2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser vs. Its Competition

2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4WD 4-door Auto (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

With the HUMMER H3 gone this year, the Nissan Xterra and Jeep Wrangler are the only remaining off-road-capable vehicles that favor ruggedness to such a degree over ride and handling.

The Xterra’s interior is much roomier and more versatile than the FJ’s, which has an especially cramped backseat.

Yet the Toyota FJ Cruiser feels like a more expensive vehicle inside and out, which may give it an advantage over the Xterra.

The Wrangler now has a full array of safety features, along with much better handling than the old version, but its interior is slightly inferior, and it still allows more wind noise than the others due to its boxy shape.

The H3 doesn’t ride and handle as well as the rest of the group, and its styling is typically love-it-or-hate-it.

For those who plan to haul or tow, but not off-road quite as much, the Xterra is arguably the best choice, as its V-6 feels especially perky on the road, with better highway stability.

Those thinking about doing occasional off-roading, but needing a real backseat for occasional longer trips, should consider three of the most rugged conventional mid-size SUVs: the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Grand Cherokee was just redesigned for 2011 and has a much more refined and sophisticated feel overall, while the 4Runner was completely redesigned last year, retaining its tough, traditional truck look and feel.

2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4WD 4-door Auto (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser
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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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2011 Jeep Wrangler 4WD 2-door Sport Angular Front Exterior View2011 Jeep Wrangler
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2011 Nissan Pathfinder 2WD 4-door V6 SV Angular Front Exterior View2011 Nissan Pathfinder
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2011 Nissan Xterra 4WD 4-door Auto S Angular Front Exterior View2011 Nissan Xterra
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2011 Toyota 4Runner 4WD 4-door V6 SR5 (GS) Angular Front Exterior View2011 Toyota 4Runner
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Quick Specs
7.4
The 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser stands above most SUVs—even off-road-capable ones—in both style and trail toughness; but city slickers should look elsewhere.
8.6
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one capable, good-looking crossover—and a welcome sign of life from Chrysler.
6.8
The 2011 Jeep Wrangler isn’t at all suited to highway commutes, but the most adventurous weekend warriors will find its off-road prowess and iconic style hard to resist.
6.4
The 2011 Nissan Pathfinder is a workhorse SUV that also offers decent comfort and an impressive feature set.
7.4
If you have a lot of gear to haul to tough-to-reach places, the 2010 Nissan Xterra is a good choice for weekend adventurers.
8.2
If off-road capability is a top requirement, the brawny 2011 Toyota 4Runner is a good choice—with surprisingly good road manners to boot.
MSRP From     
$25,790$30,215$22,045$28,570$24,260$30,305
Gas Mileage     
15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 19 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6
EPA Class     
Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle4WD Sport Utility Vehicles2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
RWD 4-Door Automatic (GS)RWD 4-Door Laredo4WD 2-Door Sport2WD 4-Door V6 S2WD 4-Door Automatic XRWD 4-Door V6 SR5 (GS)
Drivetrain     
Rear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive4-Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
554755
Passenger Doors     
N/A4N/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
4 DoorSport Utility Vehicle2 DoorSport UtilitySport Utility4 Door SR5
Transmission     
Automatic w/ODAutomaticManualAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser vs. 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser vs. 2011 Jeep Wrangler2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser vs. 2011 Nissan Pathfinder2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser vs. 2011 Nissan Xterra2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser vs. 2011 Toyota 4Runner