Return of the Ford Maverick (SUV), Toyota PIXIS for U.S. and the Top Speed Lie? [Ask Nathan]

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  • Is the Ford Maverick coming back as a SUV?!
  • They should sell the Toyota PIXIS in the USA.
  • Why does every car lie about top speed?

The first question comes from a Ford fan who wants to know more information about the baby Ford Bronco, which may have the name “Maverick” – a name from Ford’s automotive past.

A teaser of Ford’s new small, off-road SUV – is it going to be called the Ford Maverick?

(Via Twitter@Nathanadlen) Guys. I hear that Ford will call the next small baby brother of the Bronco the Ford Maverick!

It’s a rumor, but another magazine said that Ford applied for rights to the name Maverick. A new Ford Maverick? Since they are finished with cars, it’s got to be for the new crossover right?!?!?!?!?!?!?



A: Hi MO!

Actually, our friends at caught wind of Maverick AND Timberline names. The Ford Maverick trademark was requested way back in December 2016. Still, the folks at Ford don’t tie their shoes without a plan – so we may see either one of these names on an upcoming Ford product.

I think either name would be pretty sweet, especially if Ford truly builds a Jeep Cherokee challenger that can match it off-road. That’s a segment that Jeep owns almost exclusively. I just hope that, with the cool new name, the crossover has real off-road chops.

Only time will tell.


This next question comes from a fan who wants the tiny Toyota PIXIS Kei car to come to the USA.

Hi. Is there someone there who can tell me why some cars Toyota won’t sell here?

I like this little SUV they sell called the Pixis and it’s so much better than the C-HR. The C-HR is slow and has no all wheel drive while the Pixis is quick and has all wheel drive. It’s a more usable car too, it has a turbo and a very flexible interior. It would be so much better here than the C-HR.

Just curious!


A: Hi Alex!

Thanks for the email! I think the car you’re talking about is the Toyota Pixis Joy, which is a retro design. It is also known as the Daihatsu Cast and is built by Daihatsu. It’s a interesting car with an available all-wheel drive (AWD) system, a 658cc, 3-cylinder, turbocharged engine and it comes standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Sport model comes with a 7-speed manual paddle-shifted mode setup.

Sweet little runabouts, but Kai car (K-car, or kei jidōsha) are tiny by U.S. standards. Just to Federalize (make ready for the Department of Transportation, pass emissions, pay tariffs/chicken tax – and so-on, would make the car exuberantly expensive in our market. Kei cars have always been designed specifically for the Japanese home market.

I sympathize with you. I would love to see some Kei car putting around. Love those little buggers, but Uncle Sam will never allow them to be sold here.



The last question comes from a reader who wants to know why speedometers lie.

2015 Mustang Speedometer

Nathan, I know my car can barely pass 100 mph, but the speedometer goes to 140!

Why is that? Why make the driver think there’s power to go that fast when, in truth they cannot! I noticed it on nearly every car I’ve driven. All of them are way over optimistic. Why would they be so dishonest?

Do you think the automakers lie? Is this true throughout the industry? Will Volkswagen decide to make a speedometer that hits 300 mph for the Jetta?

Is it all a lie? Let me hear your thoughts.


A: Great question!

The simple answer is -“YES“-

It’s rather untrue in most cases. It’s one untruth that’s been floating around for years and it’s something that has multiple reasons for existing – according to some marketing and PR folks. Here are some of the reasons based on automaker’s from all over the world:

  1. It makes the consumer feel like the vehicle has more power.
  2. It gives the drivers in other countries (like Germany) a high top speed because they have a high speed highway where their cars can go all out.
  3. Higher speed speedometers add value to the car.
  4. It shows the potential of the vehicle. As if there’s a way to make it hit those speeds.
  5. If one version of a car is very fast (think Focus RS) all versions of the vehicle (think base model Focus) have to have a matching top speed speedometer.
  6. It could be reached on a long downhill stretch.
  7. It shares its speedometer component with other (faster) models in the fleet
  8. If the speedometer is too low, folks will feel compelled to “bury” the needle past the top speed.

Other than number one, the rest of these answers are complete nonsense.

Look, I don’t mind the top speed sitting under a slightly higher speedometer number, but let’s get real! I’m sorry, but showing a speedometer maximum speed that’s 30, 40, 50 mph over the vehicle’s top speed is just ridiculous.

Thanks for the email!

Speaking of Volkswagen…

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: