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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

I am here to get caught up on the FJ. I am considering an FJ or 4Runner Trail to replace our Ford Expedition. Not only is it aging, it is bigger than we need.

Our hopes, to pull our pop-up (or A-frame replacement), better MPG and general fun.

We hike (mostly winter), kayak (touring) and other fun stuff. I am an amateur radio operator.

In general I am looking to to how either choice will fit our needs.

One of the first questions that come to mind is if an FJ does not have a factory roof, is there a safari rack that that is recommended? Is does not need to be removable.

Oh, my past, I had a '77 Bronco that was used around Moab (Golden Spike, Moab Rim and a bunch of other trails).

Before that, a Bronco II. I bought new it in 1983 sight unseen. I had one of the first ones in my area. I used to visit Moab as well.

Best regards,
Fred
 

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Welcome.

If an FJ doesnt have a rack its an easy addition...there are TONs of aftermarket ones too. Steel, aluminum, flat, ect, ect.

They are not fun vehicles to tow with, BUT a popup isnt huge by any means. I wouldnt get it for mileage though...you could see 12-15 at best towing.

Just decide if you want 4 doors or two!. The FJs rear doors dont really count towards much! Also the 4RNR has a rear hatch that goes up...think about opening the door with a trailer on it. Depends on your trailer tongue, and whatnot.
 

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Good luck! Both are good vehicles - of course we're biased on this forum though!
I do't know what economy your Expedition gets, but the FJ can't be much better (unless the expedition is spectacularly bad), but that said, if you take it easy on the highway and you don't red-line it off every set of traffic lights, then it's not truly awful either.
The FJ isn't a luxurious vehicle - but it can't be beaten for outdoor activities, & no matter how OCD you are, you'll never worry about mud on the carpet (mostly it doesn't have any). It'll take just about any beating dealt out to it & come back asking for more.
 

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It's a close call.

Plus for me and Amaclach is the mop out interior. Personally I never understood any truck having carpets. FJ may be a little better for serious offroading, but either will take you wherever your Expedition did.

4R is basically 6" longer inside which adds storage, four full doors is more convenient.

Both hold their value very well with the FJ depreciating somewhat slower due to relative rarity and uniqueness

Depends on your specific uses I guess
 

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Welcome. Both are great vehicles with Toyota reliability. How many in your family? Just by the sound of your comments, the 4Runner seems to be more suited for your needs. The FJ is more purpose driven IMO. It is often overlooked but it was built to use in the woods. Gearing, Diff lock, A-TRAC, MPGs and lack of convenience and luxury items. It's a blast to drive, very capable on the trail and the sky is the limit as to modding and making it your own. The suicide doors are awkward for rear passengers and you have to be more frugal with space. As mentioned above, lots of options for roof racks available from OEM, BAJA, ARB and many others.

The 4Runner has better MPGs, 4 doors, very comfortable on the highway and capable in the woods. It is larger, which would make towing and hauling Kayaks easier. Not that it can't be done in the FJ. Folks are doing all of the above with success.

FJ resale value and demand is very high right now. You'll pay a premium for a used one. I'd say both are great choices and it will ultimately come down to your personal likes and preferences. Take them both out for a test drive and I think you'll be able to make a pretty clear decision.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Expedition engine is 5.4L and I have never had better than 16MPG. I figure the FJ is better in general but mileage is currently not that important while towing.

I don't need creature comforts. Although, I do like electric mirrors, windows and locks. Oh and a Blueconnected radio. My 77 Bronco had only what I added. I remember when my daughter got sick and littered the back with stomach contents. I just pulled up on a wall or some other inclined object (I don't remember anymore), grabbed the hose and washed it out.

If I have 4 doors then others may want to ride with me.

The drive train for FJ and 4Runner are basically identical so I would guess towing is almost the same except for wheelbase.

For red-lining, I have a scion tC! Or, I can hike the White Mountains.

Thanks for your comments!

