2021 Toyota 4Runner Rumors, FWD 2019 Mazda3 and Pet Hair? [Ask Nathan]

By Nathan Adlen – March 24, 2019

2015 Range Rover Evoque vs 2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
Will the 2021 Toyota 4Runner be all-new? Roman and Nathan debate. (Photo: TFLcar)

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.

  • 2021 Toyota 4Runner new rumors?  
  • What about the 2019 Mazda3 FWD? 
  • Help me with excessive pet hair in my car! 

The first question comes from a fan who has heard some rumors about the 2021 Toyota 4Runner.

Toyota FT-AC concept
This is not the 2021 Toyota 4Runner – it’s the Toyota FTAC concept. We suspect the upcoming 4Runner will share some of its styling cues, as it also inspired the new RAV4. [Photo: Toyota]

Q: Nathan. Heard some rumors about the 2021 Toyota 4Runner. Wanted to run them by you.

Big fan by the way. I loved your old series Motor Mountain USA. I wish you guys would do something like that with the Toyota 4Runner.

This is what I got. I heard from a few websites that Toyota is going to use a turbocharged straight 6 cylinder engine in the new 2021 Toyota 4Runner. I also hear that they may bring back a 6 speed manual option to make it compete more closely with the Jeep Wrangler.

Owned three 4Runners. Best trucks ever. I still own a 2005 with the V8. It has almost 180,000 miles on it and the only thing I replaced was the A/C unit and brakes. Drive it every day!

I can’t believe that they would even consider offering a manual in this market. The six cylinder is more believable. But I’m not so sure and that’s why I’m asking you.

Thanks for all the good videos!

Mike from Washington

Toyota FT-AC Concept
[Photo: Toyota]

A: Hi Mike and thanks for the email!

Yes, I caught wind of some of those rumors too. There’s a lot more to add to that as well. Keep in mind, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner could be base on a new global architecture. If that’s the case, some of the options (like a manual) may only be offered on another model overseas – IF it’s even offered.

Here’s what people are saying about the 2021 Toyota 4Runner update/replacement:

  • Tacoma parts: It may get the same V6 that’s currently available in the Toyota Tacoma which is a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. That has the potential of including the same six-speed automatic that’s currently being used in the Tacoma as well. You can read more about the Toyota Tacoma (here).
  • Straight six engines: With Toyota/Lexus’ new interest in straight six cylinder engines (like the 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque unit in the new Supra), there is a chance that they might consider one for the 4Runner. It’s not that likely in my estimation (given its BMW orgins), but you never know.
  • New platform(s): A lighter, stronger frame is possible. A beefed-up unibody/unit-body has been rumored. Both possibilities are said to be aimed at greater safety, performance, comfort and EPA numbers. Off-road prowess is said to remain a priority regardless of the platform.
  • Modern Axles: Toyota might opt to eliminate the solid rear axle in favor of an independent rear end. Test vehicles have been seen with an independent rear end that may be aimed at future Toyota and Lexus 4X4 truck’s.
  • New Design: We fully expect to see a resemblance to the newest Toyota RAV4’s design with the upcoming 4Runner. More than one person connected to Toyota said the FTAC concept is a good indication as to what they’re thinking.
  • Vs. Jeep: There may be more variants given the rise and popularity of Jeep’s newest products. The Toyota 4Runner is one of the few vehicles that currently goes nose-to-nose against popular Jeep products. They are fully aware of this.

There are other rumors out there as well. These were some of the points I found noteworthy. It won’t be too longe before we get an idea of what Toyota’s thinking for their (new) 2021 Toyota 4Runner.

Can’t wait!


The next question comes from a fan who’s confused about the front-wheel drive 2019 Mazda3.

(Photo: Mazda)

Q: I am confused about Mazda’s pricing and positioning of their 2019 Mazda3 FWD.

Tell me if I’m crazy but is it true that the 2019 Mazda3 FWD is not available on any base model! It’s not even available on the sedan. Is it?

I mean, my 2015 was a very affordable base model with a manual transmission. It is one of the best cars I’ve owned. So much better than a Corolla or Sentra which I owned both before.

I like the manual a lot. I mean it’s so easy and fun to use and I get amazing mileage! I also like it that no one can drive my car because no one drives a stick anymore!

Please tell me that the later Mazda3s will have an entry level option with a stick! I love the look of their cars and I know you guys are big fans of Mazda. I am a year away from looking for a new car for about twenty thousand dollars.

I like watching and reading your material Nathan. Keep up the good work.

Nicole D

Santa Maria, California

(Photo: TFLcar)

A: Thanks Nicole!

Sorry to say, the 2019 Mazda3 FWD will start at $27,500 as its only available as a hatchback with the premium package. While it’s an excellent car, I do wish they still made an entry-level Mazda3 with a manual for the masses.

This is part of their strategy to move upmarket with their whole line of vehicles. They see the Mazda3 as an upscale C-Segment vehicle. The pricing reflects that point.

Now, you can get the base model FWD sedan starting around $21,000 – but that only comes with an automatic (six-speed) transmission.

You can read more about the 2019 Mazda3 (here).

The good news is: you can still get a 2018 model with the base engine and manual transmission starting for under $20,000. Not only that, but you can negotiate hard on a 2018 model as they need to move them off the lots as soon as they can.

I hope that helps!


Pet hair is an issue.

The last question comes from a pet owner who is looking for ways to remove pet hair from their car.

(Via Twitter @NathanAdlen) Hi! Help me with me getting pet hair out of my car!

My sister sold me her Ford Explorer and it’s great. She had lots of animals. But I am very allergic. Vacuuming isn’t working well. HELP!

Vehicles on Vacation - Infiniti QX60

A:  Hi! 

The best thing I can suggest is using a liquid fabric softener. Yep, add an ounce or so to a water-filled spray bottle. Spray it over the fabrics that are clinging to the hair. Wait a few minutes before cleaning.

A brush, hair removal glove or a rough towel will have an easier time removing the stubborn hairs. You can repeat the process as much as needed and you can use a vacuum too.

If there’s anything left after all of that, buy some Gorilla tape and use it to pluck up any stray hairs.

Hope that helps!


Check out the sweet, new 2019 Mazda3!

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.[Ask Nathan]