Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?
I think it'sw an overall lemming-like movement within the entire auto industry. All sedans look alike, period. You can change the grillwork, colors, bumpers, etc., but at this point you can paint them all black and it would be hard to tell the manufacturers apart.
Ditto for the SUV market. Nissan, Toyota, Ford - pick your poison - paint them all black and it is hard to tell them apart.
Pickup trucks? The Ridgeline is the only one that looks different, and offroading would be total crash & burn in that rig.
Now, as a mental exercise, if we painted all cars black, could people pick the FJ out? Derpity derp derp....
Car makers want ZERO risk, and so you see all the different design types moving in unison to uniform shape and overall styling. Jeep has no risk with making the same old product for Jeep lovers. And it IS the same old product - SWMBO owns a Rubi, and they still ride like crap compared to an FJ, and you still have to pour loads of money into them to get decent offroading.
I think the recent unveiling of the "spiritual successor to the FJ" pretty much illustrates the fact that car makers are simply not going to take any chances. FFS, a minvan clone for offroading? Turning radius anyone? High centering? And want to bet they shrink down to 3.7L?
I think our FJ's are one of the last of the Mohicans for real offroad fun that isn't a Jeep.
And I think that after you own a Jeep, you can appreciate the Toyota engineering more when compared to Chrysler and the Toyota quality and reliability. SWMBO's 2016 Wrangler just required replacement of AC compressor, heat exchanger, evaporator core and alternator and she is at 90k miles...my FJ is at 327k miles as of today and none of those repairs...
I'm keeping mine, just like I kept the old FJ before these new ones came out...