FJ Cruiser or Tacoma for Touring

Strider

Observer
OK, so I've pretty much decided on the FJ Cruiser, but would still like to get y'alls feedback.

I own a 2008 FJ Cruiser and a 2020 Tacoma TRD OffRoad. I would like to actually make them both into tourers/overlanding vehicles, but trying to decide which one first. Or, whether to leave one with minor upgrades and do the other full tilt.
My only beef with the FJC is that is requires premium fuel.
I love the FJC, but the Tacoma sometimes seems more practical as an expedition vehicle with a tray etc.
Looking forward to the different points of view!

I'm only listing the main mods.

2008 FJ Cruiser: Automatic, A-Track, Rear Locker

Modifications:
  • Old Man EMU heavy suspension
  • Off Road tires
  • Removed rear passenger side seat and installed drawers
Planned Modifications:
  • Long range fuel tank
  • ARB Bull Bar
  • Winch
  • Rear Bumper/Rack
  • Rooftop Tent (Alu-Cab)
  • Dual Batteries
  • DC/DC Charger


2020 Tacoma TRD Off-Road: Manual, A-Trac, Rear Locker, Dual Cab, Short Bed

Modifications:

  • None/bone stock
Planned Modifications:
  • Suspension: either OME or Fox
  • Off-Road tires
  • Long range fuel tank
  • ARB Bull Bar
  • Winch
  • Dual Batteries
  • DC/DC Charger
  • Aluminum Tray
  • Custom removable or modified Ute topper setup for overlanding.
  • Remove rear seats to use for storage of photographic equipment etc.
 

Dalko43

Explorer
My 2 cents: What do you want/value? A truck bed? Or better ride?

The Tacoma has the utility factor. But in all aspects (ride, comfort, seating position, NVH, overall build quality) it comes behind the 4runner/FJ/Prado platform.

I don't know how many miles you have on the FJ, but if it still in good working order why not keep using it and add mods as needed?

For the money you're planning to spend on a new Tacoma + mods, you had might as well buy a used LC200 or new Tundra. While I acknowledge the Tacoma's reputation, I am personally not a fan of the truck (at least the newest gen). I think the seating position is uncomfortable and the 3.5l v6 is a step backwards from the 4.0l v6 in all aspects (except for a mild bump in mpg's). I think the Tacoma serves its purpose in stock form; the second that you start throwing the catalog at it, it becomes an underpowered, overweight mid-sized truck.

If you really want to go crazy on mods, either get a LC 200 or Tunrda - either will have the engine and payload to handle what you're looking to do.
 
They seem similarly equipped. What are the pros and cons of each? Which vehicles’ cons can you better handle on long trips?

The FJ is extremely capable and reliable. Great wheelbase and approach/departure
angles. It’s also fairly easy/cheap to go mid-travel on it. To me, a major con is that driving the FJ is like driving a football helmet. Visibility is pretty awful.

The Tacoma is similarly reliable. Departure angle is what it is, being a truck. It is narrower for Jeep trails. Taco wins on storage, but not on payload I don’t believe. A major con of the Tacoma is that driving it is like driving a Camry. I wouldn’t enjoy sitting on the floor like that with my knees up like that for long trips. But is that seating position worth the visibility and extra cargo space? Or is the FJ’s out of the box capability, wheelbase, and angles worth the poor visibility?

If it were me, I’d probably sell the FJ because they go for such a premium and outfit the Taco how I wanted with the money I made.

Actually, I’d sell both, get a Tundra, put the TRD Fox kit or OME BP51 kit on it, add a rear locker and some armor and call it good. But I get not wanting to go full size.
 

Strider

Observer
My 2 cents: What do you want/value? A truck bed? Or better ride?
The Tacoma has the utility factor. But in all aspects (ride, comfort, seating position, NVH, overall build quality) it comes behind the 4runner/FJ/Prado platform.
I don't know how many miles you have on the FJ, but if it still in good working order why not keep using it and add mods as needed?
For the money you're planning to spend on a new Tacoma + mods, you had might as well buy a used LC200 or new Tundra. While I acknowledge the Tacoma's reputation, I am personally not a fan of the truck (at least the newest gen). I think the seating position is uncomfortable and the 3.5l v6 is a step backwards from the 4.0l v6 in all aspects (except for a mild bump in mpg's). I think the Tacoma serves its purpose in stock form; the second that you start throwing the catalog at it, it becomes an underpowered, overweight mid-sized truck.

