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  #1  
Old 06-12-2007, 03:51 PM
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Toyota FJ Cruiser...

I've read a few forums... and a few reviews, I thought I'd poke around here and see if anyone has one, or knows anything... looks like a very solid well made truck. From what I've read the only down side is the MPG are in the basement.

But @ 12K miles per year... it works out to about $600 more a year to operate it. (Over say, a Honda Element)

Anyone have any input?

Pete
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2007, 03:56 PM
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it requires premium fuel, and has three windshield wipers... wtf
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2007, 04:02 PM
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A business aquaintance of mine has one. I have never ridden in it, but he seems to like it.
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2007, 04:03 PM
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Toyota makes a great product and I think they are very cool looking right up to the rear edge of the front door. Then the designer fell asleep, got startled awake and scribbled some lines on the paper to finish it off quickly in an effort to show that he hadn't fallen asleep on the job.

I wish they had paid more homage to the FJ40 styling-wise behind the door (like they did with the front half). The FJ Cruiser does have good off-road potential, though, like it's older sibling.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2007, 04:40 PM
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Horrible blind spots. Test drive it and see. That ended it for me. Style completely triumphed over basic function here.

And that's my problem with the FJ in a nutshell. It lacks design integrity. It is a highly stylized cartoon of a classic old design. Like Swampyankee noted, it is only posing at being serious SUV like the old Toyota FJ40 jeeps and Land Cruisers.

On top of that, as a vehicle, the FJ is underwhelming once you've driven around in one a bit. I just didn't LIKE it.

Unless the design works for you, and if you can live with the rear visiblity problems, there are better products out there. And don't buy the whole "it's-a-Toyota-so-it-has-to-be-good-quality" bit. The competition has been gaining, and Toyota has been getting lazy. I personally don't think their current products are as well-assembled as those from 5 years ago. There is some decontenting and cost-cutting going on, and you can tell.

So -- I would look around and test drive the competition from Nissan, Jeep, etc. Personally, I just purchased a Hyundai Santa Fe -- which completely won me over with its design, powertrain and build quality, and is a neat little SUV for a good price (mine was several thousand under sticker).

Personally, if you are looking for a fun, inexpensive vehicle, I would change categories and go check out the Mazda3. It is a fantastic product. Inexpensive, well built, and a real driver's car.

And if you want AWD, check out the Ford Fusion. Seriously. Another really good car that doesn't cost a lot of money, but is well designed and well built.

-- Bokonon
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2007, 05:24 PM
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We looked at the Nissan Xtera. Talk about junk. The build quality, down to the hinges on the liftgate were trash. Almost as bad as my 06 Chevy 1500. But that was dirt cheap.

Jeep is an even bigger pile of crap. Nothing of decent quality has come out of Jeep since they killed the Cherokee. So no go there.

And Mazda/Ford... Uhhhh, nope -- I need a truck that will go past 40K... so nothing.

Our second choice, believe it or not is the Honda Element (but it is much smaller and may pose an issue for lack of room) -- Behind that is the 4Runner which I do like - tme tested -- but doesn't look like "much"...

To be honest, the only thing I have against the Hyundai is that the fact that I don't care for the way they are built or look. They just haven't gotten to the Honda and Toyota quality level yet.

Honda Element Thoughts?
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2007, 05:26 PM
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Ford Fusion
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2007, 05:31 PM
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Dodge Nitro R/T, not bad.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2007, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GottaDiesel View Post

To be honest, the only thing I have against the Hyundai is that the fact that I don't care for the way they are built or look. They just haven't gotten to the Honda and Toyota quality level yet.
Hmmm ... then you should test drive the new Hyundai Santa Fe and the new Veracruz. Seriously. They are a huge leap over where Hyundai was just two years ago. At least in terms of material quality and assembly, as well as overall design ... Hyundai is now fully competitive. If it is the design and appearance, to each their own. But me, I preferred the Hyundai to the Toyota offerings.

Ford has gotten a lot better too, but I still wonder about the long term.

