Toyota 4Runner Differences, Nissan Juke no Joke, Video Overlap and Lexus Dissertation [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 is the difference between the 4Runner Limited and Trail
  • Is the Nissan Juke a Joke?
  • Your videos overlap!
  • Dissertation on Lexus in Saudi Arabia

2013 2014 Toyota 4Runner

This first question from a viewer who wants clarification regarding the differences with the Toyota Trail and Limited models.

Q: I enjoy your video’s and have a question regarding the Toyota 4Runner. In previous episodes you have stated the 4Runner Trail and Limited models are completely different and have only recommended the Trail model for traction and terrain. I was wondering if you could explain the differences and why a buyer should consider a Trail model over Limited?

From my understanding, the Trail model is part-time 4WD that has a computer controlled 4WD mode when engaged, and the Limited is AWD with 4WD locking differential when manually engaged. Based on paper statistics the Limited setup is superior but I have only seen your endorsement with the Trail (specially pointing it out each time when 4Runner mentioned.)

Are there additional changes to the Trail suspension over the Limited? Could you outline the pros/cons between both edition? Typically the higher-end model of vehicle is the “best” model, but that does not seem to be the theme with the 4Runner based on your videos.

Just looking for some clarification and understanding.



A: Ah the 4Runner – yes indeed, I preferred the Trail over the Limited. You already touched on the reason; the Toyota 4Runner Trail is a beast off road. In all honesty, it is right up there with many products from Jeep and Land Rover/Range Rover. My selection was based solely on the amount of kit you get with the Trail. I’ll go one further by putting the 2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro at the very top of the 4Runner list for the same reason – off road ability.

“you have stated the 4Runner Trail and Limited models are completely different and have only recommended the Trail model for traction and terrain. I was wondering if you could explain the differences and why a buyer should consider a Trail model over Limited?” – – T

Actually, on paper, they are very different.

The 4Runner Limited does not have a locking rear differential, KDSS (sway-bar disconnect)crawl control, terrain mode selection or an adequate wheel and tire combo for hard off road use. I mean, 20-inch wheels and thinner rubber are more street orientated. That, and the Limited’s center locking diff with AWD, are not in any way comparable to the Trail.

Now, that video was a bit of fun that we used to illustrate the differences between the 2013 and 2014 – among other things. This next video shows all of the unique off road features the Toyota 4Runner Trail has. Keep in mind: just about every feature showcased in this video are unique to the Trail version of the 4Runner.

I suspect you’ve already seen most of our 4Runner videos (we have a bunch of them), but in no way would I say the Toyota 4Runner Limited is a bad vehicle. There are cosmetic, interior and exterior differences between the Trail and Limited. The Toyota 4Runner Trail has a more basic interior and feel.

The Toyota 4Runner Limited works beautifully as a daily driver that can do some off road driving. But, given the unique body on frame setup, the heft, the ruggedness and the overall off road potential of the Trail, I would not buy the limited.

I hope I cleared up things for you.


The Refreshed 2016 Ford Explorer will go on sale next summer
The Refreshed 2016 Ford Explorer will go on sale next summer

This text message came from one of our earliest fans. She has some confusion regarding the Nissan Juke.

Q:Hi Nathan! This is only my second question in 2014 nissan juke nismofive years, LOL! The looks of the Nissan Juke are growing on me and I wanted to know your opinion of a FWD S model. I live in L.A. (CA) and I don’t think I need AWD. This way I can spend less than $23,000 for a new one. What do you think!?

Smooches an hugs!!!!


A: You know what? I think the Nissan Juke is one of the best values for people who want something zippy and unique. Now, it does have an optional torque-vectoring rear axle (one of the few vehicles under 30K that has it) and it truly makes it a better performer – on tarmac and slippery conditions. With that being said, the regular front-drive Nissan Juke handles great.

There is a bit of CVT buzz that enters the cabin, but it’s not too bad.

If you wanted a 6-speed manual (which came with the FWD Jukes as an option), you’ll have to look for a 2014 model as I believe they have discontinued the manual transmission option in the 2015 model. Bummer.

I definitely recommend you test one yourself as some people delight at the Nissan Juke’s driving disposition, while others don’t. It’s a car that’s won over many automotive journalists. Roman and I like it, but we both pine for an AWD with a manual in the hot Nismo R version.

Check it out!

Hope that helps and thanks for all of your patronage!


2015, dodge, charger, srt, hellcat, hemi, supercharged, sedan, roman mica

This question comes from a viewer who is displeased with our weekly, full-length TFL episodes.

Q: Guys, what’s the deal with showing a bit of video on one day and then showing the whole thing on the weekend? Why can’t we get the whole episode when you shoot it? It’s like you’re teasing us or something.

Are you trying to be like Top Gear!?


A: Thanks for the concern, but I think you’re looking at this the wrong way. Yes, we film and produce short daily segments. This is what millions of people have witnessed and what many of them expect from us. Yes, we are using a ton of additional material for our new weekly episodes.

Simply put, we wanted to build a weekly program to work with our daily segments. Many viewers have asked us to put together something that’s longer, with more substance; something unique for those who want to sit through a television-length video. we’re giving the people what they want.

As for copying other programs: nope, we don’t do that. I mean, sure, we do videos with cars and trucks like many other programs, but we have our own unique approach to it. We have worked for years to make TFLcar and TFLtruck as unique as we can. We earn each viewer based on what we provide and how we provide it.

Truth be told, we’ve been relentlessly duplicated, mimicked, copied and trolled by others. It’s the nature of the business, but it’s something we don’t participate in ourselves. We believe in karma.

Now, in regards to The Fast Lane Car Episode, if you look at the one at the end of this post, you’ll see that it’s 100% original content. We will do that from time to time. We hope you’ll see the benefit in our programming choices.

Thanks for your email.



The last question (statement) comes from a viewer from Saudi Arabia who’s studying in the UK. He has a wizard idea for his dissertation.

Q: (Statement)

I would like to thank you guys for all the hard work that you are doing, I am a big fan of your show on YouTube.

Frankly, what I’m about to say is that I really enjoy your way and your simplicity, and the language used to communicate with us, I congratulate you with all my heart for all your efforts you Roman , Nathan and all TFL car team by providing us with everything new in the world of cars.

Allow me to introduce to you myself. My name is: F.S, I’m from Saudi Arabia and I live in the UK since 2011. I’ve just started my research degree a PhD in De Montfort University in Leicester UK, and The reason why I’m telling you this, because that my interest completely in the automotive world and everything related to the world of cars.

I was pushed by the love of automotive world.

My dissertation in my first Master was about luxury cars, and the reason that I’ve chosen luxury car is because of my previous experience with Toyota and Lexus dealer in Saudia, especially Lexus also what I have noticed the huge interest from members of the society, whether men or women regarding luxury cars.

My dissertation topic was “Costumer Preference towards Luxury Cars A Case Study: Lexus Saudi Arabia”.For my PhD my research topic will be: “An Investigation into Consumer Behaviour towards Purchasing a New Luxury Car in Saudi Arabia”.

In my research I’m going to combine consumer behaviour and technologies that are used in luxury cars and their impact on consumer purchasing decisions regarding luxury car, especially since most manufacturers of luxury cars compete with each other by providing loads of features and latest technologies in their cars in order to win new customers.

So I will be relying on your show in order for me to be updated with the latest news about cars and technologies in Automotive world and trying to include that in my PhD research.

Anyway, Thank you with all my heart, and my apologise for this long letter, and I wish you all the best.

F.S. blockquote>

A: What a great email – right folks? Roman and I are thrilled not only to be one of the references he’s using in his dissertation, we’re thrilled that our work is appreciated in such a way.

It truly made our day.


Got a question or comment for Nathan? Drop him a line at:

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