In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- What new Jeeps does FCA have in-store for the future?
- Law enforcement rookie needs a ride!
- Used Audi TT vs BMW Z4 vs Porsche Boxter vs (New) Mazda Miata!
This first question comes from a viewer who wants information about new Jeeps.
Q: Hi Fast Lane and Nathan! I have a Jeep question.
I keep hearing that Jeep is building several new models and that Jeep will have a vehicle to compete in almost every crossover and SUV market on the planet. I had an older Jeep Cherokee in high school and I loved it. Lost it in a nasty car accident and I always wanted another Jeep since.
Can you tell me what to expect?
Thanks Nathan! You and the Fast Lane guys are the best!
A: Hi Al, thanks for that email!
Jeep has several models that will start showing up at auto shows and press events very soon. Yes, they are developing crossovers and SUVs that will compete in more segments. This will give them a portfolio that will allow their bottom line to expand rapidly.
Jeep is one of the most important brands in the FCA group.
Here’s what should be coming to North American soon:
- New Jeep Wrangler
- Jeep Wrangler-based pickup truck
- The Jeep Wagoneer (7-passenger crossover) based on a stretched Jeep Cherokee
- A new Jeep Grand Cherokee
- The Jeep Grand Wagoneer (7-passenger) based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee
- The Jeep Trackhawk, a Grand Cherokee with a Hellcat engine and all-wheel drive
- A replacement for the Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass that will slot in between the Renegade and Cherokee
There should be more, but the ones I listed are (for the most part) confirmed. Things may change and Jeep may add or drop a model or two. Sorry to say, I have no confirmed dates for any of there vehicles, but I know that we should see something at the next series of auto shows starting this November.
Hope that helps!
This next question is from a fan in New Jersey who is an aspiring law enforcement officer.
I hope this email finds you doing well. I want to let you know I have watched tons of TFl videos and they are awesome! Keep up the good work!
A little bit about me, I am 25 years old and pursuing a career in law enforcement. I need a vehicle that will get me to and from work (up to 45 miles each way) in any conditions Mother Nature has to offer. I live in NJ where we get plenty of snow storms and flash floods, but usually they are cleaned up relatively quickly. I need something good in ice and slush, and also good if I need to head out of my unplowed neighborhood depending if there is 6 inches to 2 feet of snow.
I will give you a list of the vehicles I have been interested in/researching. Please give me some advice, what would you pick?
I have some money saved up, where I could lease a vehicle around $30,000 for a few years and not have trouble makings payments. At the end of the lease if I love the vehicle I would buy it out, or perhaps upgrade to something that is closer to the $50,000 price range if my salary permits it, a dream car.
Currently I drive a 1996 Honda Accord. I bought it used and now it has almost 160,000 miles on it. I have put thousands of dollars into it, replacing the transmission, muffler and exhaust, starter, alternator and other things I can’t remember. Although it is a decent car, I am getting sick of shoveling money into a car that screeches every time it starts. I am not sure I will make it through the next winter, as all my friends call it a death trap. (The defrost barely works).
Like I said I need something good in ice/snow and also with enough room for my chocolate Lab (4 months old, but he is steadily growing). Also I am a tech guy, and I would really love something with a good audio system!
Subaru WRX basic model ($30k-ish):
- AWD, just low too the ground compared to trucks.
- I have heard they are very reliable.
- The fully loaded one comes with a nice speaker system.
- The problem is I can’t get the basic model with upgraded sound, I would have to shell out $36k to have the nav and safety features as well as the audio quality I want.
- AWD, obviously Hondas are reliable!
- Around 40k for black edition
- Fx4 or any 4WD model
- These can be pricey
- I could get a used one. I have heard mixed reviews on reliability
- Around 36k
- I have heard great things
- Can lease one for good price
Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Pricey for models with 4wd and sound system
- Mixed reviews on reliability
- Great off-road
Dream cars ($50k+)
- Ram Rebel
- Ford Raptor $$$
- Ram Power wagon $$$$
- Audi S4 $$$
When I have full time job and kids I would like something big and super safe for my family, when money is not as big as a factor that is is right now. Right now I am 25 and I still want something sporty, I have never had a sports car which is why I really like the WRX. I don’t know if I am ready for a dad car. Trucks are sexy also, but I don’t know if I am still sort of young and want something sporty.
