Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019? - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

I don't know how many others have noticed it, but the past few months there has been an abnormal surge in popularity or attention towards the FJ Cruiser. As seen from multiple videos and even news features talking about the FJ Cruiser popping up all over the place. It has me scratching my head as to why this may be.

In May of this year, Scotty Kilmer, a popular automotive YouTuber, posted a video talking about all the reasons to buy an FJ Cruiser, and he is generally very frank and straight-forward in his views about vehicles, even hyper-critical at times, so I found this to be a big surprise since the mainstream thoughts from most are that the FJ is just not a great fit for people due to all the reasons we've heard a million times. His video now has over 900,000 views!



The next thing that caught my attention, as well as many others was the news report from CNBC, an American news channel, about why Toyota stopped making FJs. This came out July 30th of this year and seemed so odd for a news channel to talk about since it has been 5 years since the discontinuation of the FJ from the North American market. I think multiple people are noticing the surge in off-roading popularity and notice the hole left in Toyota's line-up left by the missing FJ, though the 4Runner and Tacoma are worthy substitutes. This video also has over 900,000 views!



Next, another automotive YouTuber named Doug DeMuro released a video just a couple weeks later on August 13th about why Toyota should bring the FJ Cruiser BACK. Ho goes through an in-depth review of the FJ and states the unique features offered and the highs and lows from an auto design stand point. But overall he decided it would be a good idea for Toyota to bring back such an iconic vehicle. And his video alone has 1.1 million views!



Then the biggest surprise was when the YouTube channel, Donut Media, released their "Everything You Need to Know" video about the FJ Cruiser. This came out just 5 days ago on August 22. I had already been subscribed to their channel and from time to time they make videos that will highlight particular auto manufacturers or models of cars and tell you everything about them. I love these videos and always thought one on the FJ would be fun but figured it wouldn't happen with the model being small in comparison to other way more famous cars, and they had already done a video on the Land Cruiser without mention of the FJ. But then out of no where we get a video talking all about the FJ Cruiser! Wow! And already it has almost 700,000 views in only 5 days!



To me, these recent big-name videos show there may be a subtle upward popularity trend in the FJ Cruiser this year for whatever particular reason. From why people should buy them, to why they are gone, to why they should come back, and then why they are awesome! If there ever was a time for Toyota to make some sort of decision about the return of the FJ, this may be the perfect time to strike! I know there are rumors floating around of the possible production of the TJ Cruiser that have surfaced over the past few days but we all know this model isn't a true predecessor of the FJ. It is more like a boxy minivan that happens to have a similar name, and is no more related to the FJ than a PT Cruiser.

And with the recent announcement of the end of Land Cruisers in 2022 or whenever it was, there is even more of a hole left in Toyota's off-roading lineup. So I suspect over the next few years we may just see beginning of a new off-roader in Toyota's vehicle roster. Fingers crossed that it will even happen or be even close to as awesome as the FJ Cruiser or Land Cruiser.

What do you guys think? Any thoughts as to why there is this random surge in popularity? Or attention rather?
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post #2 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 10:09 AM
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Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

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What do you guys think? Any thoughts as to why there is this random surge in popularity? Or attention rather?
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post #3 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 10:33 AM
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Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

From my perspective, you people who bought them and actually use them won't turn them loose. But those that "liked the style" kept them for a while and are finally turning them loose. So now people like me who have been frothing over them for years and years can finally get ours. New blood = new enthusiasm. Plus, these things are just about bullet proof (kinda like the old 40's; change out the head gasket and that 6 will chug on forever.) Which means the soft handed poseurs didn't really do anything but put miles on them. They got to wander the mall parking lots looking butch and we get to have a broken in monster ready for modding and running trails.

In addition to that, what else is out there that's close? A Jeep Rubi is 41k new. Then there's .... um ... a used Toureg I would say is fairly comparable. When I was looking, there were a ton of Jeeps out there. A ton of open diff Jeeps. Any Rubi that was out there was an old 2 door that'd been already modded. The Toureg has some cool tech and some real off road chops but no real aftermarket suppliers. Mitsubishi Montero's have a great off-road set up but they aren't real popular here and they are pretty worn out now. I wanted something that was reliable and not another projec.......well, I wanted something reliable. The project thing just sort of happens.
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post #4 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 10:58 AM
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Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

Toyota didnít just stop the production of the FJ. They cancelled manual transmissions in NA market SUVs moving forward. Want a 6 speed four runner? Outta luck. Sorry but a Tacoma is not an FJ replacement for many. This seems to have pushed some FJís values even higher than anticipated. Especially if buyers are looking at them as spare, collectible, or toy, vehicles. Add to that the bronco supposed to enter the market at this point has been essentially vapor ware to date and even more buyers are looking to the used FJ market at the moment as itís mentioned frequently in reports in various media about holding its value in the resale market.


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post #5 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 11:01 AM
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Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

IMO - it is a quality build and the used prices for an SUV are reasonable. New SUV's with any form of reliability and/or 4 wheel drive excellence is big $$$ and in reality out of range.

I also believe with the rumoured TJ it is causing people to look back at the FJ and what it was and is. As well, the soon to be failed Bronco people are looking back at the retro design and movement again.
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post #6 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 11:29 AM
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Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

I'd agree, the Taco really isn't a replacement for either the $Runner or the FJ. The current 200 series are so expensive they aren't going to be affordable for a long while. A Range Rover is in the same category; very capable but so expensive... I find it interesting no one has mentioned the Explorer. I didn't think of it either! There's a reason, it's a bloated mall crawler.
International Scouts, 80's LandCruisers, Bronco's, Grand Wagoneers and K20's have gotten very popular with people to rebuild/modify so those prices are going up. To be honest, drop a 350 in any of those with a TH400/NP205 and some Dana's and you'd have a pretty reliable off roader you could fix with a hammer.
So what is left? Mitsubishi Montero's (the later models with the huge butt and pointy fenders), Nissan Pathfinders before they went all Infinity, those 1 wheel drive Jeeps, H2's and maybe a good horse. The FJ gives you a lot of bang for the bucks: Atrac, locker, durability, longevity, a/c, lockable space.



And for the record - my FJ will not be back in the market. Not while I'm alive. So that's one less for a potential buyer.

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post #7 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 11:34 AM
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Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

Have you noticed that once one major Youtuber reviews something, the rest follow suite trying to catch some views? I think that is the primary reason.

Besides that, people tend to own their cars for a set period of time before turning them over for something new. I think we are starting to see that in the FJ market and market for similar model year Toyotas. Alot of people are moving to the 5th gen 4runner which pumps more FJ's onto the market for cheaper.
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post #8 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 12:12 PM
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Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

I'd like to know the majority demographic for who are buying FJs right now. There may be some explanation in knowing.


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post #9 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 02:05 PM
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Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

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A Jeep Rubi is 41k new.
There's a 2014 TTUE with under 7000 miles for sale now for $48k... literally twice what I paid for mine. Don't know if he'll get it, but demand is still strong.

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post #10 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 02:25 PM
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Re: Why is there a Surge in FJ Cruiser Popularity in 2019?

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I'd like to know the majority demographic for who are buying FJs right now. There may be some explanation in knowing.
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