I live in rural wisconsin and need a truck that just wont stuck.
FJ is a good choice for that, being in Wisconsin your main issues are snow/ice in the winter and mud in the summer? Tires make the biggest difference here. Buy a good set of mud terrain's for the summer (Nitto Trail Grappler's) and a good set of snow/ice tires for the winter and you're set.
I want a reliable daily driver that averages at least 17mpg on the pavement.
Reliable, absolutely. 17 MPG is hard, especially after you lift/armor it. My FJ, bone stock on street tires, got 20 MPG on cruise control from Dallas to Denver. By the time it was done -- 3 inch lift, 33 inch Duratracs, bumper, skitplates etc -- I was getting 15-16 highway. So if you want MPG on an offroader you should limit your mods and take it easy on the gas pedal. If you drive *a lot* and want a well-built offroader let me suggest buying the FJ for winter weather then buying a cheap commuter car (Prius etc?) for when you don't need the winter car.
I want something that makes my buddys 1997 jeep XJ look stupid on the trails.
If most of what you're dealing with is mud then tires will be your biggest advantage. There is nothing inherently better or worse about an FJ vs a Jeep for driving in mud. For crawling on rocks etc then you start to get into the differences between solid axles vs independent front suspensions etc.
If I proffesionally undercoat the FJ every other year, and get regular washes, is it still going to rust on me? I see less rust on toyotas up here in general.
It's possible that Toyota does better rustproofing on their frames than the domestic brands because of a $3.4B frame recall they had to do in the 2000's
), but that's only a theory. As you know, all vehicles rust where you live, so any effort to help with that is a good thing.
I am also interested in the pros and cons of the FJ vs the 4runners.
Same drivetrain (4.0L V6 + 5-speed auto), the 4Runner has 4 more inches of wheelbase and usable back doors, less blind spots, a roll-down back window, a nicer available interior (leather + factory nav). I switched from an FJ to a 4Runner in 2018 and don't regret the decision. If you ever need to put people in your back seat for anything, you'll greatly prefer the 4Runner to the FJ.
I was thinking I want a 2011-2014 FJ for the new engine. Do the later model years get better mpg? What years are better?
2010+ is when they added the new engine, they also added crawl control in 2013 but you don't need that. No MPG change really, although the '07-'09 engine was tuned for premium (it can run on regular, it just loses power) and the '10+ engine is tuned for regular. So what performance you do get in the '10+ is a little cheaper. The "$10,000 decision" is basically between the cheapest '07 you can buy and the best '10+ truck that you'll want to keep and hand down to your kids.
Let me suggest the very excellent buy-sell guide
to further answer these questions: https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...j-cruiser.html
Long story short, expect to fly somewhere to buy the cheapest / best FJ, because it probably isn't within driving distance of you.