On Thu, 5 Jul 2007 12:00:36 -0700, Jeremy Malczyk <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Hate to side with TEO, but if that was the reason you got the FJ, you bought the wrong car. 
>wagons are highly ranked for safety, up there with Volvo. 

I believe the FJ is five star-rated...same as those little cars! plus, I think it is apples and 
oranges, as what isn't tested in the crash tests is what happens when a bigger rig hits your 
rig. I am sure subies do well in crash tests, but I would rather be in the 4,000 lb FJ when 
Shubert the drunk Vermonter crosses the line in his rusty Ford 150...that said, the subie is 
alot less likely to roll over, I give ya that...
That said, I like some of the standard
>features of the FJ, but cant get past the horrible rearward visibilityweak exterior
>size/interior space ratio, lame plastic bumpers, and gaudy exterior. 

The visibility is an issue on the first couple of rides, but you get used to it and use a combo 
of mirrors and careful application of the rearward windows it does have. I don't notice it as 
an issue it has parking radar that works well, when backing in somewhere. 
As far as space, like my 4runner, you can lay the rear seats down (and even remove them). 
It has a rubber/plastic loading area when folded down. Space, it has enough. When we went 
to the Kingdom, I slept in it. Last night I laid a tarp in there and filled the whole back up with 
firewood. The springs hardly moved at all! Then I put my 20 inch bar chainsaw (biggest 
regular saw you can get) plus a axe, 12 lb sledge, and other tools in my thule box on the 
roof. I had room left over for five pairs of skis and poles, too...Then I carried my son in 
front and had room for two bikes on the roof. With a thule on the factory rack, one can 
really increase capacity...It went down the road great. I plan on taking it up the lower 
Teardrop trail to get firewood with the same set-up.

The looks of the thing is a "either you like it or you don't" kinda look, true enough.

And doesn't the clamshell
>door design mean the person in the front has to remove their seatbelt for a rear passenger 
to get
>out? That would get annoying.

I like the clamshell doors, despite the little hassle of what you describe. When camping or 
hanging out after biking, I open both up, creating a huge space to get in and out and crank 
tunes. I also open them both up to get access to the rack, bike mounts, and thule box as I 
stand on the sill. Only kids are riding in the back, so I am getting out too when they get out.
>If I were considering a new SUV, it would be the Nissan Xterra or the four door Wrangler.
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