My wife chose the FJ and loved driving it with our two young kids. It is easy to take them in and out of the back seat with the side-opening doors. We have the airbag package and it feels like they are in a vault. It has a hard, bumpy ride - as it should be, because this is no grocery- getter. This vehicle is absolutely no-nonsense and reliable, at 30,000 mi. with no issues, and none anticipated. Recently hauled three other guys for a mountain-climbing trip and the four of us were comfortable. One owns a new Jeep and lamented all the problems he is having already. We love this vehicle with no reservations and expect our kids to drive it when they turn 16 in about ten years.
Solid construction, washable seats and interior, strong roof pillars, three wipers, folding seats, stiff suspension.
I've owned 20+ cars, SUV's, trucks. This has to be one of my 2 favorites (together with my 911 cabriolet). As another reviewer said - you can buy fancier, much more expensive SUV's. But you can't buy one that's more fun to own, that people ask you about, that is this reliable, that can go anywhere. I bought one of the first ones in CT - Voodoo Blue - and have not had a single issue. My wife, 3 kids, dog & I all still love it just as much as new. Sure - it has a few compromises like rear visibility. Show me any great car with real personality that doesn't. And this is very practical (easy to clean, acceptable MPG, great in bad weather...) and fun to own! Now that's value!
Style, engine power/drivetrain, ease of cleaning, utility
Would be great with a diesel engine - I'd trade it in tomorrow!
I went to a Used Car Dealership that sold mainly Dodges. I saw this cool looking truck and learned it was called the FJ Cruiser. I test drove it and fell in love with it immediately for it's looks and above average handling for an SUV ! However, the clutch "chirps" when at idle but stops when the clutch is depressed. I had the dealership replace the clutch disc, pressure plate and throwout bearing. All was well until 2 months and 1400 miles later and the same problem arose again. I learned through Toyota forums that this is an issue with manual tranny FJ's but they still operate normally as they should. Despite this somewhat major annoyance, I love my FJ and don't regret buying it!
Unique styling, doesn't look like your neighbor's F150 or Jeep. Rubber floor mats (easy cleanups, yeah!) and easy to use heater, A/C controls. Handles quite well in sharp turns, surprising for a truck/SUV. Gutsy engine especially with the manual tranny=much driving fun!
Redesign the clutch so it doesn't chirp at idle while the clutch is released ! Otherwise, no complaints, worth a look if you want a fun to drive off roader/daily driver!
My need for a good solid truck rules out many of the vehicles made today. I spend as much time as I can at a remote family cabin and exploring the outdoors and often am very far from any type of assistance. My vehicle needs to get me in and out, and this one always comes through. I put Goodyear MTR's on it and they are top notch. I have had this vehicle in rain, mud, sand, and lots of snow. It plows through everything without trouble. There may be more luxurious 4x4's out there, but I see lots of those stuck in snow banks while the Cruiser keeps on trucking. If you go off road at all, the front skid plate is not an option. While comfortable on the road, it can be tricky to drive at times.
Build quality, reliability, and its off road ability and dependability. It's nice to know there isn't much that this truck can't get over or through. Being waved through inspection stations during blizzards and not having to stop is nice. Getting to places at the cabin other vehicles cant go is nice.
Put the Nav system in it. Get rid of the stupid plastic bumpers. Make a Lexus version. Although the interior material and design works great for a truck that actually gets used in the dirt, mud and snow, it might be nice to have a bit more luxury. I would probably trade mine in for a Lexus Version.