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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't seem to stay ahead of the maintenance (and fuel) costs of my Land Rover Discovery II. I love it in many ways, but I'm weakening in my resolve..

I've been looking at the FJ Cruisers. Body style aside, what am I gaining or losing in going from the LR to the Toyota? I'm interested in on road/off road comparisons, technical differences, etc. I'm tempted by the FJ's reliability, better mileage, lower maintenance costs with still decent off road abilities--though I love the heritage, looks, and incredible offroad ability of Disco.

I'm looking at an FJ with less the 5,000 miles--4x4, A-TRAC, rear diff lock (something I can't realistically add to my 2002 Disco).

My Disco is a daily driver with regular, moderate off road use--steep and rocky back country trails, but no hard core rock crawling.

Any thoughts?
 

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I can't seem to stay ahead of the maintenance (and fuel) costs of my Land Rover Discovery II. I love it in many ways, but I'm weakening in my resolve..

I've been looking at the FJ Cruisers. Body style aside, what am I gaining or losing in going from the LR to the Toyota? I'm interested in on road/off road comparisons, technical differences, etc. I'm tempted by the FJ's reliability, better mileage, lower maintenance costs with still decent off road abilities--though I love the heritage, looks, and incredible offroad ability of Disco.

I'm looking at an FJ with less the 5,000 miles--4x4, A-TRAC, rear diff lock (something I can't realistically add to my 2002 Disco).

My Disco is a daily driver with regular, moderate off road use--steep and rocky back country trails, but no hard core rock crawling.

Any thoughts?
As a technician who has been working on all types of 4wd vehicles for many, many years, I feel you'd be wise to dump the Disco. The repair record of Land Rover vehicles is high to begin with, and it only increases in expense over time. The FJC will be much more reliable, requires less maintenance, and has a higher resale value, percentage-wise, compared to the Disco. You will be sacrificing some cargo space (the Disco is larger), some panache (the Disco might be considered a "classier" vehicle in some circles), the cushy comfort of the leather interior, the bells / whistles of a luxury-oriented vehicle (even if they don't always function properly), and that special relationship you get with your dealer, after all those frequent visits (not unlike those to a family member you don't really like). You will not, IMO, sacrifice any off-road capability, strength, or safety (Solid axle / independent front end arguments aside).

In reality, the Disco and the DJC are apples / oranges - the FJC being a niche-focused off-road oriented vehicle that will work fine as a daily driver. And the Disco, which is more of a street-oriented luxury SUV that will work fine off-road. Also, they are in 2 different price points - the Disco being almost double that of the FJC.

Good luck with your decision....:cheers:
 

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I've had the FJ for a little over a year, and absolutely love it. The gas mileage on the FJ isn't the best in the world, but I'm sure it's better than the Disco.

It's also a great DD/Wheeler!!:rocker:
 

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The Land Rover is a love affair, she has her seductions, her ways, THAT which makes her the way she is to tempt you with her siren song;
Kinda like dating a supermodel... you got the trophy now, but the upkeep can be $$$$.

Ahhh, the beloved FJC. Just stop and listen, you will find her as tempting as the Disco, the song she will sing you to is sweeter and it has all the heritage you could want...
Kinka like dating the perfect girl next door. Perfect in everyway, reliable and won't cost you another mortgage on the house!
 

