Plastic Chevy Colorado, Next Cadillac SRX, Korean Car Bias and Nissan Murano Voodoo [Ask Nathan]

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.


In this edition of Ask Nathan:

  • What’s up with the cheap plastics in the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon?
  • Next Cadillac SRX?
  • You hate all Korean cars!
  • My car is cursed!


The first question comes from a truck enthusiast who has an issue with General Motors use of plastics in the new GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado

Q:Roman, Nathan, and Andre,

Thanks for putting together some awesome car and truck reviews. I trust you three more than virtually all other sources. I really like your towing 0-60 tests.

I do have on issue I want to me to mention. I finally got to see the new Colorado. I was excited about it and happy to hear it had a great interior. When I finally sat in it, I found the dash was and door trim was the same cheap hard plastic that has cursed GM for decades. Yes it is better than the old Colorado, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. It looks nice, but its a cheaply built, penny pinched, low grade plastic interior one a near $40K truck!!! No excuses for GM and I hope you take them to task for it. Yes the GMC is better, but I HATE the exterior of it.

Also, why did GM skimp out on the Auto 4WD/AWD mode? That’s ridiculous.

Again, I love your work and passion. But please don’t let GM get away with such an obvious bean counter move as the cheap hard plastics in an otherwise good truck.


A: You are correct about there being plastics in the Colorado and Canyon, but I must defend our statements about these interiors being best in class. They are. Just look at the Nissan and Toyota, the equivalent General Motors trucks have a more contemporary, more ergonomically friendly and (slightly) higher quality interior. I especially like the IP, dash and center infotainment display. The GM seats are better and overall space is better too.

With that said, you are totally correct about the idea of a $40K+ vehicle having a better interior. That’s a lot of money to pay for a vehicle that still has flimsy materials, even if it is better than the current crop of contenders. If it costs as much as a Silverado/Sierra, it should have a comparable interior.

As for the auto 4WD mode? Well, that’s a simple way to make the Chevy cheaper, but I wish they didn’t keep it from the Colorado too.

Hopefully, GM will continue to update the interiors of these trucks (rather than wait a decade like they so often do). Once again, I still think its a huge leap forward, especially compared to the last Colorado/Canyon. Still, you make a valid point and we’ll keep an eye on what GM does next.



2013 Cadillac SRX vs Lexus RX 350 F-Sport 0-60 MPH Mile High Mashup Review
2013 Cadillac SRX vs Lexus RX 350 F-Sport 0-60 MPH Mile High Mashup Review

Here’s an email from a fan who wants to know about the next Cadillac SRX.


What do you guys know about a replacement for the current SRX?

– M

A: The next Cadillac SRX will keep its name and it should remain a competitor for vehicles like the Lexus RX line. Beyond that, all we have are rumors and vague comments from Cadillac. Here’s what we think we know about the 2016 Cadillac SRX:

  • It may be based on the GM Omega platform
  • GM’s old Saturn factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee will produce the 2016 Cadillac SRX (among other vehicles)
  • The 2016 Cadillac SRX may get a third row seat (which would indicate a longer platform).
  • The SRX may/should hit showrooms late 2015
  • It’s possible that GM may use ATS components and switch the bias to a RWD setup

That’s all I have for now.

Hope that helps!


Here’s a statement (summarized) by a few viewers about our (perceived) dislike of all Korean cars.*


(Several paraphrased comments*)

    • You guys always hate all Korean cars.
    • Every TFL review I see, you are bashing Hyundai and KIA, and you never agree with many other publications that praise these cars.
    • Every video is the same with you bashing on Korean cars.
    • You always give Korean cars the short end of the stick!

A: These comments were answered by my suggesting several videos where we praise Korean cars (I added a few below) but the response came back that, despite the videos, we had it in for Korean cars. This basically meant: they never watched the videos.

Here it is in a nutshell folks: Roman, Emme, Andre and I (along with our website reviewers) all do the same thing, we drive the car, learn about the car and give you our honest opinion about the car. It’s just that simple. TFLcar and TFLtruck try to back up our opinions with factual information, when we feel it’s relevant, but we measure a vehicle based on what makes us happy.

We never base our opinions on other periodicals, blogs, books, videos or television shows. Sure, that means we buck convention and look at the car differently than other automotive journalists, which is a good thing. If you want us to change to suit their perspective, you’ve come to the wrong place.

As for Korean cars? If it’s good – we’ll say it’s good. If it’s bad, we’ll say it’s bad. Sorry if the car you like (or purchased) is one we don’t like.

Bottom line: if you dislike what we have to say – there are other mainstream reviews out there. We are not mainstream, we will never be mainstream. Fortunately, we’re dashing, funny and loved by a multitude of cool cats.



*We’re pretty sure the same keyboard was responsible for fostering several conversations under different names. That person was banned for using a prejudicial insult during the conversation.

2015 Nissan Murano
2015 Nissan Murano

The last question comes from a fan who thinks her ex-husband put a voodoo curse on her car (this email was paraphrased).

Q:Hi Nathan, Roman and Emme.

I got a divorce from my philandering husband nearly a year ago. It was a bitter, painful ball of misery and we fought over everything. Fortunately we never had kids, but we did fight over the car. It’s a 2013 Nissan Murano with less than thirty thousand miles.

I reluctantly agreed to take over the payments and buy my ex out of half of the down payment. This way he can get a car of his own. He was pretty difficult dealing with and he told me that I was incapable of taking car of the car.

I took the Murano to every scheduled service and it’s such a good car. I wash it monthly and its always parked in the covered parking section at my complex, so it’s pretty safe from the elements. We get no snow here and our mornings are pretty warm throughout the year.

This past August, things started happening to my Murano. Sometimes, after I leave the house, it starts to smoke from the left rear pipe. By the time I get it to the dealership, its no longer smoking. They have checked it five times and they can find no problems, even when they pluged it in. I just replaced part of my exhaust system for $1,500 and it’s still happens. I am running out of ideas.

Did my ex curse me?



A: I am so sorry about your situation. Everyone here at TFL hopes you find happiness soon.

Nothing makes an owner as angry as not being able to pinpoint where the problem is with their car. It gets worse when the car “cures” itself. A smoking exhaust can point to many causes which include water or oil finding its way into the exhaust manifold. Water condensation and defective seals could be a culprit too. What’s odd is that none of the mechanics could find the issue.

From the rest of your email, I got the impression that your ex is the vengeful type. I also noted that you park your Nissan Murano outside when someone could have access to your car.

Here’s what I would like you to do: Ask to see security tapes surrounding your complex the evening before your car had the smoking problems. I think someone might be squirting a bit of oil or other combustible fluid into your exhaust pipe at night. Once your exhaust heats up, it burns the fluid for a little while, then it goes away as it burns off. It may leave little or no evidence.

If you cannot get video evidence, try parking it in a garage (maybe at a friend’s place?) for a few weeks and see if it continues.

Check it out and let me know what you find.

Sending good TFL vibes your way!


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