Next Nissan Z rumors, Hummer vs Wrangler and the least expensive Pickup Truck? [Ask Nathan]

Emme and Nathan in Maryland

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Do you know what’s happening with the next generation Nissan Z?
  • HUMMER H1 vs Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon?
  • What is the least expensive pickup truck available?

This first question comes from a viewer who wants an update on the next generation Nissan Z.


Q: Hi Nate DOGG! I own a Nissan 350 Z with 145,000 miles on it. It runs great and in six years it’s never had a big problem. I replaced brakes and rubber and thats about it. Love the Nissan Z!

So I saw another web site saying that Nissan was going to kill off the Z. They said it sold slow and that there were no plans to build a new one right now. Is this the truth?!?!? Is Nissan Z coming to a end?

Common Dogg help me out! Tell me you got something!


Hacienda Heights, California


A: Hi Charles, thanks for the email!

It’s interesting; you’re the second person this week to mention owning a reliable Nissan Z. Not only that, he lives in the City of Industry, right by Hacienda Heights! Look him up, his name is Andres and he used to work for Automundo. He’s on all the Nissan Z boards.

Here are a few of the rumors floating around about the next generation Nissan Z:

  • One bizarre and persistent rumors is that the next Nissan Z will be a crossover SUV of some sort. Yep, think of it as a beefier Nissan Juke and you’re on the right track.
  • There’s talk of a smaller platform with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine feeding a seven-speed automatic; or, possibly, a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
  • Another possibility, although one that I came up with on my own, is that the next Nissan Z may share a platform and components with the recently released Infiniti Q60. This might include the twin-turbocharged, intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6.
  • One rumor that swirled around the awesome concept – the Nissan IDx – is that the next Nissan Z could become something similar. The Nissan IDx was a hugely popular concept, one that fans still want to see in production. Like the first rumor, if this holds true, it would be returning to simpler roots.

Keep this in mind Charles: these are all completely unsubstantiated rumors. Not a single thing here has been confirmed by anyone at Nissan. Still, it’s good to see so many rumors about the next Nissan Z. It means there’s a lot of interest out there.

I’ll keep searching for more info – promise!



This next question is from an off road fan who wants me to choose between a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon or a fresh-from-the-army HUMVEE.

Q:Hi Nathan. I know you’re a Jeep guy, I wonder if you could answer this question.

I was thinking about the best, used 4X4 I could get my hands on and I came up with these two: the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon and the HUMVEE H1, recently decommissioned with an upgraded engine.

I was wondering which vehicle you would get. Is it worth my time to get the Hummer or is it smarter to get the Jeep? Tell me why.



A: Hi John,

Easy answer: Jeep.

I’ve driven both vehicles quite a bit. While the HUMVEE has a ton of character and presence, it truly is a truck for moving goods, people and munitions. The Jeep was specifically built to perform well off road while being a tolerable daily driver.

The HUMVEE is a very rugged truck, but it is no trail machine. The H1 is wider than most half-ton trucks, it corners like a battleship and its not easy to see out of. It’s not the easiest vehicle to live with. Unless you have long desert trails to cross, or a battle to fight, the HUMVEE is not the vehicle to own.

Even the accommodations, despite being larger on the outside, the HUMVEE is uncomfortable and was never built to be ergonomically savvy. Nope, it’s a truck – pure and simple. Don’t just take my word for it – rent one for a few days and see what you think.

Good luck!


The last question comes from a viewer who wants a work truck that’s as affordable as possible.

ike gauntlet tfltruck

Q:I have a small catering business and I just got approved a loan to expand. Right now I use an old Dodge Caravan with no seats, but I want a pickup truck.

I want to get the most for my money and I need a new one with a full warranty, nothing fancy or built for off-road driving. I just need a simple, clean and new truck that will give me many years of reliable service.

I used to have an old Mitsubishi Mighty Max that lasted me years and was very reliable. I even liked having a manual transmission.

What do think?

I like your videos and I enjoy the new Ask Nathan segment too! Please help me.




A: Hi Jose!

Good question. I did some research on half-ton and mid-sized trucks only to find a truck which is on the oldest platform out there. Still, it’s robust and I’m sure it’s (by far) the least expensive one out there. I refer to the 2016 Nissan Frontier.

Base-priced at $18,290; you can get the base model for $19,190 with no options. This is a four–cylinder, rear drive king-cab with a 5-speed manual transmission. If you include a few handy options, you can still get one for under $22,000.

The next cheapest truck is the base-model Chevrolet Colorado which also has a manual 5-speed and a four-cylinder engine. Just like the Nissan, the Colorado comes standard in a King-cab/extra-cab setup. While the Chevrolet has a much nicer interior and a modern look, it starts at $20,055 and a few options will easily move the price into the high 20’s.

nissan nv 200 2

I would like to recommend looking at the new batch of utility/work vans that hit the market over the past few years. The Nissan NV200 starts at $20,870 and larger, more power vans like the Ram Promaster City begin at $23,445 and the Ford Transit Connect starts at $22,675.

For catering, I can’t think of better suited vehicles like these vans.

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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