In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Future Toyota FJ rumors?
- Cheap tires?
- Mahindra Roxor love?
The first question comes from a fan who wants the latest gossip on a (possible) future Toyota FJ.
Q: Via Twitter (Nathanadlen) My brother has a 2015 Toyota FJ with 150,000 miles on it. He still loves it.
I want one! But I want a new one. I have read your older articles about a future FJ (rumor) before but nothing recently. Can you get me up to date?
A: Hi there!
There is a little bit of news about the (possible) future Toyota FJ.
First, the good news:
SUVs are very popular right now. Retro SUVs like the upcoming Ford Bronco have proven that. A future Toyota FJ has some sales potential. That’s if they build a machine people want.
The upcoming Toyota F1 platform will underpin just about every truck and truck-frame-based SUV in Toyota’s North American lineup. That includes the next Toyota 4Runner. The previous Toyota FJ was based on a shortened 4Runner platform. They shared many components.
Toyota has even stated that this could be a possibility In 2018, Toyota CEO Jim Lentz told Truck Trend:
“There’s room for an authentic small off-road SUV. Everyone moved out of that segment because of truck CAFE ratings. But we’re getting a lot of requests from folks who want another FJ or some variant.”
“There is room on the lower end, in terms of price or authenticity, for an off-road, frame-based SUV,” Lentz added. “This would be for people going outdoors, but truly going off-road. This would not be all-wheel-drive for safety, this would be four-wheel-drive with ground clearance.”
The bad news:
Had consumer demand been greater, the previous Toyota FJ would have lasted longer in the market. The simple fact is: people no longer wanted them and Toyota killed production when the numbers dove down.
Sure, there are a lot of enthusiastic folks out there. Many of which never owned an FJ. In order for Toyota to move forward, they need to see real promise in this type of investment.
Many of you need to convince them.
Possible future Toyota FJ underpinnings
I featured some concepts representing what we may see in a future Toyota FJ. Looks aside, we know that Toyota could move in a few different directions with the power-train.
- Next generation twin-turbocharged V6 – The rumored twin-turbocharged V6 that is supposed to go into the upcoming Toyota Tundra may make an appearance. Even as a non-turbocharged unit, it could pop up in a few vehicles, including something like an FJ.
- Hybrid – Toyota is serious about hybrid technology. Nearly every car and crossover have a hybrid variant of some kind. It’s quite possible that Toyota may push the tech further and make something off-road worthy, and fuel efficient.
- All-electric – The final possibility is an EV of some sort. Many automakers (like GM, Rivian and Tesla) are in the process of building all-electric, off-road-capable vehicles. Toyota has stated in the past that they want to build more all-electric vehicles. It’s possible that the next FJ, or FJ replacement could be all, or partially electric.
The bottom line is – YES – many of us want a small, truly off-road-capable product from Toyota. We think they can challenge the best, like they have in the past.
Will it happen?
We hope so.
The next question has to do with buying the right tire.
Q: Can you help me with a tire question?
I need to replace the Firestone tires on my F-150 with something more street friendly. I have a 4×4 but its no FX4. Like a tire that performs well on the road that’s able to do light off-roading when I need it to.
I don’t like the Hankooks on ice and they are kind of noisy. To me they seem like a more off road tire that’s okay for daily driving. I am looking at Goodyear and Michelin and maybe Pirelli. Can you tell me about a good choice amongst these three?
A: Hi and thanks for the email!
You’re in luck, all three tire companies build a good tire for your truck!
It’s kind of difficult for me to make any solid recommendations as you left out some key points. If I knew your budget, location, annual mileage and whatnot – I might have a more informed answer for you. As it is, I will give you my best guess of your needs.
I picked three that I have had some experience with, but there are tons of other tires out there that would fit the bill. I would also look at what some of the F-150 boards say about replacement from OEM tires.
Here are a few possibilities below like the Michelin LTX A/T2:
Then, there’s the Pirelli Scorpion Verde:
And finally, Goodyear Wrangler Trailrunner:
We just drove a GMC with the Goodyear Wrangler Trailrunner AT. You can read that review here.
Once again, I recommend you look to other F-150 owners with a similar truck. They may have insight on what you should be looking for.
The last question (statement) comes from a fan who has a Mahindra Roxor in the family.
Q: Hello TFL Team, I was pleasantly surprised to watch Nathan’s video on the new Mahindra Thar.
My father recently bought a Roxor back in April and loves it. I’ve been watching TFL for the past seven years and have always enjoyed the content. So when my dad bought his Mahindra, I couldn’t help but talk about your channel to him.
My dad bought the 2019 Roxor with the small Diesel engine and automatic transmission. The Roxor has a small 12 gallon fuel tank and gets roughly 40 MPG. It’s perfect for the trails around their home in St. George, Utah.
Since my parents bought their Mahindra, they’ve done some customizations. There is the Navy logo on top and “Navy” on either side of the hood. Along both sides, behind the front wheel wells, are the letters “RC8” and “VP-46”. This is a tribute to my dad’s father who served 20 years in the Navy. VP-46 is the P-3 squadron where my grandfather spent most of his career and RC8 was the radio call sign for the plane he flew in.
Other customizations include the wheels and tires, a two inch lift, a 10000 or 12000 pound Warren winch (can’t remember the size), rear trail lights, and upgraded sound system. This particular Mahindra has the open sides with netting (similar to some side-by-sides). With all the customizations and price of the vehicle ended up costing them roughly $29k. My parents have taken it off road a few times and love it. Off-roading is now their new favorite weekend activity they do together.
I wanted to send this small tribute to all on the TFL team. Always loved your content and will always be a fan. It’s been great to see how much the channels have grown over the years. Looking forward to your future news, views, and real world reviews.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
A: Outstanding email Jason – thanks!
Yes, the Mahindra Roxor is a great little off-road adventure vehicle. What a great platform for you guys to make such a meaningful tribute. Not only that, I have to say, it looks excellent.
It’s a shame that the Roxor is (hopefully) temporarily off the local market. It’s a tough little thing, one that gives folks the chance to build something very capable. I’ve seen several in Moab and on other ORV trails, they are tenacious little critters.
I like to think of the Roxor as a spiritual successor to my little Suzuki Samurai and the Jeep CJ or Willys.
This letter was great – it made all of our day at TFL Studios. Thank you for that and please than your father for his service.
All the best!
Speaking of 4X4s that are built for other markets – this Ford Troller is EPIC!