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So I have read much about the FJ vs the jeep, or the H2, H3, but what about the Xterra how will the FJ stack up against the Xterra?
 

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Good question. I've looked at the xterra also. But it came down to built in usa verses built in japan. And two doors verses four. I'm going with the FJ. The pathfinders reliability went down when built in the usa verses the previously one built in japan.
 

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Good question. i have thought that myself. The xterra is new this year and selling way below MSRP.

I have a friend that just walked with the base model plus power package and 60K b to b warranty for 18,500.

Not bad and certainly begs the comparo to the FJ at a base of 23K holding firm on MSRP.
 

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There are some things I like about the Xterra, fully boxed frame, powerful engine, affordable price, shouldn't be as capable as the FJ will be offroad, but ok.

FJ will probably get better MPG, depending on the weight may be quicker, better offroad.

Resale, considering the initial hype and Toyota's history should easily favor the FJ.

Reliablilty IMO is a tossup. Before somebody tries to shoot me down for that, I think I've heard more horror stories about the new Taco's reliability than I have about the frontiers.

Personally in my head the 2 vehicles battling it out right now for my money are the FJC and a used 80 series with some mod money thrown into it. I think the 80 series is winning for the time being since I've wanted one for a while now. Just waiting to see an FJC in person to see if that sways the decision at all. I'm not a huge fan of buying new vehicles though. Especially since I keep thinking that an optioned out FJ like I want would probably be close to 30k. For that kind of money I think I'd rather pay a little extra for the $36k 2002 Mercedes G500 in my town.
 

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I have a good friend and truck mechanic who will buy any trucks (he has dozens of trucks and SUVs) except for Nissans. He thinks they are undereingineered and don't hold up. He knows what he is talking about, and I tend to agree after seeing many of my friends who have had nissans and seeing them break down and fall apart in less than fifteen years. I have seen some rust out worse than a lot of old Toyota and Ford trucks.
 

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I had an 81 Nissan PU in high school that held up pretty well. The 90's nissans I was never to impressed with. The newer ones are better IMO. They're using the design of the Titan's fully boxed frame in the new Frontiers, and Xterra's which I have no facts about but from a design standpoint should be stronger than the Tacoma's partially boxed frames(and I'd assume FJ will be as well). The new VQ series V6 engines that Nissan is using in basically everything nowadays are pretty good too.
 

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Ben said:
...should be stronger than the Tacoma's partially boxed frames(and I'd assume FJ will be as well)...
The taco uses a different frame than the FJ Cruiser and the 4runner, though i dont know if the FJC and 4runner's are fully boxed or not.
 

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While fully boxed frames are great for full size pickups, I think it is a bit overdoing it for smaller trucks. It seems as if it would just add unecesary weight, and the frame's full capabilties would never be utilized because the truck is so much smaller.
 

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mpd8488 said:
While fully boxed frames are great for full size pickups, I think it is a bit overdoing it for smaller trucks. It seems as if it would just add unecesary weight, and the frame's full capabilties would never be utilized because the truck is so much smaller.
i can see your point. However, comma, in my experience comparing my '94 toyota 4x4 pickup (fully boxed frame) and my buddies old 91 GMC Sierra ("C" section frame) i have to say i would take the boxed frame any day. i wheeled the piss out of that thing and it took it like a champ, whereas my buddys GMC we were working on every other weekend. not all of the problems had to do with the frame, but his was a lot more felxy than mine. 'course its just a rebadged chevy, but still...
 

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Searched and 4runner does use a fully boxed frame. Taco doesn't. Don't know about the FJ. I don't think it's overdoing it in a vehicle that is going to be used offroad. You're going to be putting a lot of torsional forces on the frame and I'd want it as stiff as possible to keep things solid over the years.
 

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If your articulating to the point where you are depending on it for traction a boxed frame will still flex enough to eventually crack some seams and lossen up those rubber body mounts over time amongst other things. Hydroformed frames would be the best choice IMO. But the body seems pretty stought it may bring even more stiffness to table if its reenforced enough inside the panels. There should prob. be a good balance between stiffness and flex since its intended for highway/off-road use.
 

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well, Full size IFS GM trucks have never been the best platform for building a trail rig compared to Ford and Dodge, and a lot of that extra flexing might have had to do with the longer wheel base. it will twist the frame much easier because the extra length would act simliar to a lever, making less force necessary to flex the frame.

And are you sure that your old pickup had a fullly boxed frame? right now the only trucks with fully boxed frames are F150's, Titans, and Frontiers. I don't think Toyota would go backwards when designing the trucks and revert back to partially boxed or "C" section frames.

