Anybody coming here from an FJ Cruiser?

schmoupe

Member
Mar 12, 2018
89
NJ, USA
The other day I am driving home in the TJ and see a gray FJ and brought me back down the memory lane. Now I should say I have had the TJ about a year and nothing beats the summer top/doors off feel cruise but I have to say the 2 cars are on 2 different planet reliability and fit and finish wise.

I owned the FJ for about 6 years. Bought it at 98K and in the 6 years and 20-30k miles of ownership, the only real repair I had to make was brakes on one corner only (don't know why there was uneven wear). The truck was solid and always reliable. Never hesitated and never got me stuck. No squeaks or rattles or rust holes (although the frame was rotted in the rear). Interior was very modern and plush in comparison to a TJ for a 2008 model year.

Now the TJ is less than a year old to me. It is an 05 Rubicon and so far I have had to change the battery and starter and the ignition actuator pin took a dump and got me stranded. Ended up bypassing the sucker and converting to a push start. I have random rattles and squeaks. The rear tail gate glass does not stay shut. My ebrake is toast and needs to be replaced and many other smaller issues that I did not anticipate from a low milage car.

Don't get me wrong, love the TJ and I still need to spend more quality time together to develop a bond but I do not look at it as a reliable or comfortable car.

Here is a pic of old FJ which is sorely missed

FJ .png
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,502
Salem, Oregon
I've never been able to accept the look of those things.

I mean it with all due respect, but whoever designed the look of those things needs to be fired. The older FJs look so good, and then this monstrosity came along. It so big, awkward, and just bizarre looking.

I don't hate them, and I know they are good vehicles. However, I could never bring myself to drive one purely based on the looks alone.

If Toyota was to make a vehicle identical to the Wrangler, then you'd have Toyota reliability combine with Wrangler looks. Now that would be a match made in heaven!
 

JEEPCJTJ

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
The other day I am driving home in the TJ and see a gray FJ and brought me back down the memory lane. Now I should say I have had the TJ about a year and nothing beats the summer top/doors off feel cruise but I have to say the 2 cars are on 2 different planet reliability and fit and finish wise.

... My ebrake is toast and needs to be replaced and many other smaller issues that I did not anticipate from a low milage car.

Don't get me wrong, love the TJ and I still need to spend more quality time together to develop a bond but I do not look at it as a reliable or comfortable car.
I'm not getting you wrong but I did make bold the words that really don't apply to both. While the TJ is just about more car than I even want or ever wanted, the FJ is hardly not a car. Yes it is somewhat off-roadable but it is pretty much a car.

20 some years ago when I had my lifted CJ5 for sale everyone wanted it. I can't remember how many people (mostly teenagers) I told if they didn't have something else to drive in bad weather they probably shouldn't buy it.

I've never been able to accept the look of those things.

I mean it with all due respect, but whoever designed the look of those things needs to be fired. The older FJs look so good, and then this monstrosity came along. It so big, awkward, and just bizarre looking.

I don't hate them, and I know they are good vehicles. However, I could never bring myself to drive one purely based on the looks alone.

If Toyota was to make a vehicle identical to the Wrangler, then you'd have Toyota reliability combine with Wrangler looks. Now that would be a match made in heaven!
I'm right here on board with Chris. I'll also mention the weirdness of the white top on those Toyota cars. I'm sure it was supposed to somehow remind us of the FJ40's top but man did they fail miserably. Heck, BMW did a better job with the MINI Cooper, it's roof looks like both the original Mini and the old FJ40s.

I do realize yours had a black top, which actually looks better than the white ones.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,502
Salem, Oregon
The black top definitely looks better.

I once saw a red one with a red matching top, and it looks so much better that way.

The whole white top thing was a miserable fail I think.

Again, not trying to trash these FJs, but even after all these years the look of them will never grow on me. It's one of the few vehicles I'm very strongly opinionated about.
 
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OP
schmoupe

schmoupe

Member
Mar 12, 2018
89
NJ, USA
I'm not getting you wrong but I did make bold the words that really don't apply to both. While the TJ is just about more car than I even want or ever wanted, the FJ is hardly not a car. Yes it is somewhat off-roadable but it is pretty much a car.

20 some years ago when I had my lifted CJ5 for sale everyone wanted it. I can't remember how many people (mostly teenagers) I told if they didn't have something else to drive in bad weather they probably shouldn't buy it.



I'm right here on board with Chris. I'll also mention the weirdness of the white top on those Toyota cars. I'm sure it was supposed to somehow remind us of the FJ40's top but man did they fail miserably. Heck, BMW did a better job with the MINI Cooper, it's roof looks like both the original Mini and the old FJ40s.

I do realize yours had a black top, which actually looks better than the white ones.
The design department was smoking crack at Toyota. That car stock has silver wheels, silver bumpers, a white roof and body colors that are usually loud. I bedlined my roof, bumpers and wheels before I put any miles on it. I agree with you that lookswise it wasn't much of a looker but qualitywise, it is years ahead of the TJ. I guess what I am trying to say end of the day is, I wish the TJ was built (not designed!) using Toyota tools and engineers.
 