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Well well, this is a good question. I happen to own both a Disco 1997 with 138,000 miles and a 2007 FJ Cruiser with 23,000 miles. I have own many Land Rovers and many Land Cruisers. You better watch your step. Forget about gas mileage differences since it is less than 4 mpg, hardly a deal breaker. Off road capabilities are very similar with the advantage going towards the disco because of the solid front axle. Wheel travel is much better also on the disco.
The first and most annoying difference you will notice is VISIBILITY. After driving the FJ the LR feels like a fish tank, it is important see outside.
The FJ is a lot sportier with much better acceleration. And the luxury like built in remote control for your garage, just is not in the FJ.
The whole thing comes down to reliability: The Toyota FJ will win easily, specially since you will be comparing almost new with a rather old LR.
I am mechanically inclined and DIY guy. My LR has NEVER been at the dealer. After 138,000 miles I have replaced the starter, the brake pump, tie rod ends, one window motor, catalytic converters and the flex coupling of the shaft. All those parts bought on line for less than $1,000 over 11 years. I know that you are one of many that is all the time at the dealer with the LR, I read about it all the time. I don't know why, it cannot be luck, because as I said I have had MANY LR, but it is fact that most other people have problems with them.
One more thing, the money you´ll lose in the trade in of the disco will buy a lot of parts and gas for the disco.
OH and one more thing, unless you buy the Manual T FJ, you will miss the all wheel drive of the disco, and if where you live you see snow, that is a deal breaker to me.
The best you can do is what I did, GET BOTH :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. Came close to buying an FJ tonight, but held back. I'd like to first find a buyer who will appreciate all of the (mostly ARB) offroad upgrades on my Disco.

Leadfoot, can you explain your last line? I'd actually prefer a manual, but have yet to see any on the used market. Why are you suggesting that the manual FJ would be more equivalent to my automatic Disco?

As far as 4x4 capabilities, I'm curious to know how you would compare 1) the LR's traction control and the Toyota's A-TRAC system and 2) the benefits of the locking rear diff. on the FJ vs. no locking diff. on the Disco? (Though many Discos can pretty easily convert to a locking diff., that can't be done on the 2002 without significant expense.)

I've actually never been to my LR dealership. I do everything myself, or use a local independent LR mechanic who I trust. But there's been a lot to do--maybe the differences between the DI and the DII help explain your experience? I've learned a lot in owning the Disco, and actually enjoy working on it, but I don't always have the time, and my wife is tired of the regular (seems that way to her, anyway) parts purchases.
 

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Put it this way. The Disco was renamed after a make over due to such a atrocious reputation for dependability. I'd prefer the GAZ to anything the Rover group can field and thats saying something.
 

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As far as 4x4 capabilities, I'm curious to know how you would compare 1) the LR's traction control and the Toyota's A-TRAC system and 2) the benefits of the locking rear diff. on the FJ vs. no locking diff. on the Disco? (Though many Discos can pretty easily convert to a locking diff., that can't be done on the 2002 without significant expense.)
The conversion for the locking diff you reference on the 2002 is for the center diff lock, not the rear axle.

I will tell you from first hand experience, the FJ will give you more confidence and enhance your abilities more than you can imagine.

The ATRAC and factory locking rear diff make it nearly unstoppable with even a mediocre driver. More tools at your disposal to keep moving = you keep moving.

It gives an experience not unlike the Discovery, but more importantly it's a reliable fun, extraordinarily exhilirating vehicle to drive.

Plus you get 20,000 new friends, if you ever need some
 

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or spend the difference in mods and end up with FJ-Excellence!

Dude "Disco" is dead it is time for you to FJ-Cruise!
 

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Leadfoot, can you explain your last line? I'd actually prefer a manual, but have yet to see any on the used market. Why are you suggesting that the manual FJ would be more equivalent to my automatic Disco?

As far as 4x4 capabilities, I'm curious to know how you would compare 1) the LR's traction control and the Toyota's A-TRAC system and 2) the benefits of the locking rear diff. on the FJ vs. no locking diff. on the Disco? (Though many Discos can pretty easily convert to a locking diff., that can't be done on the 2002 without significant expense.)
The FJ equipped with Auto Transmission is a part time 4WD while the Disco is permanent 4WD. The FJ with manual transmission is permanent all wheel drive. Some here are fanatics, so I rather not get into too much detail about the differences between the FJ and the Disco. But with all honesty, and knowing both cars, I suggest you make and effort buy yourself a LAND CRUISER, even if it is older. There you´ll find a much better car than the Disco without the drawbacks of the FJ.
 

