Unbiased advice-Wrangler/Unlimited/FJ Cruiser - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-20-2019, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
jenrick
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Unbiased advice-Wrangler/Unlimited/FJ Cruiser

I'm in a real quandary. I've researched and searched for relatively late model Jeeps and FJ Cruisers. It seems that both can be excellent 4x4's. And it seems they're both in about the same price ballpark and hold their resale value.

I will be doing some off roading, but no rock crawling.
Some Interstate driving so handling, especially in the wind is a concern.
Decent mileage would be nice.
Vehicle quality/longevity is important to me.
I'd like to be able to seat 4 comfortably, but for the right price I'd consider a 2 door Wrangler.
It will not be a "daily driver".

I've talked to a number of Jeep owners who love their Jeeps, but say the quality, especially post Fiat isn't as great as it used to be. FJ Cruiser owners tell they too, love their FJ's. FJ's "are not a Jeep" is what I hear and FJ stands for "Fake Jeep".

I'm just afraid that I would buy an FJ and be telling myself "it's not a Jeep". There's just something special about how the Jeep looks. Any advice would be much appreciated.

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-20-2019, 07:25 PM
StrippedTorx
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Totally personal preference man.
I for one not a fan of unibody 4x4s

Need to find out what you really want. And which vehicle can fill those needs.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-20-2019, 07:44 PM
Luuca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenrick View Post
I'm in a real quandary. I've researched and searched for relatively late model Jeeps and FJ Cruisers. It seems that both can be excellent 4x4's. And it seems they're both in about the same price ballpark and hold their resale value.

I will be doing some off roading, but no rock crawling.
Some Interstate driving so handling, especially in the wind is a concern.
Decent mileage would be nice.
Vehicle quality/longevity is important to me.
I'd like to be able to seat 4 comfortably, but for the right price I'd consider a 2 door Wrangler.
It will not be a "daily driver".

I've talked to a number of Jeep owners who love their Jeeps, but say the quality, especially post Fiat isn't as great as it used to be. FJ Cruiser owners tell they too, love their FJ's. FJ's "are not a Jeep" is what I hear and FJ stands for "Fake Jeep".

I'm just afraid that I would buy an FJ and be telling myself "it's not a Jeep". There's just something special about how the Jeep looks. Any advice would be much appreciated.
The reality is, you want something thats a few ticks past the standard SUV, but that retains more of a road manner of a standard SUV. that's OK. I get it.

Some options for you;

A mild lifted (2"-3") Jeep TJ Unlimited in near stock format would have all the offload capabilities you would use for fishing trips and picnics, but with the option of going over more extreme obstacles if need be. Ic ans seat 4 adults; however the rear seat is for those under 6' tall. Plenty of rear cargo room, and all the ruggedness and ease of repair of the early jeeps on coil springs.

A newer JKU will seat 4, with a mild lift, provide great offroad capabilities and comfort. Modern handling and amenities abound. Good room and 4-doors. Hard top is nice, but it's an all or nothing commitment on or off, no quick change like a soft top. You could get a soft top, but in the wind, and at freeway speeds, it can get loud.

As for the wind. I assume you are in a windy area of the country. Every lifted vehicle is going to be somewhat of a challenge in the wind. If it's not a daily driver, maybe more so. I mean that I used to daily drive my LJ with 4.5" of lift and anti-rock sway bars. Now I drive an Explorer for work daily. When I do drive the Jeep, it feels like I am having to struggle to keep control in the wind or uneven roads. Whereas before, when I daily drove it, it was normal and fine. No change in the vehicle, just my expectation.

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-20-2019, 07:58 PM
RubiconFreedom
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I was very tempted to have went the FJ route. But after attempting to sit in the FJ, the seats were terrible. So unless you've actually sat in both and driven both. You're not going to come up with an answer.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-21-2019, 08:39 AM
cranbiz
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A JKU with a mild lift sounds like it will do what you want. The FJ will also but can have a bit less off road capability. Having seen both together, the FJ, while a bit larger, does have decent on road ride but it has major blind spots and seems very tight when in it. If you want to go with larger tires, the FJ is limited to 33's without modifying the front body mounts.

The FJ's also had structural issues in the firewall area in certain years (excessive rust, body cracks, etc) so be careful on what you buy if the FJ is your choice.

Both vehicles are capable for what you describe you want to do. Drive both but after that, I think you will end up in a Jeep.

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-21-2019, 12:44 PM
Kev M
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One of the reasons I own my 16 Sahara JKU is that my wife's 12 WK2 Grand Cherokee Limited has been so reliable and trouble free, especially the Pentastar motor which is fantastic 80k miles later on hers.

I think quality is just fine.

I too like the FJ, but you can't take the roof off an FJ, so game, set, match.

Visibility is also better in the JKU, my kids say the rear cabin is great, and the off-road capability is perfect for my use (beach, dunes, sandy forests).

Mileage is a limiting factor, but I can get low 20's on the highway if I'm gentle, even on the M/T tires. You can do a little better on A/Ts. The Jeep really isn't a high speed (80+ mph) vehicle.

I can't imagine the FJ is much more aerodynamic.

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2016 JKUS
2012 WK2 Limited
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-21-2019, 01:06 PM
Randglerjk
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Unbiased advice-Wrangler/Unlimited/FJ Cruiser

You do not want to do long trips in a Jk. The seats, especially the back seats, are not comfortable and your riders will get tired. One thing i did to my 4 door jk was to get the back row seat mounts adjusted so that they would lean back more. That helps so much!
Its perfectly fine for a 400 mile round trip, but having everyone sit stiff straight passed that is torture.

Ive never been in an FJ so maybe you should compare the comfort of the rides.

Also, stock jeep suspension is hard. If you got old people who would complain about how rough it handles on the trails than maybe buy them a neck brace just in case. Not kidding.




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post #8 of 10 Old 08-21-2019, 02:02 PM
Kev M
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Originally Posted by Randglerjk View Post
You do not want to do long trips in a Jk. The seats, especially the back seats, are not comfortable and your riders will get tired. One thing i did to my 4 door jk was to get the back row seat mounts adjusted so that they would lean back more. That helps so much!


Its perfectly fine for a 400 mile round trip, but having everyone sit stiff straight passed that is torture.
Guess it depends on the passengers

We do 400 mile (each way/800 mile round trip) runs to and from the OBX multiple times a year.

Granted my kids are ~ 5 & 8 so they don't require a lot of room but they have plenty in the back and are plenty comfy on those long 8+ hour drives.

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2016 JKUS
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-21-2019, 02:17 PM
underscore
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Originally Posted by Luuca View Post
You could get a soft top, but in the wind, and at freeway speeds, it can get loud.

Especially if some portion of the assembly fails. I once passed a guy in a JK on the freeway that was holding down the front corner of the top with his hand while driving. He didn't look to be having a great day but at least it was summer so his hand shouldn't have been too cold.

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post #10 of 10 Old 08-21-2019, 03:03 PM
Kev M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luuca View Post

Hard top is nice, but it's an all or nothing commitment on or off, no quick change like a soft top. You could get a soft top, but in the wind, and at freeway speeds, it can get loud.


I missed this post the first time through.

If you have enough space the hard top can come off in about 10 minutes. Usually takes me a little longer because I have to get the straps JUST right as I don't have an inch to spare between the top and the garage door.

As for soft tops we had a cheaper one that was indeed loud in the highway, but the 30 oz sailcloth of the Bestop Trextop is almost as quiet as my insulated hardtop.

I'm under the impression the factory softops are pretty quiet too.






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2016 JKUS
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