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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As an avid (some say fanatical) scuba diver, I'm comparing the Nitro and the FJ Cruiser as my next vehicle to get me to and from dive sites and dive boats. I've started making a list of which has the advantage in different areas, not all dive related, but those items are key. This list is as non-biased as I could make it and includes everything I could think of. If you can come up with some others to add to this thread, that would be great.

Exterior:

Nitro: One color or, one color with the plastic flares
FJ: Two tone with a cool white roof (particularly with the black cherry color)
Advantage: FJ

Nitro: Hidden spare tire
FJ: Hideous thing bolted to the rear door
Advantage: Nitro

Nitro: Plain side view mirrors
FJ: Cool lights on the mirrors, don't know why they're there, but I like 'em
Advantage: FJ

Nitro: Easily replaceable wipers from any auto parts store
FJ: 3 wipers? WTF, they don't sell wipers in 3 packs, unless they are going to sell them at Toyota, but I'm sure theyll be inexpensive:rolleyes:
Advantage: Nitro

Roof racks/trailer hitches/running boards: Tie

Nitro: Back hatch opens up and out of the way
FJ: Back is a side swinging door, I envision smacking it with scuba tanks and it being generally in the way during loading/unloading.
Advantage: Nitro

Nitro: Bulbous, I like it, but it is best described in a review I read as Bluto-esque (as in Popeye's enemy)
FJ: clean classic lines, front grill looks nicely retro
Advantage: FJ (slightly)

Nitro: Four full doors
FJ: Suicide doors in back, meaning when I make my deadbeat friends who want me to drive to the dive boat buy me a soda on the road, I have to get out to let them out. I say Nay-Nay.
Advantage: Nitro (heavily)

Overall impression of exterior appearance: FJ

Final: 4-4-1 Like kissing your sister

Interior

Nitro: YES seats with stain resistance, odor resistance, anti-static
FJ: Water resistant
Advantage: FJ, no kids so no stains. I've never had a problem with static in a car. Water resistance for a scuba vehicle? A plus.

Nitro: Slide out cargo floor
FJ: Nothing even close
Advantage: Nitro, are you kidding? Ability to slide out the floor to get a better grip on 40 lb cylinders? Huge advantage.

Nitro: carpeted floor boards
FJ: Floorboards have a rubber like matting protecting against sand and water.
Advantage: FJ is Nitro has cloth, otherwise a tie.

Nitro: Fold flat front seat allowing for better options of storage and it can be used as a desk.
FJ: Nope, hey, at least it reclines.
Advantage: Nitro, I work a lot out of my car, this is a handy feature.

Nitro: Fold flat back seats that also recline
FJ: Fold flat back seats
Advantage: Nitro (for my friends, I'll never be back there.)

Nitro: No lumbar support in seats
FJ: has lumbar support
Advantage: FJ. After a long day of diving, lower back support feels really good.

Nitro: I really like the way the dash looks on the drivers side
FJ: I really like the way the dash looks from the radio to the passenger side.
Advantage: Nitro (slight) since I look at the drives side way more.

Nitro: No aftermarket stereo can be put in without major modification
FJ: Aftermarket radios fit with no modification
Advantge: FJ (information is from Crutchfield.com)

Nitro: Great cupholder configuration
FJ: Cup holders are in the way where I usually put my right arm while driving.
Advantage: Nitro

Nitro: 110v AC outlet + various DC plugs. AC outlet only has two prongs...WHAT??? They say its for laptops, what do they want you to do, snip off the ground plug? It's either that or buy a bulky adaptor. What were they thinking?
FJ: 115/400 AC outlet + various DC Plugs. AC outlet has three prongs for laptops. - Found it, part of an upgrade package.
Advantage: FJ

Final 5-5-1 Things are getting interesting! This changed from the original because of the AC outlet.

Other Stuff

Nitro: UConnect with the mid grade radio
FJ: Could not find anything about blue-tooth connectivity for a phone - Found it, $300.00 option
Advantage: Tie

Nitro: Garage door opener in visor
FJ: Nope.
Advantage: Nitro

Nitro: Price equipped as I want: $24,620
FJ: Price equipped as I want: $28,800
Advantage: Hmmmmmm, lets see, I'll guess Nitro.

