Trust me, this is a very capable vehicle in all aspects. I usually don't write reviews, but in the case of the FJ I am making an exception. Like most of you, I did a lot of extensive research before I made my final vehicle decision. My advice would be not to get hung up on the negative reviews, and focus on the positive ones, it'll save you a lot of wasted time. The blind spots are not as bad as some people say they are. The rear seats do fold all the way down. Road noise is not noticeable and the interior is quiet. This vehicle is extremely reliable, and capable of some astounding things. This vehicle has been tested to its limits and still scores big!
Safety! I was rear ended pretty hard by a sedan, and the hitch absorbed all the impact. Fun factor, I love to drive around in it. It goes anywhere.
A great SUV for the money. Bought it for the Toyota quality and reliability and wanted the best 4x4. I have the manual with full time four wheel drive and my mileage is consistently 21-23 hwy and 19 city. Solid, fun to drive, and it does grow on you. I put on 2 blind spot mirrors which do help a lot. However I find that all the hype about the poor rear view is nonsense anyway. If you know how to drive it's no problem. I fish in Canada and have gotten stuck with my old domestic 4x4 (don't know how they can call them true 4x4s). I finally bought something that will get me in/ out of less than poor road and landing conditions. Love the VSC and traction control. I rarely ever lock everything in.
Ability to lock center and rear diff.
Obviously mpg, I know they have the technology. Mud guard or something to keep debris from being flung forward onto sides and doors. Nicer arm rests.
I work out of my automobiles and had driven a Honda CRV for the past 5 years. It was time for a new vehicle and I had decided to buy another Honda. The night before I went to buy it I was on the computer researching cars and read the reports on the FJ Cruiser. I decided to go and give it a test drive that next morning. Thank goodness I did. I knew the minute I drove it this was the SUV for me. I love it! I have only had it for a short time but it feels safe and I love the way it handles. Oh, did I tell you how great I think it looks?
I would love for it to have back doors that open like the front ones.
I looked for 3 months at SUVs and I always came back to the fj. It was big purchase for me because I wanted a vehicle that was going to be truly reliable and not in the repair shop all the time and I have worked previous at 2 GM dealerships, even all my mechanic friends give it 2 thumbs up! I've driven in some pretty crazy 4x4 zones with it and it's performed excellent, and a truly fun truck to drive. I don't find the blind spot a big deal and everyone that has sat in the backseat has found it easy to enter and exit. I would suggest to all, to take one for a test drive. They grow on you... they are a different driving experience and different is good from the norm.
I love the suicide doors, easy access. The stereo is great..it's neat how you can change the colours on the display panel. The interior is so easy to keep clean and the cargo area door lock feature (for wind) is awesome. I love the windshield washer vessel.. it's huge. My #1 is the Balanced Engine!!!