FJ cruiser - better than the standard prado?

LD.02

Member
Hi all, sorry for so many posts, now that it's coming closer to vehicle decision time I can't stop looking in every direction!

Some may remember previous posts discussing 120/150 prados, however I'm not as sold on the look of the 120 as I once was, and I'm struggling to find a 150 in my price range, particularly diesels without pretty large kms, and hearing of the injector issues is putting me off slightly...

As such I reconsidered looking at the Petrol - not in the 120, but in the FJ. Understand that they are largely similar underneath the skin, albeit with the FJ being more capable with the locker and that. The vehicle would largely be used for touring, nothing super serious track wise but still looking to tackle some tough terrain. Nothing to tow, no real significant distanced travelled throughout the year (less than 15,000km) and I've heard nothing but good things about the 1GR-FE 4.0 petrol. Am I just overthinking things regarding the diesel and its issues, or am I pointing in the right direction? Also love the look of the FJ, but maybe thats the P plater in me...

Thanks Earth, sorry if my indecision and constantly changing vehicle of choice is getting old!
 

TYNO87

Active Member
Fjs are solid rigs.
Thirsty but I think 2013 they received the auxiliary fuel tank which boosted the capacity up to around 150l which would give you a decent range for touring.
Fj cruiser forum will have a list of what to keep an eye out for when buying one. I’d look for 2013 onwards with a full service history (about the only thing that will kill the 1gr is lack of servicing) and as stock as possibly. I know it’s nice to get some extras on vehicles but they’re one vehicle I’d prefer stock, more chance of it having been a mall crawler.
Not sure how far your budget will stretch. I think decent examples are still asking $40k
 

LD.02

Member
Fjs are solid rigs.
Thirsty but I think 2013 they received the auxiliary fuel tank which boosted the capacity up to around 150l which would give you a decent range for touring.
Fj cruiser forum will have a list of what to keep an eye out for when buying one. I’d look for 2013 onwards with a full service history (about the only thing that will kill the 1gr is lack of servicing) and as stock as possibly. I know it’s nice to get some extras on vehicles but they’re one vehicle I’d prefer stock, more chance of it having been a mall crawler.
Not sure how far your budget will stretch. I think decent examples are still asking $40k
I sadly don’t have that kinda cash, will just have to look harder and be more thorough when checking one out. I wouldn’t be doing too much remote area, if I got into that I’d look at getting an aftermarket aux. tank so I might be able to look at 2011-2012 etc. going as stock as possible is the goal, means I can modify it to my liking rather than putting up with others mods
 

Warby

Well-Known Member
Not a lot of storage space either compared to a lot of others

After a friend of mine picked one up a few years ago I was surprised by just how small they are inside... I definitely wouldn't consider it a suitable vehicle for touring with any more than 1 passenger. If you have kids, forget about it.
 

LD.02

Member
Not a lot of storage space either compared to a lot of others
After a friend of mine picked one up a few years ago I was surprised by just how small they are inside... I definitely wouldn't consider it a suitable vehicle for touring with any more than 1 passenger. If you have kids, forget about it.
No kids, would just be me and the girlfriend for a while now so can do without the back seats, not a huge concern passenger wise
 

Warby

Well-Known Member
In that case.. You'd probably be just fine. They're a nice looking vehicle and apparently very capable.
 

LD.02

Member
In that case.. You'd probably be just fine. They're a nice looking vehicle and apparently very capable.
From what I can tell they’re up there as one of the more capable vehicles from stock, but I suppose that was why they were made. Saves me a bit of cash in the short term while still being able to go where i want
 

Grippy

Well-Known Member
Got a couple of mates that have both, have been on a few trips with and in the FJ. It's a capable rig, huge in the passenger part, small in the back, however if you're creative you can fit a shitload in there, my mate made his own drawer and fridge cubby and spent ages stacking every nook and cranny efficiently for their family of 4 across the Simmo. It is a thirsty bugger though, when we compared fuel figures on past trips, it used around a similar amount as my V8 Jeep, which was a thirsty bitch.
 

phs

Well-Known Member
capable rigs, extremely underrated motor much better than the 1KD and 1GD. Loads of power and extremely reliable.

Toyota’s petrol motors are over looked but they have some awesome motors.

Better factory wheel offset and tyres size than the Prado too, loads of aftermarket options available
 

LD.02

Member
Got a couple of mates that have both, have been on a few trips with and in the FJ. It's a capable rig, huge in the passenger part, small in the back, however if you're creative you can fit a shitload in there, my mate made his own drawer and fridge cubby and spent ages stacking every nook and cranny efficiently for their family of 4 across the Simmo. It is a thirsty bugger though, when we compared fuel figures on past trips, it used around a similar amount as my V8 Jeep, which was a thirsty bitch.
Yeah have heard as much, happy to pay up fuel wise, I’ve got the bulletproof reputation to bank on so fuel wise I can live with it.
 

LD.02

Member
capable rigs, extremely underrated motor much better than the 1KD and 1GD. Loads of power and extremely reliable.

Toyota’s petrol motors are over looked but they have some awesome motors.

Better factory wheel offset and tyres size than the Prado too, loads of aftermarket options available
Love to hear that, looked at the D4D 3.0 for a while but came back to the FJ, albeit in the FJ rather than the previously considered 120
 

Neil Watts

Well-Known Member
Had one since Jan 2015, only two of us and two dogs, when it's the whole family we take the camper.

