GX460 or FJ Cruiser?!!

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Hey, guys! Here’s the scoop – I wanted an FG cruiser ever since I saw it at the Detroit auto show as a concept car. I don’t currently do any off roading – never really had the opportunity or time, but wouldn’t mind learning!

It’s time to buy another vehicle since our two oldest are now driving, and I was set on getting a manual FJ cruiser. I just love the way they look.

After doing some research, however, I stumbled across the GX 460 and although I think they look a little boring in stock form, seems super capable and can look pretty great with some new tires and maybe a lift.

Part of me likes the idea of the GX being a bit more luxurious as this will be mainly an on road vehicle. I’ll be driving it back-and-forth to our cabin which is a couple hours each way probably a few times a month. Otherwise, it’ll be short trips around town.

I don’t think there’s really a right or wrong answer because it’s like comparing apples to oranges. I’m just looking for some feedback that might be helpful in making a decision. Both cars I’m looking at are rust free and about the same price and mileage. The FJ is a 2007 manual transmission and the GX 460 is a 2012 premium.

Any advice y’all can give me would be super helpful!
 
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I should probably add that my wife drives a 2008 Highlander sport and I currently drive a 2008 Sequoia platinum and have a 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder to scoot around in the summertime.

If our Sequoia didn’t have 250,000 miles and some rust issues, I’d be putting some more TLC into that.
 
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Being biased aside the GX is going to be superior in every possible way minus not having a manual option. Aesthetics are just that aesthetics so if you really want a manual and an FJ then get one. It’s still a highly capable rig offroad. On road though the Lexus will easily make it worth losing the looks and manual trans.

Oh and modified the GX looks amazing. Even just removing the running boards and changing out the wheels and tires are a game changer Now add a steel front bumper. Yea, I like the way my 2010 looks, gets complements all the time.

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Get the GX if u want creature comforts, the FJC back seat is small and difficult for some to get in. I fell in love with the FJC after selling my 40 and it was great, however I have no kids, also I didn’t like how the back seats don’t fold down flat in the rear. good luck, I sold my FJC due to needing a 3/4 for pulling.
Poser Pic..
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r2m

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Absolutely agree with comments above!
The ONLY thing you'll be gaining with a FJ is:
  • Manual trans (albeit a pain in the arse in gridlock traffic)
  • Personal preference of body style.
The GX will hands down out pace the FJ in everything from power, comfort, and with some minor mod's wheeling.
Now having said that, I know personally when you've had your heart set on something as long as you have for an FJ, you will ALWAYS have that gnawing feeling that you should have purchased that instead.
So, my recommendations is get your FJ. Live with it a few months, years (whatever). Get it out of your system. THEN get your GX. The GX's aren't going anywhere, they're just getting better and the older ones are getting cheaper. Heck you may even find a better deal on a GX next time around!

One last word of advice, join a local 4x4 club. Find one that is well rounded, not just rock crawling, or sand dunes, etc. But one that regularly does a well rounded selection of off road venues like overlanding, fire trails, rock crawling, well you get the idea. Also a group that is like minded in areas that fit your personality.
You WILL learn TONS from club members and have fun doing it!
 

xlx

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I can add to the the comments above since I currently have both the FJC and a GX460.
The FJC is a personal driver and weekend toy for me. We took a family vacation with kids and every time they wanted out the adults had to get out with the suicide doors. The back windows also don’t roll down. Might not seen like a big deal unless your in back. Spend some time in back while some one else drives. It has its downsides, but the fun factor is there for sure.
The GX is in a class by itself. Extremely capable with rear diff lock, multi terrain and crawl control. It’s basically a TRD 4Runner with heated leather seats, wood trim, V8, and a killer sound system. I’m not going rock crawling with it but it will go just about anywhere you point it in style and comfort. Throw some wheels and KO2s on it and loose the soccer mom look.

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This is all super-helpful, guys - thank you! I have no doubt I would have fun with either. Alas, I can't have both. I know the FJ would be fun with the manual trans and toy-like aesthetics. I also know I'd like the comfiness of the GX for when I'm looking to just drive somewhere and not have to think too hard.

