I agree...dont kill it for stuff that are not a serious issue....
This is primarily an offroad vehicle...as such it is not expected to ride as nicely, handle as nicely, have all the creature comforts, nor keep your coffee warm for you on the ride to the mall as some other SUVs on market currently.
Rear Visibility- yep it is restricted but guess what...ANY vehicle with rear mounted tire, or a rear mounted rack with coolers, or even some of the ones without are going to have poor rear visibility. Honda has a little SUV...worse rear vis than FJ. If you cant learn to use your mirrors properly and dont want to spend the extra on the rear sonar for backing up and parking....then maybe the FJ is not the best vehicle for you.
Front Visibility- I think they say the avg height is 5'9" for a man and 5'4" for a woman...I am nearly 6'3" and have not had any problem seeing traffic lights. I have the adjustable driver seat controls with mine as low as it goes....it is slid back where my wrists comfortably sit on top of steering wheel when outstretched...and no problems. I also know not to pull up past white line or directly under it....so I stop about 6 feet back from line if possible. Flat windshields will do that to you....especially when giving the driver and passenger sufficient leg room and the dash is filled with A/C ducting, airbags, electronics, etc while also affording good headroom for taller drivers. Once again...if seating position is not setup to where you can safely drive the vehicle...maybe FJ is not good for you. I spend less than 5 minutes a week being the FIRST car in a line of traffic at a city stop light where I might have to move my neck an inch more than normal to see a light...but cant think of a time where I thought this. 5 minutes of being the first car at a very high and very close traffic light...maybe...is nothing compared to the rest of the time I spend in FJ driving to work or wheeling.
Rubber floor and sparse comforts inside- It is a offroad vehicle people....has everyone forgot what a real offroad vehicle is like. no carpet as it just holds sand and mud and water more. why do you need 12 cup holders when usually only have one person in FJ...maybe 2...and rear seats have area to actually hold water bottles.
Suspension and Tires- I like mods....the suspension is just fine for someone that will only run oem sized tires. I would like it to come with BFG or Bridgestone All Terrains STANDARD rather than all season tires.
Gas Tank size- every Jeep I have owned and truck up until my last Dodge 2500 Cummins had a 17 or 19 gal tank. Dodge had 34 but I paid extra. When you add more tank you run into issues with exhaust clearance, rear end weight distribution which affects suspension and towing capacities when full, and for offroad vehicle once they go as wide as they can then you have to go lower and that means less rear clearance. I think 19g is a good compromise. If you need to go further then that is what jerry cans are made for or do some planning and fill up before you decide to go that extra 200 miles in the desert.
MPG- well the engine is plenty economical...that is not the problem. We have a boxy vehicle with a flat windshield...that is what affect gas mileage off the dealer lot. Then we add bigger tires which can increase tire rotational weight 20-40 pounds...and that is the real killer. you want good gas mileage...dont upgrade tires to larger size...dont add heavy front and rear bumpers and skids...dont put it into 4H or 4L......or buy a Jeep Liberty.
Diesel- well I have had both...love diesel..especially since it is easier to find pumps now...I do not like the current price of diesel as when I had my last it started at less than REGULAR and now is 60-80cents higher than PREMIUM. Yes it creates more energy per gallon than gas....engines run better under load....gives better mileage...but cost of engines are significantly higher and cost of fuel now offsets those other reasons in my opinion. Gas is easiest form to find worldwide...and our FJ while runs best on Premium can run down to 87 with no problems which makes it universally accepted at gas pumps anywhere....on Expedition or Wheeling Adventures both. Would take both but fine with gas...
Suicide Doors- Two door vehicles have limitations especially when lift with being able to get into back seats. Full size rear doors are heavy and require a longer body style for most part unless you remove rear cargo as well. The suicide doors are great for their purpose....very easy to get items in and out of back seat...including kids in my opinion. It is harder to put in car seat...but if you leave it there and just add kids as necassary it is easy in my opinion. I love them...it is also something that allows extra access without making our FJ another mall driver. Keep the doors as is....maybe add pop out windows in them for ventilation....but I like them.
Rear glass slider or other- Rear window is fine with me...I never use it and go through door for everything. Most people cant reach in anyhow once they lift and put tires on. If you want to ride around with it open for dogs....that is fine too...not seeing where a power or sliding rear is really that much better given the amount of time I have wanted to have it down. Is the manual release really that hard for you guys...? I say leave it alone....power makes door heavier.....and slide makes it less secure as very easy to break into.
so after my diatribe and pontification what is my bottom line..... The FJ Cruiser (soon to be known as FJ120 in some circles
) is a throwback to the old FJ40...the Willys....the old CJ5...the International Scouts. It is a very, very capable offroad platform with more than enough creature comforts to use it as daily driver. DO NOT water it down and make it a urban crawler for malls and soccer fields that can maybe do offroading if wanted. There are other vehicles out there that meet all the requirements everyone is asking for .....4Runner, RAV, Highlander, Jeep Liberty, H3, Dodge Durango, Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan XTerra, Range Rover...........some are less capable than FJ and some are double the price.
I dont think you can find another as capable 4wd vehicle for the price of an FJ.....
The FJ is not for everyone....and I like it that way. Dont change it....keep it like it is. There are many other options for you that want more comfort, more visibility, more gas mileage, for less money. There are few if any other options for us that want a good and reliable offroad vehicle that is a formidable platform straight from showroom floor except the Jeep Rubicon. You got choices.....hopefully Toyota sticks with their proven and well received design and does nto try to make it something for EVERYONE....as it never works and you end up with what the current Landcruisers and such are today.
sorry for rant....:cowfrown: