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View Full Version : 2012 jeep unlimited or 4runner sr5?



just eric
11-04-2011, 03:12 AM
Alright folks, I've officially driven myself crazy trying to decide on a next vehicle. I have been driving an FJ cruiser since 08 and have enjoyed most every minute of it. My FJ is outfitted with an ARB bull bar, warn 9.5 winch, MetalTech sliders and rear tube bumpers, and many other small but useful items. Since owning the FJ I have settled down and gotten married and the practicality of the 2-door FJ just isn't cutting it anymore, even though I only have 35,000 miles on the thing. My wife and I live in the PNW and enjoy camping year round. Unfortunately she isn't a fan of what I would call 4-wheeling so the majority of our travels will be on the less technical stuff. That being said, I still plan on getting out with the guys so whatever rig I end up with WILL be built for worse case scenario.

I started looking for a replacement vehicle many months ago and have debated back and fort about a new 4runner, Tacoma, and Jeep Rubicon 4 door. Although the Tacoma was initially my go to choice I have begun leaning towards the jeep or 4runner. After test driving both I am still undecided so I was hoping you could help a guy out. Shopping around has shown me that I can have a 4-dr Rubicon with 4.10s and leather interior for about the same price as the SR5 4runner with premium leather package- ~37k. Granted, the 4runner has no lockers and I would be adding the ARB to the rear end. In my mind the 4Runner is more plush, the jeep has more potential, but the 3500lb tow rating on the jeep gives me pause.

I could go on all night but lets start there and see what you guys think.

Thanks for your input.

pearlj10
11-04-2011, 03:20 AM
I'd say, given your intent, get the 4R and add a lift, taller tires, add locking rear diff. Especially if you and the misses want to sleep in the vehicle or carry a lot of gear. Good luck!

just eric
11-04-2011, 03:34 AM
Not sure about sleeping in the vehicle since she has given the go ahead to get a rooftop tent :).

As far as cargo capacity they are within 2 cubic feet of each other with the slight edge to the 4runner.

18seeds
11-04-2011, 03:47 AM
if your FJ has a lift you may be able to transfer that to a 4runner and save some $$$

I am seriously considering a 2012 Jeep as my next vehicle but all it needs to do is get me to the beach.

IMO the 4th gen with V8 is a better choice. Which is what I am currently driving in Colorado

just eric
11-04-2011, 03:57 AM
I hear you about the fourth gen but I'm not crazy about the full-time 4x4 and I'm looking for a new rig...

And yes, the FJ is sitting on remote reservoir sway-away coilovers but I don't know if I need to go that route again.

The Swiss
11-04-2011, 04:07 AM
I would definitely vote JKU Rubicon, but I might be slightly biased :elkgrin:

joneseyyy
11-04-2011, 04:34 AM
I think the trail edition 4runner would serve you better than an SR5 and I think they base around $37k

just eric
11-04-2011, 04:45 AM
yeah but trail editions are incredibly hard to find here in washington. How have you enjoyed yours?

joneseyyy
11-04-2011, 04:55 AM
yeah but trail editions are incredibly hard to find here in washington. How have you enjoyed yours?

I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Very nice vehicle on road and great off road. The combination of ATRAC and the rear locker is quite effective on tougher trail sections. I understand they're difficult to find...I flew up to NY to get mine. You might be able to find one within a days drive and do a fly-n-drive.

RangeBrover
11-04-2011, 05:02 AM
I actually went through this a year ago when trying to pick a vehicle for practicality/off road adventures. I was looking to replace my Land Rover with either a New 4runner or a JK Unlimited Rubicon. I ended up not going with either and keeping my current rig but I spent a fair amount of time in both vehicles and this is the impression that I got.

4Runner
My best friend owns one of the 2011 Trail models and was kind enough to trade vehicles with me for a week. My initial impressions were that the visibility was limited and the back seat was kind of small for larger adults. From the driving standpoint it handled very and the power from the v6 seemed more than adequate for around town usage. I didn't get a chance to take it off road but some features I enjoyed were the sliding cargo tray and the sound system and navigation interface. It's definately more civilized than the jeep and I would have chose it for a daily driver or future vehicle to haul the kids around in.

JK Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
I spent a weekend driving my brothers Rubi and the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was for a wrangler. Now it's not as quiet as a my Range Rover but for anyone who has owned or ridin in an older TJ it's better by leaps and bounds. The jeep will always have the coolness factor, you can take off the doors, roof, and even drop the windshield if you're feeling extra adventurous. My brother has only ever owned jeeps and swears by them but he's also substantially younger than I and doesn't seem to worry about children or pleasing a significant other at the moment. The new wrangler interior is quite nice and with the new v6 the mileage isn't so bad. The only thing I didn't like was when folding the rear seats how the brackets were exposed and posed a potential hazard for my 4 legged buddy that rides in the back. It definately could be a good daly but if kids are in the plans wranglers have poor side crash test results.

In the end I was in the same spot you are, the wife doesn't enjoy going off road and her idea of camping his a site with a bathroom and electricity. We're planning for kids so safety is my primary concern and I kept my Rover. Had I needed to choose between the vehicles I would have taken the 4runner but if you're not set on a family yet I'd keep the FJ. For 2 people it's plenty practical and if my wife didn't think they were so dam ugly I'd own one. Best of luck with your decision.

phsycle
11-04-2011, 05:02 AM
Sounds like the 4Runner will be plenty capable for what you'll be using it for and be more comfortable and reliable. I'd also throw in a 100-series Land Cruiser in the mix. You owe yourself at least a test drive.

