Toyota FJ Cruiser Changes You'd Like to See

steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
What does Toyota need to add to the FJ to make it perfect?

Navigation (or is the Garmin ok)?

A diesel engine option?

That rumored Moab edition?


  • racer_65racer_65 Member Posts: 43
    The current version doesn't cut it for me, but it doesn't miss by that much. I hope they continue to enhance it over the years (and they probably will). What bothers me about the styling are all the "toy-like" elements, such as that silly dashboard (almost inspired by the Mini), and those fake tracks in the floor mat. On the exterior, they need to get rid of that blind spot on the sides. Doesn't even look that great. In addition, that gotta offer a soft top version, or make the hardtop removeable. The original FJ40 has none of the above flaws, which is why I continue to own one.
  • cloned_2_deathcloned_2_death Member Posts: 22
    What does Toyota need to add to the FJ to make it perfect?

    It's not just a matter of adding - they need to subtract some things as well: I want an FJ Cruiser that's more true to the original FJ40's standard of function taking precedence over form.

    - Simplfy the bumpers, dump the hideous cladding and plastic bodywork.

    - Fix the big blind spots, (shrink the C-pillar, increase the size of the rear passenger windows).

    - Improve the forward visibility.

    - Improve the turning circle diameter.

    - Add a diesel engine option.

    - Switch to independent front suspension.

    - Add wider rear passenger doors with external door handles.

    - Add traditional FJ40 colors (red, green, beige)

    - Add removable hardtop, optional softtop, optional sunroof (for pretenders).

    - Increase flexibility in adding options.

    - Improve the stereo (or make it optional for those of us with good ears).

    - Remove the premium fuel "requirement".

    - Add proper side mirrors.

    - Add rear seats that fold completely flat.

    - Keep the price around $25,000.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Looks like a dandy start to me.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Good answer with the things to subtract. I understand that there is a memo going out to the dealers advising that regular gas can be used with just a slight hit in hp.
  • chiefjojochiefjojo Member Posts: 39
    Switch to independent front suspension.

    I think you mean solid front axle (like the old FJ40-80), right?

    I agree, oh and a removable roof option and make the Moab version simple with only 4WD goodies added... 33" all-terrain tires, locking rear diff, ATRAC, roof rack, winch, etc.
  • gypsyjongypsyjon Member Posts: 38
    DIESEL ENGINE>>>>>>>>DIESEL ENGINE........Diesel engine..

    And a smallish one, not some firebreathing behemouth...just a nice mild maybe 4 cylinder Perkins type 150 hp or so.

    My wife has a Jeep Liberty with a little 4 cylinder diesel in it..great mileage, power aplenty...great little truck, but interior is just a tad small for my 6'6" body..

    I would arm wrestle you for an FJ with a nice moderate diesel in it.

  • cloned_2_deathcloned_2_death Member Posts: 22
    I meant switch from IFS...
  • murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    I don't know if a removable top is possible, but some sort of sunroof should be. When Toyota adds that I will pay a visit to the local dealer. I know I can go aftermarket, but I don't want an 18 year old with a sawzall cutting a hole in my roof! :shades:
  • gsyoung1960gsyoung1960 Member Posts: 52
    I agree with the sunroof option. I've got a Jeep now, and would really miss the option to be able to open up a vehicle at least a little bit. Also, with the windows sooo small in the FJ, it seems to fill a little "cave like" inside... a sunroof could really help address that problem.
  • sbgreensbgreen Member Posts: 1
    I am the perfect model of a consumer who wants a new FJ. I had a Tacoma that I loved, and now I drive a Nissan Pathfinder (long story) which I HATE. I want to get back into the Toyota family, but WILL NOT make a move until I can buy the diesel. Overseas, the Toyota Diesel has a rock solid reputation. But when it comes to the US market, and more specifically the new FJ, it is as though Toyota refuses to acknowledge the market demand for diesel. I realize that there are regulatory hurdles, but those look to be lowered in 2007. ADD A DIESEL OPTION!!!!
  • knievelknievel Member Posts: 4
    Agree with most of those already suggested. Keep it utilitarian leaving most of the creature comforts for RAV4/Highlander/4Runner buyers but the following wouldn't go amiss:
    - Winter package: windshield wiper, washer jet & exterior mirror deicers, engine block heater, heated seats
    - Stability control that remains on in high-range 4WD
    - Opening rear windows
    - Engine immobiliser
  • fbazzofbazzo Member Posts: 1
    I just got back from a trail run with the Toyota Trail Team. I got to drive the FJ and watch others drive it where I thought it wouldn't go. I think it's an awesome vehicle. I would only change three things.

