Nissan Taking Mitsubishi in, Used Audi for a First Car, and Car-Themed Parties? [Ask Nathan]

nissan rogue vs nissan pathfinder winter warrior concept drag ra

In this edition of Ask Nathan:

  • Thoughts on Nissan taking control of Mitsubishi?
  • An Audi as a first car?
  • Good choices for a car-themed party?

Today’s first question comes from a long-time fan who is curious about TFL’s take on Nissan setting up a partnership with Mitsubishi.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV front 3/4

Nathan, What’s the TFL take on Nissan taking controlling interest in Mitsubishi?

I’m somewhat optimistic; the worst that could happen would be that Mitsubishi FINALLY gets some help in materials and design from Nissan, something long overdue. And Nissan will FINALLY get some help in reliability, again something long overdue. Hopefully this will be a win win win outcome where the car manufacturers win, the dealers win and the customers win. Gotta love that!

Hope everyone at TFL’s end of the world is doing well and feeling great. Take care and have a great year!

Just keeping in touch


nissan valentine day eiffel tower

A: Hi Steve,

That’s a great question. After the recent scandal that Mitsubishi is currently embroiled in, and their precarious financial situation, it looks like Nissan swooped in just in time. I covered the press release (Nissan Acquires 34% of Mitsubishi ) and was pleasantly surprised by what was stated.

Along with buying 34 percent of Mitsubishi’s stock (which recently tanked), Nissan will share platforms, components and technology with Mitsubishi. According to Nissan, they want Mitsubishi to remain unique. This partnership will give Nissan access to small car platforms that have a huge market in the Far East.

I think you’re right about the benefits for both automakers, too. In the North American market, the Mitsubishi fleet is terribly outdated and Nissan’s deep pockets can help Mitsubishi catch up. There may be a few changes in Mitsubishi’s lineup to prevent a lot of in-house competition.

It will be great to see what changes both automakers undergo within the next few years. The TFL crew will be keeping an eye on this story.

Thanks for the question -and thank you so much for your continued patronage!



audi logo vorsprung durch technik

This next question is from a fan who is looking at a used Audi A4 vs a Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid for his first car.

Q: Hi Roman, I have been looking for a very long time at cars for my first car.

I have about $10,000 saved from working hard and I found a 2010 Audi A4 2.0T in my area for the right price. I’m already very familiar with this car since my father owns one. The only problem I have with it is that it has 130,000 miles on it. My other option I have narrowed down to is a 2012 VW Jetta Hybrid with 75,000 miles on it. Both are very well optioned. Which should I get?


Benjamin B

2015 Audi A3

A: Great email, Roman and I thank you for trusting us with such a decision.

With that being said, we both agree; we would get the Audi A4. We think that’s where your head is at; and we wouldn’t blame you if the Jetta was thrown in this mix to impress a parent or two.

There’s nothing wrong with the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, but it’s a completely different vehicle than the Audi A4. If you want logic, the VW is where it’s at. On the other hand, if you want fun (which is what many of us crave) – the Audi A4 is the way to go.

Best of luck!


2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid vs Toyota Prius Mashup Review
2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid vs Toyota Prius Mashup Review

The last question is from a viewer wants to know about car-themed parties!?

flaming lips

Q:Hi Nathan and Roman! I love your channel and you, (Nathan) remind me of my little brother Rob!

Here’s my question: my brother is about to turn 40 and he’s having a hard time with that number LOL!!! I’m sure you guys know that this is common. Rob deserves a great party and is a car nut. More specifically, he’s a Jeep nut and I know you guys are too! Both of watched your Motor Mountain USA videos and loved them! Unfortunately, we never got the California belt buckle (we live near Santa Barbara).

Anyway, I want to put on a car or Jeep themed birthday party for him at the end of the month and I wanted to know if either of you had any ideas. I have a seven-hundred dollar budget and I want to invite at least a dozen of his friend. He’s got a lot of friends!

What do you think? I would SO appreciate your help!


Shelly B.

Lompoc, CA

p.s. I really think Roman is cute. Just so you know. ;D


A: Wow! That’s a unique question and I have an idea!

Contact the Rock and Roll Cafe in Oceano, CA for part of the party portion. The atmosphere has a lot of auto memorabilia, the music rocks and the food’s pretty damn tasty. Start here for brunch.

I went to school in that area and can tell you, head to Pismo Beach, which is pretty close, it would be a hell of a lot of fun. There are some great campgrounds and, for those who do not own an off-road vehicle, lots of ATV rentals.

I recommend Oceano Campground at Pismo State Beach. You park on the beach and have great access to some wicked off road/beach fun. Perhaps you could grab a few campground spots and end the evening with hot dogs, smores and a few delicious beverages?

The next day, check out Linnaea’s Cafe in San Luis Obispo, California for a great breakfast.

Sound good?

As for your opinion about Roman… I’ll let him know.

No, not a chance!



Speaking of fun off-road rides…

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.

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