OP
schmoupe

schmoupe

Member
Mar 12, 2018
89
NJ, USA
The black top definitely looks better.

I once saw a red one with a red matching top, and it looks so much better that way.

The whole white top thing was a miserable fail I think.

Again, not trying to trash these FJs, but even after all these years the look of them will never grow on me. It's one of the few vehicles I'm very strongly opinionated about.
Those roof color-matched ones are TRD. They charged a pretty penny for a few extra bells and whistles
 
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DieselJeep

TJ Enthusiast
Oct 31, 2018
188
KY
I had a buddy with a brand new FJ for a few months back around 2006ish? It's very techy feeling. To each his own. Obviously the old ones look amazing, but the looks never were an issue for me. We always seemed to have room for gear in there and with top rack loading seemed like a non-issue.

My issue with an FJ would be fixing one later in the vehicle's life. I'm just not strong chasing electrical gremlins and the FJ has a lot of electronics for practically every system. Most won't like the IFS here, but of course Toyota guys will tell you about all the vehicles using IFS and how great of an idea it is and I think it's likely fine, but I wouldn't need to upgrade the vehicle much more than what it came with OEM. We never took it anywhere difficult, but the body of the vehicle would take a pretty major beating if it could even fit where I spend most of my time now.

IMO Toyota doesn't really make an ideal off-road vehicle in the US. In about 10 years when some of the newer common-rails are legal to import to the US, I'm seriously considering picking up a Hi-Lux. Toyota makes some of the best vehicles for off-road use and you'll see them a lot on the news, but they aren't what we have.

Overall I prefer the KISS principle for going off-road and I think the FJ, though using great systems violates my preferences for a vehicle I can keep for decades. The older FJs are probably setup a bit better imo for my KISS principle. My biggest exception to the KISS rule is engines, because I typically can't do much in the field when an engine fails and some of the new stuff has a lot more torque/power for the size, very good mileage and they require very little maintenance until something major either fails or a sensor lets you know it's about to fail.

I actually like the "spirit" of a FJ though. I feel like anyone that's going to keep one around likes to go outside so I figure I can relate to them. I feel like a Jeep is a bit more like legos though, because they're so easy to build how you want. But I'm way more space conscious in my TJ. The FJs are capable and ergonomic and that's pretty important to most people. I think a little bit of massaging a Jeep can really add to the capability and reliability with very easy to work on components that are dirt cheap(not all obviously). Ergonomics are hard for a TJ imo, but most of the stuff to gain it I don't want.
 

KCNoDots

TJ Enthusiast
Jan 8, 2019
125
Tempe, AZ
I always found it funny/odd how they have 3 wiper blades. Like come on, the AZ sun rots those things quicker than it cooks an egg on the sidewalk. But now you'd have to buy 3 of them?! lol.
fj cruiser.jpg
 
OP
schmoupe

schmoupe

Member
Mar 12, 2018
89
NJ, USA
I actually like the "spirit" of a FJ though. I feel like anyone that's going to keep one around likes to go outside so I figure I can relate to them. I feel like a Jeep is a bit more like legos though, because they're so easy to build how you want. But I'm way more space conscious in my TJ. The FJs are capable and ergonomic and that's pretty important to most people. I think a little bit of massaging a Jeep can really add to the capability and reliability with very easy to work on components that are dirt cheap(not all obviously). Ergonomics are hard for a TJ imo, but most of the stuff to gain it I don't want.
The shock on my face when I realized how tiny TJ is compared to FJ. Did a bit of carpentry couple of years ago and the FJ was my grocery getter...

fj2.png
 

JEEPCJTJ

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
The design department was smoking crack at Toyota. That car stock has silver wheels, silver bumpers, a white roof and body colors that are usually loud. I bedlined my roof, bumpers and wheels before I put any miles on it. I agree with you that lookswise it wasn't much of a looker but qualitywise, it is years ahead of the TJ. I guess what I am trying to say end of the day is, I wish the TJ was built (not designed!) using Toyota tools and engineers.
Yours looked pretty damn good. After looking at it again I think my wife might even be into it because she's a Steelers fan.

And here's one I've seen a couple different times over the years.

2019-01-28.png
 
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Squatch

Master Thread Derailer
Supporting Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,435
Everett, Wash, United States
Okay, you knew there had to be at least one out there, and yep...I'm that guy. I like the white roof that you see on the FJ Cruiser. I always have. In fact, and this is no BS, but it is my favorite thing about 'em. That white roof, combined with some of their body colors, harkens back to the old FJ40. It's not enough to ever get me to buy one, though. Far, far too many electronics for this guy. But as far as the roof being white, I like it.
Now let the abuse begin... ;)
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,502
Salem, Oregon
Okay, you knew there had to be at least one out there, and yep...I'm that guy. I like the white roof that you see on the FJ Cruiser. I always have. In fact, and this is no BS, but it is my favorite thing about 'em. That white roof, combined with some of their body colors, harkens back to the old FJ40. It's not enough to ever get me to buy one, though. Far, far too many electronics for this guy. But as far as the roof being white, I like it.
Now let the abuse begin... ;)
@psrivats likes the white roof too, so you aren't alone.
 
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