Final: 2-0-1 Nitro


Other things affecting my decision:

Dodge/Chrysler: I've had 3 (83 Laser, 90 LeBaron Convertible, 2000 Ram). Each time I said I would never buy another (I wanted to drive the LeBaron onto Lee Iacocca's lawn and set it on fire got as I got as wet in the rain with the top up as I would have with it down) but then they come out with some vehicle that really catches me with the style and the right options for the right price and I get sucked in again. DAMN YOU DODGE!
Toyota: My wife had a Celica convertible. Never had any problems and never did anything but change the oil, tires and get alignments. Got our asking price when we sold it so she could get her Mustang convertible.

Toyota Dealership: Has highest Toyota rating and is located directly next to my place of business, can walk to work after dropping off for service. Sales people were very nice, no high pressure. We spent more time talking about diving than the car. He really helped relate the features of the truck to my needs.

Dodge Dealership: No info on ranking, but is not a 5 star (as per Dodge website). Is right next to Toyota so still withing walking distance. They have worked on my truck with satisfactory results, but the sales people and sales managers are pushy pricks and I hate to help them make money. Spent more time on why the Toyota is not as good as opposed to why the Nitro is the right vehicle for me. I know this is a new vehicle, but they did not have a lot of info and couldn't answer many of my questions. They get bonus points for admitting they didnt' know instead of just making up an answer. I had to get all these facts off the web site (which also gives an advantage to Dodge, they are both slick, but the Dodge site makes it easier to look up info. Perhaps the salespeople should spend some time there).

Other Stuff Advantage: FJ by far. The Toyota folks really did a much better job at earning my business.


And the Envelope Please:

To be honest, I like the overall appearance of the FJ a bit better (but not by a whole lot) and my personal experience with the reliability of Toyota over Dodge makes me lean heavily that way. Also in Toyota's favor is the professionalism of the sales people and how they really earned my business. So it kills me that I'm 90% sure I'll get the Nitro. I can put up with quite a bit for 4 g's. Add to that the fact that the features just work better for my lifestyle and it swings the pendelum even further in Nitro's favor. But it still pisses me off that it turned out this way!


Winner: Nitro.
 

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NitroZ is the place to be!!!
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Dodge Nitro Review!

Monkey man. . . I have to say that that was an EXCELLENT comparison and probably the best one I have ever read anywhere. You should be writing for Automobile Magazine!

I thank you for sharing that with us, and wow! What a suprise at the end! I had the feeling you were headed straight for Toyota!

Congrats on the Nitro! Please post some pics when you have time! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm going to let the decision simmer in my tiny little brain (especially after reading about the engine just dying for no apparent reason until it is broken in!) for a few months. I always let the newness wear off a bit to make sure it's not just an emotional purchase.

Also, right now they won't come off of sticker at all and I refuse to pay sticker. I got into an argument with the salesperson when we were shopping for my wife's mustang. In 2005 they were selling at sticker. I told the guy I refused to pay a premium just because the car was new. He said it wasn't a premium, it was the suggested price. So I asked him how come the Mustang was the only car selling at sticker and if that's the case, did the dealership come to the conclusion that every other vehicle they sell was not as good as they thought it was, and therefore they thought they had to lower the price to sell them? Had Fords quality slipped so much that they had to offer discounts?

He stepped right into it when he said, "no, the other cars have been out for a while and not as popular as the Mustang, so they could offer discounts on them." To which I then explained if everything else is discounted all the time, and once the initial surge of popularity passes for the Mustang it will be discounted also, then right now they were charging a premium because the car was new and popular.

I'll never forget the look on his face as we walked away. 6mos later we bought a 2006 for $4000 under sticker and 3200 less than they wanted for the 2005.
 

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Great comparison job. I wanted F-J so badly I couldn't stand it, but alas the Toyota people here are swamped with requests and wouldn't deal. Offered me $16,000. on my Dodge 4x4 dually. Dodge people gave me $20,000. You made me considerably more satisfied with my purchase. Thank you. I would never have given up my big baby but my hubby is handicapped and has trouble getting in the bigger vehical. I take possession of Nitro next week. Thanx again for easing my mind. I'll let you know how much I like it. MURFEE
 

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I also was looking at Toyota FJ crusier. Make no mistake it is an awesome 4x4 however..... your comparisons are correct... also
Replacement cost for windshield.... on the FJ since it is a specialty windshield would cost you between $1200 and $1500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Never even thought about the windshield, although in FL, if you have full insurance coverage, you get your windshield replaced for free, no deductible. Some sort of safety law I think. If I have some time to kill, I"m going to do some test driving this weekend.
 

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Nitro: One color or, one color with the plastic flares
FJ: Two tone with a cool white roof (particularly with the black cherry color)
Advantage: FJ
Nitro: No aftermarket stereo can be put in without major modification
FJ: Aftermarket radios fit with no modification
Advantge: FJ (information is from Crutchfield.com)
These two are the most important to me, and I completely disagree with your conclusions. :)

I hate the goofball white roof, so I need to add at least $1000 to the price of any FJ.
Advantage: Nitro

About the stereo, it is the FJ which requires major modification since all of its wires are in the roof. And comparing stock: Nitro has mygig and infinity, FJ has....neither, not even Sirius, so once again add at least $1500 to the price of the FJ.
Advantage: Nitro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
These two are the most important to me, and I completely disagree with your conclusions. :)

I hate the goofball white roof, so I need to add at least $1000 to the price of any FJ.
Advantage: Nitro
To each his own, if everyone liked the same thing, we'd only need one car, in one color.

About the stereo, it is the FJ which requires major modification since all of its wires are in the roof. And comparing stock: Nitro has mygig and infinity, FJ has....neither, not even Sirius, so once again add at least $1500 to the price of the FJ.
Advantage: Nitro.
Mygig is not aftermarket. As per Crutchfield at the time this was written, to put in an aftermarket stereo, the FJ had adapter kits and wiring harnesses to hook it right up to the factory wiring. From there, replacing the factory speakers is easy, as is replacing the factory stereo.

The Nitro had no harnesses and no adapter kits. Any radio would require irreveresable modification to the dash and cutting and soldering of wires. I imagine this will change, but as of the time of writing, that was the deal. As far as mygig, it looks nice, but I can buy a lot of aftermarket stereo power for that much money!

Welcome to the forum though! Good input, stick around and share!
 

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As far as mygig, it looks nice, but I can buy a lot of aftermarket stereo power for that much money!
FJ: The FJ has a magnet on the 6X9 about the size of a quarter and only 1 inch deep, the cheapest 6X9 ever. The only aftermarket headunit comparable to mygig is the Pioneer, and thats $2000 + 500 install. Add to that a decent speaker system + $1000 + 500 Install

Nitro: The Nitro INCLUDES mygig + [SIZE=-1] 368-watt [/SIZE]infinity.

So basically, its $2000 for the Nitro, to the dealer, under warranty.
With the FJ, its $4000, for aftermarket, no warranty.

Nitro wins BIG.

Welcome to the forum though! Good input, stick around and share!
Thanks! I'm also comparing the Nitro vs. FJ. The Nitro RT + mygig I want prices at $30,000. The available FJ's are not far from that, but thats because there are no base models available. If there were, I would lean towards the FJ, because if you're spending $20 to $25, FJ wins. But there aren't any of those available, so from $25 to $30, Nitro wins.
 
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Wow!!

Wow!! Is this thread for real?? Honestly, did you buy the Nitro over the FJ? Or are you just being supportive of the Forum? Don't misunderstand, I respect choice. But I hope everyone is reading this at face value. The categories rated here would most likely be at the bottom 10% of MY list. I am an Internet Manager for a dealership that sells both New Dodge and New Toyota. I have no motive to talk negatively about Dodge products. I wish I had the time to devote to a serious debate. The only one I will even address, "the pricing justification". The four thousand dollars you're "saving", you really are not saving. When you drive your shiny new Nitro off the lot, pull in the next dealership on the way home and ask them what they'll offer as a CASH value. I think you know what I'm getting at. Not planning on selling your Nitro?--Maybe you'll beat the odds and it will last half as long as the Toyota will. Don't hate me for the post, it's just the way it is.
-PigBoT
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
First, I think you need to look at the title of the post, it is primarily concerned with getting to and from dive boats.