    1. Tailgate option instead of a swing out door.
    2. Move the rear view mirrors forward four or five inches.
    3. Sunroof
  • gsyoung1960gsyoung1960 Member Posts: 52
    I'd really be interested in seeing them "open up" the interior somehow (i.e. sunroof, power rear window, or even removable top). Driving the FJ was fun, but it sure would be hard not having the ability to open it up like you can with a Jeep, as opposed to the small windows (and visability) in the FJ... leave driving a tank to the military.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Someone else isn't too thrilled with the rear doors:

    FJ Cruiser's Suicide Doors Are Well Named

  • murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    So I saw the pictures of the modified FJ from SEMA - and I noticed the sunroof. The article stated that some of the mods were future features planned by Toyota. Do we have any Toyota experts who may have a clue when the sunroof will be a factory option?
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    That is why I am selling my Hybrid Sierra. I hate those doors on the extended cab PU trucks. The FJ is equally bad. I sat in the back seat and it was not pretty. I don't know how Toyota is getting rid of them.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Buyers are drivers?
  • blue330xiblue330xi Member Posts: 56
    full time 4wd for the auto, a V8. Really thats all I would want to change.
  • parker10parker10 Member Posts: 1
    The original FJ40 has flaws of its own....RUST
  • luvmy4runnerluvmy4runner Member Posts: 59
    I agree on the blind the rear windows and the rear passenger windows should be allowed to go down..they should extend the body about 6 inches, and make an extra door for the passengers to allow for easier ingress/egress. Possibly put in a v8. I agree it does look a bit toylike. I did go to the LA Auto show and there is a company that actually converts the FJ into a convertible (for $11k). But I do agree they should offer it as an option.
  • murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    extend the body? bigger doors? I don't get it you want Toyota to make 2 4runners?

    Add a big canvas sunroof and I would be pleased.
  • rdhollemrdhollem Member Posts: 2
    Have the new TRD FJ. Sure would like more windows that roll down, better back-up visibility (tough on trail), tail lights butt ugly (good aftermarket project for flush led type), and real bumpers you can hook a jack to. Would like all white or all sand color option. Black paint is awful for showing scratches.
    Overall still best all purpose off-road vehicle on market.
  • maxwell3maxwell3 Member Posts: 10
    just two things...a bit better fuel economy and not such a big blind spot!
  • adethieradethier Member Posts: 16
    Yes, please make a diesel engine for the FJ!!!
    Also a sunroof, although i understand that it might interfere with the integrity of the overall structure.
    I got Toyota to install heated seats on mine... good for my winter trips to the snow. Otherwise, please keep the FJ pure and keep navigation and as much electronics out of it.
  • sdwscootersdwscooter Member Posts: 2
    A few things:

    1) A warning system for when you leave your lights on.
    2) A way to control the interior lights on the dash as
    opposed to the overhead light control switch.
    3) Remove the blind spots.
    4) Less plastic on the interior.

    Still love my FJ but these things would sure make it a better vehicle.
  • pauliep13pauliep13 Member Posts: 44
    The main two changes I'd like to see would be better MPG's, and a part time 4WD system for the manual tranny. I basically think it's be much better with a 4 cyl. and part time 4WD. I can't speak for everybody, but I feel that since it isn't going to be off road all the time, then it shouldn't be in 4X4 all the time.
  • gsyoung1960gsyoung1960 Member Posts: 52
    I was really disappointed to see that the 2008 FJ still doesn't appear to have an option for a sunroof, or removable hardtop. I realize these are "aftermarket" options, but was expecting Toyota to tweek out the 08 FJ a little more... really don't see much that changed, and thus no more reason to buy an 08 vs an 07 model.
  • mgnz47mgnz47 Member Posts: 5
    Bigger gas tank, at least 26 gals, 30 would be about perfect.
  • mgnz47mgnz47 Member Posts: 5
    Bigger gas tank 26-30 gals
  • chiefjojochiefjojo Member Posts: 39
    I'm not the only one who thinks Toyota missed the mark a bit with the FJ. I am a 4Runner owner who got excited when I heard about the FJ, but was underwelmed with the outcome. If they had gone for a Jeep Unlimited treatment on a modern FJ40 theme, they'd have an even bigger hit.

