Tiny Ford Ecosport in the US, Fast Fun Under $10K, and Punk Rock Car? [Ask Nathan]

Nathan's Dream Dodge
Nathan’s Dream Dodge

In this edition of Ask Nathan:

  • Is the Ford Ecosport coming to the USA?
  • What’s a fun convertible car for under $10,000?
  • What’s your definition of a “Punk Rock” car?

Geoff, TFL Test Bear

Today’s first question comes from a fan who desperately wants the deminutive Ford Ecosport crossover to come to the USA.

Hello TFL team! I have spent the past six years working in Europe. In that time, I drove the Ford Ecosport for a few years and I love it. The size is perfect for me and my true love, Barkley, my French Bulldog. I am moving to America soon. New job, new life.

My family in India has one too. It is said to be one of the most popular vehicles in its class. I know they love theirs quite a bit.

I loved that car. I know that European and American cars can be very different, but I see many small cross-over cars in America and I hope Ford will compete soon. I am a little nervous about moving to the USA. I’m happy that I’ll be in the Pacific Northwest, near Portland. I think the Ford Ecosport would be a great car for that type of environment.

Do you have any information on the Ford Ecosport?

Thank you so much for all the fun and informative work!

Anil. K

Ford EcoSport

A:Thanks for the email Anil!

We discussed the Ford Ecosport (Where is my Ford Ecosport?) and caught it testing (here is the Ford Ecosport testing in Colorado ). There’s a lot of speculation on its arrival, but nothing official from Ford yet.

If it does come to our market, it will have a lot of competition. The Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Juke, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X are just few examples. Still, you would think Ford is kicking themselves for missing the party. Nearly every automaker has or will have a small crossover to compete in this class.

Rumor has it coming out next year, but that’s not much to go on.

We will be attending many Ford events in the near future, so we may get an answer or announcement soon. I promise to stay on top of this story!

By the way, welcome to the United States!


Ford EcoSport

(The photo above is of an Ecosport testing in Colorado!) It would be great if Ford introduced the Ford Ecosport with a manual transmission option, like they have overseas.

2008 MINI Cooper S Convertible

This next question is from a viewer who wants maximum fun for under $10,000.

Q: Hi Nathan,

(Via Twitter) I want a fast, fun convertible for under $10,000 with a manual transmission and room for four. What do you suggest?


A: Howdy JM.

You will have to get a used vehicle as nothing new can approach your $10,000 limit. Many of the vehicles you are going to be able to afford (within your parameters) are going to be 10, or more, years-old.

I would suggest a convertible Mustang, Camaro or even a Fiat 500c Abarth. There are older MINI Cooper S convertibles too. Oh, and don’t forget about the Jeep Wrangler!

I think that, out of all these choices, I would consider a 2006 MINI Cooper S Convertible as the one a TFL team-member owns is an outstanding ride!

Good luck!



The last question comes from a fan who’s all about the punk rock.

Q: Simple question: what’s the most “Punk Rock” car?



A: Surprising question. I’ll do my best to answer this one.

It all depends on “Punk Rock” preferences.

The Ramones: There’s worldwide appeal and you will find everything from Jeep Wranglers, Mazda MX-5 Miatas and beat-up Ford Escort GTs blasting “Sheena is a Punk Rocker.” LOTS of punk stickers on the glass.

Bad Brains: A Dodge Viper that’s constantly on fire.

The Clash and the Sex Pistols: A well used MINI Cooper with a cigarette burnt interior, a petrified lump under the seat that used to be a mouse, condom wrappers and duct-tape holding something external on.

Rise Against: A Volvo 240, Subaru Loyal, Volkswagen Jetta or (well used) BMW 3-Series covered primer, anti-establishment stickers, an errant bullet hole and a bike-rack/ski-rack that’s worth more than the car.

The Offspring (One of my favorites): Subaru WRX, Volkswagen GTI, badass pickup truck, Mitsubishi EVO, Ford Focus ST, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, Chevrolet Camaro or something that’s fast, powerful and loud.

Yes, there are many others. Let me know who you guys would choose and help our friend Storm!

That was fun!


Well, this video isn’t punk. But the drivers are a bunch of punks and rocks are involved!

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: asknathan@tflcar.com

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.