I have not bought either one, I checked them both out before I even knew there was a Nitro Forum. As far as resale, I put over 25,000 miles a year on a car due to work. Neither one will be worth much at sale time. As far as my list not being in you top 10%, well to each his own. I"m looking for a vehicle to take me and three others diving, if our tanks don't fit in the back then it doesn't matter what it will resell for.

I do find it strange however, that fitting a vehicle into your lifestyle would not be in your top 10%. Or perhaps your lifestyle doesn't call for a vehicle that has certain things, so resale is top priority.

In short, who cares what it will resell for if you didn't like it from the beginning.
 

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Gonna jump in here with monkeyman & add to his statement. I agree with him 100% + where I'm at lots of snow & ice & dirt roads you see a lot more old dodges going down the road than you do old toyotas. They may be great for street driving but they plain suck for our driving conditions.
 

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You forgot a couple important ones.

:ura1: If I take it off road:
Nitro: Falls apart, gets stuck.
FJ: Can handle it, won't get stuck.
FJ wins.

:Racing: On road handling:
Nitro: A little sloppy.
FJ: More responsive.
FJ wins.

Which is a Dodge:
Nitro: Yes.....:mad:
FJ: NO!:pepper:
:beerchug: FJ is the clear winner.

The problem is you are trying to compair apples and oranges. Try Nitro against a Honda Eliment, a station wagon, or mini van.

Nitro is not an off road vehicle. It is more like a mall SUV or cool van.

FJ clearly blows the doors of as far as 4x4 capible. I drove a Dodge for 6 unhappy years. It was time I to walk away.

Folding front seat is lame. As if that is practical. That is just a sales gimick. The surface is slick. Stop fast with a lap top on that. Maybe not. :SHOCKED:

As far a scuba diving. Who cares about the pull out tray in the back. You are about to load yourself up with a ton of gear. I you can not handle the little tiny bit of effort it takes to slide the tank in and out of the back then maybe you need a new sport. :Na_Na_Na_Na:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I shouldn't even reply, since this is your one and only post and you are obviously just a Dodge basher, but just in case someone less informed reads this thread.....

Off Road: Please, even the FJ Forum admits that a bunch of aftermarket stuff is needed for serious off roading, if I wanted a serious off roading vehicle, I'd go with a Wrangler. More ground clearance, better independant suspension, an interior you can actually wash out with a hose. As far as getting it through ice, snow an mud, I don't believe there is any difference. Also, do you REALLY think many people are going to take either of these vehicles off road very much? The manufacturer's don't, or thay wouldn't have put some much easily scratched plastic on both the vehicles.

Handling: I drove both, I bought neither. I noticed no advantage to either vehicle.

Dodge vs. Toyota: To each his own, but you lose a lot of credibility by being a basher.

Apples to Oranges: WRONG. I was comparing the two for a very specific function. After further research into cargo space with the back seats up, the FJ is a clear loser. No way I can fit 8 tanks and four sets of gear in the back. Rear space, for a truck that big, is a joke.

Folding Front Seat: Sure it's a gimmick, so is painted metal on the dashboard. But the folding front seat allows me to get a good size area rug or roll of vinyl in the truck with the tailgate closed. I own a flooring store, it's a very functional gimmick. Boy that painted dash looks cool though.

Diving and the slide out tray: I'm guessing you don't dive, and if you do, not very often. There is a big difference in having a 40lb tank strapped to you back and lifting one out of the truck. Or even more, putting them back in after a long day on the ocean. Sliding them is never a good idea as they are way harder than the plastic in the back of either truck. I've not met one diver (and I know lots) who doesn't think the sliding tray is a GREAT idea. I know it's not an idea on par with three windshield wipers, but hey, give Dodge some credit.
 
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