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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler



  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103

    I'm not the one talking about the superb quality of Jeep... who's posting jibberish?

    Actually, you could use an FJ to take a trip... something I wouldn't do in a Wrangler... too uncomfortable and too likely I'd get stranded.
  • texasjeeptexasjeep Posts: 270
    Do you own a Jeep? What problems have you had? Or have you just heard from other people about them?
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103

    Owned one and it was by far the worst car experience I've ever had.

    Caliper crapped out at a couple thousand miles.

    One of the two clutch's went early, then the other went out.

    Fuel injection was never right. Hestitated under normal highway travel everytime driving over a hour or so... never could get it diagnosed or fixed.

    Got rid of it at first opportunity.

    And then, there is the hearsay that comes from other jeep owners, the consumer reports and other independent sources that point to well below average reliability.

    Is that good to start?
  • texasjeeptexasjeep Posts: 270
    What model and year was your Jeep?

    I agree that Jeeps are not the most reliable vehicles on the road, but they have improved.
    I think the range between reliable and unreliable vehicles has decreased. But having to deal with any problems and all the shoddy stealerships out there can make it a real pain.
    I don't find consumer reports or other independent sources to be very reliable or "independent".
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    I had a '94 Cherokee with the highly touted straight 6. I will say this... when the engine ran, it was very nice. Good torque etc. Those day were few and far between though.

    I also agree that in general, all cars have increased in quality. Wasn't that long ago 100k miles was pushing the upper limits of useful life and tuneups were required annually. Now, at least with my Toyota's, they feel like they are just being broken in at 100k. I do drive a couple of LC's (each with over 100k miles), with legendary reliability, so my view may be tainted a bit. Not that one or two experiences is statistically valid, but a friend of mine had an 02 Cherokee Ltd... spent $3k on repairs before he hit 60k... and now drives a Nissan.

    If you look back at my previous posts, you'll see that I actually like Jeep type vehicles... and had hoped that Toyota would have brought back an updated form of the FJ40 to compete with Wrangler... basically a jeep with quality. They didn't and I'm not as excited about the FJ Cruiser as I could have been. But, to make the leap that the FJ is crap off-road is silly... and there is a lot of that on this board (jeep enthusiasts with nothing more than blind adherence to the jeep line... if you might be wrong... speak louder mentality) "the FJ videos are Lucas made" etc...
    b/t/w 4x4, Fake Jeep isn't an original any more than Heep is. (OK, now you can post your 4 pager repeating what you've said a thousand times already)
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    LOL No I don't think there needs to be any four page responses from the rest of us. The 'Toyota/Lucas film' videos speak for themselves: They really don't show the FJ doing anything more than what could be done with a Liberty, Grand Cherokee, H3 etc. If you want to go hard core get a Rubicon.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Well looks like Edmunds gives the Jeep Wrangler a consumer rateing of 8.6. Epinions gives it an over all rating of five stars out of five. Yahoo autos gives it a 4.5 out of 5 rating. Furthermore, my experience owning a Rubicon have been excellent and so has that of almost every Wrangler owner I have talked to. So I guess it's a pretty crappy vehicle.

    And I'm with texasjeep on the consumer report thing - I have found their accuracy on quality and reliability reporting to be mediocre at best. They rated the Honda Civic very highly. I owned one and found it to have far more mechanical problems than any of my other vehicles. Moreover, I have to say that I doubt there is an engineer in the Honda corporation that paid any attention in his university corrosion engineering courses. It was one of the worst body designs I have ever seen, and as a result the winter road salt dissolved it like a sugar cube in cup of hot coffee. Another consumer report example of one of the best for sure!

    As far as stuff like your clutch, well hey that's largely up to you: If you like ride the clutch you're going to be replacing it sooner. Fuel injection? what grade of fuel did your run? Did you ever run a cleaner through it? Did you look at the o2 sensor etc? Honestly steenh, it seems to me that the sort life you experience with your Jeep may have been operator related. The way you drive the vehicle and the maintenance you do DOES have something to do with how the vehicle lasts.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103

    First you point to consumer ratings that allege that Wranglers are OK... then you agree with Texasjeep that they are "mediocre at best". Guess it depends on what suits your needs at the time. You should at least spread those two opinions into two different posts hoping that no one notices they cancel each other out?

    I drove a Camry with a clutch for 110k miles. Never changed it. And the jeep lasted 1/3rd that time. On the jeep, I put in the recommended fuel. 87 (did put in high octane when the problem first surfaced, I ain't no idjut). I was letting my jeep dealer try to diagnose and fix it... he couldn't... so I'm going out on a limb to say it wasn't just missing a good cleaning. My LC's are lasting fine with my particular history of maintenance and driving style... my jeep didn't. I even owned a couple of Fords and they got to 100k without too much problem. In fact, of all of the vehicles I've owned over the years, I wouldn't point to any of them as having poor quality except the jeep. Some better than others of course. If it was operator, you'd think it would have repeated itself. I'd be telling you all of my vehicles have been crap.

