Four-banger Mustang vs snow, towing with a BMW x5 50i V8 and Used BMW vs Mercedes-Benz [Ask Nathan]

Tatra 603

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

This first question comes from a fan who’s thinking about buying a Ford Mustang EcoBoost as a commuter in a snowy community.

Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Hi Nathan,

I am a college student planning on buying a used 2015-2016 EcoBoost Mustang.

I live in an area with quite a bit of snow. How do you think it will perform in snow? I am also concerned about its reliability. I also will be driving my 4-year-old sister to school everyday. Is the car safe for her? I would really appreciate your response.

P.S. I love your videos.

Thank you,


Ford Mustang EcoBoost

A: That’s a great question Touseef.

I never recommend rear-drive cars for winter driving. It’s so much easier and somewhat safer to drive a front-wheel or all-wheel drive car in snow. Still, if you simply must get the Mustang, I recommend real snow tires. A good set of snow tires will make for a much safer and secure drive.

As for reliability and safety: the Ford Mustang is one of the highest-rated sport coupes on the NHTSA rating system. As for reliability, I have little data on the EcoBoost four-cylinder, but I know the optional V6 is well regarded and considered reliable.

The bottom line is: you’re considering a two door coupe with a small back seat as a viable option for you to use as a taxi for your little sister. The back seat of any car in this class is cramped at best and a pain to get in to. Maybe you are looking at the Mustang with your heart and not your brain.

I do that all the time as well.

Best of luck!


2016 BMW X5 40e plug-in hybrid
2016 BMW X5 40e plug-in hybrid

This next question is from a couple who wants to know about towing with a 2013 BMW x5 50i V8 – a vehicle they are considering buying.

Q: Good morning,

Im taking a chance at emailing you knowing its entirely possible you won’t respond. We watch all of your videos on YouTube and love them! Thanks for the great content.

We were considering purchasing a truck and love all of the information you provide.

However, right now we are living in a city and need something smaller to tow and still be able to parallel park. We currently have a 2013 Nissan Xterra Pro-4X and are thinking of trading it in for a 2013 BMW x5 50i V8. We would like a V8 because we tow a small camper and we are in the mountains at times and the Xterra is a horrible tow vehicle.

We keep finding conflicting information for positive reviews for a V8 us a 3.0 x5. Can you please help?

The camper weighs less than 3,000 lbs. We want a reliable vehicle that we can take anywhere. We drove a 3.0 x5 across the country last year and loved it.

We were also considering an Expedition (way too gigantic) or a Lexus GX.

Any information would be incredibly helpful. Even a short tiny response. Were so confused.

Thank you,

John and Estelle H


A: Hi John and Estelle!

The BMW x5 50i V8 has a tow rating maximum of 6,000 lbs, so you’re more than adequate with capability. The funny thing is, all of the 2013 BMW X5s have the same tow rating (diesel and I6). The real question is: do you need the power of the V8?

While I am a power junkie by nature, I know how solid and capable the 3-liter I6 is. If it were me, I would go for the I6 (3.5i). With that being said, you mentioned the Lexus GX (I’m assuming a used one) – that’s the vehicle I would go with as it’s a proper truck with good driving manners and great potential for off-roading.

Hope that helps!


The last question comes from a viewer who’s choosing between a certified per-owned 2013 Mercedes C300 4matic or a 2013 BMW 328i with Xdrive.

2012 BMW 328i


I am inquiring about the Ask Nathan segment.

I am currently researching to purchase a new car and I am interested in buying an all-wheel-drive luxury sedan because the city I am located has four seasons. I am interested in purchasing either a certified pre-owned 2013 Mercedes C300 4matic or a 2013 BMW 328i with Xdrive. I know these cars are a bit pricey for a first car but how expensive are they to maintain? Should I stay away form an entry luxury car for my first car? Please advise.

Many thanks,

Harold M.

A: Hi Harold, thanks for your question.

First of all, both vehicles are magnificent drivers. Add good all-seasons or (better yet) snow tires and both cars excel in low traction driving conditions. The BMW 328i Xdrive has a sportier feel and it does well in snow. While the Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic is equally good in the snow, it has a more luxurious ride. Both are safe and both cars require a lot of dough for maintenance.

Parts and service for both vehicles are pricey but, if you have a good CPO program with covered, scheduled maintenance, they can last a long time. I would also like to recommend the 2013 Acura TL S-AWD and the Lexus IS 250 AWD. Any of these cars are well built and safe.

Good luck!


Here’s the next video episode of “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.

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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