Chrysler 700C Minivan rumors, Nissan Maxima vs Q50 vs Genesis vs Kia Cadenza and Enough Diesel-gate! [Ask Nathan]


In this edition of Ask Nathan:

  • Any rumors about the next Chrysler Minivan? (Chrysler 700C)
  • Nissan Maxima, Infiniti Q50, Hyundai Genesis or Kia Cadenza?
  • Sick of everything you guys print about “Diesel-gate!”

Today’s first question comes from a viewer who wants info on FCA’s next Chrysler Town and Country, Caravan or Chrysler 700C minivan.


Q:Aloha TFL Car and Truck! Nathan, you guys are great! I was wondering two things. Have you heard any rumors about the next Chrysler Minivan? You’re one of the few reviewers that doesn’t mock minivan owners. Probably because you have kids and stuff. I own a 2001 Grand Caravan ES AWD with the 3.8 V-6 and it’s been an amazing companion. It’s nearly at 200,000-miles and it’s only had to have the rear end replaced along with one CV boot. It’s getting kind of tired and I need to replace it, but I want to see what Chrysler has before then.

My other question is, what type of music do you play when you drive off road? I know you like Rush, but you like other music too, right? I am restoring a 1985 Toyota Land Cruiser. When I’m done, I want to hit the long trails in the Pacific Northwest. Do you listen to Pink Floyd? I know you’re busy, so if you can answer my first question,

I would appreciate it!


Ashland, Oregon

This is the FCA Chrysler 700C Minivan Concept
This is the FCA Chrysler 700C Minivan Concept

A: Wow, great email Frank!

Here’s what we think we know about the Chrysler 700C / Chrysler Town and Country:

  • The Chrysler 700C’s concept offers a glimpse into the profile and rear-end of the next Chrysler Town and Country or Chrysler 700C (no “official” name has been given at this time). The nose will adopt the Chrysler 200, which is, according to FCA, the new design language of Chrysler.
  • We know FCA is testing their new minivan everywhere. We caught photos from three different states over the past six months. The Chrysler 700C / Chrysler Town and Country was spotted towing over 1,5000 lbs (some think it’s up to 3,500 lbs). It’s been followed until the test driver opted to pull away, quickly.
  • It looks taller and longer, but the camouflage makes it difficult to confirm its actual size.
  • The Chrysler 700C / Chrysler Town and Country is rumored to have a variation of the Pentastar V6, Tigershark I4 and, possibly a hybrid variant. An upgraded/updated 9-speed transmission that’s also used in the Ram ProMaster City may be the main transmission.
  • There are rumors about returning to an optional all-wheel drive (AWD) system. It could be based on the same AWD setup currently used in the Chrysler 200. There’s some speculation that the AWD system could be similar to the one used in the Toyota Highlander. That system works with the hybrid powertrain providing power to a rear electric motor that powers the rear wheels when needed.
  • The interior design will be comparable to the Kia Sedona and look lot like the Chrysler 200 and 300’s design motif. The popular “Stow n’ Go” seating should remain.

I find minivans to be some of the most utilitarian vehicles available for families. Seeing the amount of blood and sweat FCA is putting into the development is very reassuring. We will be keeping a close eye on this one as I know there’s plenty of curiosity out there for this minivan.

Frank, your Toyota project sounds awesome! Please send some photos of your progress to me (if you want) and I’ll post it!

As for music preference when I off road? It depends on my mood; however, I have a mix of music for Moab, UT that I like to listen to as loud as possible when I’m cruising trails (I shut it down when things get technical). That mix has music from Jethro Tull, ZZ Top, Mojo Nixon, The Eagles, Muddy Waters, Deep Purple, Credence Clearwater Revival, Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead, Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Squire, Boston… the list goes on.

Yes, I love Pink Floyd too.

I had an awesome musical moment a year ago during the Easter Jeep Safari. I was driving a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk as we were shooting a video (pasted below). It was an odd time as Moab was greener than usual. It looked like an alien planet.

Between takes, I absolutely cranked “Lazy” by Deep Purple letting the sound bounce off the rock walls. The smell of wild plants, amplified – air, cooler than usual – sky, the deepest blue ever, Every single one of my senses caved in as I felt the reverberation in my core. Powerful stuff.

Thanks again for the great email!


Bucket list for anyone – go to Moab, Utah!

This next question comes from a great fan in the UAE who’s considering a new Nissan Maxima, Infiniti Q50, Hyundai Genesis or Kia Cadenza.

Q:Good day Nathan and crew hope all well, I am torn for past 3-4 months in making a decision about the choices mentioned in my email subject, I have almost always owned maximas since getting my license 2000 as they seem to give the most bang for the buck and almost good balance between being spirited and comfortable cars, now i have a family and an active 3 year old, I want some thing that is spirited has style and little bit of room for road trips and daily office jaunts that are highway exclusive of about 60 miles combined daily, and weekend trips of over 150-200 miles ,

Want something that has road presence , good grip for straight line stability and can soak up miles, my budget is not an issue its more about selecting the right tool to be kept for least 3 years as I change cars after three years due to mileage I put up, you are welcome to suggest me ???? lots of thanks in advance

Moaz from United Arab Emirates Dubai !

2016 nissan maxima

Greetings my friend!

All four of your choices are quite good. Out of the vehicles you’ve listed (Nissan Maxima, Infiniti Q50, Hyundai Genesis and Kia Cadenza) I have yet to drive the newest Hyundai Genesis.

I spent a week with the Nissan Maxima and it truly surprised me. It’s a much more hospitable space for transporting children than the Infiniti Q50 and it’s much more entertaining than the Kia Cadenza.

The Infiniti Q50 is a serious driver’s car. It’s outstanding on a track, but it’s not a happy commuting car with its tight suspension and small back seat. The Kia Cadenza has lots of comfort and a posh ride, but all that softness is at the expense of sportiness.

Despite having a continuously variable transmission (CVT) the Nissan Maxima drives like a sporty sedan should. No, it’s not a sports car, but it’s comfortable, unique looking and a great family car. Yes, the Nissan Maxima would be my choice.

I hope this helps!


The last question comes from an upset viewer who’s tired of hearing about Volkswagen’s diesel debacle.

Q: (paraphrased from a few messages) I’m not just blaming you. Everyone is on the bandwagon about Volkswagen and Dieselgate. I hate that name because it’s about Volkswagen’s diesels and not everyone who builds a diesel. But consumers will never look at it that way and it will set diesel cars back many years!

You don’t see the Chevy Cruz diesel or any of the truck diesel engines on the outs with the EPA. Also, why constantly blame Volkswagen for hiding the truth when nearly every brand has a safety recall about a more important safety issue? Lay off Volkswagen already! M

2015 VW Jetta TDI

A: I know that you’re not the only person that feels that way. There has been a lot of negative opinions on both sides of the coin. You are right about there being very little coverage of safety issues automakers are quietly addressing while Volkswagen’s diesel folly continues to be a huge story.

Volkswagen has a long history of philanthropic generosity – but you’ll never see any of that following an update to their diesel stories.


It’s simple: bad news sells.

It’s a sad commentary and condemnation of our media-hungry society. Hell, we’re guilty of it too. One of the most popular videos about the Volkswagen diesel debacle was produced by TFLcar.

You must remember: we are covering automotive news and, as long as Diesel-gate is on people’s minds, we will continue to cover it. We also continue to cover new car information, press events and reviews for Volkswagen products. That’s a promise.


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.

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

nathan adlen Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism – Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. His words, good humor and videos are enjoyed worldwide.