    Operator problem? I agree. I operated the pen that signed the bottom line to buy the jeep :lemon: in the first place.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    I must agree and disagree with steenh. I believe Wranglers are very reliable--I own an 04 and have never had one mechanical issue. However, our '04 Grand Cherokee has been plagued with problems. Three seperate window motors have failed. We're on the second set of brakes at 40K, once the steering column locked up and it had to be towed. Three out of four shocks "weep." The steering wheel developed a ticking sound that had to be fixed. My experience with this vehicle, and I'm religious about care and maintenance, has been horrible. I had planned on keeping it for years to come, but at this rate, I don't think that will be the case. I think I may have mentioned this reliability issue in a previous post...
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Honestly dude, you need to READ better. I didn't say all rating publications were bad. I said Consumer Report was mediocre. I don't trust their advice.

    By the way did you ever off-road your Wrangler? Many of them live their lives without seeing much dirt.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Yeah Keats,

    I don't know what it is, but I have heard the exact same thing that you described. People say their Wranglers are very dependable, but I hear mixed reviews on the Grand Cherokee. Some say they have absolutely no problems with their GC and others describe a nightmare.

    I have never owned a newer cherokee. My Cherokee is a 1982 2dr wide track with an AMC 360 v8. It's been really good to me.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    You are correct... you were referring to consumer reports. Interesting note on reading better though, I never said I had a wrangler... I had a cherokee sport. I've rented wranglers on occasion so I have done some time in them.

    I did off-road my cherokee a bit. I do now off-road my LC's a lot more. I'm not an expert in off-roading and would never claim to be, but I'm not a novice.

    To open up another topic... because I can't take this one anymore.

    There is an obvious shift by all makers to IFS... and IRS in some cases (Landrover) In fact, the Hummer H1 is IFS/IRS. I know some think it's just a softening of the market to make these vehicles behave better on pavement. Landrover touts their latest LR3 as being an exceptional off-roader. Are they crazy, or has IS technology come far enough that solid axles don't provide the same relative advantage they used to? The answer might explain why Toyota used IFS on FJ since it's certainly not that they don't have the technology or capacity.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Yeah, well the whole shift to the IS is consumer driven. Probably 80% of SUV owners don’t even leave the pavement (most of them probably shouldn’t even buy SUVs). Of the 20% that do go off road, probably only about 5% of them do hard core stuff where suspension articulation really matters. For the other off-roaders, that just do trails with some ruts and a bit of mud, IS is fine. A solid axle configuration has the potential to flex and articulate far more than any IS set up, however there is a ride comfort penalty that comes with solids – all that unsprung weight combined with being tied to both sides of the vehicles makes for a noticeably rougher ride. Auto makers, look at what most of the consumers use their SUVs for and it’s a no brainer – go for the ride comfort – something everyone feels on the first test drive.

    Land Rover, Hummer and ever the new Grand Cherokee have been able to coax some impressive travel from there IS suspensions, however there is still a big difference between the best IS system and the best solid axle set up. Having the solid axle common with the springs on each side of the vehicle is one of the reasons it rides rough, but it’s also one of the reasons this system articulates so well. The fact that the same axle is common with both suspension springs means that pushing up on one wheel actually helps force the wheel on the other side of the axle down. So when your right front tire climbs up on a boulder and there happens to be a hole where the left front tire is, the fact that the right tire is being pushed up by the boulder helps force the left tire into the hole, planting the tire. Meaning that there is rubber on the dirt to give you maximum traction all the time. With IS this is not the case, and one or more wheels are usually airborne most of the time when you are in really rough terrain. Of course unless you have lockers in each axle (which is pretty rare from the factory) it means that those airborne wheels will preferentially spin and you will go nowhere.

    I think the reason Toyota chose IFS for the FJ is not because they are stupid or anything, but because of practicalities and the consumer target base for that vehicle. The FJ is largely based on the 4Runner platform, which is IFS so they undoubtedly carried it over. Also, I’m willing to bet that Toyota was not as interested in making the FJ appeal to a niche market of hard core off-roaders; so much as they were to make it appeal to the masses who just want the ability to drive down some scenic trails on a Sunday afternoon. They wanted auto testers to report that it was comfortable and rode nice and had lots of space for weekend toys along with the kids. Rock crawling was probably pretty low on the priority list when the market studies were done.