    Things Toyota got right:
    -hardware: V6, 6-spd tranny, 32" tires, 4WD goodies
    -interior: big gauges, simple layout, waterproof interior
    -heritage: headlights, "TOYOTA" badge
    -vehicle dimensions: layout, suicide doors, etc, keeps overall length/overhangs manageable for both offroad & everyday use/storage
    -aftermarket support: Toyota was smart to anticipate demand for this vehicle

    Things Toyota got wrong:
    -styling: seems oversyled for a "basic" 4x4, cartoonish, C-pillar size (blind spot), not enough retro or basic 4x4 cues for my taste, protruding tail lights, vertical windshield seems unecessary
    -develop a soft top/removable hard top verson
  • tnbluefjtnbluefj Member Posts: 3
    I would like to see the blind spots addressed, functional sun visors, and at 5'4" I find the windows to be a bit tall when at a bank drive through window. :blush:
    Oh, the arm rests seem to be too low on the seat for me.... maybe it's just I have short arms? :)
  • tbone12tbone12 Member Posts: 2
    I have loved the FJ ever since seeing the prototype. I have been reluctant to buy one because of a few minor factors that I am really surprised have not been addressed as of yet. With slower sales on SUV's, hopefully Toyota will finally make some needed changes to increase sales. I work from home and am not affected by the gas prices so much, so really hope Toyota makes these. Here is what I'd like to see addressed:

    1) Rear (1/2 doors) windows should go down. Like others have said, it is like a cavern for rear seat passengers now. Plus, I have dogs and need that increased air circulation.

    2) Needs a sunroof at least. Would be great to have a sky slider canvas roof, like the new Liberty. They may need to add a rollbar in the middle, which would look cool too.

    3) Would be good, but not needed - power rear lift gate window, like 4 Runner.

    4) needs a liftgate and no side opening rear access. When raining, lift gates are much appreciated when outdoors. Plus, much easier for loading. In doing this, maybe place the spare tire on the bottom, or on the inside ceiling, with a bump in the roof. kind of like Xterra does with their first aid kit in the rear tailgate. With a the thick rack on top, you have a bit of room to add a bump in the roof for the spare tire and hide it with the rack. Most items on a rack are placed on top anyhow.

    5) Address the huge wall in front of the passenger seat (just below the dashboard). This big empty space needs a shelf for storage, a glove compartment or something. This is an outdoor SUV and has a lot of unused space here. At the very least, add a shelf here with a mesh pocket to hold things.

    Keep the price around $30K with these options and I guarantee sales will skyrocket. With the domestics and many other mfg's cancelling future production and greatly reducing SUV production, this will make the FJ own this market. Everything goes in cycles and the American car market reacts so fast to these current changes, so when people are budgeting for the new gas prices and finally accepting them for the way they are, SUV's will be back. We've been lucky to have low gas prices for so long. It needed to go up at some time. Just like housing prices had to adjust downward at some point. Once we accept it and our budgets are in order, SUV's will be back and Toyota keeping their big sellers will be in a great position.
  • shoozieshoozie Member Posts: 4
    Had my FJ for a year and love it! Many of you need to take the FJ at face value. She's not built for comfort or (despite the name) "cruising". If your a soccer mom, get a mini van. If you want to get to and from your office job in luxury, get a lexus. If you want to get to the middle of timbuktu so you take your mt bike off and go even further into nowhere without gettting stuck, get an FJ. Not to mention it might look like a plastic tonka truck but how many vehicle can you just hose off the mud inside and out when you get home? Sure the visibility isn't prime, but you get used to it. Sunroofs are silly, just more for me to worry about when I put something on the roof rack. Not to mention I like the minimalism, less electronic gadgets to fix one day. Had an old CJ7 that I could take the hardtop off of but it was a pain in the keester to take off and to store, so I'm over it.The open console is kinda rediculous in a 4x4 but I had a lid custom made. My only qualm is the rear seats don't fold perfectly flat for more hauling room, but I'll live. As far as the complaints regarding the automatics, that's your fault. If you can't drive a stick, you shouldn't have a 4x4 vehicle designed to offroad. :P
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I owned a 1964 FJ40. The new FJ Cruiser is not in that league. I think that Toyota is realizing they made a mistake with FJ sales off by 60%. I would imagine they will be dropped from the lineup. Picture your FJ Cruiser in this position. Would it come out without any damage?