CHeers!
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2007, 06:35 PM
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My wife has an 07 FJ,,,,, not bad I guess,,, pretty much what you'd expect. We got it to replace her 04 Explorer V6 XLT,, which I think is a much better vehicle. We came close to leasing a used 2006 H3,,, payment was about the same but it was just tiny,,, much smaller than the explorer and the FJ.

Build quality on the FJ isn't THAT bad but certainly not as sturdy as the FJ40's that inspired it. Blind spots don't bother me but they are definitely an issue with this car. We have the 2WD automatic,, and it feels sluggish to me compared to our old Explorer.

The limited choice of colors was also disappointing,,,, we chose the cherry pearl,, looks nice when it's clean.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2007, 10:02 PM
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I have driven it, the only other true off roader apart from G Wagen and Gurkha, can do terrains which would make a stock G think twice. FJ's are legendary for their durability and reliability, in Australia or Africa, they are overloaded and run for years with little or no care, I know a certain nickel mine in Australia uses the older FJ for inside the mine transport.
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2007, 10:02 AM
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Well -- we went and looked at the FJ last night -- I really had my heart set on it -- well, no way. The build quality isn't what I expected. The "silver plastic" front side bumpers are junk -- the fit and finish of the plasitc parts are junk too... this is a "smoke and mirror" and car as far as I'm concerned -- made to look tough, but in reality, nothing to talk about.

The blind spots are just silly -- and the huge mirrors that they have make the front side (left and right of A pillar) windows almost of no value.

Couple that with the poor mileage (not really a concern, but another factor) and Toyota really isn't "all that" on this one.

I *did* like the build quality of the 4Runner, but you don't get much for the price...

We've settled on the Honda Element. Not much in the way of size -- but it is the right price, and the room inside is really a shocker. I was expecting it to be cramp -- it is simply huge. The distance between the rear seat and the front seat is great... The re-sale value is huge... they are selling them used for what I'll pay for the new. (Manual trans).

Just thought I'd follow up.
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  #13  
Old 06-13-2007, 10:55 AM
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I was impressed with the Element even though it's strictly an on-road vehicle. I checked one out while waiting for a few things I got for my wife's Odyssey. Not that I could ever get away with anything that small, but it seemed to be solid. If it would work for me I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.

One thing that struck me odd with the FJ besides the ridiculously large B/C pillar (depending on what the rear seat access doors are considered) and the resulting blind spot, is that ostensibly it was designed as a true off-roadable SUV (intake designed to prevent water intrusion, wiring harness routed through the roof, etc. for fjording streams) yet the goofy looking tail lights stick out just waiting to be picked off by a stray tree on the trail.

Even though I couldn't get past the visual shortcomings enough to go see one in person, I'm still disappointed to hear that the quality seems to have dropped off so much. My and my family's experience with Toyota cars and trucks have always been great, although it's been over a decade since I've owned one.
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  #14  
Old 06-13-2007, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurkha View Post
I have driven it, the only other true off roader apart from G Wagen and Gurkha, can do terrains which would make a stock G think twice. FJ's are legendary for their durability and reliability, in Australia or Africa, they are overloaded and run for years with little or no care, I know a certain nickel mine in Australia uses the older FJ for inside the mine transport.
Are you thinking of the older FJ's or the new FJ Cruiser?

We had a 72 FJ 55 which my wife rolled in the middle of the night on I-80 in Wyoming. Ended up in the ditch upright. Put it in 4WD got back on the highway and kept driving. Had a canoe on top and you could see the impression in the dirt where it landed on top of the canoe. No damage to the canoe (OT Tripper). Busted out a rear window when my metal toolbox hit it and popped the rubber gasket out around the windshield.
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  #15  
Old 06-13-2007, 12:42 PM
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Kerry,

Many of my friends and relatives have the old FJ as well as FJ80, both are very competent off roaders, so is the new FJ which is being offered in US, it looks dainty and probably is not as tough as the older FJ, but it sure does great off roading, I saw it in action at the Rubicon trails, it did quite well. Could do with more clearance.
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