Replacing the Ford Mustang, Buick Regal AWD vs Subaru Legacy and Towing for Retirement [Ask Nathan]

The 2015 Audi S3 sets the bar for premium sub-compact sedan performance.

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

This first question comes from a viewer who wants to know if the Ford Mustang will be replaced with a front-wheel drive (FWD) car. Remember the Ford Probe?

16Mustang-CalSpecial_2812_HR

Q: Hi Nathan and Andre and Roman, I have a question for you guys.

I am a 14-year-old muscle car fan. Some people are saying that the Ford Mustang has poor sales and will go away. They also say they (Ford) might replace the Mustang with a FWD car based on the Ford Fusion platform.

Is this true? I love the Mustang and the Camaro. I hope to buy one new when I get my driver’s license. I am saving every penny but I don’t want to be disappointed in two years when I finally am ready to buy one.

You guys are the best!

Sincerely,

Gordon I
Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Ford Mustang GT Convertible California Special
2016 Ford Mustang GT Convertible California Special

A: Hi Gordon!

You have great taste in cars. The Mustang and Camaro represent some of the best of what their automaker’s build. They’re great driver’s cars with excellent base models.

Not to worry, the Ford Mustang is a very important car for Ford. While sales numbers dipped a bit from last year’s total of 122,349 cars sold in 2015, this year’s numbers look like they will be just a tad less. The Ford Mustang isn’t going anywhere.

With that being said: Ford considered replacing the old Mustang in the late 1980s. A car known as the Ford Probe nearly became the fourth-generation Ford Mustang. At that time, FWD cars with four-cylinder engines were very popular.

Fortunately, Mustang fans made enough noise in protest to stop Ford from dropping the rear-drive Mustang.

Not that the Probe was a bad car. It was based on the Mazda MX-6 and was pretty good all-around, but the name was terrible.

Thanks for the email and good luck getting your dream-car!

N


This next question come from a fan who is considering buying a Subaru Legacy 3.6R or a Buick Regal AWD.

2016 buick regal gs awd

Q: Hi Nathan, do you have a thought about buying a Subaru Legacy 3.6R or a Buick Regal?

I am in the market for an all-wheel-drive car that can handle the nasty weather Portland has to offer. I had a 2007 Toyota Sienna with all-wheel drive and it was the most reliable vehicle I even owned (it never had a problem except for going through five sets of tires in nine years, which I cannot blame on the van).

The time has come to get something else. I kind of want to spoil myself. I am giving my van to my eldest who is about to start college and my teen son is not interested in anything new. He’s restoring an old Pontiac with my brother.

Anyway, I want something that was safe, fun and gives me a bit of luxury. It has to be new with a good reputation. I can’t afford a European new car or anything from Lexus, which makes me sad. I was just about to buy a Subaru Legacy 3.6R. It has good power and Subarus are known to be great cars in Oregon. I complained about the interior and its lines to my boss and he suggested looking at Buick.

I tested the Buick Regal with all-wheel drive yesterday and I loved it. My brother says that the Subaru is better. Now I’m getting two opinions from two people I respect. This is so frustrating. I just want the most informed opinion.

My son mentioned your videos and I love watching them! You have so many channels and you (and Emme) represent the grounded perspectives I was looking for.

What do you recommend? I work as a manager for a bank just outside of Portland. I rarely drive with passengers, but I occasionally date. I want something that looks good on a lady in her late 40s, but I need to spend under $35,000 out the door. Can you help?

Thank you Nathan and please give my best to Roman!

Kathleen

2015, subaru, legacy, 3.6R, video, awd
2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R

A: Hi Kathleen,

Both cars are excellent choices. While I prefer the Buick Regal (with the AWD “Regal Group” with the 2-liter turbo) as it’s more engaging to drive and the interior is excellent, the Subaru Legacy is a safe, reliable ride.

Here’s my take: the Buick Regal was designed as a European Opel Insignia before it was rebadged for our market. That is to say, the Buick Regal is a European car with AWD that you can afford. Adding to that, it’s a blast to drive (with the turbo) and the interior is quite luxurious. There’s more: the Buick name brand has won accolades as being a high quality, reliable nameplate.

The last Subaru Legacy I tested was about two years ago. The H6 is smooth and powerful and the back seat is roomier than the Buick’s back seat. I think that, if snow is your biggest worry, the Subaru is a smart bet.

I prefer the Buick Regal, it’s a great car for the money and a hoot to drive.

I hope that helps!

N


The last question comes from a viewer who wants a vehicle that can tow his trailer all over the USA.

Jeep Grand Cherokee prototype
Jeep Grand Cherokee prototype

Q: I was looking at the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel as a tow vehicle.

I’m only a few months from retirement and I bought a trailer that I want to spend some real time traveling around to as many states as I can. I was kind of inspired off your Motor Mountain USA videos. You need to do another travel adventure! With my adventure, I would like to paint the state bird in each state in its natural habitat.

It would be funny to see Nathan painting in each state. He would probably use spray paint and paint rollers! Nothing personal Nathan, you are a funny dude!

I bought a Fun Finder (F-210UDS) travel trailer that weighs about 4,000 lbs. It’s practically brand new and I can take it just about anywhere. I love its big bathroom and comfortable bed. Seriously TFL, you guys should try towing a better trailer. I remember how meager the Jeep trailer was. This one is awesome!

Right now I am towing it with my 2002 Chevrolet Suburban. It’s a good towing rig I guess, but it’s old and things are beginning to fall off. It has almost 150,000 miles on the ticker and that’s a bit high for my taste. I want something more efficient and better off road.

Most half-ton trucks are way too pricey and too big. My Suburban is about the same length as a half ton with an extra cab and that’s too big for me. I would look at the newer Tahoe, but it’s thirsty and expensive.

I went to my local Jeep dealership and looked at the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee 75th anniversary edition with the EcoDiesel V6. Man what a beautiful vehicle! I love the packaging, the size, and the diesel! It was everything I wanted, but that price of fifty grand was a bit out of my league.

Is there anything else you would recommend that can suggest? I like the idea of a diesel’s range and towing capability. Every penny I save now extends my retirement/road trip. Thanks guys, I think the world of you!

Phil C

A: Hi Phil and congratulations on your retirement!

Have you considered either the Chevrolet Colorado or GMC Canyon diesels? It sounds like everything you need can be addressed by either of these trucks. A well-featured 4X4 diesel will run about $10,000 less than a diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee.

In my opinion, the Chevrolet Colorado diesel is a better tow vehicle than the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel too. Having a truck frame underneath (the Jeep Grand Cherokee has no frame) helps with nearly every aspect of towing.

Give it a look and have a great adventure!

N

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