Nissan Versa Note Replacement, Best all-around SUV, are Oldsmobile and Pontiac good cars? [Ask Nathan]

Holiday Show: Everything you always wanted to know about Team TFLcar

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Is there a Nissan Versa Note replacement coming?
  • Best SUV out there?
  • Are the Oldsmobile Alero and last Pontiac Firebird good?

This first question comes from a viewer who is just beginning the process of shopping for a small hatchback and wants to know if the Nissan Versa Note is being replaced.


Q: Happy holidays Nathan and gang! I have a question about the next generation Nissan Versa Note.

I live in Nashville and two of my family members work at Nissan. We’ve had good luck with Nissan products and my ’05 Nissan Versa is still running strong after 150,000 miles. It’s no frills, but it does the job every day.

Because of my family’s connections to Nissan, I can get an amazing deal on a car, and I think I should start looking within the next few months. Nobody I’m related to and nobody at Nissan has said a thing about a new or replacement for the Nissan Versa Note.

I was wondering if you had any information or heard any rumors. It would be great if they could up the excitement level while keeping the price low. I know Nissan can increase the drivability right? They already did that with the Altima and Sentra, why not the Versa Note?

Please let me know if you have anything!

Best wishes and happy holidays!



A: Hi Mel!

There is very little to go on and nothing official, especially after the recent update on the regular Nissan Versa. Still, there are some interesting rumors floating around including a few about the Nissan Micra.

The Nissan Micra has grown a bit and it’s now a potential platform/replacement for the next Nissan Versa Note. This is good news for us if it does happen because the Nissan Micra is a more enjoyable driver than the Nissan Versa Note.

We should have a better idea after the 2017 NAIAS or 2017 Chicago Auto Show (Nissan’s a big player at the Chicago show).

Thanks for the email and happy holidays!


This next question comes from two viewers who want to know what the best SUV is.

2016 range rover sport td6 off-road review

Q:What is the all around best SUV?



Q:Yo man! Do you now what the top SUV is?

I want to know what is best on and off road with utility and performance too.



2015 gmc yukon

A: Great questions!

There are far too many SUVs for anyone to choose just one, but I can give you a top three of my personal favorites. I can’t mention vehicles I haven’t driven, that would be unfair. I can tell you what has performed well in off-road, towing and/or utility testing.

My current top three (in no particular order)

GMC Yukon XL Denali – That big honkin’ engine and it’s remarkable utility and luxury is impressive. Love the way it handles, feels and looks. Better tires would help it off road. Tows like a freight train.

Range Rover HSE Sport TD6 Diesel – The torque, economy, range and refinement of this vehicle cannot be understated. It does everything well while it makes you feel like a million bucks

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon – Come on, you both knew I would choose this one. I make no apologies for this vehicle. I know the Rubicon is kind of slow and inefficient, but what it lacks in street refinement it more than makes of for in off-road ability and fun. Let me put it this way: you rarely meet a Wrangler owner who’s willing to drive anything else.

Thanks for the questions folks!




The last question comes from a fan who is looking at cars from Oldsmobile and Pontiac.

Q: Hi Nathan. I was wondering if the Oldsmobile Alero and Aurora or the last-gen Firebirds were good cars.

Thank you from Josh

A: Hi Josh!

Believe it or not, both Pontiac and Oldsmobile were at the top of their game when General Motors let them go. That’s not to say the Alero, Aurora or Firebird were perfect, but they were pretty good. Quality and design were notably good on most of their vehicles and I still find pristine Auroras and Firebirds in great condition despite their age and mileage.

Best of all, parts are pretty cheap and widely available.

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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