A Toyota FJ replacement, killing the FCA HEMI and what about the Pet Friendly Nissan? [Ask Nathan]


In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will there be a Toyota FJ replacement?
  • Will FCA kill the HEMI?
  • What’s up with this pet friendly Nissan I’ve seen?

This first question comes from a fan who wonders if there will be a Toyota FJ replacement.


Q:Hi, Nathan and Roman! Do you know if there is a plan for a Toyota FJ replacement?

I can’t even afford a used FJ. A Toyota FJ replacement is totally needed to go up against Jeep!


Clemson University UC-ICAR uBox concept vehicle

A: Hi Omar!

I know there are a ton of Toyota fans who would love to see a Toyota FJ replacement in our near future. On a positive note, Toyota applied for a trademark “FT-4X” back in October 2016. This could mean they are planning to build a concept which is four-wheel drive (4X) that represents a Future Truck (FT).

That’s all I got.

Toyota’s only North American Jeep competitor is the Toyota 4Runner, which, when properly equipped, can compete with the Grand Cherokee and some of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited variants. While it was never fully intended as a Toyota FJ replacement, the 4Runner did share many components including a portion of its platform with the FJ Cruiser.

Sadly, demand for the Toyota FJ Cruiser was too low for Toyota to push a replacement through.

Who knows? With Ford bringing back the Bronco and Nissan (possibly) building a replacement for the Xterra, maybe there will be a Toyota FJ replacement. The market is hungry for one and gas is pretty inexpensive.

One can hope.



This next question comes from a fan who wonders if FCA means to kill off the HEMI.

Q:Hi Nathan, I’ve heard rumors online that the Hemi will be discontinued in a few years.

Sounds reasonable since it is a 16 year old engine and hasn’t been revamped in 8.

Do you think the European partnership will bring along the low displacement turbo engines like ford is doing in the near future? As a MOPAR fan it’s been a good run, but am ready to see their power ratings be more competitive. With a V8 of course.

Love the show, and say hi to all the guys.

Jake, North Carolina

A: Hi Jake – great question!

There are three things to keep in mind regarding the HEMI’s (possible) demise:

1. FCA has a great marketing tool with anything named HEMI. There is an element of cool that surrounds the HEMI name. The HEMI is as American as baseball, Big Macs and Bob Seger. FCA is well aware how important the HEMI is to their brand – name-wise.

They have worked hard to modernize the HEMI and keep it in the mix.

2. FCA must update to keep pace. This brings the question: must the HEMI be a V8? Can FCA call a V6 or I4 a “HEMI?” I mean, the HEMI is a hemispherical/domed cylinder head engine – right? Many other companies have hemispherical cylinder heads… not all of those engines are V8s.

Is it possible for FCA to keep the HEMI name and use it on other engines?

3. Trucks. I think FCA desperately wants to keep the HEMI name on the side of their future trucks. With near-future emission regulations looking like they could relax, Ram trucks will continue to have HEMI engines.

Curious to see what shape the HEMI takes in the next 10 years.

Thanks again for the question and the TFL team says, “HOWDY!” to you!


This last question comes from a viewer who recently saw a video for the European Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs Concept (it’s a pet-friendly concept) and wants to know more about it.

Nissan X-Trail 4DogsQ: I saw a quick video about a Nissan SUV that has a pet-friendly option.

I still own a 2010 Honda Element with the Dog Friendly Package which now has 160,000 miles on it. Nobody has duplicated this great package even though so many people have dogs and cats that are like family. My best friend Joyce sent me this video and I went crazy!

Please tell me that Nissan builds this car in the United States! Do you think they will have an option for this package like Honda did? Oh Nathan, give me some good news!


Amorita J

Ojai, CA

2010 honda element

A: Greetings Amorita!

That’s the Nissan X-Trail and it’s sold overseas. It’s (pretty much) the same thing as a Nissan Rogue in the USA. What you saw was a concept vehicle which is not in production. It’s known as the Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs Concept. The good news for you is,  the Nissan Rogue is a good little crossover. It also means that the pet-friendly package could be compatible with the U.S. Nissan Rogue if it’s built.

Here’s Nissan (UK’s) take:

..the Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs has everything required to keep canines clean and comfortable after a long, muddy walk. Wash them off with the 360° pull-out shower, then swap for the dog dryer which delivers a jet of air to the wet fur. Pull out the slide-away ramp so the dogs can walk up into the boot – allowing owners to stay completely mud-free – then turn on the integrated drying system which supplies warm air into the boot space.

Will Nissan build it?

Nissan is pretty adaptable and if they see the market potential in a pet-friendly option, they may build it.

I highly recommend contacting Nissan and letting them know what you think. I think they should build it too!

Best of luck!


Here’s the newest 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.