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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
Basically I am saving $750 week for a new car and I really like the way the FJ looks.
I live with family currently and im still in college. They help me manage my money so I can save so much a week.(i eat alot of ramen...)
I have about $12,000 so far in cash but have horrible credit because I bought a truck when i got my first engineering job and lost my job and the truck got wrecked and was in the shop too long to get another job in time. I am currently driving my dads 2001 honda oddessy with nothing to my name and this car will basically be the first thing I own besides a suitcase, two pet birds and a desktop computer, I literally have nothing so I want to make this decision as smart as possible.

I primarily want a FJ cruiser because I go hunting and road trip with friends. I need to be able to tow a travel trailer I own or bring the car dolly around town.
The FJ also just looks cooler then a jeep and because its a toyota my family will let me buy it.
I can work remote during snow days now thanks to my current job.

The family wont let me buy a vehicle privately even though I have straight cash(dont ask why, I have asked why 1000 times and get a different answer)
The FJ in question has 205k miles, great service record history, looks clean and drives well. They are asking 13k for it which is the cheapest one within 2 hours drive of me...usually fjs ive seen are 16k + and 2 hours away or 20k+ within an hour.

Given the above, is an 2wd fj cruiser with 205,000 miles on it and little rust on it a good deal or should I keep my head down and deal with the minivan loser vibes for a few more months. Honestly asking because I have no self reflection skills.
 

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I think that price is a little up there for a 2WD, but it looks clean as you said, and the service records are nice.
 

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This is a tough question. Your parents are right, your better off buying from a dealer as far as safety and scams are concerned.

I’d keep saving your money and buy something else. Your not in a financial position to be buying an overpriced SUV for the looks. You already had difficulty with a bad decision when you got that truck when you got in a jam, if it had been paid for you wouldn’t have ruined your credit or got it repo’d or whatever happened.

Move out, pay down your school debt, manage your own finances, buy a beater car and save up cash for what you really want once you can afford.

Fj is not a good choice for towing cars and travel trailers, either.
 

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Addressing your points in order:

I primarily want a FJ cruiser because I go hunting and road trip with friends. I need to be able to tow a travel trailer I own or bring the car dolly around town.
The FJ also just looks cooler then a jeep and because its a toyota my family will let me buy it.
I can work remote during snow days now thanks to my current job.
...
Given the above, is an 2wd fj cruiser with 205,000 miles on it and little rust on it a good deal or should I keep my head down and deal with the minivan loser vibes for a few more months. Honestly asking because I have no self reflection skills.
No offense, but you need a 4x4. Hunting + you live somewhere that it snows -- it doesn't matter that you can currently WFH, that may not last and/or you may need to go out for other reasons on a snowy day.

If you're strapped for cash -- and it sounds like you are -- then the FJ is probably the worst (as in, most expensive) of any of the body-on-frame Toyota 4x4's for you to be considering. For comparison, here's a 2004 Lexus GX 4x4 with 180K miles for $12K:


Here's an '02 Tacoma 4x4 with 178K miles for $10K:


If I lived in a snow state and wanted to use my vehicle for hunting, I'd buy either one of ^^^ these before considering a (edit) 2WD (/edit) FJ. FJ resale is nuts. I wrote the buy/sell guide. If you can't currently afford a decent 4x4 FJ, you should consider Toyota 4x4's that you can afford. Or, save your money for a better FJ later.

The family wont let me buy a vehicle privately even though I have straight cash(dont ask why, I have asked why 1000 times and get a different answer)
The FJ in question has 205k miles, great service record history, looks clean and drives well. They are asking 13k for it which is the cheapest one within 2 hours drive of me...usually fjs ive seen are 16k + and 2 hours away or 20k+ within an hour.
"Dealerships" in the price range you're searching are shady AF. Most brand-specific dealers don't deal with vehicles of the age / miles you're looking at, so those trucks fall to a second tier of "buy here pay here" type places that are happy to give you a terrible loan with a GPS tracker hoping that you make a few payments so they can repossess it. These low end dealers will also throw cheap / quick fixes onto a damaged vehicle hoping that the person buying doesn't know what they're looking at.

Who's selling the truck isn't the truck's fault. If you aren't familiar enough with cars to know (a) the buying process re: title, and (b) whether or not the truck has been wrecked, find somebody who is and take them with you.

For vehicles in this price range, I'd rather buy a vehicle from an old guy who put all the miles on it and has the service records than a dealer. I can look at a car and tell if it has been wrecked, it's a bit harder (but not impossible) to tell how well it has been maintained. For vehicles in this age / miles range, how it was maintained makes the most difference.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you in love with the FJ's looks and quirks? Would you rather have a 2003-2009 4runner 4WD with a v8 option and less miles for $9000? They're way cheaper.
I think i really do like the FJ look wise. I havent been able to find a decent 4 runner either because that was my initial first pick but i cant find one on facebook marketplace that isnt rusted to hell or over the 15k mark.
 

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To your question on 2WD, it is probably just ok for most of Ohio in winter if you're not getting lake effect snows or in the southern hills. However, you're getting a rear wheel drive vehicle that isn't bringing any advantages for the snow, mud, or back roads if you're hunting.

With regards the towing, every vehicle is a trade off and the FJ trades a bit off for towing. If you already have a camper, how much does it weigh? I'm going to recommend that your camper not weight more than ~3500# when fully loaded. (despite the official rating) This eliminates a lot travel trailers. Plus you will likely need to add on equipment to tow with it. Ask all the towing questions and run all the numbers before spending your money if this is important to you.

