Updates on the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback, a U.S. Volkswagen Amarok pickup and Tuscon vs Everyone [Ask Nathan]

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In this week’s Ask Nathan:

This first question comes from a viewer who is hungry for news about the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback.

Honda Civic Hatchback Concept | 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Q: Hi Nathan, Roman and Andre. I need some information on the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback.

I just want the basics. I have seen concepts and I was told that the real car would look like it.

I love Honda and I regret leaving the brand for a inferior Japanese brand. I now see the error of my ways.

The slow, boring wagon I have must be replaced!

I don’t need a lot of room, just enough space for my dog and my COSPLAY junk. (I’m a battle bear, just like Nathan!)

I like manual transmissions, but my current car has a CVT which I hate. I miss having fun rowing my gears.

Please tell me that the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback is worth the wait!


Adrian P

St. Petersburg, FL

A: “Battle Bear” eh? I’m more Silverback Gorilla, but I’m okay with resembling a bear.

As for your question: yes, there are some updates for the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback. It will have a direct injected, 174 horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and it will come with an available 6-speed manual transmission!

The European model is supposed to have 36 inches of rear seat legroom and a combined 122,9 cubic feet of interior space total. That’s more space than some crossovers. I suspect the dimensions will be similar in the United States.

While there are lots of rumors of an Si version along with a possible hybrid, there is very little official information available. Fortunately, if you visit the Honda page and click on the “Future Models & Concepts” section, you can sign up for updates and get the latest additional information.

I hope that helps!



This next question is from a Volkswagen fan who wants the Amarok pickup to be sold here.

Q:Dear Nathan and TFL Crew,

Could you tell me anything about VW bringing the truck they produce in Europe here to the United States?

Eric M


A: Hi Eric,

Regrettably, it would be nearly impossible for Volkswagen to bring the Amarok to the United States. As much as I think it would be a great challenger to Nissan, Toyota, Honda and GM, it would need to surmount several obstacles before it could be sold here.

Volkswagen is through with diesels on our shores. It’s doubtful they would even consider a diesel version Amarok for our country which makes them immediately trail General Motors. They would have to produce it here in the United States to make it (remotely) economically viable.

It would have to be “Americanized,” meaning it would have to meet our stringent safety and environmental requirements. It would require an expensive ad campaign and a lot of positive PR too. Our market is very competitive for any pickup truck. The Volkswagen Amarok would have to come out guns blazing and have the ability to unseat some well known names.

I hate to say it Eric, but I don’t think Volkswagen can pull it off any time soon.


The last question comes from a fan who is comparing the Hyundai Tuscon against many other makes.

2016 Hyundai Tuscon

Hi Roman

I was hoping to get your opinion on a couple different small SUV’s.

I have narrowed my choices to the 2017 Subaru Forester, 2017 Ford Escape, 2017 Hyundai Tucson and the 2016 Toyota RAV4.

This will be a long term purchase so I will not be leasing. If it were your money, which one would you choose? Thanks!

All the best

A: Hi Anthony,

Roman passed this one to me as I have some recent history with the vehicles you mentioned:

Out of all three, Roman would grab the 2017 Hyundai Tucson and I am partial to the 2016 Toyota RAV4. While the Ford Escape is a great alternative, I like the Toyota RAV4’s capability while Roman sings praises about the overall driveability of the 2017 Hyundai Tucson.

The strongest point for the Ford Escape it its available EcoBoost engine. Seriously fast and refined, the engine/chassis combination is something special. Still, Roman opts for the Hyundai Tuscon and I still like the Toyota RAV4.

One final note: I am a huge fan of the Mazda CX-5 and I think it would be a great vehicle to compare against your list.

The good news is: with any of your choices, you’re going to get a great car.

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.

Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: asknathan@tflcar.com