FJ Cruiser Review

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Hi,
I'm not sure if you are aware, but Toyota are launching a new
Landcruiser this year (March) called the FJ Cruiser.
It started out as a concet car, but has made it into production. It is
intended to be more robust and more geared up for off roading than the
others in the range. It has also been styled along the lines of the
old 40 series.
I have read reports of it being tested on some of the hard trails out
in the states and by all accounts it performs exceedingly well.
Not sure when it is due in the UK or the pricing, but it will be
interesting to see how it does.
You can read a review of it at:
http://tinyurl.com/dgxpd
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
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On 06/01/06, Julian Voelcker <[Email address removed]> wrote:
I've read the new FJ is only intended for the US market... I hope Toyo
changes their mind!
 
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Hi Frederik,
I'll have a word with my man at the press office to see what I can dig
out.
I wonder what they would be like across N. Africa?
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
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Thirsty? No mention of a diesel lump...or any other electrickery....
Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones
Mob: 07831 458 793
--
 
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On 06/01/06, Julian Voelcker <[Email address removed]> wrote:
Did you check out the expected pricing? 25.000$US
If I were to be in the market for a new car, I'd seriously consider
importng an FJ!
Then again... I am not in the market for a new car ;-(
As for overlandnig... don't know. It's probably got IFS, and it
definitly has a shitload of electronics onboard. And as Jeremy pointed
out, no diesel version available (a clear sign that it is only
intended for US market)...
 
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Hi All,
I always makes me smile when I encounter the prefudices that if a car
might have some electronics or IFS that it can't be used for
Overlanding.
Unless you are going through the jungles in Borneo in the rainy season
I really don't think that this is really that important.
Yes the newer TLCs do have a lot of electronic ECUs, but realistically
how often do they fail? Monitoring lists for 100s, 120s and the latest
90 series ECU failures are about as common as other catastophic
failures like axles snapping or engines blowing, which is exceedingly
rare. Don't forget these are Toyotas, not Fords - they are designed to
last in extreme environments.
As for the Independant Front Suspension vs Fixed Front Axle for
overlanding vehicles where the main object it to get there safely you
are unlikely to be encountering severe terrain where the benefits of a
FFA will make a difference - if the terrain is that rough it would be
more sense to try to get around it because you then have a greater
chance of reaching your end destination in one piece.
I would happily go overlanding in one of the latest TLCs, the ride with
the IFS would be a lot more comfortable and the electronic trickery
will ensure smoother running of the engine in the different
environments and most likely better economy.
Flicking through the French Landcruiser magazine where the bias it
mainly towards overlanding (Rallye Raid as they call it) they never
seem to mention these prejudices, they use everything from modded 40s,
60s (not so many), 80s (a few more), 90s, 100s and 120s in equal
measure for trips into North Africa.
Yes, a 70, 80 or 105 may be a better choice for hard service in
countries where there is no discernable infrastructure (like some of
the areas Jon has been to in Bosnia or battling across the inner areas
of the Congo), but 95% of the time when overlanding you don't encounter
that sort of environment.
Rant over for the day :cool:
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
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Hi Julian
Your post unfortunatly had the effect to stirr some gray matter Sorry.
Would I be right in saying that as Toy bring out another model of the
cruiser and another all the issues they encounted with the previous one over
a period of time would be overcome or fixed or modified in some way.
I would think that the whole point of updating a model is not only to change
its looks but also to improve how it handles and performs.
That is after all the nature or the purpose of improving on what you already
have to keep ahead of the compitition as Toy are.
I would love to see one of the new cruisers up close, take it for a drive
and then cry me heart out cause I would have to wait years to be able to
afford to buy one second hand. I again would presume that the 100 series
would be nicer to drive than the 80 because again I would think they would
have had to improve on the 80.
I would love to drive a 100 but to date have not, just to compare of course
nothing to do with wanting one O No not that at all.
I dont know why people, well some anyway dont like all these gadgets and
electrics, sure if they didn't go that way we would still all be cranking
the vehicle to start it.
I know the more gadgets you have the more can go wrong but we cant live in
the past of no TVs, PCs, MP3s SATVAVs etc etc.
I dont know if the IFS or the FFA is better or worse , no experience Im sad
to say, but I know there is an extra two joints to worry about in the IFS.
I think we especially (me) worry about things going wrong because lets face
it they do and when they do its extramly ecpensive most of the time to get
it fixed.
Sure when you talk to most people who drive anything and ask them what
service or preventitive maintainance they do or have done, the look on their
faces of (what the hell is he on about says it all).
Most people neglect what they own and they (the vehicles) just go on and on.
John C
92HDJ 80 1HDT Rep of Ireland
 