Best regards,
Fred
 

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If considering the FJ for towing, an aftermarket transmission cooler is likely needed. And MPG is not going to be any better than the Ford, and you may end up fueling up more often, due to the size of the tank on the FJ. Consider the range of a full tank is anywhere from 220 mi. to 280 mi. depending on your foot heaviness. This is my only gripe about the FJ that I voice, and it's not that big of deal and can be dealt with by gas canisters and/or planning your trip stops. I find the FJ perfect for me, but it's just me and one dog 95% of the time. Get the 4R if you need creature comforts from the factory. The FJ really is basic, and that's where it has appeal, less things to break or maintain in my opinion. The interior has been called 'spartan'. The luxury items on the FJ are the rear locker, backup camera, clock and compass. I cold imagine getting a kid growing up riding in the backseat might outgrow it at about age 12, based on average height of kids maybe. With me 6'4" I have the seat all the way back almost touching the backseat, so not a lot of room for a regular size person back there if I want to drive in my comfortable seat setting. Just some things to consider, size of occupants, frequency of rear exit/entry for occupants, etc. I couldn't afford the 4R I wanted, and no regrets getting the FJC as I love this group and fanatical enthusiasts in this forum. Pretty sure the 4R is more family friendly. What's not clear to me is how on earth the 4R gets better mpg when it's really the same drivetrain as the FJ in a different outer package. I think whatever one you choose you will be happy just consider your use and preferences. Toyota has really been conservative in their designs and the FJ is a little outside the traditional design cues. the same guy who designed the exterior of the PT Cruiser, designed the interior of the FJ Cruiser. Weird fact, not sure how that one sticks with me, I h8 PT Cruisers. Good luck choosing!
 

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Hey,

I have one of each: 08 FJ (my DD), and a 12 4Runner SR5 (wife's DD and our family vehicle). We have two small children.

They have both been great to us thus far (the vehicles, not the children) and I'd hate to get rid of either of them. But if one had to go it would be the FJ, simply for the 4 doors, extra space, and newer model year of the 4Runner.

Test drive both. There are some things about the FJ that don't bother me (or I'm assuming most on this site) but some people take exception to. For example the rear visibility/blind spots. Either way, you can't go wrong with either vehicle and a test drive will give you your answer.
 

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I don't need creature comforts. Although, I do like electric mirrors, windows and locks. Oh and a Blueconnected radio. My 77 Bronco had only what I added. I remember when my daughter got sick and littered the back with stomach contents. I just pulled up on a wall or some other inclined object (I don't remember anymore), grabbed the hose and washed it out.
2010+ FJ will have power everything and bluetooth for the radio. Also the floor is plastic so it's easier to clean than the 4Runner.

The drive train for FJ and 4Runner are basically identical so I would guess towing is almost the same except for wheelbase.
True, and to the extent that the wheelbase makes a different, the FJ will fishtail a little bit more while going down the road. But the wheelbase isn't that much longer in the 4Runner, 109 vs the FJ's 105. If towing more than 4000 pounds consistently, you might look at a Tacoma instead as those come with factory transmission cooling (the FJ's can be retrofitted).

FJ resale value and demand is very high right now. You'll pay a premium for a used one.
I want to highlight this issue, because it's a real factor here. Toyota sells 4-5 times more 4Runners every year than they sold FJ's the last 4-5 years those were made. Finding and getting a good deal on one isn't hard.

For the right FJ, you need to be prepared to conduct a national search. Expect to pay $26-28K, expect to fly to buy it then drive it home. The last time I posted an AutoTrader search, for 2010+ <60K <$26K trucks there were 24 of them in the country. If you get picky on anything -- a certain year/color Trail Teams, manual vs auto -- you're down to potentially 3-5 trucks in the entire country that are available, and may not be a good deal.

Test drive the FJ first, make sure it suits your needs. Your local Toyota dealer who has one is fine for this, but don't buy the FJ you test drive and definitely don't buy one from a Toyota dealer. Toyota dealers know what they have, and they're keeping the prices high. You want to buy from a Kia dealer in Houston :rofl:. PM me and I'll help you find one somewhere in the US that will probably be a better deal, lower miles, better color etc. No charge, I'm just happy to help a fellow owner. I watch the market for FJ's very closely, so believe me when I say that your best deal will be found with a plane ticket and a long weekend driving home.

The 4Runner is a fine vehicle, you won't go wrong either way. It's mainly a small functionality question (doors) and a style question (FJ > 4R).

Good luck, either way!
 

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If I were in your shoes, I'd get a V8 4Runner or a Sequoia.

The FJC is smaller than you think inside. Remember that Bronco II? About the same interior space.
 

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My daughter's 99 4Runner Limited automatic (3rd Gen) has better drivetrain options than the FJ. I presume this continued with the 4th gen and 5th gen 4Runners on the Limiteds. The difference is while she has 4hi and 4lo and rear diff lock just like my automatic FJ, she also has a switch on the side of her automatic shifter called rain slick or full time AWD without the locking center differential. Basically what this means is no drivetrain bind and makes the automatic 4Runner pretty much like if you combined a manual FJ with full time AWD with the automatic FJ that can has part time 4 wheel drive.

For Colorado, that is one very handy switch when driving on snowy or slick roads at speed. An automatic FJ in 2Hi handles on snowy roads like you would expect a short wheel base rear wheel drive vehicle without a lot of weight in the back (e.g. squirrelly). You can shift it to 4 Hi (complete with drive train bind), but you dont want to run that at 50 mph on roads that can go from dry to snowpack within miles or even around a corner.

