Mazda BT-50 Pickup in the USA, Nissan Cube Question and Tall Guy needs a Off-Road Ride [Ask Nathan]

Challenger Hellcat and Civic Type R

    • Will they sell a Mazda BT-50 pickup truck here?
    • Nissan Cube question.
    • Economical off-road ride for a tall guy?

The first question comes from a fan who wants to know if there will be a Mazda BT-50 pickup truck sold in the United States.

Q:Hi Nathan and team TFL! I know I should send truck questions to the truck website ( but I wanted your opinion.

Months ago, I overheard a cop I work with mention that he heard that Mazda might sell the Mazda BT-50 in the USA. That blew my mind because I’m a HUGE Mazda fan and I would love to own a truck with a Mazda badge. One sites has photos of the Mazda BT-50 testing in California, what do you think about this?

I own a first generation 4WD Mazda MVP, a Mazda MX6 and a new Mazda 6, which is one of my favorite Mazdas ever! I know you’re a Mazda guy too, so that’s why I’m asking here.

You guys rock! I hope you do more specials like MMUSA and Big Green!

Ivan Wiskey

A: Hi Ivan!

There have been no official statements made by Mazda, and I don’t think there will be any time soon. I saw those Mazda photos too, it’s interesting, but the timing is odd.

You see, those were old Ford-based BT-50s. The new/next ones are supposed to be based on an Isuzu platform and look totally different. It’s possible that Mazda is simply working with test-mule platforms that are meant for overseas’ markets.

I would love to see a pickup truck built by Mazda in our country. As things currently stand, it would be a very expensive proposition for Mazda and they would be going up against some heady competition to say the least. Still, it would be great to see.

Here’s hoping.


This next question comes from a viewer who is looking at a Nissan Cube.

Q:I am thinking about buying a Nissan Cube with a six speed manual.

Have you ever driven one? How does the six speed compare to the CVT? I’m looking at a 2013 with less than 30,000 miles.


Via Twitter (

2011 Nissan Cube

A: Thanks for the email/Tweet!

Hay, that’s excellent mileage. Yes indeed, I have driven many Nissan Cubes. The manual transmission is a much better choice over the continuously variable transmission (CVT). It’s no rocket, but it wakes up the performance a tad and passing power is much better. I would go so far as to say that the six-speed manual is superior in nearly every way.

I had high hopes that Nissan would bring us the Cube they sell overseas, the one that has an electric motor power the rear wheels when extra traction was needed. They also were seriously funky compared to the watered-down versions we got.

Still, the little Nissan Cube has a ton of utility, and; if you get the six-speed transmission, it’s kind of fun to drive too.



The last question comes from a viewer who’s 6’4″ and needs an economic daily driver that can handle a bit of off-roading.

Q:To whom it may concern; I watch your youtube videos and have enjoyed your common sense no nonsense reviews.

I am in the market for a New vehicle but I am having difficulty choosing. A little about my needs.

I am a real estate appraiser in Utah. I drive a lot in my car. Currently I have a 1999 Toyota Camry (almost 300k miles) and a 2006 Pontiac G6 (almost 200k miles). I will be retiring both of these vehicles.

I would like a fuel efficient vehicle that is AWD/4WD and that can go offroad. I also want it to be sporty and fun to drive. I am 6’4” tall. I am open to trucks, SUV/Crossover, and Sedans.

Vehicles I have considered;

Subaru WRX
F-150 (Regular Cab/Short Bed/2.7 Ecoboost)
Mazda CX-9
Ford Edge
Ford Fusion Sport

And others along the way. I drive over 45k miles a year, and when I have needed to go offroad for the past few years, I have taken my Wife’s Toyota Tundra Crewmax (too expensive for me to drive every day).

As this is what you guys do and I have to do my day job and research, I thought I would ask the pro’s for their advice. I would like to have over 25MPG and I am not interested in Hybrid technology.




A: Hi Mike!

Two vehicles that come to mind: the Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel and the Subaru Forester. Both are capable, comfortable and get mileage that’s commendable. Both offer a ton of utility and, as a realtor, I’m sure you and your clients would appreciate good rear passenger comfort too.

Two completely different prices too.

If you’re still considering a truck, the Ram 1500 diesel gets exceptional fuel mileage and they build one that can handle off-roading. The same goes for the Chevrolet Colorado, but the interior might be tight for you. I suggest sitting in each one at the very least.

Best of luck!


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.

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