Jeep Renegade Review, Chevrolet Colorado-based SUV, Why do you Rev and Entry Level Luxury AWD [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:

  • Where’s the Jeep Renegade review?
  • Chevrolet Colorado-based SUV?
  • I hate it when you record the exhaust note!
  • What’s the best AWD in an entry level. “new” luxury car?
2015, jeep, renegade, video, preview, everything, tflcar
2015 Jeep Renegade

This first question is from a frustrated viewer who wants to see a review of the all-new Jeep Renegade that will be sold in the United States. Me too.

Q:Nathan. I don’t know if you’ve seen the European reviews for the Jeep Renegade, but it makes me mad! How dare Jeep release a product in Europe so far ahead of the United States! This is our brand and, even though it’s built in Europe, our market is slated to get a huge share of the Jeep Renegade sales.

What I really hate is the snobby, self centered European take on the Jeep Renegade. Not one of those jerks has taken one into the snow or on a challenging off road course.

I want a real review from the American perspective! Why is Jeep shunning the USA!?

Nathan, tell them to give TFLcar one right away!


A: I share your pain Amigo. I chomp at the bit every time Jeep releases a new vehicle, especially with their new take on the old name. Jeep products, like the Jeep Renegade, look like they would be great Rocky Mountain vehicles.

Now, why did Jeep opt for an early release in Europe? The European market is getting features (such as a diesel) that we will not get. As the Jeep Renegade is built in Europe, it’s logistics and product need that compels FCA to sell there first.

Sure, it’s a bummer the European market gets them much earlier than we do; however, there is a benefit to this: any quality/reliability/driveability issues that sprout up in the European market should be sorted by the time they arrive here!


From what I gathered, Jeep will begin selling the Jeep Renegade in the USA sometime in February 2015. Some dealerships may get a few in as early as December 2014 to wet appetites and create some buyer buzz.

As for the press event: there is no word from FCA/Jeep yet; however, I wouldn’t be surprised if they stage a regional event in late January 2015.

Fingers crossed!


This is a Chevrolet Niva which is sold in Russia (among other countries). Want one? Me too…

This emails is from a viewer/reader who wants to know if there is going to be an SUV based on the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon platform.

Q: Hi Nathan,

I was wondering if you have heard if/when GM was going to come out with a new Trailblazer or Envoy SUV based on the new Chevy Colorado pickup? Its a great looking truck but I would prefer to have the enclosed SUV version.



A: Howdy! Yes, I was wondering about that myself, especially after seeing a few, small GM SUVs testing at high altitude. They were heavily disguised, but they looked like SUVs from overseas. They were testing at the same time as the Colorado and Canyon were.

With that being said, Roman has asked his General Motors contacts and they said, “no.”

Does this truly mean they will not build a proper SUV off these platforms?

Never say “never.”

I guarantee GM is keeping an eye on Jeep and Toyota, among others, to see if there’s a big enough demand for a proper body-on-frame SUV. If the consumer market is pushing for one, I bet we’ll see something pop up soon.

In the meantime, we’ll keep looking for prototypes!

Hope that helps!


Top 5 Best Sounding Cars
Top 5 Best Sounding Cars

This question comes from a viewer who absolutely hates it when we rev the engine and record the exhaust note.

Q: I watch most all of your new car reviews on line and enjoy each.
My question is, why in thee hell do you insist on video taping and recording
the lousy sound coming from the exhaust of every car that you review.
Stock 4 cylinders sound like crap and so do stock 6cyl. cars.
V-8s especially with a nice set of duals and sporty mufflers are the standard of excellence. Please quit with the wimpy, irritating sound.
Like hearing nails on a blackboard…..yeeeeeech

J. in Mountain Home,AR

A: Thanks for the email and you have a valid point: some of the engines we record sound absolutely terrible. Hybrids; especially, sound like sewing-machines, if they sound like anything at all. Other vehicles, like diesels, can sound like industrial equipment.

So, why bother recording the sound of a revving engine?

There are three reasons my friend:

1. Many (and I mean thousands) of people want to know what a vehicle sounds like, especially if they are in the market to buy one. Sure, pretty much no one will rev-up a Toyota Prius, but hearing the sound from the cockpit and from the outside alleviates that one level of curiosity.

2. Nobody else does this on a regular basis. Sure, everyone will record a juicy V8 growling, but few will record the sound from your average car. Once again, there are a multitude on people who appreciate the fact that we do this as often as we can.

3. The “Nugget:” Every once in a while, we get something special, unique or unexpected. I call them Nuggets. A Nugget is a sound you were not expecting to hear coming from a vehicle.

E.g. the 2014 Toyota RAV4? It sounds kind of awesome for such a vanilla vehicle. Seriously.

The bottom line is: we at TFL try to listen to as many viewers/readers as possible. That’s why we’re constantly evolving. With that being said, we will keep recording the exhaust note for as long as a majority of our people want to hear it.

Hope that helps!



2015 Chrysler 200
2015 Chrysler 200

The last question comes from a reader who is looking for something new, with all-wheel drive (AWD) that’s reasonably priced, yet, luxurious.

Q:Hi Nathan and TFLcar!

Over the years, you have convinced me that Colorado people, like you, understand AWD best. I like it that you pay attention to how the car feels instead of reading me facts that I can easily find on Google. I also think your team is the most unique and diverse out there.

Please don’t change!

Now for my question. In your opinions, what is the best driving, entry level, AWD car out there? I want to keep the price around forty thousand dollars or so. I want to try something new and something that spoils me and my passengers.

What do you think? What are your top picks?

Love you guys!


M.J. from Dallas

A: That’s a really good question and a terrific note. All of us appreciate a long time viewer and receiving an email like this. It makes our day! Thank you.

Here are a few of our recent test vehicles that have AWD, a luxurious interior and top out in the low $40,000 zone.

The 2015 Acura TLX: I think Acura is getting their groove back with this car. The (“Super-handling”) AWD system is one of the best traction aids out there. It actually makes you a better driver. The interior is top notch with amazingly comfortable seats and the overall package is terrific. The only thing I dislike is the odd push-button transmission. Otherwise, it’s a terrific entry-level luxury car with AWD.

The 2015 Chrysler 200: Going from a mediocre ride to one of the nicest interiors in its class, the 2015 Chrysler 200 is a lot of car for the money. Combine the AWD system in the “S” package and AWD, suddenly you have a quick, surefooted, luxurious car for the same price as a mid-level sedan. This is one of those cars that you have to test-drive to appreciate, and I recommend you do so!

The 2015 Buick Regal AWD (GS): I have driven many of these cars, mainly in the sporty GS trim. As a performance car, the GS is very impressive with a lovely interior design. Backseat comfort is on the tight side, but only for large people. It is one of the best driving, AWD, entry-level luxury cars in its class.

The 2015 Lexus IS 250 AWD: This is a great car all around. The 250’s small V6 is a bit anemic, especially hooked top to AWD. You have to limit the options to keep the Lexus IS 250 AWD in the low $40,000 zone. What I like best is that the IS 250 is a front engine, rear-drive setup with the additionof AWD. Around corners, it’s remarkably rewarding. The interior is top-notch, but a tad tight.

There are a few additional vehicles out there – like the Infiniti Q40, Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 with 4MATIC, Lincoln MKZ AWD and even the Audi A4, but the detailed ones above are the ones I have the most experience with.

Hope that helps!


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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.