Hyundai vs Mercedes-Benz, TFL in India & China, Cowboy and Fun Toyotas? [Ask Nathan]

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.
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.

The 2016 Acura ILX is more than just a restyled Honda Civic.

In this edition of Ask Nathan:

  • Hyundai vs Mercedes-Benz?li>
  • TFL in India and China?
  • Are you a Cowboy?
  • Fun Toyotas sold in the USA?


The first question comes from an attendee at graduate school who wants a ride (from Hyundai or Mercedes-Benz) that will give him a social bump.

Q: I’m a 33 year old bachelor who’s lost 60 pounds, about to attend graduate school to get a master degree in teaching music, and also a church musician organist. Though I’m older and my jobs seems to be a little on the traditional side, I want a car that going to be sophisticated, fun, stylish, while also boosting my social status coming from a 2004 Toyota Camry. It also has to look good going to the beach in the summer and to church in all year around without being to intimidating. The two cars that I like the most and are within my budget are the 2015 Hyundai Genesis (3.8 liter, RWD,Ultimate package, Paplano Red or BLack) and 2015 Mercedez Benz C Class ( 300 or 400 Fully Loaded). Though these automobiles are different in class, they have a great sound system, sporty looking and give a Masculine but Beautiful look- if you know what I mean. Which would you choose and why. Considering I’m not a performance driver but want something sporty, What differences in the ride quality, fuel economy, sound system that you find better?
Lastly, I like to hear great vocals in my music with detail, which do you think is better for that purpose. .

A: First of all, congratulations on the positive changes in your life! I admire anyone who is willing to go back to school and be their own advocate in making their life a better one. Well done.

As for your comparison between the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8-liter “Ultimate Package” and the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class 300/400; wow, that’s a tough one. I mean, the Mercedes-Benz is the real pick for anyone who is trying to display culture, sophistication and breeding without having to marry royalty. In all seriousness, the Mercedes-Benz is the best of what people see from the outside.


The Hyundai Genesis 3.8-liter is a real joy to drive. It is, for lack of a better comparison, the closest thing you’ll come to driving a Mercedes-Benz without the price pinch, AND you get a ton of gadgets for the money! The Hyundai Genesis is a great machine and (I think) it looks great.

Perhaps people will see you in the Hyundai and say, “Now THAT’S a guy who is smart about money.”

In my opinion, the Mercedes-Benz C Class 300 is fairly economical and it has better highway ride characteristics than the Hyundai Genesis. It’s roomier and will (most likely) have a better resale value too. The Hyundai Genesis feels much bigger and is a tad mushy when pushed.

I can’t give you an honest opinion about which stereo is better. The best thing you can do is test drive one and bring it to the other dealership. Compare the stereos side-by-side. In some cases, you can pre-arrange this by talking to the dealership(s) in advance.

In the end, I always suggest one thing: choose the car that makes you happiest.

Hope that helps!


2014 Beijing Auto Show
This question comes from a fan from India who noticed we have a presence in India and China.

Q: Greetings Nathan and TFLcar!

I have noticed that you have quite a few episodes filmed in China and I have even seen a video from India, which is where I am from. I am so happy that you come out to Asia. Is this something you will be doing more often? Will we see you trying to drive a TATA Nano? I think that would be so very funny.

You and Roman give me a real sense of what its like to live with western cars. I wish you could take your easy to relate opinions and test some cars in India! That would be something.

Best wishes to you and Roman!


Beijing Gt Wall and Fbd City 017

A: Thanks for that great email! Yes, we have some friends in China which prompts us to return often. China has some of the largest automobile shows, a massive car-thirsty consumer base and lots of interesting brands that western eyes never see. It’s a great place to see changes in the industry. China is exciting to see, every time.

India is something special. The automobile industry is so different than what we have in the west. Fascinating stuff!

Roman went recently and was surprised at the combination of cultures, technologies and car markets. Some of the cars (and traffic) Roman saw blew his mind.