The FJ is a cool looking vehicle, everyone here can appreciate that. Right now the FJ is also a very expensive tool that may not fit your needs well. The responsible advice is make sure you still have money in the bank after whatever you buy, particularly if it's older, so that you can maintain and use what you have purchased.

Final thought, since this is Ohio make sure you check the frame for rust. The FJ body continues to look good even when the frame is in bad shape.

Good luck, what ever you do!
 

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I think i really do like the FJ look wise. I havent been able to find a decent 4 runner either because that was my initial first pick but i cant find one on facebook marketplace that isnt rusted to hell or over the 15k mark.
Do you live somewhere that salts the roads? Are you only looking at local vehicles? That's probably why they're all rusted.

Any interest in buying a truck from out of state, somewhere that they don't salt the roads? 4x4's in the south -- Florida to Texas -- typically sell for less than they do up north. There's a risk that you can't see the vehicle before you travel there, but there's a lot you can get a feel for from pictures. And if you get there and don't want to buy it, you don't have to.

I've personally traveled to buy several vehicles, it has worked out well for me so far.
 

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Your inquiry has two main components, technical advise and personal advise.

for technical- there is not enough information to determine if the FJ is a good deal. pictures, data, etc. but some advise above is a great start.

for personal advise since you asked- sorry, no sympathy votes from me. i am happily supporting two college kids living at home. they have only one job, graduate with zero debt, and a head start in life with cash liquidity from what they are saving from their part time jobs. you should be doing the same. this is your only job. life is tough and getting tougher, there will be plenty of time to self reward with a better optioned FJ when the time is right.
 

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What is this "4WD" you speak of?
 

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Those are all filmed in countries where you can buy land real cheap. (to paraphrase John Belushi from Weekend Update)
Yes, and they plod along doing what they do for daily life without all the dip and velcro and gear geegaws that we require for "wheeling." :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Everyone, Thank you for your advice. I felt it was extremly supportive of making a good decision, not gate keepy at all and I honnestly love all of you for it. I will probably keep looking for a 4WD FJ or possibly go to the 4 runner. Whatever comes first as a good deal with less then 160k miles for less then 15k. I really would like not to spend more then 15k on a car if possible but dont want to spend less then 9K because I want something reliable.

To anyone who was interested, I am more of an overlander then an offroader. I like camping and hiking but not getting the car in the mud lmfao. I would love a tundra but my family pretty much is hateful towards anything that isnt toyota and bigger then a v6. I think I can probably find a decent dual cab tacoma or a decent 4 runner if I venture out. The only reason I havent ventured out of state is because my van wont make any long distance trips over an hour and I honnestly dont want to waste a cent on a tow truck or this van until I buy a new vehicle. My family also has zero time to help me find a car out of state so if they cant drive there in less then an hour, they wont even acknowledge I said anything. they arent making it easy because they wont let me buy a car that has more then 160k miles, cant be less then 9k, cant be over 15k, has to be within an hour drive of cincinnati ohio and cant have any rust or damage to the vehicle. I can show them ten cars a day and nothing is good enough. the reason they have such a say is because I live with them rent free under the conditions I save 75 percent of every paycheck with them so I can buy a car and for emergencies. I do love them I am just trying to figure this whole adult thing out ....
 

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You need a Subaru or a honda element. These are all within your price range, relatively easy to find, reliable and will serve as a great daily commuter and will 100% do what you describe. FJ is great but $15K for a high mileage 2wd for a daily driver will make you go broke quick. Save the money and look for something else. It might not be as "cool" or rugged but save your money and move out with those savings.
 

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FYI, I love my 2WD 2008 FJ and drive it about the same way you seem to drive. Never been stuck, never had a problem in 230,000 miles. Use it on all my cross-country camping trips, mostly towing my camper. I am appreciative of the smooth road manners and good mpg. In the end, go for what you really want!
 

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Hi all,
Basically I am saving $750 week for a new car and I really like the way the FJ looks.
I live with family currently and im still in college. They help me manage my money so I can save so much a week.(i eat alot of ramen...)
I have about $12,000 so far in cash but have horrible credit because I bought a truck when i got my first engineering job and lost my job and the truck got wrecked and was in the shop too long to get another job in time. I am currently driving my dads 2001 honda oddessy with nothing to my name and this car will basically be the first thing I own besides a suitcase, two pet birds and a desktop computer, I literally have nothing so I want to make this decision as smart as possible.

I primarily want a FJ cruiser because I go hunting and road trip with friends. I need to be able to tow a travel trailer I own or bring the car dolly around town.
The FJ also just looks cooler then a jeep and because its a toyota my family will let me buy it.
I can work remote during snow days now thanks to my current job.

The family wont let me buy a vehicle privately even though I have straight cash(dont ask why, I have asked why 1000 times and get a different answer)
The FJ in question has 205k miles, great service record history, looks clean and drives well. They are asking 13k for it which is the cheapest one within 2 hours drive of me...usually fjs ive seen are 16k + and 2 hours away or 20k+ within an hour.

Given the above, is an 2wd fj cruiser with 205,000 miles on it and little rust on it a good deal or should I keep my head down and deal with the minivan loser vibes for a few more months. Honestly asking because I have no self reflection skills.
I'm in Columbus, Ohio. I bought a 2008 Rwd fj in November. I put 300lbs of sand in the trunk for winter (6 bags of play sand on a tarp In case they leak). I built a shelf over the sand bags so I can still carry groceries. Lol. I had no issues in snow at all and I drive to work no matter what because I've got to plow out the park. So if it's just for basic transportation and not off road you're good. Just remember get 300 pounds of winter weight in the trunk for snow and ice driving. I've got Firestone Destination LE tires and they are pretty good for all season driving.
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