About the Toyota FJ CRUISER

    Heath Russell purchased this Toyota FJ Cruiser used for $30,000 (including all on-road costs) in 2017. Heath Russell would buy this car again because: “An excellent car and at the time, the car was and still is fantastic value. My car was and is a really clean example that had many aftermarket accessories already fitted, and these have provided to be really high-quality with basically no issues since ownership.”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    Being a Toyota 4×4 and based off a Prado, the car is extremely reliable. I bought the car with 88,000km and a full service history, I have since taken over routine maintenance and regularly change the oil (six months) as per handbook.

    Every second oil change I do a full oil flush and replace anything that needs it. I have replaced wear items such as suspension and tyres, but this is to be expected of any car.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    The FJ has a great community and active forums where you can ask any questions to a wider community of great people who will offer good advice. Also being based on a Prado many parts and advice works on both cars, there is also a huge aftermarket support for this car with heaps of parts available to fix small issues and neat little mods that look factory.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    When I bought the car I got it for $30,000, with receipts from ARB for $25,000 and basically every mod under the sun.

    Because the car is ruggedly built (i.e vinyl and plastic interior) and relatively well looked-after, it was essentially “like new” with a vacuum and wipe down.

    The only real negatives for the car are the terrible stock head unit and petrol usage. I fitted an Alpine CarPlay head unit and haven’t looked back.

    We only really use this car for camping, towing our boat and big trips away. The car came fitted with an aftermarket 120L secondary tank giving it 190L of fuel capacity enough for a week away on Fraser Island or a trip across the Simpson desert.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    Being a petrol 4.0-litre V6 the car has 200kW standard. The power on the beach is awesome, the car already had a aftermarket exhaust fitted, and I added a K&N filter and exhaust resonator make it quiet but still flow. This also helps performance.

    As for fuel usage, it’s often at 20L per 100 around town and towing and 4×4 low range, but for a heavily modified car like this it’s to be expected. I’d love to fit a supercharger kit, and then I think the car would be perfect.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    Stock the technology is terrible, the Toyota head unit is comical. The good news is you can fit a double DIN unit easily and a 7.0-inch CarPlay alpine unit cost me $700 and has brought the car up to new standards with Siri, GPS, CarPlay and steering wheel control all working flawlessly.

    The other part is the 4×4 system. Very few cars allow a rear diff lock to be used at the same time as the traction control on the front wheels, this car does and that’s how it gets its excellent 4×4 capabilities.

    On the negative side I have a new BT-50 as well and often miss radar cruise control, that’s the only real feature this car lacks.

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    Since replacing the suspension in my car to aftermarket ARB BP-51 and new upper control arms the car is surprisingly sporty when adjusted to being “stiff”, and turns in well because of the new control arms. But when off-road you can adjust the suspension to soft and the car rides over bumps like a cloud.

    I would recommend this to any 4×4 owner, as it will transform the car into something truly special. From a comfort perspective the ability to clean the car with a proper plastic and vinyl interior makes you want to use the car more as you’re not worried about getting it muddy or sandy. This needs to be an option on any 4×4 in my opinion.

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    When I bought the car I knew they were highly-rated off-road and had a big community of enthusiasts behind them, but I never realised how much I would actually use it to get advice and researching mods.

    I’m so glad I got the car with character instead of the safe option, as every time I see the car I smile, especially as you drive past people bogged in the sand with a wave.

    It has unlocked so many great places that my family and I visit all the time and my kids and wife love the car just as much as I do.

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