  • mkdtsmkdts Member Posts: 2
    Add a switch to the dash to turn on Courtesy Lights.
    Add a knob to tailgate to get out of from the back.
    The sun visors, You need monkey arms just to adjust one.
    The armrest for the passenger is an option, please just through one in.
    All in all I still love the hell out of mine 07. Funny story..........................
    I was down in Kentucky pulling a trailer with two quads and supplies when I looked in my rear view and noticed a Hummer coming up from behind, “the small one” he had about the same type of load on his trailer. He passed me at the beginning of a hill with a smirk on his face. Well The Fj went right by him on the hill and I believe I had a bigger smirk.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Member Posts: 154
    How about a complete re-design? The thing is a disaster>

    Rattles, can't see out of it. Back seat is a joke. Gas milage is very (VERY) poor.
    etc., etc, etc.
  • murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    uh - shouldn't you be looking at the Venza?
  • al_2003al_2003 Member Posts: 26
    This is a great vehicle, but the idea of considering a vehicle with this kind of gas mileage in this day and age is just irresponsible to me, mainly because of the distances I drive.

    Gas is going to be back above $4/gallon within a year.

    If Toyota would put a diesel in it I'd write a check today. And I do mean today.
  • ubiqueubique Member Posts: 1
    get rid of that lump at the bottom of the dashboard I keep bumping my knees against
  • gregcarpergregcarper Member Posts: 8
    First appearing in 2000, the 1KD-FTV is one of the newest engines built by Toyota.

    The 1KD-FTV is a 3.0L (2982cc) straight-4 common rail diesel engine with a variable geometry turbocharger and Intercooler. It has 16 valves and a DOHC (double overhead camshaft) design. Bore is 96 mm and stroke is 103 mm. It generates 170 hp (125 kW) at 3400 rpm, and 260 lbf·ft (352 N·m) of torque at 1800-3400 rpm. Redline of this engine is at 4200 RPM. Compression ratio is 17.9:1.

    This engine uses Toyota's D-4D Common Rail fuel injection technology operating at ultra high pressures of up to 135 mpa (1350 bar or about 19,580psig) which is about 8 times more than the pressure of conventional fuel injection systems within a "common rail" that feeds the injectors on all four cylinders (older diesel engines have a separate line leading from the injection pump to each injector). This is combined with a 32-bit ECU which controls fuel quantity, valve-timing, and boost pressure at different engine parameters resulting in best fuel economy and also full utilization of power during acceleration. Pilot injection is also utilized by the common rail fuel system to smooth engine operation. Small amounts of fuel are introduced into the combustion chamber prior to the main injection event, reducing lag time and promoting more continuous and complete combustion. Exterior and interior engine noise is also reduced.

    The 1KD engine produces 17% more horsepower with 11% less fuel consumption than its predecessor, the 1KZ engine. Fuel consumption is also 12% more efficient than Toyota's Hybrid synergy drive.

    This engine was first used in Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and now used in the Toyota Fortuner, Hiace and Toyota Hilux.
  • gregcarpergregcarper Member Posts: 8
    Just did the Imperial MPG conversions for the US MPG's using the following data on the D4D installed in UK Toyota Landcruiser weighing 4806 pounds.

    Urban (City) 24.6 Imperial MPG or 20.5 US MPG
    Extra Urban (Highway) 37.7 Imperial MPG or 31.4 US MPG
    Combined (Combined) 41.4 Imperial MPG or 26.1 US MPG ( or 9 MPG better than the US FJ using Super Unleaded Gas)

    0-62 MPH was 11.2 Sec
    Top Speed was 109 MPH

    Super Unleaded costs $2.833 here on the East Coast (Aug 16 2009)
    Diesel costs $2.665
    If you drove 15,000 miles a year using Super Unleaded $2360 per year
    The Diesel would cost you $1537 per year or a savings of $823 per year without the government tax incentives for Diesel Vehicles...

    Seven year savings (usual time I keep a car) would be $5761 before the government tax incentives!!!

    Why don't we have these in the USA? 597 Miles per 19 gallon tank of diesel verses 291 Miles with Super Unleaded (hwy)... WTH Toyota???
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    For future reference, we prefer that you not post duplicate messages in several topics. It confuses readers and we regard it as spamming the Forums.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • gregcarpergregcarper Member Posts: 8
    Roger that Tidester.
  • wells911wells911 Member Posts: 1
    a Fairing to cut down on the wind noise from the roof rack

    Al Wells
  • robsisrobsis Member Posts: 162
    Ricochet Offroad out of Utah makes one.....
  • yosemitejavyosemitejav Member Posts: 1
    4 doors would be nice.
  • pirate6pirate6 Member Posts: 4
    I have a copy of the toyota service memo- It says that using regular gas will cause no harm, I KEEP IT in the glove box to show to doubters.
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