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Not sure if prejudice is the right word. On our recent trip to N Africa, I
borrowed a garage pit to do an oil change and check under the car after a
particularly gruelling 3 days and there parked up round the back were three
identical, new Discos, all looking very low and sad. They had all had the
same air suspension failure. Grounded. Literally. An electrically rather
than mechanical failure.
I was in Bosnia during the war, in Sarajevo, Mostar and Tuzla to be precise
- making a series for BBC2 about British docs working with and helping the
depleted local medics. Infrastructure of any kind was almost non existant.
Transport for us the film crew was usually a blagged LR or Disco, usually
armoured. On a few occasions we all piled into a Renault 18 hired on the
black market. The Discos with their ECU controlled engines (TD5s?) were a
nightmare. I never felt certain that they would even start every day. Engine
failure was responsible for me being arrested at a Bosnian Serb checkpoint,
being roughed up by a drunk Serb militia man and for me spending 3 days in a
cell. If the car had started I would have been 500 metres down the road
before anyone would have noticed...(The older LRs almost always kept going
but must have been a real headache for the service crews as they were
constantly up on ramps.)
Chances are this new cruiser will never fail in an overland situation. But
if and when it does, if you are not carrying a complete rebuild kit, you
will be stuck until a container is flown out to you.
Its also interesting to note that the newer cars in N Africa, ie 100s and
105s appear to be treated more as stretch limos than good piste and off
piste vehicles...they spend a lot of time ferrying tour groups around at
high speed on the tarmac.
In summary Julian, I don't think you're right...!
Jeremy
On 8/1/06 10:32, "Julian Voelcker" <[Email address removed]> wrote:
Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones
Mob: 07831 458 793
--
 
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But, but, then those failures were with Disco's... you must be mad to buy a
new disco anyway! Or an old one for that matter.
:p
Cheers
Jake
On 08/01/06, Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones <[Email address removed]> wrote:
>
>
> Not sure if prejudice is the right word. On our recent trip to N Africa, I
> borrowed a garage pit to do an oil change and check under the car after a
> particularly gruelling 3 days and there parked up round the back were
> three
> identical, new Discos, all looking very low and sad. They had all had the
> same air suspension failure. Grounded. Literally. An electrically rather
> than mechanical failure.
>
> I was in Bosnia during the war, in Sarajevo, Mostar and Tuzla to be
> precise
> - making a series for BBC2 about British docs working with and helping the
> depleted local medics. Infrastructure of any kind was almost non existant.
> Transport for us the film crew was usually a blagged LR or Disco, usually
> armoured. On a few occasions we all piled into a Renault 18 hired on the
> black market. The Discos with their ECU controlled engines (TD5s?) were a
> nightmare. I never felt certain that they would even start every day.
> Engine
> failure was responsible for me being arrested at a Bosnian Serb
> checkpoint,
> being roughed up by a drunk Serb militia man and for me spending 3 days in
> a
> cell. If the car had started I would have been 500 metres down the road
> before anyone would have noticed...(The older LRs almost always kept going
> but must have been a real headache for the service crews as they were
> constantly up on ramps.)
>
> Chances are this new cruiser will never fail in an overland situation. But
> if and when it does, if you are not carrying a complete rebuild kit, you
> will be stuck until a container is flown out to you.
>
> Its also interesting to note that the newer cars in N Africa, ie 100s and
> 105s appear to be treated more as stretch limos than good piste and off
> piste vehicles...they spend a lot of time ferrying tour groups around at
> high speed on the tarmac.
>
> In summary Julian, I don't think you're right...!
>
> Jeremy
>
> On 8/1/06 10:32, "Julian Voelcker" <[Email address removed]> wrote:
>
> > Hi All,
> >
> >> It's probably got IFS, and it
> >> definitly has a shitload of electronics onboard.
> >
> > I always makes me smile when I encounter the prefudices that if a car
> > might have some electronics or IFS that it can't be used for
> > Overlanding.
> >
> >
>
> Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones
>
> Mob: 07831 458 793
> --
>
>
>
> --
> European Land Cruiser Owners Mailing List
> Further Info: http://www.landcruisers.info/lists/
>
 