    When was the last time a publication tested SUVs in hard core off-road conditions or any main stream magazine for that mater? I cant think of even one – So hard core off-road ability is not even a test category and does not really score the maker any points in the main stream auto press. Specialty publications like Four Wheeler and Peterson’s 4wheel Drive test in this category though, and they regularly comment on how IS does not do the job. Some times they will publish the ramp travel index (RTI) tests of all their test vehicles and it’s pretty amazing how much difference solid axles make.
  • texasjeeptexasjeep Posts: 270
    I don't follow the cherokees too much because I have never had one and don't plan to own one. I am not of aware of them having consistent problems with the clutch or 6 cyc. My Uncle has had around 3 to 5 cherokees (I lost track how many, maybe even more) and I know he hasn't had many problems at all. Some of them he put a lot of miles on too. I will have to ask him more about them some time. Maybe it is more of a quality control issue. I consider the Wranglers to be a reliable vehicle but not as much as some of the other manufacturer's vehicles out there.

    I don't think the FJs are crappy off-road but I don't think they are much competition to the Wrangler and especially the rubicon.
    I would give the nod to just about any vehicle that had a solid front axle, the 4:1 transfercase and locking front and rear differentials versus IFS, locking rear only and 2:1 transfercase.
    I wasn't impressed with the videos. It was lifting a tire on small rocks. It was banging across a lot of rocks that didn't look like much but I know videos can be deceiving in that aspect.
    Of course it doesn't really matter how the FJ is off-road because most of them (just like Jeeps) will never go off-road at all and even then only less will be pushed a good amount. You could take a FJ off-road and it will do well and even better with some mods but it will have its limits unless you put a lot into it.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    The interesting thing about this is that I've taken numerous long trips in a Wrangler. We chose to take the '98 Sport (when it was several years old) for an over 3,000 mile drive rather than put up with the uncomfortable seats in a newer 2000 Tacoma. Our '04 Unlimited did quite well on several 2,000 plus mile trips, though you do hear more traffic noise with the soft top than the hard top. I've never really had a problem with the Wranglers, the Unlimited was our daily driver and our commute is 150 miles round-trip, 5 days a week. Will the FJ be better? Possibly, I haven't test driven one yet. The one thing I do know, the Sport was more comfortable than the 2000 Tacoma. It all depends on what you consider "comfortable."
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    I have never owned a Cherokee sport either. Perhaps I will look into getting one if and when my daily driver 1984 AMC eagle ever dies. But I have not heard so many bad things about Cherokee sports as I have about some years of the Grand Cherokee. I know several people who own Cherokee sports and they have really put the distance on them without doing anything but regular maintenance on them. I have seen literally dozens of them with 450 000, 500 0000 and in one case over 600 000km on the clock without the engine being opened up. It has really reinforced my opinion that the 4.0 I6, and I6 engines in general, are virtually bulletproof. It's way better than a v6 configuration. The v6 has force loading distributed over 5 main crankshaft bearings. However the I6 has 7 main bearings to handle that same load. It's really a no brainer which one will take more abuse and ultimately last longer.

    It's sad to see that this is the last year for the Jeep 4.0L. In many off-road publications it has been hailed as one of the best off-road gasoline engines ever made. Early reports say the v6 that will replace it in the Wrangler has nothing like the bottom end torque and I'm willing to bet it won't go as far either.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    WOW, the wrangler is more comfortable than the Toyota Tacoma? That doesn't say much for the Toyota. I have never driven a Tacoma, but, while I love my 2005 Rubicon, it's not the most comforable vehicle I own. Both my Eagle and my '82 full size cherkee win on the long trip comfort hands down. However I guess it has a lot to do with the individual's size, back lenght, legs etc.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    That (hated) Tacoma was the most uncomfortable vehicle I've ever owned. The seats in the Sport were far better supporting and just more comfortable than the Taco, and that was the conclusion of both my 6 foot husband and 5 foot me. Now I prefer the seats in the old '98 Sport to the ones in the '04 Unlimited, while my husband prefers the '04. I will say this, the Honda Fit we got a month ago is more comfortable and relaxing to drive on a long trip than either Wrangler, mainly because it's quieter.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    Here is the REAL LC your talking about. Same size as the Wrangler and a 4 cly diesel.

    This is the only LC I would even consider instead of a Jeep Wrangler. With the new 4 door Wrangler coming I wouldn't take a Toyota.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    Let's be honest. The new FJ is nothing more than a 4X4 for Soccer Moms who want to be seen by other Soccer moms as having the the hair on their chests that their husbands don't have!

    I heard one Soccer Mom saying "It's just SO COOL! I just love the look, but I'll never drive it on gravel!!!"

