How do you like your FJ Cruiser?

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Hey everyone. I own 2 Land Cruisers (FJ62 and the 100 series) but I've always wanted an FJ40. When the FJ cruisers were introduced, I instantly loved them. I really want an FJ but I don't know anyone who owns one, so I thought I'd ask some fellow cruiser heads.

How do you like your FJ? Pros/Cons. What do you NOT like about your FJ. Give me your best summary so I can make a decision on whether or not to buy one.

Thanks folks!
 
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Here are the cons. If you have kids it's a pain loading them in and out because of the doors and in the parking lot you will learn to do the FJ shuffle. That's about it. I love everything else about it. Super comfortable reliable and extremely capable stock to go off road properly equipped (locker atrac) What are your plans if do get one?
 
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What do u mean about in a parking lot and doing the FJ shuffle?

It would be my weekend hobby vehicle. I do have a 4 and 6 yea old but we can lug them in our 97 LC. This would be used for hauling music equipment as well as the occasional 4x4.

Thanks for the response.
 
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What do u mean about in a parking lot and doing the FJ shuffle?

It would be my weekend hobby vehicle. I do have a 4 and 6 yea old but we can lug them in our 97 LC. This would be used for hauling music equipment as well as the occasional 4x4.

Thanks for the response.
Same ages as mine. At that age they are little easier but when my kiddos were babies with the rear facing car seats it was a pain. Here is good blog about the "FJ shuffle".

http://thegarageblog.com/garage/toyota-fj-cruiser-beyond-the-suicide-doors/

It just takes a little planing getting everyone in and out because of the suicide doors.
 

1911

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Pros:

1. Excellent compromise of power, highway comfort and speed, off-road capability and even gas mileage (if you don't weight it down by building it up).
2. Made-in-Japan; quality construction, legendary Toyota longevity and reliability.
3. Very roomy cabin, for the two people in front. Unbelievable head room if you're tall like me.
4. Very capable off-road in stock trim, and a large aftermarket to make it even more capable.
5. Good storage room behind the seats.

Cons:

1. Poor visibility. You get used to it, but I notice it more on the trail than on the road.
2. Suicide doors for the back-seat passengers are a pain in the ass if anyone is riding back there, especially kids in car seats.
3. Many (most?) options are pretty worthless and expensive; a waste of money if you're going to build it up at all. The rear electric locker is the one really worthwhile option. Hard to find a basic truck without all the useless and expensive options.
4. Rear seats don't fold flat, but they're not hard to remove completely.

That's about all I can think of. Got over 150,000 hard miles on mine (it's a work truck) and it still runs and drives like new, doesn't burn or leak a drop of oil.
 

Mtbcoach

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Pros:

1. Excellent compromise of power, highway comfort and speed, off-road capability and even gas mileage (if you don't weight it down by building it up).
2. Made-in-Japan; quality construction, legendary Toyota longevity and reliability.
3. Very roomy cabin, for the two people in front. Unbelievable head room if you're tall like me.
4. Very capable off-road in stock trim, and a large aftermarket to make it even more capable.
5. Good storage room behind the seats.

Cons:

1. Poor visibility. You get used to it, but I notice it more on the trail than on the road.
2. Suicide doors for the back-seat passengers are a pain in the ass if anyone is riding back there, especially kids in car seats.
3. Many (most?) options are pretty worthless and expensive; a waste of money if you're going to build it up at all. The rear electric locker is the one really worthwhile option. Hard to find a basic truck without all the useless and expensive options.
4. Rear seats don't fold flat, but they're not hard to remove completely.

That's about all I can think of. Got over 150,000 hard miles on mine (it's a work truck) and it still runs and drives like new, doesn't burn or leak a drop of oil.
I'll echo Lee's statements.

I'll add that my 2 daughters lived in the back of mine during their teen years (ages 13-20 & 12-19), adapted well to the doors although I'd agree that kids in car seats would not be fun.

I'll also add that I'd troll around to find a used one instead of buying new as much as the Special Edition looks very tempting...
 
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Appreciate the responses everyone! Seems like the only negative is the back seat accessibility. Like I mentioned earlier, my son is 6 and is in a booster and my daughter is 4 and probably only has another year in carseat. The carseat will just remain in there anyways (we wouldn't move it to another vehicle). I think my wife is finally getting on board. She drives the 1997 LC and loves it. She loves the 3rd row option and how easily it is to get kids in/out but I'm pushing hard for the FJ.

As someone else mentioned, I'd definitely be looking for a used one. From my research, I think I'll be looking at 2008 and beyond.

Let me ask this. Aside from a higher price, are there any disadvantages of buying a newer used one, say 2010-2012 (vs 2008)?

Thanks again everyone.
 
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Absolutely dig mine, and will have a short eight year review up Thursday the 24th or after.
Rig will be eight years old the 24th.

