Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fj Cruiser- Goodbye!

After 12 months, 50,000km and a host of expenditure it was time to  say  goodbye to the Fj cruiser.  Why? I am  glad you  ask.  Here are some pointers as to  why-

Toyota advertise the Fj as a vehicle that  has the heritage of the original FJ40. Its not. The original Fj40  has its roots way  back in the ww2 Jeep. The original Fj40's were military  spec. The currant Fj Cruiser is not.

So what ? You  ask.  Well here is the bottom line. in  50,000km of outback travel I  found that:-

1. The doors began to rattle. and the door configuration is just  wrong. Awkward, plus the rear door is hung on the wrong side making loading a real issue. Try loading the rear from the curb, or opening the doors in a confined space e.g. an underground car park.

2.The vehicle is not designed for a bull bar and the ARB bull bar caused all sorts of issues. Even with a revised bar, it continued to  cause me problems. Frankly  some of the after market designers should be ashamed of themselves.

3. The shape of the roof and styled bodywork means that  rear cargo area is an issue as too is a roof rack.

4. The front suspension is Prado. I  had to  replace suspension bushes every 25,000km.

5. The vertical windscreen means that  your fuel consumption varies by a long way. The slightest headwind, (or side wind), resulted in fuel economy  going out the window.

The new basic V8  tray back with  its sides down setting up  camp

6. As a result to  windscreen really  gets thumped by stones and rocks and replacing it is awkward... some of the plastic around it can  be damaged by the inexperienced screen fitter.

6. Fuel tank is way  too small and there are issues with  fuel leaks from  aftermarket units. So what  do  you  do?

7. Gearbox.. Awful. It hangs on in 5th and is reluctant  to change down. When  it does it thumps back 2 cogs and the engine is left screaming its head off.. This is particularly  noticeable in hilly  terrain and more so with the cruise control on.

8. The blue tooth and I-pod connectivity  is lousy.

Now, I  know I  have grown up on  60 series, 80 series and 70 series and I  know I  get into  tough outback terrain, so I replaced it with a V8 trayback.  Much  more suited to my  needs.

 Conclusion- The FJ Cruiser is a "wash and wear" price point Prado. It  has some really nice features and is brilliant off road. Great  approach  and departures as well as ramp over. It makes really  nice vehicle for mountain bike riders, surfers, or the weekend warrior who  wants to  test their skills down a telegraph gymkhana track, and then  head into  their inner city  pad. However,  Its not an FJ40. It will not work on outback cattle stations for 300,000km. So, I  have traded some comfort for a live axle, consistent fuel economy and less electronics.. the last  of the FJ40/HJ47 line.

At the end of the day  its horses for courses.


  1. They should hire you to test those vehicles before they unleash them on customers! :-)

    I am trying to imagine what a telegraph gymkhana track looks like - would you by any chance have a picture of one, please?

  2. Don't get me wrong- its an ideal wash and wear city car for the week with a bit of weekend off road work. A telegraph gymkhana track is a track cut beside telegraph poles and wires to service them. they erode and are quite steep. When I pass one I shall get a photo pronto!

  3. The next owner will have something to look forward to.