Having been used to Ford’s line-up over the previous years, I became accustomed to selecting from a virtual smorgasbord of options, when it came to factory features. The FJ Cruiser was my first official Toyota purchase so I was somewhat surprised to discover that many of the luxury options I had ordered with previous vehicles, were simply not available with the FJ. Dual zone climate control, sunroof, leather seating, and other similar options were simply not offered. In Toyota’s defense, however, the FJ Cruiser’s MSRP sits between 20K and 30K, roughly half of what it would have cost me to upgrade to a new Ford diesel pickup. So I was more than willing to forgo a few of the more luxurious items, temporarily at least. Even without the luxury items, I still drove off the dealer lot with a nicely loaded Titanium Silver model. And now that I finally had my expeditionary platform of choice, it was time to begin the mods.
In the past, my first customization/modification would typically consist of new tires and wheels. The FJ Cruiser was one of the first vehicles to ever produce a stock wheel design that I actually liked. Enough so, that I decided not to replace the wheels until something better came along. As of this writing, I have yet to find a wheel I like better. The tires were a different story entirely, however. Having lived in Maryland for the last twelve years, the winters here provide both snow and ice a-plenty. It’s nothing like our northern counterparts, but it’s enough that without some aggressive all-terrain or mud-terrain tires, you’re more likely to be left sitting where you stand, so to speak. Almost all of my previous Ford trucks had run BFGoodrich AT K/O tires, and with very good luck I might add. The BFG ATs are comprised of a fairly hard rubber compound making them last for easily 60K miles. Many who have run them in the past have reported numbers nearing 100K in terms of mileage gained out of a single set. They also do remarkably well in the snow. Suffice it to say, I’ve been very happy with them in the past and was now in the market for a new set of five of these tires in the FJ’s stock size of 265/70R17. Continue Reading →