Colonal Angus
11-04-2011, 09:27 AM
I used to own a JK and got rid of it once my wife got pregnant. I purchased my current rig...a 99 4runner with 200k+ miles on it. The 4runner still feels tighter, better built and just flat out more solid. The Jeep was definitely cool but at the end of the day it was still just a Jeep. I couldn't justify making payments on such a vehicle. I want a Jeep....I'll admit it....but when I get one it'll be a rusted out CJ for under $5000. To me, that ol' $5000 CJ is just as cool as cool as the new $35000 JK. I'm dead set on a 2nd gen Tacoma now after seeing TACODOC and ETAv8R's rigs. Please check out their builds and you'll be hooked. Don't know if this helps but at the end of all of it no wrong choice can be made here. One more thing to consider...look at the cost of building the Jeep vs. The 4runner...new bumpers, sliders, suspension, tire choices, roof racks etc may be a lot more expensive for one than the other.

Applejack
11-04-2011, 02:08 PM
Come buy it in Oregon! We have no sales tax here, and my local dealer here in S.O. has two trail editions in stock, one blue and one silver. I've heard that they are rare but our local lot seems to always have one.

AS far as my vote goes......Get a 4runner T.E. over the Jeep. I'm not a Jeep hater, I like them but I think that based on the desires you stated, the 4runner will serve you better (even if it's just the SR5).

phsycle
11-04-2011, 03:57 PM
Personal opinion here, but having had locked 4Runners and Tacoma's, and now an LC with ATRAC, I'd take the ATRAC over the locker, which is more than sufficient for my uses. If you've got the dough and the desire, go with the TE. But the stock SR5 with ATRAC is PLENTY capable for overland uses. You can always add lockers later on if you wish.

Applejack
11-04-2011, 05:26 PM
True ATRAC is a great system but the synchronization could be better (had both ATRAC and Locker on my Taco) but there is a learning curve to driving with it and making it work for you. The T.E.'s ATRAC system has different settings for differing terrain which should extract the most out of the systems capabilities. With the standard ATRAC system if your driving style is wrong, you work against it.
If I had to choose between ATRAC and the locker I think I would choose ATRAC as well but the best is to have both.

Repo503
11-05-2011, 04:33 PM
I love my Rubi Unlimited...but if its also your daily driver Id probably go the 4runner route. Theyre just more civilized and better built. Jeeps are always going to have the cool factor though and their capability is undeniable but for lighter duty offroading and more onroad use the Toyota is going to be a better bet.

The Jeep does have a few things in its favor: New interior and v6 are both major steps up, removeable top and doors (though like you I live in the PNW so I think Ive removed the top all of twice, but just popping off the freedom panels is nice), The biggest Jeep advantage is the aftermarket parts catalogue which is likely the largest for any current production vehicle. There are probably more suspension systems available for the Wrangler than the entire amount of parts available for the 4runner.

The 4runner still has good support though, is more reliable, more comfortable, and in my experience Toyota dealers and service are leaps and bounds better than Chryslers.

Resale value is probably a wash. 4runners hold their value quite well but so do Wranglers, easily the best of any Chrysler product.

Ive seen both at rental places...if youre still on the fence maybe rent each for a week and see how they are to live with day to day.

Desert Dan
11-05-2011, 06:53 PM
Is there any way to keep your built FJ and get a Trail Edition 4 Runner for the wife and kids?

just eric
11-06-2011, 02:23 AM
Is there any way to keep your built FJ and get a Trail Edition 4 Runner for the wife and kids?

If only life were that easy right? Today we went and drove the vehicles and well, she hates the jeep, and is "torn" between the 4runner and the Taco. I give up. Is it wrong that the more she hates the jeep the more that is the one I Want? :sombrero:

I don't need anything like this but it sure does look nice...
http://pix.poisonspyder.com/Vehicles/Rockett-Rubicon/2011-04-02115/1236993088_iTjr2-L-1.jpg

RangeBrover
11-06-2011, 02:44 AM
If only life were that easy right? Today we went and drove the vehicles and well, she hates the jeep, and is "torn" between the 4runner and the Taco. I give up. Is it wrong that the more she hates the jeep the more that is the one I Want? :sombrero:

I don't need anything like this but it sure does look nice...


I like to say that women are like fries in your frosty, they make absolutely no sense but they sure are good.

mebe4running
11-06-2011, 02:49 AM
I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Very nice vehicle on road and great off road. The combination of ATRAC and the rear locker is quite effective on tougher trail sections. I understand they're difficult to find....

For a reason... I know they are low in inventory from the earthquake in Japan. But they are also in high demand.

Owned my 10 4runner for almost two years now... and I still get excited about getting in it and driving somewhere. Particularly after a long crappy day at work!

Is comfortable, reliable, safe and pretty good on gas considering a body on frame SUV of its magnitude. I would consider the KDSS option in the trail if you go down that route. Having the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)is a Night and Day difference.

Owned a jeep a got over it pretty quickly, to be fair though, I did have bad luck with it.

I am hooked on the 4runner from now onwards.

Good Luck!

just eric
11-11-2011, 09:42 PM
Looks like the DC Taco is gaining steam in her mind while I am in preliminary comms with the local jeep dealer...