fj cruiser thoughts
my wife and I are looking for a new vehicle for her. we looked at a 2008 fj cruiser tonight. for the folks that have one, how do you like it, what maint cost, and so on. your input would be very nice, thanks Lars.
I have an '07 that I bought used a few of years ago. So far, I've put about 35k or so on it, zero major maintenance issues. Very capable in the dirt. It was our only car for quite awhile and we were able to get 3 car seats in the back. Suicide doors can be a PITA in a parking lot.
It is a brick though. The lift and tires took away a few MPGs. I usually average about 225 - 250 a tank. The windshield does not like flying rocks on the highway.
I'm in Broomfield if want to take a peek or crawl around it.
I've never owned one but worked at a Toyota dealership. Personally I'd buy a 4Runner over a FJC for the extra space and surprisingly better MPG. Mechanically they are basically identical.
That said I like the way they drive/look and if I was a single 25 yr old again would probably like owning one. If you plan to put anyone in the back seat regularly revert to my original statement.
Ours is an 08 TT edition. We love it but its noisy with the roof ARB roof rack. Gas mileage not so great. Ours in a manual shift and has had throwout bearing issues. Maintenance wise its a Toyota. Just oil changes and a clutch issue. Ours does pull to the right. This is from day one. Nobody has had any answers. Just got used to it. Off road I love it for a stock ride with a small lift. Does real well. Go to www.fjcruiserforums.com and hit the blue room up if you want to know more.
I looked pretty hard a few years ago, but ended up with a 06 4Runner. The suicide doors and windows that don't go down were the final straw. Although I liked the seating position much better than in the 4Runner. You sit up like a truck, the 4R seating feels like a coupe.
Still love the way they look.
I have more than a couple of friends who have owned those as DD's w/ a little bit of light wheeling and they like them A LOT.
Though i'll admit i find them to be a bit of novelty.
The one thing to look fort is the rear blind spots. The big mirrors offset that and if you are comfortable with using the mirrors you would be fine. I know some who couldnt, but for most it wasnt an issue
Long Answer to a short vehicle
;) Ok, you asked :blah:
We have had a 2008 since new. Only issue was a clunking drive shaft. We could only convince them to replace it when we took the TSB to show them how to correct it. Once the TSB was in their hands, they knew what to do.
We do have a small lift on it and about 33" tires. I have never taken it off-road since I have a Toy with 37"s for that.
What I dislike:
Suicide doors are just darn near useless unless you are parking in an open field. My suggestion to Toyota would be to make the passenger side seat slide up like the old 2 door 4runners did so that you could use the S door when convenient, or use the seat movement when you can't easily use the door.
The window pillar is way forward, thick, and straight up. Normally, you wouldn't think much about that. However, when someone is walking or riding a bike, they are usually straight up too :-) With these combined, you have to make sure to look around that pillar since a head or legs will not show up like a thin or slanted pillar.
Mine seems to dodge around at high speeds. I'm going to try to get more caster added to see if that improves it. Did it before the lift as well. But I'm still chalking that one up to alignment at this point.
You can't turn off the traction control on the older models without making some mods. When it snows, I hate pulling out, spinning a tire and have the computer completely drop the power and leave you looking at traffic coming your way. I HATE THAT. I'll find a switch that I like and stop that crap though.
Ours has the backup sensors and my B in-law's has the camera. I prefer the sensors.
Rear side blind spots...Well, I know how to adjust my side mirrors to where the don't show me the same thing as my rear view mirror (in other words, correctly). They are now teaching kids how to adjust their mirrors correctly at Master Drive as well. So I don't find the blind spots to be an issue until I try to back under trees with low limbs or something.
Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the theater? :lmao: I'd prefer a 4runner. Wife likes it though and we got it for a LOT less than a 4runner when new.
What I like:
Has a 4WD shifter instead of some electric button.
Drives pretty well.
Has some decent bolt on gear available (we have some KILLER rock sliders on it. Need to keep those idiots with uncontrolled doors off of the sides. I can find the name of them if desired - they are beefy!). From the factory, the belly is soft. I'd suggest some good skid plates. This is really the only reason that we haven't taken it mildly off-road yet.
Short wheelbase can be fun.
Has been very dependable.
Overall, we actually like it a lot.
What I want to do:
Skid plates underneath.
Switch for the traction control.
Real bumpers front and rear.
A better roof rack. I think I like the Gobi Stealth rack.
Decent information here: http://fjcruiserforums.com/
Just remember, most of these guys have little real off-road experience. However, some have some great rigs and lots of experience/feedback.
We have an 09 model with auto trans. It has both the backup camera and the sensors. Good comments from all above. As you can see from my sig, I have several Toyotas but the FJC is my daily driver. I have stock size tires but BFG all terrains, an All Pro front bumper and All Pro Skid Plates, factory sliders and locking rear diff.
I have 55,000 miles on it and not a problem. You might consider getting the auto transmission as the manual is a different 4WD system that does not fully disconnect in 2WD.
I have done the FJ Summit and many of the trails near Ouray (Black Bear and others) with stock tires and just the skid plates. Very capable off-road vehicle.
Great fun to drive, very sporty and easy to park. Terry
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