makes out there. I do agree that jeep hasn't changed much since (is that good or bad?).

    Is the Corvette anything like the original? I'd say no, and it still has as strong an auto heritage as anything out there.

    A new LC is for a small select group, rich. A used LC is extremely reliable, awesome off road (I take mine there).

    Also, there are lot's of people that don't buy jeeps due to reliability concerns... no one would avoid a toyota because of reliabilty.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Yeah I agree while the FJ Cruiser "looks" like the original FJ-40 that's where the similarity ends. The new FJ is a soft teddy-bear interpretation of the original. However I can't really call it a cute ute. It's not for the granola munchers that would buy a CR-V or anything like that, but it's pretty soft compared to the original or compared to a Wrangler.

    And true the Jeep does have more than 60 years of service. I'm not sure I can agree that it single handedly won the second word war, but it did play a role for sure. And the Jeep vehcle concept was coppied by the Germans in the form of the KubleWagon (sp?) before then end of the war. So it's safe to say it had a positive impact on the war effort.
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