    The new FJ -- Now for the "Pansy Princesses"

    I'm not saying that Toyota doesn't build a great 4x4, but it's the one pictured above. It's the Land Cruiser II and it's not sold here in the states. Now that is one good 4x4. As good as any Jeep and close to a Land Rover.

    But sorry to say, the new FJ is only a "Trophy 4x4"

    "You feel like your in the middle of the wilderness right in your own driveway!"
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    I can tell you why that's not sold here. It is Ugly!
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    superman... are you "quoting" yourself, or what you would like others to say?

    The people who own the FJ's and are driving them off road (all of whom have more experience in FJ's than you) seem to disagree with your assessment. I'll take their word over a blind jeep lover.

    b/t/w, I'd take an 80 series LC with any amount of miles over any wrangler, new or old.

    But, my first choice would be your pictured LC.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Just another blind Jeep lover puttin’ my 5 cents in: The old LCs were nice, there is no doubt about it. And the diesel option in them was for sure the way to go. I really wouldn't balk at having a diesel LC.

    Cant really say I have heard a lot of good things about the LC’s I6 Toyota had, at least as far as I6 engines go. Several sources claim that it’s almost a blueprint copy of the old GMC I6, but constructed with inferior alloys.

    But the basic old LC configuration is good. Pretty much a counterpart for the old CJ-7 that we also know and love.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Inferior to GM... that's hard to do.

    The LC I6 is legendary for it's reliability, low end torque and longevity. I have one... not a single problem at 125k miles in a 97.

    One thing is certain... there are more of you jeepers than FJers right now.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    I will agree, it looks ugly, and up close it looks tinny, but boy does it go places you could NEVER, EVER take the new FJ!

    It is truly a great 4X4 for off roading.


    Steenh -- Don't forget I have "Super" hearing. So I only report what I hear. Which is a lot more that you mere mortals do.

    Steenh, The old LC was great. But you can't live in the past with that new one. You have to admit it's designed for the ladies too!

    Sorry, but it is. So was the Liberty, so Jeep has it's
    "Powder Puff" 4X4 too! ;)
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    I'm just going by what I have heard several FJ and former FJ owners say about that I6. There was even a guy on this post that made a comment about that I6 being a direct copy of the GM engine and that he had problems. He said the solution was to use GM parts! LOL I thought that was pretty funny. Anyway this was posted in this blog about a week or 2 ago so you can look it up if you care.

    It shouldn't be a suprise that there are more Jeepers on here. There are far more Jeeps than FJs on the road - at least in North America.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Don't forget I have "Super" hearing.

    Fortunately, we don't need x-ray vision to see through all of it! ;)

    tidester, host
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Steenh, you must have been run over by a Jeep at some point to have such a hatred of them. At least the "Blind Jeep Lovers" will readily admit how great the FJ40 is/was.

    Jeep created the best out-of-the-box 4wd in history, according to many in the industry, with the Wrangler Rubicon. But all you can say is that you'd take a LC 80 any day. The 80 is a fine SUV, but doesn't compare offroad to the Rubi. It's a long wagon and its large dimensions would be a liability on the trail.

    But since we're talking about what we'd take. I'd take a good ole Wagoneer over a LC 80 any day. Did you know the Wagoneer was in an exhibit at the MOMA? Probably the most beautiful designs of any SUV, with a huge American V-8 under the hood.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    The LC I6 is legendary for it's reliability, low end torque and longevity. I have one

    You need to preface that with a MY. My 1964 6 cylinder Land Cruiser was anything buy reliable. It had decent power for what it was. It left me stranded with a stripped timing gear within the first 6 months. Within a year it stripped again. Finally a smart mechanic used an aluminum gear from a Chevy 6 and it lasted. I did 3 valve jobs in 50k miles. I sold it before moving to Alaska as it was not close to the reliability I expected. It did not compare to the CJ5s of that era. I am doubtful that the new one will be that great either. Maybe if it is used as a kid transport it will be fine. The other guys in Tierra del Sol with FJ40s threw the 6 away and popped in a 283 or 327 Chevy V8. Then you had a decent off roader.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103

    Are you really comparing a 1997 Engine to a 1964 Engine?

    My great great grandfather had a horse and buggy that never had a stripped timing gear... 100% reliable?

    b/t/w, where in AK are you? I grew up in Anchorage.

    And, I never said I hated what the jeeps look like or what they are designed to do, or even their off-road capability. My issue is reliability. They just don't measure up. And I owned one. If Toyota would take over the jeep line and build them, I'd buy one. I wanted Toyota to rebuild the FJ40, not something like the FJ Cruiser. Said that too.

    And, the FJ Cruiser bashing is a bit tiresome from people who for the most part haven't even seen one up close. (4x4, I know you test drove one so you don't have to point that out again).

    All in fun my friends.
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