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(oh, and I'm not prejudiced at all)
On 08/01/06, Jake van Schaik <[Email address removed]> wrote:
>
> But, but, then those failures were with Disco's... you must be mad to buy
> a new disco anyway! Or an old one for that matter.
>
> :p
>
> Cheers
> Jake
>
>
> On 08/01/06, Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones <[Email address removed]> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Not sure if prejudice is the right word. On our recent trip to N Africa,
> > I
> > borrowed a garage pit to do an oil change and check under the car after
> > a
> > particularly gruelling 3 days and there parked up round the back were
> > three
> > identical, new Discos, all looking very low and sad. They had all had
> > the
> > same air suspension failure. Grounded. Literally. An electrically rather
> >
> > than mechanical failure.
> >
> > I was in Bosnia during the war, in Sarajevo, Mostar and Tuzla to be
> > precise
> > - making a series for BBC2 about British docs working with and helping
> > the
> > depleted local medics. Infrastructure of any kind was almost non
> > existant.
> > Transport for us the film crew was usually a blagged LR or Disco,
> > usually
> > armoured. On a few occasions we all piled into a Renault 18 hired on the
> > black market. The Discos with their ECU controlled engines (TD5s?) were
> > a
> > nightmare. I never felt certain that they would even start every day.
> > Engine
> > failure was responsible for me being arrested at a Bosnian Serb
> > checkpoint,
> > being roughed up by a drunk Serb militia man and for me spending 3 days
> > in a
> > cell. If the car had started I would have been 500 metres down the road
> > before anyone would have noticed...(The older LRs almost always kept
> > going
> > but must have been a real headache for the service crews as they were
> > constantly up on ramps.)
> >
> > Chances are this new cruiser will never fail in an overland situation.
> > But
> > if and when it does, if you are not carrying a complete rebuild kit, you
> > will be stuck until a container is flown out to you.
> >
> > Its also interesting to note that the newer cars in N Africa, ie 100s
> > and
> > 105s appear to be treated more as stretch limos than good piste and off
> > piste vehicles...they spend a lot of time ferrying tour groups around at
> >
> > high speed on the tarmac.
> >
> > In summary Julian, I don't think you're right...!
> >
> > Jeremy
> >
> > On 8/1/06 10:32, "Julian Voelcker" <[Email address removed] > wrote:
> >
> > > Hi All,
> > >
> > >> It's probably got IFS, and it
> > >> definitly has a shitload of electronics onboard.
> > >
> > > I always makes me smile when I encounter the prefudices that if a car
> > > might have some electronics or IFS that it can't be used for
> > > Overlanding.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones
> >
> > Mob: 07831 458 793
> > --
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > European Land Cruiser Owners Mailing List
> > Further Info: http://www.landcruisers.info/lists/
> >
>
>
 
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Hey Jememy
You make a very good point in your post about the reliability of all these
gadgets and when one important one does fail, your knackered.
A while ago we were talking about I think Romans preperation for his
wonderful trip to Africa. Even with the 80 there was quite a few bits and
bobs you could or should take.
This was with the view that if a part failed you or Roman in this uinstance
could repair it or at least have the part for some one else to do the job.
I can only imagine how long you would be waiting to get a part from Toy
especially if it was an unusual one.
I have had to wait for weeks for some parts to get shipped from Japan to
Belgeim and then to here.
I could imagine the problems getting an item into a country with a history
of corrruption and bribery or just a bad or very bad system.
It really is a pity to cant get a vehicle that you can have an issue with an
electrical part or computer and it will bypass the problem and go on, or
have a quick change over to something else so you can still go on.
Its sometimes great being so ignorent of things to be able to look at it in
the simplist way.
But I do thing there is a certain compremise to be made, if you want all the
luxury than stay where you can be fixed, if you want to go off the beaten
track than keep it as simple as possible vehicle wise. I think some gadgets
like Air Con are wonderfull and if it fails well you can still drive but if
your talking about ECUs what ever they are and other bits that if they act
up your stuck well than you have to make the choice how many of these you
want.
I have been told of new cars having lots of problems with failing engines
and such and all because of a sensor or malfuction of a cercuit.
Even to the point of a small issue with a lower tyre pressuse or brake issue
sensor and it effectivly grounding that car.
Also one has to concider all these sensors etc have to be reprogrammed by
the main dealer ONLY. Will you find a main dealer with the proper equipment
in the back of beyond, I dont know.
I think only time will tell ragarding the reliability of all these gadgets.
John C
92HDJ 80 1HDT rep of Ireland
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones" <[Email address removed]>
To: <[Email address removed]>
Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2006 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: [ELCO] FJ Cruiser Review
 