If you really want to go crazy on mods, either get a LC 200 or Tunrda - either will have the engine and payload to handle what you're looking to do.

Hello!

Already own the Tacoma. I did consider the Tundra but it seemed a bit on the large size.
The FJC has about 180,000 miles on it, but runs fine. It's a Toyota, so I trust it.
I do like the FJC better overall, and I already have the suspension and tires on it.

Thanks for your great point!
 

Strider

Observer
Interesting.
The FJC's visibility is only really a factor for me when backing up, and a rear view camera solves that.
I still lean towards the FJC, and then outfitting the Tacoma afterwards. I don't really like full size for trails etc. Just feels too big.
If I was going to sell both I would get a Landcruiser 80 series. I'd get a troopy if they were realistically available in the US. But... I do like the FJC the best and the Tacoma a good deal.
I think that weight is an issue with any vehicle, and seems to me the Tacoma can do very well when properly outfitted. I'm not one to take everything but the kitchen sink. Used to tour in a TJ Jeep with my dog and never had aa storage issue. In comparison, the FJC feels like a palace! The Tacoma is not very useful, in my opinion, for the overlanding unless outfitted with some kind of box on the back. I think the tray and the ute box are ideal.
 

gmtech

Observer
premium fuel in FJ? isn't that same engine comes in 4runner. don't see very many people put premium in / have trouble if they don't?
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Tough call but the mileage on the FJC would keep me from choosing it as the long distance tourer seeing how the Tacoma is brand new and under warranty. Not a huge fan of the 3rd Gen Tacoma but it would be my pick of the two and I am not biased as I have owned two FJC's.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
FJC fuel suggestion is premium but it’s not a requirement. It says right in the manual that using 87 will lower performance but it will work.

That said, I’d opt for the Tacoma. It’s new. Engine is just fine, despite what non-owners say, and honestly, with a topper, it’s ready to go. Plus I like that it’s a manual.

The longest I drove way about 7 hours or so, and I was fine. Not as comfortable as a full-size, but just fine. Modern tech like Bluetooth, CarPlay, etc made the trip easier as well.
 

Strider

Observer
Tough call but the mileage on the FJC would keep me from choosing it as the long distance tourer seeing how the Tacoma is brand new and under warranty. Not a huge fan of the 3rd Gen Tacoma but it would be my pick of the two and I am not biased as I have owned two FJC's.

I plan on installing auxiliary fuel tanks on the FJC and Tacoma.
 

4000lbsOfGoat

Active member
I plan on installing auxiliary fuel tanks on the FJC and Tacoma.
I've had 2 FJCs in the past but specifically moved to a Tacoma because I did find it to be more practical as an adventuring rig. After close to 2 years with the Tacoma I still think I made the right choice - however...my Taco is built-out similar to what you've listed and I'll say that weight becomes an issue a lot quicker than you would like. All of the other mods you listed plus 2 passengers are going to put you up pretty close to GVWR by themselves (if not over), you may find that the added weight of an extra tank, plus fuel, is just too much. Everyone has their own comfort point but my Tacoma sits just above GVWR at daily driving load - without an extra fuel tank and without camping gear. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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Strider

Observer
I've had 2 FJCs in the past but specifically moved to a Tacoma because I did find it to be more practical as an adventuring rig. After close to 2 years with the Tacoma I still think I made the right choice - however...my Taco is built-out similar to what you've listed and I'll say that weight becomes an issue a lot quicker than you would like. All of the other mods you listed plus 2 passengers are going to put you up pretty close to GVWR by themselves (if not over), you may find that the added weight of an extra tank, plus fuel, is just too much. Everyone has their own comfort point but my Tacoma sits just above GVWR at daily driving load - without an extra fuel tank and without camping gear. Just something to keep in mind.
What add ons on your Tacoma that makes it so heavy?
 
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