I'm 36, I served in the military for 12 yrs. rough, tough and rugged reliable rigs at work, and jeep wranglers at home. I've never even considered anything else. purchase a wrangler, smittybilt bumpers, black rims, and rugged mud tires for the snow, mud ect........... now, over a decade later 100% IU disabled vet with a bad back and no leg from my left knee down, I was devestated. no clutch lol.... so, i decided to open my options. in the entire car/suv/and 4x4 line up I was about to throw my hands up. then I saw a FJ extremely attractive from the outside. I don't want to say "boxy" but it wasn't all aero dynamic- It looked like a SUV built for a man. Then I saw the inside. WOW!
I held the Toyota in such high regards- I've upgraded to a TRD Sr5 4Runner! Which is everything and more than I could have imagined!
I have wanted one since "07" and finally have a 2012 4x4 automatic. If you're one that likes to look out the side of your auto to see what's beside you forget it in this ride, I've always used my mirrors so it doesn't bother me. If you have hair on your head and like to ride with your window down you better carry a cap for when you get out cause your hair well be parted right above your ear. There will be no equalizing the wind blow by trying to equalize with the other window nor with side window visors. When stopping at some stop lights you'll need to get use to looking up from the steering wheel. I do truely love mine, the gas mpg is great even pulling my 21' bass boat. Love'm or hate'm.
I'm a 6' 230lb guy and very comfortable when driving my FJ. It's very responsive and the options are great. The towing of my 21' Bass boat with a 225 outboard is unbelievable, you don't know it's in tow.
The mpg is a-ok, depending where I've bought fuel I have gotten as high as 18.9 in town and pulling my boat to the low of 15.9 driving the same, keep track of where you buy gas.
Bottom line it's a Toyota FJ 4x4 what more needs said.
Where the roof meets the windshield needs some type of transperansy tp inhance stop light visibility. It would also be nice to be able to roll the widow down and not absolutely get your head blown off. The 70 to 100 mph highway wind noise gets a little loud but not sure on how to fix that except to slow down. It would also be nice to have wider side mirrors (the heigth is ok) to compensate for the poor rear/side visibility.
It's obvious that most "professional" automotive journalists don't get the FJ and don't understnd it's purpose.
It isn't a AWD cross over, it is a very capable Off Road Vehicle. A properly equipped FJ is unequaled in off road capability, comfort and reliability. The often complained about "limited visibility" is easily remedied by adjusting your mirrors properly. Gas Mileage? Do you really buy an off road vehicle for gas mileage? I'm getting between 23 and 24 on the highway...much better than my Dodge Ram! All in all, you either understand the purpose of the FJ and love it or you don't get it and the vehicle just confuses you.
Electrically locking rear differential; ATRAC for front traction control.
Clutch start disable (allows you to start it in gear with the clutch out, very handy off road).
Locking center differential.
Rear view camera comes in handy on the trail to see those big rocks down low!
Ability to disable traction control (completely disabled).
Responsive traction control that actually helps in icy conditions.
Comfortable for long trips with the family (968 miles in one day to the parents for Christmas) and fantastic off road performance.
Provision or option for a winch mount.
Functional skid plates.
Better/more inside storage options (a locking console?)
Provision for electric trailer brakes.
Option for more aggressive tires (comes with "all season" tires)