The Toyota FJ Cruiser’s rugged retro styling, off-roading capabilities and Toyota reliability has earned it a deserved loyal fan base.
And a reputation that still makes it a much sought-after SUV.
With exterior styling cues inspired by the legendary FJ40 Land Cruiser from the 60s and 70s.
The FJ Cruiser makes a utilitarian statement for anyone dreaming of hitting the trails in a funky yet versatile SUV.
But although the FJ has a lot going for it, the vehicle is notoriously plagued with numerous blind spots resulting from the celebrated design.
Plus, though the rear suicide doors technically make the FJ a four door, it lacks the comfort and ergonomics.
If you’ve decided that the FJ Cruiser isn’t for you, this list of retro-styled, equally rugged 4-door SUVs is just for you.
1. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
This one is on my wife’s wish list.
Like the Toyota FJ Cruiser, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited gets an extra pair of doors added to its distinctive profile.
The Rubicon trim level is my wife’s favorite.
And like the FJ, despite its vintage styling the Wrangler Unlimited is loaded up with an array of off-road technology features to add to its appeal.
Among the engine options on offer, at the summit is a 6.4-liter V8 mill delivering 470 horsepower at 470-pound feet of torque if you opt for the 392.
2. Ford Bronco
The arrival of the latest Bronco places the Jeep on shaky ground. Looking at the Jeep its not hard to see where the Bronco got its inspiration.
Even Car and Driver touts it as having multiple advantages over the Wrangler.
Unlike the Jeep, the Bronco doesn’t sacrifice paved road drivability for off-road capability.
3. Mercedes-Benz G Class
Originally designed to be a military off-roader, it soon became the must have car for celebrities. It’s a big box on wheels.
And today it’s a proper luxury car taking on the likes of Range Rover.
Short of driving a big rig, it’s got one of the best driving positions you’ll find on a passenger car – you can see everything.
The seats are very comfortable and its got tons of gadgets to keep your passengers entertained.
4. Land Rover Defender
What makes this SUV such a stalwart champion of the back road is that it’s extremely functional.
The Land Rover Defender can take you anywhere. And the latest models represent over 70 years of innovation.
You can count on advanced road-holding capabilities along with some powerful engines. The simple shape of the Defender makes modifications a breeze.
5. Nissan Xterra
Sadly, Nissan no longer makes the Xterra.
But it was designed with a look that gives you the confidence to attack the back woods courtesy of the stepped-roof design.
It’s a proper body-on-frame, pickup-based SUV. You’ll want to option for the V6. And get the one with the supercharger and manual transmission if you can.
6. Toyota 4Runner
This is one of my all-time favorites. Every generation has something spectacular to offer. They’re renown for being simple off-roaders.
And the Toyota reliability is unrivaled with a huge aftermarket to support it.
The 4Runner’s off-roading capability is so legendary that Toyota went back to the drawing board when the fourth gen got accused of being too urbane.
7. Chevrolet Tahoe
Ever since Chevy made the decision to shave some length off the Suburban, the smaller Tahoe took off in popularity.
It’s among the most popular SUVs in America. The Suburban and Tahoe share many of the same engine options along with design and features.
The most current Tahoe can tow 300 more pounds than the larger Suburban.
8. Lincoln Navigator
Arriving in showrooms a year after the Ford Expedition, the Lincoln Navigator was designed to be smoother and more luxurious.
Since, its built on the same platform. It shared the same off-roading capabilities and 5.4-liter V8.
In 2018, twenty years after its first release, the Navigator won the distinction of Truck of the Year at the 2018 edition of the North American International Auto Show.
9. Cadillac Escalade
Like the Chevy Suburban to the Tahoe, the Escalade also comes in a longer wheelbase called the ESV.
Since its debut back in 1999, the Cadillac Escalade has gone on to achieve American icon status appearing in everything from music videos to video games.
Not only do you get the renowned Cadillac style, but the adaptive air suspension provides one of the smoothest rides available.