My girlfriend is looking at Jeeps, she has her heart set on a white Jeep with saddle interior. I just want something with good vision, and very reliable, and also great in all weather and great sound system.
Should I get a truck or SUV? One with good sound system and very reliable? Or should I get a standard WRX model and potentially install my own speakers if I love the car to death?
In seven years I plan to have kids, so I would like to upgrade to something more convenient for family rides, but right now it is just my girlfriend, our dog and me. Please give me your advice!
Some days I want a sporty WRX, great in snow. Then I don’t want to ding up my lease, and I think I want to run over every curb with a Ram Rebel! But then the next day I want something fast and sexy like the WRX. I am caught in a dilemma.
Please give me your expert opinion, because I am sure you and your friends have tested most of these vehicles and plenty more.
I have test driven:
F150: It’s huge and wild to park, but I could get used to it
WRX: a little stiff compared to my Honda, but I liked it
Plenty of my friends’ Jeeps (bad blind spots)
Ford Explorers at work, I like them too
Friends’ Ford Fusions are nice too
From your friend,
A: Hi AJ – thanks for the detailed email!
You certainly do have dilemma. It’s hard to pinpoint what works best as your tastes are all over the place. I mean, you know you love the Subaru WRX, it’s excellent in the snow, but you’re thinking about trucks and crossovers too. It’s a difficult position at best.
You’re like me: worrying about buyer’s remorse – right?
My suggestion? Consider leasing some of these vehicles for a limited time. As long as you keep them under the mileage maximum, you should get a year each with the vehicles you’re truly interested in. That way, when your seven-year plan is all caught up – you’ll have a pretty good idea as to what vehicle you truly want.
If you have friends with kids or family members with little ones, try some of these vehicles with them aboard. Trust me, it’s a completely different driving experience with kids. Also, take your friends for a ride and see what they think as you’re driving. Feedback given at the time you’re actually driving can be valuable.
I did recently drive the Honda Ridgeline Black Series (which will be on an upcoming TFLtruck video episode). It’s an excellent vehicle for daily driving and it did will on dirt. It’s a great compromise.
The only other suggestion I can make is to test drive each vehicle you’re interested in year-round at different dealerships. It won’t be easy and salespeople do not like lookie-loos, but it may help you formulate a good foundation for what you want.
Hope that helps and be safe out there!
The last question comes from a fan who needs a used sport convertible or a new Miata.
Hi Nathan, Roman:
I am in the market of buying a sports convertible. I shortlisted my search to the following cars:
- New 2016 Mazda Miata
- Used BMW z4
- Used Porsche Boxster
- Used Audi TT
I don’t want to spend a lot of money as all of them are low of practicality. I am trying to put a hard stop on $35K (new or used).
Which car would you recommend, or which one you would advise not to buy?
I have seen a lot of TFL car comparisons, but I couldn’t find a link where all the above four cars are compared side by side.
I would really appreciate if you can help me out in making this decision.
P.S: I am not a very big guy: 5’8, 158 lbs. Seating is not an issue.
A: Hi Vibhor!
Before I give you my answer, please understand that you choices are excellent and any of them will make a great driver. I love the BMW Z4 and Roman is partial to the Porsche Boxster. Both German roadsters have a lot of curb appeal on top of their excellent driving dynamics.
With that being said, if you’re serious about driving something solid, reliable and proven, I highly recommend the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. Sure, it’s not as snazzy as the German competition, but what it lacks in snoot-value, it makes up for in outstanding driving dynamics.
You could look at the new Fiat 124 too. It has a slightly more upscale feel to it while having the excellent bones of the Miata underneath.
Here’s the next video episode of “Ask Nathan!”
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