I've never even been in a GX, so I'd be buying that blind. I LOVE the spaciousness of our Sequoia, so I'd just hope that the GX wouldn't feel too cramped. The FJ feels cavernous inside, so no worries there!
 
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Also something to consider - FJs don't seem to be losing much value any more. You might be able to get into one for the price you want right now, and turn around and sell for not much loss if it doesn't end up being your dream car. The GX has the benefit of still being currently built so used prices are relatively low (comparatively) and continuing to drop.
 
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This is all super-helpful, guys - thank you! I have no doubt I would have fun with either. Alas, I can't have both. I know the FJ would be fun with the manual trans and toy-like aesthetics. I also know I'd like the comfiness of the GX for when I'm looking to just drive somewhere and not have to think too hard.

I've never even been in a GX, so I'd be buying that blind. I LOVE the spaciousness of our Sequoia, so I'd just hope that the GX wouldn't feel too cramped. The FJ feels cavernous inside, so no worries there!
The Sequoia is bigger but the GX doesn’t feel cramped at all. Go test drive a GX460, you’ll probably never look back.
 
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If this will primarily be used to shuttle multiple people on road trips, the GX is the clear winner for comfort and road trip refinement. This will be especially true for rear seat passengers. Get some 32 inch all terrains and lower offset wheels (new wheels or spacers) and the GX will look like a proper truck without needing a lift.
A buddy of mine has a manual FJ. It's fun and I found it more comfortable and less of a pig to drive than I expected, but the GX is in another class of comfort.

The FJ has better dimensions for serious off-roading, but even a stock GX is more than enough for entry-level stuff like fire roads and easy/moderate trails.
 
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With the GX is that its not hard to find a used one that led an easy life with little or no off road use and has documented regular dealer service. The Lexus Drivers web site lets you look up the dealer service records. I think the FJ has a different user base which was more likely to go off road and less likely to do regular service.
 
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I've owned multiples of both. The GX is the clear winner overall, especially if doing any highway driving. The power is better, the tranny is better, the space is better, visibility is better, etc. Now they both have the rear barn doors/swing doors, but the FJC's actually swings open the correct way if you ask me, much safer when opening it on the side of the road. The rear suicide doors absolutely suck and the rear seat space is sad. My 2012 was a manual and I much preferred it over my 2008 which was an auto. The manuals are full-time 4WD like the Limited 4Runner and GX which is nice. Unless you just have to have the styling or manual of the FJC I strongly suggest the GX. Here's a pic of mine the day I sold it.

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I've owned multiples of both. The GX is the clear winner overall, especially if doing any highway driving. The power is better, the tranny is better, the space is better, visibility is better, etc. Now they both have the rear barn doors/swing doors, but the FJC's actually swings open the correct way if you ask me, much safer when opening it on the side of the road. The rear suicide doors absolutely suck and the rear seat space is sad. My 2012 was a manual and I much preferred it over my 2008 which was an auto. The manuals are full-time 4WD like the Limited 4Runner and GX which is nice. Unless you just have to have the styling or manual of the FJC I strongly suggest the GX. Here's a pic of mine the day I sold it.

DvPNFuY.jpg
Thanks for this. Super helpful. I'm really leaning towards the GX at this point. It has so many nice features and has the ability to look fairly "rugged" with a few mods. I have no doubt the FJ would be fun, but I fear it is more of a one trick pony. I'm not going to lie, at 43 with 4 kids, sometimes I just want to drive in quiet with a warm seat and without much thought.

I'm trying to think what I might miss about the FJ and the more I consider it, the more I realize I might not miss much. I'm not a mudder or a major off-roader (I'd like to at least "dabble" at some point) and I feel like the FJ is really setup for that. Maybe I'm wrong or just trying to justify it to myself...
 

re_guderian

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I sold my '83 FJ60 20 years ago, and started wheeling with an automatic transmission in my '95 FZJ80. I'd had strictly manual transmissions since I got my driver's license in 1983. Can't imagine a scenario in a large, unwieldy 4x4 where I'd ever want to go back to a manual tranny, ESPECIALLY if it's primarily an on-road vehicle. I gave up commuting in a manual transmission in 2005, and have never looked back either. Other than aftermarket availability of parts, better approach and departure angles, and subjective looks, the GX has it all over the FJ...
 
