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Madison Ave. Lies again

 

 

Toyota FJ, or....

A good idea poorly executed

    Recently, mostly in the pseudo-magazine Off-Road Adventures, Toyota has been placing 3-hole punched, tear out ads (like they expect you to keep this garbage) touting their FJ Cruiser. As I have stated before, the original was a good off roader, only because if one takes even a casual look at a vintage FJ40, it is obviously a rip-off of the Jeep! (check the FJ designation) The latest ad, trying to convince the reader of the suitability of their IFS states that "solid axles had a good run, but...."

    Well, here's some thoughts on that. First, the reason that solid axles are the choice of rock crawlers is that they are STRONG! Simple & strong breaks less, and when it does break, fixes easier and cheaper. Look, what Toyota's trying to do is sell ANOTHER SUV. However, this time they're trying to convince the American public that this one has some off road ability, and hopefully, steal some of Jeep's thunder. Maybe some people, (the kind of people who think that Hummer H2's & H3's are off roaders) will buy that horsecrap. This thing is an overweight (4290 lbs.**), oversized caricature of the original FJ, and should not fool anyone with any knowledge on the subject of off roading. That being said, they'll probably sell a million of them. 

Specs- FJ vs. Wrangler

 

Model Sport SE X  Rubicon FJ**
Package D N X U   N/A
Turning Diameter (curb-to-curb) - Turning Right [ft] 33.5 33.5 33.5 34.9 41.8*
Overhang - Front [in] 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1 N/L
Turning Diameter (curb-to-curb) - Turning Left [ft] 33.5 33.5 33.5 34.9 41.8*
Overhang - Rear [in] 35.2 35.2 35.2 35.2 N/L
Ground Clearance - Breakover Angle [DEG] 22.3 22.6 22.5 25.4 N/L
Ground Clearance - Departure Angle [DEG] 31.4 31.5 31.5 33.9 30
Wheelbase [in] 93.4 93.4 93.4 93.4 105.9
Overall Length [in] 155.4 155.4 155.4 156.1 183.9
Ground Clearance 8.9 8.9 8.9 10.3 9.6
Overall Height - With Soft Top [in] 70.8 70.8 70.8 72.1 N/A
Track - Front [in] 58.0 58.0 58.0 59.5 63.2
Overall Height - With Hard Top [in] 69.6 69.6 69.6 70.9 72.0
Track - Rear [in] 58.0 58.0 58.0 59.5 63.6
Overall Width [in] 66.7 66.7 66.7 68.2 74.6
Ground Clearance - Approach Angle [DEG] 42.0 42.2 42.0 44.9 34
Jeep specs (06 models) taken from jeep.com, FJ specs (**)from FJ website.
N/L - not listed on FJ website as of 15 May 06.
* FJ turning circle only listed as this, no specifics as to direction listed.
 So, as usual, the specs tell the story the Madison Ave. types won't.  With the sole exception of ground clearance, (and the Rubicon has that beat) even a base Wrangler is a better off roader than a FJ!