Room is some what compromised but with experience and practise you learn to understand what you need on a trip and what you don't. Remove the rear seats and there's not much you can't fit.

Economy is debatable, bigger tires/lift and excessive extras will see the fuel economy compromised but the fact that it's petrol, to me, a huge advantage.

On a 10,500km trip which included the Anne Beadell highway, Canning Stock Route, Tanami highway a stop in Alice for the Finke Desert Race and then home across the Simpson she didn't miss a beat. Estimated GVM of 2.9 tonne and we managed fuel figures of 12lt/100 (with a tail wind) to 22lt/100 in the deserts. On the whole trip the only place where you couldn't get premium unleaded was along the Canning. Late 2013 onwards has the auxiliary tank with a total of 159lt, easy way to tell is if it has the overhead console then it has the 159lt tank.
 

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LD.02

Member
Had one since Jan 2015, only two of us and two dogs, when it's the whole family we take the camper.

Room is some what compromised but with experience and practise you learn to understand what you need on a trip and what you don't. Remove the rear seats and there's not much you can't fit.

Economy is debatable, bigger tires/lift and excessive extras will see the fuel economy compromised but the fact that it's petrol, to me, a huge advantage.

On a 10,500km trip which included the Anne Beadell highway, Canning Stock Route, Tanami highway a stop in Alice for the Finke Desert Race and then home across the Simpson she didn't miss a beat. Estimated GVM of 2.9 tonne and we managed fuel figures of 12lt/100 (with a tail wind) to 22lt/100 in the deserts. On the whole trip the only place where you couldn't get premium unleaded was along the Canning. Late 2013 onwards has the auxiliary tank with a total of 159lt, easy way to tell is if it has the overhead console then it has the 159lt tank.
Yeah will pick up 2013 onwards if I can, but otherwise might have to wait a bit to save some cash for an auxillary tank. Passenger wise you'd be similar to me, so good to hear re cargo space.
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
How can it be much more capable than a Prado when its exactly the same running gear and electronics, it is only the approach and departure angle that are only slightly better is my understanding of it which would give a slight advantage but not much
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
While the FJ starts with the 120 Prado chassis and uses a lot of parts in common with the Prado, but it's very different from there. The wheelbase is about halfway between the 4 door and 2 door Prados, with a better ramp over as well as approach and departure angles. It also has a slightly different suspension setup with the wishbones at the front. Also, the electronics are from a later generation, with CRAWL from around 2012 or 2013. It's like a hybrid mid wheelbase with a 120 base and 150 updates internally. Make sure you get one that has CRAWL. CRAWL is like a 'magic carpet button' on sand.

But on the other side IMHO it's too small for long trips and more than 1 passenger, and not the prettiest girl in town IMHO. The Petrol has a reputation for reliability, and they last forever but it likes to drink, or does in Prado's anyway.
 
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Neil Watts

Well-Known Member
Also comes out of the box (well not anymore, although they still build them for the UAE) with 32's standard. Petrol consumption is only a concern when you start modifying. In standard form I was getting mid 11's on highway trips, a trip up the East coast fully loaded, including some sand driving, returned an average of high 11's. Now fairly modified and pushing GVM I get mid 14's around town, low 14's on highway and 17-19's towing an Ultimate camper. Around 22's across the Simpson with a fair amount of the fun peddle, worst figures so far will still comfortable get 800km from a 159lt tank.
 

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LD.02

Member
While the FJ starts with the 120 Prado chassis and uses a lot of parts in common with the Prado, but it's very different from there. The wheelbase is about halfway between the 4 door and 2 door Prados, with a better ramp over as well as approach and departure angles. It also has a slightly different suspension setup with the wishbones at the front. Also, the electronics are from a later generation, with CRAWL from around 2012 or 2013. It's like a hybrid mid wheelbase with a 120 base and 150 updates internally. Make sure you get one that has CRAWL. CRAWL is like a 'magic carpet button' on sand.

But on the other side IMHO it's too small for long trips and more than 1 passenger, and not the prettiest girl in town IMHO. The Petrol has a reputation for reliability, and they last forever but it likes to drink, or does in Parado's anyway.
I’ll definitely look for that if I can, but I’m not sure if thats in one of the later models, which I just won’t have the cash for sadly. Maybe in future I’ll upgrade to a newer one if I pick one up soon and enjoy it!
 

LD.02

Member
Also comes out of the box (well not anymore, although they still build them for the UAE) with 32's standard. Petrol consumption is only a concern when you start modifying. In standard form I was getting mid 11's on highway trips, a trip up the East coast fully loaded, including some sand driving, returned an average of high 11's. Now fairly modified and pushing GVM I get mid 14's around town, low 14's on highway and 17-19's towing an Ultimate camper. Around 22's across the Simpson with a fair amount of the fun peddle, worst figures so far will still comfortable get 800km from a 159lt tank.
Yeah everything I’ve heard is that it’s really under stressed so unless you’re strapping on 35’s, a huge lift and all the bar work you can dream of you shouldn’t expect a huge increase in fuel drinking. Glad to hear that I can push the envelope a bit re GVM and still come out pretty good.

also, wicked looking car mate. Might serve as a bit of inspiration if I end up down this road
 
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