Advance auto zone blog about fast cars and auto trader

Advance auto zone blog about cool fast cars, and auto trader

Toyota FJ Cruiser rant-'n-rave

"While at the NY auto show, I had an opportunity to really check out the new Toyota FJ Cruiser. I have sort of a love-hate relationship with this new off-roader from Toyota. On one hand I love the fact that the hardcore off-road customer is now getting an opportunity to buy some new state-of-art equipment from one of the world's leading off-road vehicle manufacturers. On the other hand Toyota did some incredibly dumb things with this vehicle."

toyota fj cruiser" I have felt for some time that the current craze for crossovers, while certainly good, has put the traditional off-road-oriented SUV on the back burner in terms of importance. Many say there is no need for a real SUV, as they never go off road anyway. Well, tell that to people living in Nevada, the Rockies, and in other outback areas of this very large and still mostly unpaved country. So I was happy to see the new-and improved Xterra, Hummer and this all-new FJ—and that they seem to be selling well. That's the good news...

The bad news, as far as the FJ is: There's just too much "dumb styling," and not enough "smart design." I pity and FJ driver when he/she has to look over their shoulder to see if there are any vehicles coming up on their right. The absolutely gargantuan C-pillar on this vehicle, and porthole-sized rear quarter window, coupled with the huge rear spare tire must have set an all-time low record for poor rearward visibility. Not only is it bad, it's borderline dangerous. That's problem numero uno.

A second problem is this vehicle requires premium gas! You know it's going to get lousy mileage, so why rub salt into the wound by requiring premium? Besides that, premium gas may be harder to find if you happen to be using this vehicle as it was intended—like out in the boonies... Speaking of boonies: Why is the full-time 4x4 transfer case only available with a manual transmission? The Land Cruiser, Sequoia and 4Runner offer full-time 4WD or selectable full-time 4WD automatics, so why not also the FJ?

Then there's the front shoulder harnesses that are anchored to the rear suicide doors. That means those doors can't be opened with the shoulder belts in use—which leads me to wonder about the sanity of these suicide door setups, and how they compare to traditional 4-door setups. Well folks, I've tried getting in and out of the FJ's rear several times; give me a real 4-door vehicle (like the Xterra) any day of the week!

I see way too many styling (and marketing!) concessions here in a vehicle that's supposed to be all about function. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I'm sure it makes sense to Toyota, as these things will fly off the showroom floor like hotcakes. All I can say Mr./Ms. SUV buyer: check it out carefully first, as you will have to live with your purchase for some time. "

By Bob
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