Where’s the 2015 Subaru Outback, ’16 Mazda MX-5 unanswered, TFL pledging and loaded compact or simple fullsize?

2014 buick verano nathan adlen
Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and name will be omitted – leaving your initials or nickname, your preference.

From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.

Cadillac Lexus Mashup

In this edition of Ask Nathan:

  • Where’s the Subaru Outback review?
  • Where’s the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Specs!?
  • Pledge for you!?
  • Loaded compact or simple mid-sized?

2015 Subaru Outback

This first question comes from a viewer seeking a TFLcar 2015 Subaru Outback review.

Q:Aloha, I’m interested in buying a subaru outback 15 which looks much improved with the redesign but would like to see your review first, gotta see if Nathan fits in the back, and hear how you feel about the CVT. Do you have a review on this in the near future? You guys are by far the best car review show!

Thanks J.

A: Thanks for that awesome email! We inexplicably missed out on the press launch for the 2015 Subaru Outback and our groveling may have (finally) yielded a positive result. We just reviewed the 2015 Subaru Legacy and we may get our paws on a 2015 Subaru Outback soon.

We have yet to do a full review of the new Subaru WRX and WRX STI as well. As we use the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains for many of our reviews (especially crossovers and SUVs) having Subaru represent in Colorado seems logical. None of us at TFL understand the supply disconnect, but we know these things happen.

Hopefully, Subaru will begin sending their cars our way soon.

In the meantime, stay tuned for our 2015 Subaru Legacy review coming soon!


2016, mazda, miata, mx-5, designer, debut, reveal, monterey, california

We have received a ton of email regarding the debut of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 and Mazda’s lack of details.

Q:(Paraphrased quotes from several emails and online comments)

  • I don’t understand, where’s the information on the engine?
  • We are not even rewarded with an engine note. Shame.
  • Saying it’s goingto be good without any technical information is uncool.
  • Wasted opportunity and what’s with Duran Duran?

A: I completely understand all of your frustration. Before we get into a tizzy over the Mazda MX-5 reveal, let’s look at what Mazda presented us with. In the video(s), Mazda pulled out a pre-production model that shows off its new lines. The KODO design language and many dimensions were pretty obvious along with the overall size of the 2016 Mazda MX-5. We were schooled on its design, implementation and character during this reveal.

So, why did Mazda hold back?

Keep in mind: automakers usually send out sketches, teases, concept silhouettes and design explanations well before we see the real car. That type of media manipulation is (usually) followed by the first “official” photos of the vehicle. Sometimes, it coincides with an event or auto show.

This was like a photo reveal – just to get our mouths watering before we get the real deal. This debut replaced the first batch of “official” photos and it communicated Mazda’s theme/intended image for the 2016 Mazda MX-5. Mazda wants to excite the public with its look and design before jumping into the nitty-gritty.

Sure, it’s a bummer that we don’t know more, but that just means we are even more intrigued – right? Anything we get on the 2016 Mazda MX-5 will be communicated to you ASAP. Promise!

As for using Duran Duran? I’m not too sure. Well, they are from the 80s – just like the Miata (Mazda MX-5) which debuted in ’89. Besides, when I was in high school, Duran Duran was kind of cool – kind of like the original Miata.

It’s just a guess.



These questions came directly to us via our YouTube channels regarding our fund-drive.

Q: 1st question: You guys haven’t had to ask for money for years doing these videos so why now? Y.P.

2nd question: Nathan, you guys shouldn’t be whining about money. I know you guys make pretty good money off YouTube, there should be enough money for all three of you to keep making videos and hire a cameraman, right? J.P

3rd question/statement: Editing video is hard work? LOL. there are lots of jobs which harder than you. what you all do is just shooting video, edit. so simple. RY.u

A: This is just a taste of the feedback we get from time to time in regards to our fundraising. A majority of people out there are supportive, but there are some whom live on planet dubious. That’s understandable, I mean – how often do all of us contend with requests for money? Still, this is a little different.

We are asking for donations to expand our channels’ ability to create new and exciting content. Despite some snide remarks to the contrary, the entire process is extremely difficult and time consuming. We want to take TFL to the next level, to review more cars, to provide higher quality reviews and desperately we want to provide more road trip videos and specials.

Here’s the easiest way to disseminate what it takes to produce what you see: for every minute of produced video, about an hour’s worth of work went in to it. All of that time comes from logistics, filming, research, directing, manning and editing (TONS of editing) before we can spend hours downloading the videos to you.

“TFL is a small team of passionate automotive journalists that work hard to produce fun, accurate, and informative automotive news, views and reviews from an everyman perspective. We create daily car and truck video reviews that appeal to consumers looking to buy new cars and trucks. We also like to have fun by mashing up cars that don’t compete. And we produce the most extreme high altitude towing test by running fully loaded trucks up the I-70 Ike Gauntlet.

Video production process is time consuming and costly. TFL is also the first automotive channel on youtube to produce videos in Ultra HD “4K” resolution. TFL is looking for your support to enable the team to produce more engaging and fun video content. Your help will go towards equipment, additional staff members, and logistics support.” – – TFL Patreon Page

Andre, our producer says, “We do not just want to maintain status quo, we want to go above and beyond. Taking the company to the next level!”

I think that’s the best way to put it.

All of us work, every day, every week to bring you the best. Why? Because we love automobiles, the automobile universe and adore our fans. We want to be the best for you. For ALL of you.

With all that being said, we have no sponsors (like many of our competitors) we have no lucrative contracts and we have yet to find somebody that’s affluent and willing to fund our work. We’re stretched pretty thin folks. This endeavor is expensive and time-consuming. We want to do more, but we can’t afford to. Not without you.

That’s why we’re asking for help.


2014 Mazda6

This last one covers a poignant observation – if you can get a mid-sized car (with a few options) for the price of a fully loaded small car, which one is the better choice?

Q:Hi Nathan,

I’m from Coral Gables FL. I’ve been in the market for a sedan (to trade-in my 2010 Corolla LE) for a while now without feeling any car can actually be the right fit. I define myself as a car enthusiast and I love to drive spiritedly. Hard not to notice that my lovely Corolla can’t quite keep up with it despite it’s easy drive and somewhat comfort ride for my daily 30-minutes commute.

Yet, I found myself currently looking nicely at three very different options: I can’t believe I’ going to say: a Sentra, the sporty Mazda 3 and the low-torqued Jetta. What currently puzzles me is that I easily found myself doing the math of what I want in any of the above options, and I find that I can actually get the above size of that car (Altima, Mazda 6 or Passat) for equal money. Therefore, my question to you is, what would you recommend: a full loaded compact sedan or a not so equipped family sedan?

I mainly use the car for commute and sometimes picking-up my two-year old son from school – if that helps.

I would really appreciate your insights.


A: Thanks for the question G. You’re in luck, my little brother recently went through the same conundrum trying to pick between the Mazda3 and Nissan Sentra. In the end, he purchased a 2014 Mazda6 and he’s never been happier. I truly think that, for the money, the Mazda6 with the ‘Touring’ package is one of the best deals out there.

I recommend the $23,845 ‘Touring’ model as it has (on top of the base model ‘Sport’):

Dual-zone automatic climate control
19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
6-way power driver’s seat
Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry
Multi-function Commander control
Rear seat heat and A/C vents
Leatherette-trimmed seats
Blind Spot Monitoring System
Rear Cross Traffic Alert

The KIA Optima, Dodge Dart and base model Ford Fusion are great alternatives to compact cars too.

I hope that helps!


Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: asknathan@tflcar.com

Nathan Adlen Bio Picture Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and videos are enjoyed worldwide.