FJ JK Death-Match, Request, & An Unsolicited Comment!
FJ vs. JK Smackdown, or just Smack?
In your "FJ/JK Deathmatch" (May '10) there are a couple of points to consider. Toyota says the FJ does not require premium fuel. It also certainly seems unfair to compare a Rubicon-equipped Jeep with a base FJ and then comment on the FJ's lame tires. Perhaps "similarly equipped vehicles weren't available in order to maintain editorial deadlines" or some such, but you could have at least mentioned the reason for the disparity in capability-enhancing optional equipment. The clamshell doors of the FJ aren't any worse than a lot of the rear doors of many extended cab pickups, and it doesn't take long to get used to the visibility constraints of the FJ. The addition of an ARB for the front axle, a cheap coil-spring spacer lift, and a set of good tires would use about a quarter of the eight-grand cost difference and would result in a far more capable FJ still at a significant savings, not to mention having something a bit different than everyone else at the mall.
Tech Editor Fred Williams responds: What the FJ requires and recommends may be two different things. Toyota's website does indeed recommend 91 octane fuel for the current model FJ Cruiser; the Wrangler does not (www.toyota.com/help/faqs/service-what_is_the_minimum_octane_rating_gasoline_that_i_should_use_in_my_vehicle.html.
Also the upgrades you mentioned are all excellent for an FJ Cruiser, and we never meant to diminish the FJ as a product or platform for building a great off-road machine. Rather, we were comparing it to the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in stock form. Yes, the rear doors are similar to some fullsize trucks, but again, that wasn't the test we were conducting.
Truth be told we would probably choose the FJ over many other 4x4s due to its size, performance, and price, but in our test the Rubicon it still ranks a close second.
More of the Same
There is an error in the "FJ/JK Deathmatch" article. The FJ Cruiser does not currently and never has had the requirement for premium unleaded. Toyota has made numerous statements that support this, and if you look online you will find the actual document. It was initially suggested by Toyota to use premium as a recommendation for increased performance, and then the entire subject was dropped for the '10 models. The article mentioned it no less than twice, and I hope your mag adds an addendum for clarification to the next issue.
Well, we would, except the website shows this: