Nissan Z Electric, Volkswagen Atlas vs Subaru Ascent and a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross for my Grad? [Ask Nathan]

2013 Nissan Juke Nismo 0-60 MPH AWD vs FWD Test & Review
  • Will they build Nissan Z Electric next?
  • The family is growing – Volkswagen Atlas vs Subaru Ascent?
  • Should I get a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross for my kid?

The first question comes from a Ford fan who wants to know if Nissan plans to replace the 370 Z with a Nissan Z Electric.

(Via Twitter@Nathanadlen) Will there ever be a new Z? Will Nissan build a new one?

Maybe they will build a Nissan Z Electric (Nissan ZeV)? They are certainly making a lot of electric cars in the near future. Right?


A: Hi Rich!

That’s a real good question. You’re right, Nissan has featured a ton of electric vehicles at various car shows. They made it clear that they will be investing into many new electric vehicles in the near future. Does that mean they will build a sport-oriented Nissan Z Electric to replace the Nissan 370Z?

I’m not too sure.

With the Toyota Supra, 86/BRZ, Miata and others, there is still a market for competitive gas-powered, rear-drive cars. Nissan built a reputation for sports cars and the Nissan Z was, for the most part, the sports car average folks could buy. They would be foolish to completely abandon the market right now.

With that being said, Nissan likes to take risks. It’s not beyond them to introduce a vehicle which is the antithesis to the economical Nissan Leaf. Imaging an electric Nissan Z that could kill the competition off the line and get 200 miles between charges. Sound realistic? Well, one of my sources said that Nissan initially wanted their shelved BladeGlider to have that type of performance capability.

Look, gas is starting to rise again and electric cars are, inevitably, coming to our market with a vengeance. If there is a Nissan Z Electric, it could be a hell of a fast car. Once again, I suspect they will give a gas Z another go.

Time will tell.


This next question comes from new parents who are asking about the Volkswagen Atlas vs Subaru Ascent.

Hi Nathan! I’m totally in love with the Volkswagen Atlas, just drove one.

I know you guys like it too. I saw your videos on it. I like the way it looks and my partner [who is a big fan of yours] likes how it performs.

My question is considering that we are slated to have twins in three months, would you consider the Subaru Ascent? I know the Subaru pub relations people are horrendous to you, but you often recommend their products. I drove a third generation Subaru Forester for a year and it was pretty good.

What do you think? What would you get your family if you were about to expand from two adults with two big dogs to a family of four with two big dogs (LOL)?

Pasha in Oregon

Subaru Ascent SUV Concept
Credit: Subaru

A: Greetings Pasha!

Congratulations on the upcoming bundles of joy!

All in all, both vehicles were built as safe, capable family movers. I know very little about the feel and driveability of the Subaru Ascent, but I do know it comes with good standard equipment. It comes standard with AWD and a turbocharged, boxer 4-cylinder that makes 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. It can tow up to 5,000 lbs too.

The Volkswagen Atlas’ 4-cylinder engine makes 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. If you opt for the V6, things change and the Atlas makes 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. It can tow up to 5,000 lbs as well. The Volkswagen Atlas comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

These vehicles are very closely matched on paper, but the Subaru has seating for up to eight – the Volkswagen’s max is seven. The Subaru has a lot going for it and, other than the continuously variable transmission, none of its abilities are in question.

With all that said, I truly like the Volkswagen Atlas. I hope to one day drive the Ascent and see what it’s like.



The last question comes from a fan who wants to buy his daughter a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

My kid goes to college this August and I was thinking about getting her a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

My luck with Mitsubishi has been excellent over the past decade. My wife’s Honda CR-V has been in the shop a dozen times. But my Mitsubishis have rarely had issues. My Outlander has over 100.000 miles and nothing has been replaced other than the tires and brakes.

I want her to have AWD and good economy along with good safety.

I saw your video and wondered if you would buy one for your kid.



A: Howdy!

You know what? I think it’s an excellent choice for someone who wants good AWD and a snappy little mover. It has good utility and it’s easy to drive. I would test it next to a Toyota RAV4, Jeep Compass/Renegade, Honda HR-V and Subaru Impreza.

Speaking of Mitsubishi…

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: