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:
- Small AWD Family Ride?
- Affordable 4-cylinder with rear drive?
- Teen Trouble!
- What is TFL Quick Pics?
The first question comes from a viewer who wants to buy a smaller family car to replace his Wrangler.
I am a long time subscriber of Tflcar’s YouTube channel and I truly enjoy the reviews. I have a question concerning a smaller family car. I’m in the process of trading in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for a safer and more fuel efficient vehicle (if only they added rear seat airbags in 2018!) I’ve watched the reviews for the cars I’m considering (Mercedes GLK, Mini Countryman, and Subaru Crosstrek.) How would you rank these cars for your family, taking safety and reliability into consideration?
Thanks for your consideration
A: Great question with three excellent cars!
It would be GLK, XV and then Countryman if it were my family. The Mercedes-Benz GLK’s safety ratings are mighty good. I wanted to add to your list with these upcoming vehicles. The Audi Q3, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V might be worth waiting for too. We will be reviewing most of these vehicles (and many others) in the next few months.
Hope that helps!
This next one comes from a Miata hater who wants something with a 4-banger, stick, rear-drive and affordable.
Q: I do NOT like the Mazda Miata! But my budget is under $30,000 so I can’t afford a BMW. What car is out there that is rear-drive with a four cylinder engine and a manual transmission?
A: Thanks for the comment/question! There are only a few vehicles available in North America, the 2015 Ford Mustang and Scion FR-S. There are no other vehicles out there that match your requirements. Both are great driver’s vehicles, but the Mustang’s four-cylinder engine is turbocharged. The Mustang is a better choice for its overall day-to-day usability.
With that being said, the Scion FR-S has serious track potential and is set up as a Miata-fighter.
This viewer is wondering what to do about their teen’s wild driving.
Q: Hi Nathan,
I’m a single mom with a son who drives terribly. He’s about to turn 17 and has three tickets and a bunch of warnings. He works and bought his own car (with a little help from mom), it’s a Honda Civic that he works on every weekend, but I pay for the insurance and he gets an allowance too.
Is there a program he can participate in that will help him straighten out?
A: I have two answers for you:
1. Take the keys and make him take the bus for six months. While you’re at it, make him pay for his massive insurance premium and cut-off his allowance. Driving is a privilege and constantly getting tickets his first year of driving is indefensible. Not all states are the same, but in many, that many tickets as a young driver may result in a suspended license.
2. There are a few programs like the Ford Driving Skills for Life Academy and the NHTSA’s Safe at the Wheel program (www.nhtsa.gov/Teen-Drivers)
This last question is regarding the new TFL Quick Pics section of TFLcar.com.
Q: What is the TFL Quick Picks page all about?
A: Ah, our brand new section on TFLcar.com. You guys are going to love this!
The TFL Quick Pics page is built for the consumer who wants more in-depth coverage of the vehicle we’re featuring on our videos. Our old friend and associate Daniel Buxbaum, a proper car aficionado who has an unhealthy addiction to older BMWs, will bring you a slideshow on TFLcar.com covering special details about the vehicles we are reviewing on video. He will voice and detail each slide to give you an interactive take on a variety of vehicles.
We will have a video and online introduction to the page very soon.
Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: email@example.com
Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and videos are enjoyed worldwide.