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Thanks for this. Super helpful. I'm really leaning towards the GX at this point. It has so many nice features and has the ability to look fairly "rugged" with a few mods. I have no doubt the FJ would be fun, but I fear it is more of a one trick pony. I'm not going to lie, at 43 with 4 kids, sometimes I just want to drive in quiet with a warm seat and without much thought.

I'm trying to think what I might miss about the FJ and the more I consider it, the more I realize I might not miss much. I'm not a mudder or a major off-roader (I'd like to at least "dabble" at some point) and I feel like the FJ is really setup for that. Maybe I'm wrong or just trying to justify it to myself...
There are tons of ways to modify a GX so it's better offroad if you start dabbling and enjoy it (this is a rabbit hole so if you don't want to fall into it, don't take your GX offroad)
There is not really anything you can do to make an FJ a quieter and more luxurious highway cruiser.
 
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Thanks for this. Super helpful. I'm really leaning towards the GX at this point. It has so many nice features and has the ability to look fairly "rugged" with a few mods. I have no doubt the FJ would be fun, but I fear it is more of a one trick pony. I'm not going to lie, at 43 with 4 kids, sometimes I just want to drive in quiet with a warm seat and without much thought.

I'm trying to think what I might miss about the FJ and the more I consider it, the more I realize I might not miss much. I'm not a mudder or a major off-roader (I'd like to at least "dabble" at some point) and I feel like the FJ is really setup for that. Maybe I'm wrong or just trying to justify it to myself...

You can easily modify the GX from mild to wild. My first one was strictly a highway driving meat hauler, the second (pictured below) was modded pretty nicely for hunting/camping/adventure use and our current one only has AT's, everything else is stock. The GX will give you a smidge of luxury and comfort along with off-road capability equal to the FJC.

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Another thing to think about is that even the newest fj cruiser you could find will be almost a decade old at this point and even with low miles there will me maintenance stuff popping up frequently just due to age. Even with minimal use seals, o-rings, gaskets, and hoses degrade over time. Having owned both I will say that the fj cruiser is a really fun vehicle, but it’s only so much fun with a family. My fj cruiser was my favorite vehicle until I started to modify my gx and I can honestly say that the gx is a better vehicle overall.
 
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Another thing to think about is that even the newest fj cruiser you could find will be almost a decade old at this point and even with low miles there will me maintenance stuff popping up frequently just due to age. Even with minimal use seals, o-rings, gaskets, and hoses degrade over time. Having owned both I will say that the fj cruiser is a really fun vehicle, but it’s only so much fun with a family. My fj cruiser was my favorite vehicle until I started to modify my gx and I can honestly say that the gx is a better vehicle overall.
This is a really great point. I thought about that today as I'm realizing that the FJ Cruisers I am looking at are almost all 2007's - 5 years older than the GX I'm looking at!
 
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This is a really great point. I thought about that today as I'm realizing that the FJ Cruisers I am looking at are almost all 2007's - 5 years older than the GX I'm looking at!
The 2007 and 2008 model years had their own issues as well. Lots of cracked fenders inside the engine bay and they had torque converter issues as well.
 
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I've had both, and like both. I moved from the FJ to the GX because I had a hankering for a V8, and wanted more room inside to sleep in for overlanding duty and such. You'll have to decide how much the luxury aspect of the GX means to you, it doesn't really mean much to me (the GX is the first vehicle I have ever owned with heated seats and climate control if that tells you anything).

The GX can be made a decent off-roader, but it is much easier and cheaper to do so with the FJ. Again, this may or may not mean anything to you.

BTW if I were to buy an FJ now I would get a 2010 or newer for the stronger rear axle, and more horsepower. All GX460s have the stronger rear axle, as they debuted in 2010. If you don't offroad the axle becomes less important.
 

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