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John
We cannot deny the amazing progress in technology - if someone had told me
when I was in my teens that I would be able to make 'phone calls anywhere in
the world on a little portable 'phone I would have laughed. Shows what
generation I'm from...!
Cars have moved on enormously. Brakes is the example that always astonishes
me. Stopping distances have dramatically reduced... Except in a fully loaded
cruiser that is! But so much hasn't changed. We still clean windscreens with
a crude and archaic system of wipers. We still burn fossil fuels etc etc.
Of all the new big 4x4s. This new beast from Toyota would be the one to
trust. But I would prefer to place my trust in the old beast...
Jeremy
On 8/1/06 11:56, "John Byrne" <[Email address removed]> wrote:
Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones
Mob: 07831 458 793
--
 
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Hi John,
That would be their intention, although may not always be the case. Also the
changes may introduce additional problems.
For instance there are issues with weaknesses in the front suspension on 100
series when lifted(that can be overcome), but these have been resolved in the
120s.
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
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Hi Jeremy,
I thought that would wake up some of you ;-)
But, as Jake pointed out those were Discos, not TLCs.
Firstly I doubt you will need a 'container' full of kit, and as I said you
have as much chance of that happening as you do with an engine blowing, etc
which would also lead to the same delay, inconvenience and cost.
The fact that they are used for carrying tourists around, very much in the
same way that 80s were used for ferrying children to school in Chelsea
should not be an indication of whether a vehicle is good or not.
The fact that 100 series have always done exceptionally well in the diesel
production class of the Paris Dakar would be a better indication of their
ability.
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
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There's no doubt that I would rather be in a TLC than anything else, a TLC
of any description.
As for the 100s with their independent front suspension, the ones that do,
they would not have made several of the routes we ended up taking recently.
We had one day where it took the best part of a long morning to traverse 7
kilometres of rock, and storm damaged piste. Independent front wheels would
have grounded out within 200 metres.
At the end of the day, chacun a son gout as they say in France.
Jeremy
On 8/1/06 14:30, "Julian Voelcker" <[Email address removed]> wrote:
Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones
Mob: 07831 458 793
--
 
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Hey Jeremy
What is the real differenace between the two axles. Im asking because when
you say.
SNIP
Independent front wheels would
Why would this be the case
John C
92 HDJ80 1HDT Rep of Ireland
 
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On 08/01/06, Julian Voelcker <[Email address removed]> wrote:
We'll take the bite ;-)
Have to agree with Jeremy though. Sure, the newer range of TLC's with
all the gadgettery and IFS are reliable and capable cars, no
discussion there. And yes, "overlanders" generally overspec their
gear. But that's all got to do with the big question "what if .. ?"
If you are in the middle of nowhere and the electronics on your brand
new TLC(Or TD5 landrover for that matter) fail, you are stranded! No
local bush repairs possible, no spare ECU to be found in a barn
between the chickens... As you are saying, this is as likely to happen
as an axle snap or an engine blow. But any creative african
bushmechanic can get you going in days.
Only one option to convince us Julian, drive around the world with a
new FJ cruiser ;-)
On a sidenote, if you check out South African forums, the 100 is very
popular there... but only the VX (FFA)!
Cheers,
Fred (Enjoying his very hard, uncomfortable, expensive FFA susension;-)
 
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Hi Frederik,
I know the types, but at the end of the day they can only go so far
without getting extra parts, which is what you need with the
electronics.
I still consider the chances of an import ECU going is as low as a
catastophic failure in an engine or gearbox resulting in the need for
more parts.
No, I would prefer a 100 or a 120. I don't think the FJ would be big
enough and it doesn't come in a diesel.
In Aus the 100 (IFS) and 120s (IFS) are very popular as are the 105s
with (FFA). As for your comment about SA - I don't think the 105 ever
came out in VX (Luxury) format, I think it was only available as either
a GL or GX.
Looking back over the issues of the French TLC magazine, in the photos
of overlanding TLCs the 90s, 100s and 120s far outnumber the 80s and
70s. There has to be a reason for that.
--
Regards,
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift
 
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That should have said GX. Mea culpa.
Availability is a factor. Hard to come by a good 75 these days. And
the 80's still rolling aren't getting newer either...
 
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