Of course flex in the body and frame has never been a huge issue for me. I drive a Cherokee, a unibody, LOL
 

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Sure you can break anything with enough abuse, but the point is a fully boxed frame will take more than one that isn't. I think the 4runner and new Nissans both use hydroformed steel in their frames.

The stiffer the frame is the better, on and off road. On road compliance can be handled with proper suspension tuning, and that is easier done when it's on a solid platform where you're not trying to factor chassis flex into the equation.
 

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All of the manufacturers are now moving to hydroforming frames for trucks and SUVs. I believe Chevy did it first when they began hydroforming the front frames of their full size trucks and SUVs.
 

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The other thing to consider - which might be a big deal - is the reliability of the running gear. I had a nissan that had already been through two transmissions and was in need of a third. I also had two other friends with Nissans that had to do Transmission replacements at about 60,000 miles. Whereas Toyota transmissions are way more reliable. If I'm not mistaken a lot of Jeep products actually have Yota Transmissions in them and then there are the Toyota's themselves. Why buy a nissan just to save a couple thousand if you are going to be replacing a couple of thousand dollars worth of parts in the first couple years of it's life?

I'm going FJ, all the way. You can keep the Xterra. It may be a better deal right now, but 5 or 10 years down the road you will probably have spent enough repairing certain items that you will have spent just as much as you would have on an FJ anyway! I have also heard that the turn radius on the Xterra totally sucks which could pose a problem for some of you die hard rock crawlers. I have had two friends return their Xterra because the turn radius was worse on it than on the full-size Expedition!

If you are really considering it - drive it. It might change your mind.
 

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mpd8488 said:
And are you sure that your old pickup had a fullly boxed frame? right now the only trucks with fully boxed frames are F150's, Titans, and Frontiers. I don't think Toyota would go backwards when designing the trucks and revert back to partially boxed or "C" section frames.
Positive, my 88 4runner too. the only parts that arent boxed is the last 4-6" where the rear bumper attaches. I was kinda bummed when i found out about the Tacos being not fully boxed, than and the rank and pinion steering, but the steering seems to hold up pretty well after all.
 

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Percy said:
The other thing to consider - which might be a big deal - is the reliability of the running gear. I had a nissan that had already been through two transmissions and was in need of a third. I also had two other friends with Nissans that had to do Transmission replacements at about 60,000 miles. Whereas Toyota transmissions are way more reliable. If I'm not mistaken a lot of Jeep products actually have Yota Transmissions in them and then there are the Toyota's themselves. Why buy a nissan just to save a couple thousand if you are going to be replacing a couple of thousand dollars worth of parts in the first couple years of it's life?

I'm going FJ, all the way. You can keep the Xterra. It may be a better deal right now, but 5 or 10 years down the road you will probably have spent enough repairing certain items that you will have spent just as much as you would have on an FJ anyway! I have also heard that the turn radius on the Xterra totally sucks which could pose a problem for some of you die hard rock crawlers. I have had two friends return their Xterra because the turn radius was worse on it than on the full-size Expedition!

If you are really considering it - drive it. It might change your mind.
I ve read recently that the new xterra was selected as truck of the year in motortrend december issue and online...and they selected the the new civic as car of the year...!
What happened to those guys at MT?
I own a 1998 nissan pathfinder and had 125000 miles on it...japanees made..running well and I wont change it for the xterra though..
 

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1993 nissan pathfinder hardbody was an outstanding vehical for me 270,000 miles. all mine. 1 clutch, block was never entered. got 6000 when i sold it. an absolute positive experience overall. i have a 04 titan and the interior is crap. thank god the driveline is built like a tractor. if it wasn't for the poor seat covers, squeaky plastic interior, junk rockord fosgate cd/radio, unbelievablely soft external skin (dents easy) and 12 mpg i'd not be on this site. (mind you none of this stuff was a problem with my 93 pathfinder or my 91 300zx) the smurf can no way get here fast enough.
 

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I look at SUV's from the standpoint of majority use.

1. The far majority of people that do real off-roading in the US use modified vehicles reguardless if they have a Jeep, Toyota, Nissan... whatever. So stock vehicles are a moot point.

Vehicles used in remote regions of the planet don't have lift kits and huge tires. They are normal vehicles. In my experiance, as long as you have a winch and a friend, you will be fine.

Nissan Xtrerra's will be cheaper and have had a proven track record. They have more space and are more accessible on the used market. Unless you are after the "cool" factor, find an Xtrerra with 10000 miles on it. I'd bet you never take it anywhere that you will need 8 inches of ground clearance. If you do, buy a winch, not another SUV.
 
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