News about Subaru’s Three-row SUV, Spooled up performance and New Chevrolet Avalanche? [Ask Nathan]

Nathan, Andre and Roman reveal the TFLcar top five cars revealed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
Nathan, Andre and Roman hoarding donuts and talking shop…
  • What’s going on with Subaru’s three-row SUV?
  • Turbocharged, supercharged or naturally aspirated for maintenance?
  • Will there ever be a new Chevrolet Avalanche?

This first question comes from a fan who wants some updates on the replacement for the Subaru Tribeca.

Good day Nathan, I know you like to investigate rumors. Are there any rumors about Subaru’s three-row SUV?

All I know is that they discontinued the Subaru Tribeca before I was even in the market for a three-row SUV. Everything I read about the Tribeca was mediocre at best. That kind of brought me down because I like Subarus. Like you, I live in Colorado (well I live in western Colorado) and I had a Subaru Legacy last me 11 years. I now have a small family and I’ve held off looking as long as I can because I’m waiting for Subaru’s three-row SUV.

Do you think I should look elsewhere, or should I wait? I can wait another year while I pay off my other car. But my problem is that I hate to wait.

Thanks Nathan!


subaru cross 7 exiga II

A: Greetings Keith!

I did some digging and, not surprisingly, Subaru has been pretty tight-lipped about their next three-row SUV. I believe they have a plan ready to execute, but they are play their cards close to their chest. Still, after visiting a few fan-boy pages, reports and past stories, I have a few tidbits for you.

  • Subaru is aiming at a 2018 release and they will build it exculsively for North America.
  • Introduction of the SUV should happen after they introduce the next-generation (American-built) Impreza.
  • It’s expected to be larger and more accommodating than the Tribeca, yet it is supposed to share the new “one car” platform that will underpin all Subaru products sold in our market.
  • Rumor has it that Subaru is looking at the Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot for benchmarks, as opposed to a bigger Legacy/Outback wagon.
  • The name and design will stay within the theme set by the Outback, Forester and Crosstrek. The exterior design may echo the wildly popular Crosstrek’s style.
  • Expect to see Subaru’s latest generation continuously variable transmission (CVT) as the only transmission
  • While their updated H6 boxer engine is nearly certain, there is a chance for a H4 or hybrid H4 like the one used in the Crosstrek.

I doubt the old rumor that Toyota would provide a Highlander platform for Subaru to use is true. Subaru may be a small company, but (based on their successful sales numbers) their development budget should be pretty good. I’m sure they prefer to use their own platforms.

There should be some news and prototypes hitting the 2017 auto show circuit!



1999 porsche 911 vs 2016 vw golf gti drag race

This next question is from a fan who is comparing a sporty turbocharged or supercharged car vs. a naturally aspirated one. He’s curious about reliability.

What’s up Nathan? I’m about to buy a car next year. It will be a performance car.

Before I buy next year, I wanted to get your opinion on car maintenance and maybe this is something Andre could chime in with you about as well.

My question to you (and Andre) is, are turbocharged and supercharged performance cars better equipped and more reliable to maintain maintenance repairs than their mainstream counterparts that aren’t turbocharged and supercharged?


2015 Ford Focus ST Rear

A: Antoine!

That’s a great question. Turbocharged and supercharged (force-inducted) engines are much more reliable today. Sure, naturally (or normally) aspirated engines tend to have less moving parts and usually require less maintenance. It’s becoming less of an issue.

In the past, forced inducted engines were a mixed bag in terms of reliability. Cooling issues, waste-gate malfunctions and boost failures were common. Higher grade fuels and serious money for maintenance were common issues. New engines with superior computer-controlled functionality appear to be robust.

Well-maintained, force-inducted powerplants seem to be lasting just as long as naturally aspirated engines.

Andre says, “My Golf TDI has been rock solid for years and years. Turbo-diesel technology is solid, when it comes to reliability. Almost every automaker has or is moving to turbocharging, their research is allowing us to get much more reliable vehicles.”

All in all, modern vehicles across the board seem to be more reliable whether they are naturally aspirated or not. Just remember: if you get a turbocharged car, you need to take different steps owning and maintaining it.

Hope that helps!


The last question comes from an Avalanche (the truck, not the natural disaster) fan. He wants GM to build a new one.


Do you think Chevy will build a new Avalanche?

It was one of the best trucks my father owned. We finally traded it in when it hit 200,000 miles. We got an F-150 and we’re kind of bummed it’s not as useable as the Avalanche. I went on line and saw some rumors but they were nothing official and I think most of the rumors were posted by one guy.

What do you think?


Thanks for the email Rex!

Interesting question; unfortunately, one that I have very little information to respond with.

The Chevrolet Avalanche was one of the most utilitarian trucks – ever. I seriously considered buying one, but the timing was off and it never happened. The Avalanche was discontinued in 2013 and there has been no official statements about a new one coming anytime in the future.

There were other GM products that shared the jack-of-all-trades platform (Cadillac and Hummer), but the sales dried up. Part of the reason was price, compared to the equivalent pickup truck, the Avalanche was considerably more expensive. Still, based on the already excellent Suburban platform, it drove better than many pickup trucks.

Other than some unsubstantiated rumors about some sort of modern-day Chevrolet Avalanche, there’s nothing I can find that’s remotely legitimate.

Wish I had better news.


Here’s the next video episode of “Ask Nathan!”

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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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