No complaints with me at all.
 
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Few minor differences. More horse power. From 08-09 to the newer models. Offroad goodies uphill and down hill assist and they moved the atrac and diff lock up by the review mirror. Bluetooth. Back up camera. 8.2 rear end vs 8.0. But the ride quality and reliability is the same. The newused ones sometimes are only 1-2k less. Good luck with your purchase. I did buy some blind spot mirrors at the beginning until I got used to the blind spots
 

BMThiker

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Unless you plan on hard wheeling, you won't need the 8.2" rear diff that's in the 2010+ models. I prefer the pre 2010 engine because of the convenient oil filter location/type and the slightly higher torque numbers. All the bells/whistles on the later models don't interest me.
 
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I have an 07 fj with 137k miles and I absolutely love it. I've owned a couple tacomas, 4runner and fj while I loved them all there's something different with the fj. It's a blast to drive and it's unique.. My only complaint is I wish the backseat windows rolled down or back window rolled down like in the 4runner. Other then that I have no complaints. Very capable, reliable rigs that are still built in Japan so you get top notch quality you are used to in a landcruiser. Good luck on your search for the right FJ!
 
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Rhythmdoctor, just bought a 2008 FJ last month. Still has a 30-day temp tag on it. So this is a new owner's first reaction. I have had BJ60 and BJ70 model Land Cruisers in the past. Still have the 70 with 467,000 km on it over 27 years of driving. I did not immediately like the FJ when they first came out. I recall seeing them at the dealers. Dark cave-like feeling compared to my 70 series. So I put off buying an FJ when they first arrived, but I have bought one years later.

PROS: Good ride on road and off road. Rear seat is useful (I removed folding seat fro BJ70 so it was a 2-seater only). Better highway fuel economy than I expected (better than my BJ70). With seats folded, good cargo area. I have carried 6-foot long steel and wood in back. Great engine. Nice to have AC in a Cruiser! Never had that before.

CONS: Obstructed views out back and on passenger side. Hard to get used to serious blind spots. Even in its highest position, the seat is too low for me (I am 5'-6"). Passenger side is even worse. Annoying small gas tank - I want a 500mile tank. Hate the rear hinged door with spare. Horrible with camper or trailer. Wish it had split doors, either R & L or top & bottom. Wide turning radius compared to my older BJ70. Find myself misjudging and having to back up a lot.

TBA: Still not sure about the auto-transmission. Prefer manuals, but we'll see. City fuel economy looks bad so far. Also awaiting a verdict on towing on long trips. Have a small lightweight teardrop that I pull. In just a month, I am already seeing uneven tire wear. New set of Bridgestones, aligned and balanced when I first bought it. Wait and see how the tread wear issue goes.

Hope this helps. Others have years more experience than I do with the FJs,
 

BMThiker

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The turning radius may be larger than what you are accustomed to in the BJ70, but it's better than some cars, like the Camry.
 
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I'll agree to the blindspot and small gas tank being a pain. I will say that all in all I'm very happy with my FJ. I have the 2012. I was questioning my purchase when I bought it 6 months ago. Wasn't sure if I should have gone with the 4 door Rubicon instead. SFA still worries me tbh.. but there is just something about driving the FJ that I love. Hard to explain until you have one.
 

CBPO

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I love mine. 113,000 here on a '10 - no issues.

Thought my tranny was failing (auto) - but it was because York's of Houlton (Toyota Dealer) left it 3qts low after 100,000 mile trans flush.

I wouldn't let them work on my skateboard now.

Hands down, my favorite daily driver I've ever had - and I've had a pile of them.
 

scottm

 
 
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I'm really trying to love the FJC, there are plenty for sale and they are cooler than my 4R. I drove one and really didn't like the cave-effect, lack of vis, lack of windows I can open, lack of a lot of things my 4R does so well. I do like the idea of a manual transmission, that is very tempting just because it would be less likely to fail and easier to work on if it did. I like driving a stick, and want my youngest to learn on a stick, but I'm not sure about him learning in a vehicle with such poor vis. I'm also not excited about battling highway traffic jams with that visibility problem.

I may do some more test drives, give it a chance to grow on me. There are some aftermarket convertibles out there, anyone have one?
 

BMThiker

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Aim your door mirrors properly (to see the adjacent lane, not what's behind you) and spend an extra 3 seconds looking around before reversing and its a non-issue. While I enjoy driving my wife's '86 Grand Wagoneer because its like driving around in a big aquarium, I have no problem driving my FJC.

Mirrors.jpg

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/4234574
 
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Mtbcoach

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Both of my daughters learned to drive in my FJC, it helped them learn to drive with their mirrors and look over their shoulder before merging/changing lanes/etc. I have driven worse and much better, and, if you adjust the mirrors as Rick detailed above, the blind spot is not as significant than many other vehicles...
 
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