We hope to return to India one day and do some serious tests.

Thank you again for such a great email!



This email comes from someone who is curious about our backgrounds and whether or not I consider myself to be a cowboy!

Q: Hello Roman and Nathan,

I noticed in your car and truck YouTube channels that you have a different way of reviewing vehicles. It took me a while to get used to it. Unlike most reviewers, you mix technical details subtly into your dialogue. It’s sort of the opposite of what most reviewers do. I like it now. But things are a little odd when I try to identify with either of you.

Roman is European right? I can’t detect an accent, but he has an unusual way of talking, like he’s thinking about what he’s about to say before he says it.

You see to be more organic about what you’re saying. It’s like yor’e talking to someone next to you. You kind have a cowboy, good old American boy thing going on. But, aren’t you from Los Ageles? No cowboys or rednecks come from L.A. do they? I like your foot-down driving style because you never pretend to be a racer but you’re always exciting.

Roman is, obviously, a better track driver. He’s better in fancy cars than trucks. Even though I prefer Roman, I think the two of you are completely unique to each other and compliment each other nicely. I guess I just want to know where you’re both originally from and wanted to say that your channels truly grew on me.

Good job

R.R. Vancouver B.C.

A: Thanks for the email. I know Roman will dig it!

Here’s all of our backgrounds:

Roman was born in the Czech Republic and (somewhat) raised in Chicago. He’s very European in some regards, but he’s lived in the wilds of Colorado (Boulder) for decades. In many ways, Roman represents what an immigrant can make of him/herself in the United States. His upbringing, education and career come from the notion that hard work and dedication can get you far in this country.

As for me? Yep, I grew up in L.A.; however, some of my family has been in the United States since the early 1800s. I even have family history dating back to the 1880s in Colorado. Still, I’m no cowboy, but I do like a cold brew, Credence Clearwater Revival, firepower, cigars explosions and pickup trucks – so I’m acceptable in those circles.

All joking aside, all of us at team TFL represent our country in different ways. Each one of us loves being here and we are proud to represent.

p.s. Yes, there are (a few) cowboys and Rednecks that come from Los Angeles.

Thanks for the email!


Cadillac Lexus Mashup

This last question comes from a fan who wants to know about what we think Toyota makes that’s truly fun to drive.

Q: I was wondering if you thing ANY Toyotas are fun or exciting to drive? Not trucks, I know you all like Tacomas, so do I. What about cars? I can’t think of anything remotely exciting f0r 2015!

What do you think?

A.S. Delaware

A: Interesting question. Roman and I were just talking about Toyota and its various “fun” cars and I came to this conclusion: Toyota/Lexus/Scion combined have five cars that are truly fun to drive.

Scion FR-S – Yes, it’s based on a lot of Subaru tech, but the FR-S is a hoot to drive hard. It is one of the most forgiving and fun cars to drive on a track – period.

Scion tC – I still maintain that this is one of the best all-around packages out there. It has a great 180hp engine, lots of space, hatchback utility and excellent performance. It is one of the best sub-25K cars Toyota sells in the United States.

Toyota Camry XSC – Before you yell at your monitor, hear me out. The 3.5-Liter V6 DOHC 24-Valve Dual VVT-i; which makes 268 hp @ 6200 rpm and 248 lb.-ft. @ 4700 rpm is terrific. Hooked up to a snappy six-speed automatic with paddle-shifters, this Camry is faster than you might think. It’s a hell of a lot more fun to drive than a majority of the competition, and it’s still a user-friendly Camry.

Lexus IS – All Lexus IS are pretty fun, get the one with the big six-cylinder and you’ll have a hard time keeping the smile off your face.

Lexus RC and RC-F – I know that some reviewers have dismissed the RC for being too heavy and not being as fast as the equivalent BMW. Still, as a proper GT car, it’s hard to dislike the snarling V8 in the RC-F or the excellent driving characteristics of the V6 RC. They are both a lot of fun to drive and feel very substantial.

They look good too.



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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.