Like suggested above, you might look for a V-8 4Runner (4th Gen) Limited that would be great for towing and have all the same features I described above. In fact, my inlaws (who sold my daughter her limited 3rd gen) have a V8 4th Gen that my daughter and I are each jockeying for when they are ready to get rid of it.

As someone said above the FJ is really a purpose built offroader and is very similar to the old school part time 4 wheel drive systems (auto version only). The only difference is you dont have to get out and lock the hubs (or backup to lock the hubs).
 

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The same guy who designed the exterior of the PT Cruiser, designed the interior of the FJ Cruiser. Weird fact, not sure how that one sticks with me, I h8 PT Cruisers. Good luck choosing!
Gonna be that guy :nerd The interior was designed by someone associated with Chrysler (Bill Chergosky), but it wasn't the same person who designed the PT Cruiser. That was Bryan Nesbitt. Had the urge to investigate that once I read it.

Lots of good advice here OP. I'm also leaning towards a 4Runner for your needs based on MPG. Welcome to the forum and good luck in your decision!
 

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I would say flip a coin or whichever one you can find with the lowest miles/best price. Either one would serve you well. I would echo what others have stated about fuel economy-not a strong point for FJs although if I drive just highway around 70-75, I'll get 20+ mpg in my 2011 4WD. I did throw in a K&N filter that has helped a little-maybe 1-2mpg at best.
 

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Fred good luck getting the truck that is right for you.
 

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The Expedition engine is 5.4L and I have never had better than 16MPG. I figure the FJ is better in general but mileage is currently not that important while towing.

I don't need creature comforts. Although, I do like electric mirrors, windows and locks. Oh and a Blueconnected radio. My 77 Bronco had only what I added. I remember when my daughter got sick and littered the back with stomach contents. I just pulled up on a wall or some other inclined object (I don't remember anymore), grabbed the hose and washed it out.

If I have 4 doors then others may want to ride with me.

The drive train for FJ and 4Runner are basically identical so I would guess towing is almost the same except for wheelbase.

For red-lining, I have a scion tC! Or, I can hike the White Mountains.

Thanks for your comments!

Best regards,
Fred
Sounds like an FJ is the way to go. If you're tall and big shouldered then definitely FJ! I'm 6'2" with wide shoulders and the FJ is the most comfortable I've been except in my wife's Sequoia...
 

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FJ Cruiser is an icon from start. It will not get old because it looks old. And will never have another model. Very basic means not much to get broken.
That's all we need in the mountain. You don't need a comfort when your face is on the window.

4Runner will be aged but it's still a 4Runner. More comfort and features.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the comments!

The "blind spot" was mentioned and that was probably the first thing my wife mentioned. She didn't like the view from the Expedition either but it is her daily driver. And, she didn't like the blind spot on our convertible Mustang either. In the case of the Expedition and Mustang, she adapted. By the way, she is not a whiner and she figures she can adapt to whatever we choose.

With the kids moved out, their space in not needed anymore. And we seem to be paring down on gear as we get older.

Thankfully I have time to look around.

Maybe the right answer is to buy my wife a small AWD for mileage and winter safety and get the FJ for the fun summer vehicle. Yeah! That the ticket!

Again thanks for the comments!

Best regards,
Fred
 

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Thanks for all the comments!

The "blind spot" was mentioned and that was probably the first thing my wife mentioned. She didn't like the view from the Expedition either but it is her daily driver. And, she didn't like the blind spot on our convertible Mustang either. In the case of the Expedition and Mustang, she adapted. By the way, she is not a whiner and she figures she can adapt to whatever we choose.

With the kids moved out, their space in not needed anymore. And we seem to be paring down on gear as we get older.

Thankfully I have time to look around.

Maybe the right answer is to buy my wife a small AWD for mileage and winter safety and get the FJ for the fun summer vehicle. Yeah! That the ticket!

Again thanks for the comments!

Best regards,
Fred

Sounds like your leaning more towards fun now. If so, the FJ is your ticket! It will put a smile on your face every-time you drive it and is a mule in the woods. It loves to go out and play. I just bought my wife a sporty little AWD so I could expand the modding on the FJ. Yep, spent money on another vehicle to allow me to do more to mine! Ha! But the FJ is iconic and a collector now. There will always be a 4Runner around when you want one. I'd say, buy an FJ while you can and have some fun with it. As it stands, you probably won't lose much on the deal if you decide to trade it in a 4Runner.
I just traded my wife's '10 Lexus RX350 with the premium package and they offered my more of a trade on my pinstriped, chopped up 07 FJ!?!?
 
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