Capable, Durable, Reliable
I’m on my second FJ, having purchased a used 2007 (the first year they were imported to the United States) and traded it in on a new 2014 (the last year they were imported to the US). The both rigs have served me well. Though both the automatic and six-speed manual transmission versions have low range gearing for the 4x4 system when one is in deep muck, snow, or on other off-road surfaces that call for the extra traction, the manual is unique in that it features an AWD system that will transfer power to gripping wheels when any slip is detected in normal driving. This helps for inbetween situations such as roads partially covered with snow or alternating ice and pavement. Rather than shifting into full-time 4WD and risking binding or strain in the drivetrain, with the manual, the system kicks in when it’s needed. It’s been fully capable on its own in most snowy and icy situations I’ve encountered in the Pacific Northwest. FJs built after the 2007 model year feature a rear view camera. Those built after 2009 have some slight reinforcement or redesign in the engine bay fender area to address some cracking that affected some early first or second year models. After 2010, the engine was reprogrammed to accept regular gasoline instead of the premium that was recommended for the 2007-09 models. Blind spots are a challenge with this rig, but that’s the only negative I have. Love my FJ.