Trucks & SUVs

The New 2021 Ford Bronco Versus the Toyota FJ Cruiser

There has been a lot of news lately on the 2021 Ford Bronco and the Jeep Wrangler rivalry. But, it would be remiss to discuss any offroad lineup without also including the Toyota FJ Cruiser. Although the Toyota FJ Cruiser was cancelled in the United States in 2014, it has still left a loyal fan base that misses it. So, how does the new Bronco compare to the Toyota FJ Cruiser? Can the FJ Cruiser still compete with the likes of the new Ford Bronco?

2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser
2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser | Bring a Trailer

What the two offroad trucks have in common

The 2021 Ford Bronco and 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser are both formidable offroad machines. For offroading, a manual transmission is preferred to enable better control when crawling over terrain. The Bronco and FJ Cruiser each have standard transmissions as well as automatic transmissions available. 

The Toyota FJ Cruiser specifications

The FJ Cruiser came equipped with a 4-liter six-cylinder engine that pumped out 250 horsepower. The gears could be cycled through with a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. The body came with four doors, but the rear doors were smaller doors, not full-sized. Those rear doors could only be opened from the inside. As far as its prowess, the truck’s short wheel-base and short overhangs meant that it was great for traversing tricky terrain.

Overall, the FJ Cruiser was, and still is, a much loved offroad capable SUV. So much so, that as used model they still command strong values on the market due to their popularity with the offroad enthusiasts. High mileage samples start at about $8,000, but really nice examples with lower mileage can still reach $20,000. That is not for off from their new starting prices.

2021 Ford Bronco specifications

The elephant in the room needs addressed first. The Ford Bronco is convertible in both the two-door and four-door configurations. Okay, that is done. Now on to the rest of the information.

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The Bronco comes with a 2.3-liter, turbo, four-cylinder rated at 270 horsepower, or a 2.7-liter, twin-turbo, six-cylinder rated at 310 horsepower. Those powerplants are mated to a seven-speed manual or ten-speed automatic. The Bronco is available in two or four-door configurations. The rear doors are larger doors allowing for ease of entry and can be accessed like normal doors, with handles indoor and outdoor. The Bronco is pretty familiar to the offroad equation. So, it also has small overhangs for ease in approach in and departure angles.

The Ford Bronco was released on Monday. So, it is still not available on dealer lots. It is expected to be available in the Spring of 2021, with a starting price near $30,000. But, pre-orders are now being taken with as little at $100. 

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Comparison summary

Both the Bronco and FJ Cruiser are very attractive to offroad and overlanding enthusiasts. They each offer the opportunity to conquer almost any terrain and still be streetable. Of course, the Bronco is newer and as such, it will have a warranty and newer technology packages available with it. It is also a convertible, and available with larger rear doors. Overall, it seems like the better buy. However, it is also a lot more money out of pocket. If someone is ready to open their wallet, then the Bronco makes sense. But, if someone is looking for entry into offroad capable vehicles on a budget, then the FJ Cruiser is the way to go. 

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