FJ Cruisers are hyped as the toughest in Toyota SUV line. Although the FJ Cruiser has been discontinued for a pretty long time now, there are still some unreliable FJ Cruiser years to avoid, which we will explain in this article. We will also highlight the best model years to buy.
The 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2013 FJ Cruisers were highlighted as the worst years to avoid – as reported by Car Complaints. These years are linked with constant transmission problems and higher oil consumption.
Well, although these models’ years are flagged as the “worst,” they are still being bought by many because FJ Cruisers are generally reliable and last for a long time.
FJ Cruiser Overview
The FJ Cruiser is a rugged, compact SUV built by Toyota between 2006 – 2014. it is a retro-style SUV that competes with several other similar SUVs in its category.
During the production period, the FJ Cruiser was regarded as the most muscular Toyota SUV for any kind of off-road adventure.
Virtually all model years of the FJ Cruiser are in high demand, and being that Toyota currently halts the production line, the price of used FJ Cruisers is almost the same as that of the brand new ones. FJ Cruisers are alleged to last over 400,000 miles if well maintained.
However, regardless of the hype and good stories, FJ Cruisers have their shortcomings and some model years seem to be more problematic; hence, it is advisable to stay aware of those model years, especially if you’re buying a used FJ Cruiser.
See Also: Best FJ Cruiser Alternatives
FJ Cruiser Years To Avoid
It is important to note that although these model years are flagged as the worst, many people still own and drive them.
They are flagged as the worst years because they accumulated a seemingly high number of complaints on popular auto review websites and forums.
Hereunder is the quick list:
- 2007 FJ Cruiser
- 2008 FJ Cruiser
- 2010 FJ Cruiser
- 2013 FJ Cruiser
From the list above, the 2007 FJ Cruiser had the highest number of complaints regarding its transmission system, while the other model years also had a fairly high number of complaints. So, the 2007 FJ Cruiser is typically the “worst” model year to buy – whether new or used.
However, on Cars.com, pretty many ‘07 FJ Cruiser owners rated the SUV high and seemed satisfied owning the ride.
This proves that even though these model years are regarded as the “worst,” the FJs made in the indicated years still deliver outstanding performance; maintenance and driving habits are the main things.
Common Problems With Toyota FJ Cruisers
While these problems were commonly reported for the worst model years listed above, it is important to note that other model years typically have these issues too.
1. Transmission Shudder
Transmission shuddering is the most serious reported problem with the 2007 FJ Cruiser; the problem was also reported for a few other model years. This tells that the transmission system used in some FJ Cruisers is not as reliable as they appear.
To fix transmission problems on FJ Cruisers costs an average of $2,000, and reports hint that the transmission problems usually start after you’ve exceeded 100,000 miles on the odometer.
2. Check Engine Light Stays On
There are many reasons why the check engine light would illuminate on your FJ Cruiser’s dashboard. However, after fixing the detected issues, some owners of the 2007 FJ Cruiser allege that the check engine light won’t turn off, and it’s somehow distracting while driving.
The average cost of fixing this issue goes beyond $5,000 because most owners that faced the issue had to change many expensive engine parts.
3. Drivetrain Issues
Another commonly reported problem with the FJs is a faulty drivetrain after a few hundreds of thousands of miles. This problem was reported by most 2013 – 2014 FJ Cruiser owners.
The complaint was that the SUV shakes pretty much while driving, even though you may have just got the tires balanced out.
4. Broken Drive Shaft
The drive shaft issues were common in the 2010 FJ Cruisers, and the average cost of fixing this problem is $6,000. Reports hint that the problem was due to a fault from the manufacturer.
The drive shaft itself doesn’t cost much to repair, but the consequences of its failure (the components that broke down alongside) cumulatively hiked the repair cost, which is a big concern to many FJ lovers.
5. Body/Paint Problems
This was mainly reported with the 2007 model; some ‘07 FJ Cruiser owners allege that the car’s body started rusting after hitting over 100k miles; others allege that the body paint started chipping.
Thus, it was collected that a good number of ‘07 FJ Cruisers had body/paint problems, which cost from $1,000 upwards to repair.
Most Reliable FJ Cruiser Years To Buy
Excluding the “worst” years to buy, the remaining model years are considered the best. This includes 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2014 model years – the 2014 model year was the last to be produced before Toyota halted the FJ Cruiser production line.
Well, rumors have it that a new FJ Cruiser would hit the roads soon, but this time, it’s going to be a hybrid or a pure EV model.
FJ Cruiser lovers would love this new generation that’s about to launch. The integrity of the FJ Cruiser SUV has remained intact even though the production line has been discontinued.
So, this article lists the FJ Cruiser years to avoid and the best years to buy. Furthermore, this article explains the common problems you may face with an FJ Cruiser SUV. Notwithstanding, FJ Cruisers have an incredible history of reliability and outstanding performance.
Hence, even though the 2007 model year is regarded as the worst FJ Cruiser to avoid, many people still buy this model and enjoy it immensely.
FJ Cruisers have been discontinued, and as such, most used FJs in the market are almost the same price as brand new ones. Ensure to properly inspect any used model you’re going to buy.