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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings,

My name is Greg, I'm brand new here and I've been lurking around on the forum for a little while because I'm serious considering buying an FJ. However, I'm also taking a serious look at the 4-door Wrangler and I was hoping that some of you could help me out from your experience. Here's basically a breakdown of where I'm at:

-- I'm not a hardcore offroader or anything, but I do just about any outdoor activity you can think of and I want the FJ or the Jeep for its ruggedness, off-road capabilities and driving in heavy snow.

-- After test driving and researching both vehicles, I'm heavily leaning towards the FJ. I'm going to be driving this vehicle on the road more than off of the road, and I just liked the way the FJ feels and handles on the road much better than the Jeep. The Jeep felt a bit sluggish, like I had to mash on the gas pedal to get it to go. That's obviously understandable because it's not meant to drive fast, but the FJ just felt so much better as a daily driver. Another thing that is attracting me to the FJ is the Toyota engine, which I suspect will last longer than the Jeep. Thoughts?

-- My biggest reservations right now are some of the things that I've been reading in the "I'd like to tell Toyota..." section. I think the consensus is that the FJ's paint is really cheap. I can deal with that--I'm a pretty practical guy and I'll be buying a car to drive it, not just look at it. What's more concerning to me is what I've been reading about cracks in the bumper and problems with the brakes. It seems like Toyota has been rather non-responsive on these issues.

To what extent have these problems affected you? Would you still recommend the FJ to a guy who's not hard core about offroading but is interested in giving it a try and just wants the vehicle for its capabilities? To those who have owned both an FJ and a Wrangler--which one have you preferred and why? Is there anything else you think that I should know from your experiences that would help me in this decision?

Thank you all very much, I'm sure you get this kind of stuff all the time. I greatly appreciate any help you'd be willing to throw my way.


Greg Boyajian
Lumberton, New Jersey
(soon to be appearing at an Air Force Base in either Wyoming or Florida)
 

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Boyja,

Cheyenne? Really? OK so Buy the FJ you will be a step ahead and yes they have a dealership in Cheyenne. Colorado has more FJs than snakes on Medusa's head. Glad to hear you ASK!
 

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For me it came down to the following.

If i lived closer to great offroading spots (i.e. the southwest) and was going to be going offroading at least twice a month: JK

If i was going to be going offroading maybe once every two-three months, wanted something that was great on-road: FJ.

There are a lot more factors as to why i got the FJ though. Just a few reasons: better engine, better build quality, better towing, etc.
 

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i bought mine to use offroad during the hunting season, and as my daily driver...the ride and drive was the most important thing to me...needless to say, ive got very little factory remaining on mine, but ill say this......no cracks, bulges, tears, brake issues, sluggish issues, no complaints, and i promise, with prob the most lift, and biggest tires on an IFS suspension, at this point, not sure id ever entertain going a different direction
 

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Howdy! I'll chime in since no one else has... As far as which I would suggest for your needs, the FJ wins hands down and mostly for reasons you have stated. Comfort is king with most drivers and the FJ excels in that regard. If you're not doing serious off-roading then you most likely will not be "modding" your rig whichever you get and the FJ come's off the floor with all the capabilities you'll need for your outdoor pursuits. Most people on here get into all kinds of upgrades, IE lifts, tires, bumpers, winches etc, but at the end of the day most of that is just to ascertain a desired cosmetic appearance and a stock FJ can keep up just fine on gnarly trails with the right driver behind the wheel.
You're right about the paint, I haven't been the least bit impressed with it. But what can you do? I don't know where the Jeep stands in that regard. If four doors are important to you then hop in and out of the rear of the FJ and if you'll be having a lot of rear seat passengers, you'll have to consider that convenience (or lack there of)
The FJ comes with a ton of safety features and a pretty damn intelligent 4WD system that does a great job of getting you there and back again safely.
As far as the bulging/cracking issue that you've read about, I wouldn't worry about it. As far as I know that has only been an issue on vehicles that have been driven very hard, IE dune jumping or serious rock crawling.
As far as the brakes go, I've never has an issue with them so there's not much I can say there. They work great on my rig.

Well that's about it... Good Luck with your decision!
 

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haha.. i got distracted while writing that and 3 people jumped me in line! Good Luck!
 

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I have zero info on the rate of occurrence of the brakes issue, nor the relative rate of problems overall on the FJ versus other vehicles or the Jeep. I think the fender cracks are rather common and from what I can tell, kind of random. I have them real bad, but (and I will get shouted at about this), I can't tell any negative effect of having them (so from my perspective: likelihood of getting: high; impact of getting: would not have noticed if hadn't looked / except for forum).

Overall, I love the FJ.
 

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I did the same thing you did. I researched and test drove everything from the Jeep to the Xterra, the Pathfinder, Tacoma and the FJ. The FJ was a really easy decision after that. Honestly, I found the people here were really helpful in making that decision as well. I've only had her about 3 weeks now, but I have zero that I have found that I would complain about.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, thank you everybody for your help!

snafu58: yes, either F.E. Warren or Hurby, I won't find out until beginning of May. Here's fingers crossed for some place that has civilization...

Also, that FJ and Jeep owner's thread was also very helpful.

I'm rather certain that I've decided I want to buy a certified pre-owned FJ with both the convenience and upgrade package if I can find one. There's a dealer near me with this awesome FJ, but a few things are turning me off to it (mainly the 3" lift that'll eat gas up and won't be of much use to me, and the unbearably bright yellow color!). But once again, thank you all very much for your help and I'm sure that I'll be joining the ranks of FJ owners in the near future.
 

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If you find youself at FE Warren, you'll get to experience "Frontier Days" and you're only 80 miles from Denver.
 

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I've heard a couple things about "Frontier Days"....I'm not much of a cowboy and country music makes my ears bleed, so I think I'll try to spend most of my free time making good use of the unbelievable Colorado skiing. If I were to try to break in to the offroading scene, seems like Wyoming might give me some opportunity for that as well.
 

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10 days of it! Three parades and Cheyenne day as well. Good skiing close to Cheyenne.
 

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I applaud and considered buying into the concept of a 4-door removable-top adventure vehicle. However, the execution that Chrysler took on the new Jeep I think is flawed: minivan engine (no torque), weak tranny (prone to blowing up but they are honoring the warranties so far), windshield does drop (but only after removing serveral bolts). Basically everything that made a jeep a jeep was stripped away in favor of a parts-bin approach.

All that being said, there's an outfit called American Expeditions Vehicles that take new Jeeps from the factory and turns them into, well, Jeeps: you can select the engine you want (Hemi or a diesel), they put in different axles, tranny, suspension, etc. Sells it as a new Jeep with warranty blessings from the factory. They are pricy, though. One of my friends had a 2-door AEV that he traded in on a new 4-door Rubicon, and he's regretted it. Already had to replace the tranny at 5K miles, not been offroading yet.

American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) - Custom Jeep Conversions & Specialty Aftermarket Parts
 

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I have friends who own Jeep Wranglers and Rubicons. They are not the vehicle that the FJ Cruiser is - out of the box. Everyone had modification ideas based on what sort of driving that they want to do. (see my build by clicking the link below) You can mod a Jeep so it's decent, but it requires an engine replacement and a LOT of money. The FJ can also be modded, but it requires far less to make it very trail capable.
 
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