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doesnt it suck when you open the door after its been raining and you get a bunch of water on the drivers seat? or if youve been driving in the rain, open the door and get a lap full of water? yep, the jammer doesnt do that. my dad has an 01 disco II just for running errands. he bought it a few years back. some 85 year olds bought it brand new. still only has 18k on the ticker today. still in new condition. costly to repair i hear.

the FJ just has a lot more power, a lot more stable suspension on the road, and a lot better feel to it.
 

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Ok, I really like the FJ, but it's a crying shame to refer to a Land Rover Discovery II as a "disco". What are you thinking.

In all seriousness, the Toyota has a lower cost of ownership with great off road abilities. But in the end it will have to depend on your own personal preference.
 

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How much $$$ have you dropped on your offroad mods of your DII?
You will never recoup that unless you part her out.

You can't beat the Toyota for dependability.
Older Land Rovers, like a Series or a Defender are worth keeping in my opinion.
They keep their value as long as you maintain them.
A Discovery will not hold its value like the older rovers.

My suggestion is get the FJC, and keep the DII since you will
probably only get $3K for her in a trade. Use her as a hauler
and "beater" for lack of a nicer word.

You may want to look at a 4 Runner if you need a little more storage, and they are pretty formidable offroad with the right setup.

Besides my FJ, my wife and I have owned a DII, a LR3 and now a D90.
The D90 is a keeper and the LR3 will be traded in as soon as the extended
warranty expires - we learned well from the DII we owned.

Good luck
 

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Former DI and DII owner here. From a technical perspective, I don't think you're going to miss the DII if you get the FJ. The stock FJ will drive you nuts, though, because the brakes tend to be grabby and the front will nose dive on you if you're not careful offroad. The wheelbase of the FJ is a little bit longer so you'll end up dragging your belly more than you would in a DII. You won't miss the big butt of the DII though since the FJ's have a small hiny.

I'd say keep the DII and really beat it up offroad and get a shiny FJ for the mild wheeling for now. The trade in value of DII sucks; better to keep the thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great to find so many FJ owners who also own/owned Land Rovers.

It would be fun to keep both, but I doubt I'll go that route--avoiding the maintenance costs on the Disco are a big part of the incentive to part with it.

Trade in values are horrible on these, and even worse when you consider the money in after-market parts. I've listed my Disco, and I'll see if I get any bites on it. For the right buyer, I think it's a great deal--but we'll see.

Is there a good thread or list somewhere that runs through some basic off-road mod suggestions for the FJs, in order of importance? I know everyone takes a different approach, and there are lots of options out there, but I learned pretty quick with the Disco that I wanted to upgrade the suspension/add a slight lift and that Old Man Emu was the right option for me; that the front drive shaft is a serious trouble spot, etc., etc. I'm potentially starting from scratch with an FJ, and would love a good "tutorial."

(By the way, "Disco" is not derogatory--visit any LR forum, and you'll find most owners referring to their trucks this way...)
 

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If you are going to be using the fj for light to moderate offroading, you won't need that much to start.

At the bare minimum, I would suggest sliders before anything else.
From there it's up to you and your needs. Next would probably be
an upgrade in tires to some good all terrains or mudders.

Depending on what tire size you upgrade to will determine what lift (if any) you will want to upgrade to.

Skids are great if you will be going on any hard rock terrain, but they do add weight to your rig. The stock skids aren't that bad, but you'll want something beefier if you really go on more difficult terrain.

Stock fjs are very capable, so I would wait till you have your fj and
try her offroad to see what extras you will really need.

Just remember, once you start modding, it going to be very hard to stop :rofl:

Also, the more you add on, the more it will affect your mpg for daily driving.

There are alot of threads on this, and you can spend hours doing research.

Good luck with it!

Amity
 
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