2021 Ford Bronco Scout, Ram 1500 Big Horn off-road and 2002 Toyota Tundra? [Ask Nathan]

By Nathan Adlen – April 28, 2019

Well, we do know that the Ford Bronco Scout (if that’s its real name) will be based on the new Ford Escape. Ford Escape prototype 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 full name will be omitted – leaving your first name, initials or nickname, your preference. 

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • 2021 Ford Bronco Scout!
  • Off-roading in a Ram 1500 Big Horn North Edition 4×4
  • 2002 Toyota Tundra

Is the small off-road crossover Ford is building going to be called the “Bronco Scout?”

The first question comes from a fan who wants to know more about the Baby Bronco, possibly known as the Ford Bronco Scout!

Q: (Via Twitter@NathanAdlen) Did you hear that it’s going to be called the Ford Bronco Scout!?!?!?!?!?

That would be an awesome name (better than Baby Bronco) Please tell me that you have some intel on this thing!


Ford confirms baby Bronco is coming
Ford’s earlier teaser of the “Baby Bronco,” which might be officially called the “Bronco Scout.”. [Photo: Ford]

A: Hi Pete!

Exciting – no? Yes, we just caught wind of Ford acquiring the rights to the name; however, there is nothing set in stone about its use. Granted, the name, “Scout” fits with the Bronco name nicely. It is said that Ford has both Scout and Bronco Scout trademarked.

Officially, Ford it calling it the Small Rugged Utility. That’s until they officially reveal it. Hopefully, that will be sometime in 2020.

While there’s nothing solid on the intended use of the name, Ford now has peaked our interest with this one. A name goes a long way with marketing and PR. Keep in mind, they recently acquired the name Maverick too.

Other than that, we still have very little confirmed information. We know the platform is based on the new Ford Escape, and it’s logical to assume that some of the same power-plants will power the Ford Bronco Scout – or whatever they name it. It is supposed to be a bit smaller than the Escape, so the three-cylinder 1.5-liter EcoBoost, which is expected to make 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque could power it. That means it may share the Escape’s new eight-speed automatic transmission too.  

[Graphic: Ford]

In some ways, I’m almost as excited about this Bronco Scout as I am about the truck-based Bronco that’s coming out. You see, weather we like it or not, crossovers are hot. You guys are buying the crap out of them. Hell, other than the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator, the rest of Jeep’s “off-road” fleet is crossover-based.

If this Ford Bronco Scout can split the difference between a (“Trail Rated”) Jeep Compass and Jeep Cherokee, Ford will have a winner.


The next question comes from a fan who wants to know how his Ram 1500 Big Horn North Edition 4×4 would do on Gold Mine Hill.

Q: Hello, My name is Tim Erick, I’m a biologist, science writer, and vehicle enthusiast. I’ve corresponded with Nathan Adlen a few times, particularly regarding trucks and off-road vehicles.

I don’t want to bug him directly too much though, so I figured I would ask this question here: based on your knowledge of trucks, how far do you think a Ram 1500 Big Horn North Edition 4×4 would make it up Gold Mine Hill? 

I am moving back to New England soon, and I want to buy a truck that will perform well in the snow, but that also has some off-road ability. The Rebel is a lot more expensive than the North Edition, and it lacks the full-time 4wd option. I feel like the North Edition would be a good all-around truck for me, I just want to make sure that its relatively poor approach angle (compared to the Rebel) won’t prevent me from driving down some deeply rutted dirt roads to reach my favorite hiking trails. 

All the best,Tim

A: Hi Tim!

First: you can always contact me – it’s my pleasure to answer questions. Sometimes, I get a little overwhelmed with answers and you may have to resubmit if you haven’t heard back from me, but that’s rare.

As for your truck on our Goldmine Hill obstacles… No biggie! It should have no problem with any of it provided you have the optional locking rear differential.

Even with open diffs, it should make the third obstacle in the dry. With snow, well, there could be some slippage and it could be a bit hairy. Good tires would help in that case.

We’re very impressed with all of the improvements Ram has produced with their new trucks. While they did a great job, there is room for improvement. That’s where our new TFLtruck Ram Rebel Rouser project comes in. That will be our interpretation on improvements needed.

Stay tuned for that.

Enjoy your new digs and give us updates!

Best of luck!


The last question comes from a fan who spoke to me a while back about a student project. He’s now interested in a low mileage 2002 Toyota Tundra.

2003 Toyota Tundra. Photo: Toyota

Q: Hi Nathan, I wanted to let you know that my project went great and the Dean of our business school was very impressed I was able to get expert opinions from an automotive news site, so thank you very much

When we spoke on the phone I had mentioned that I was interested in buying a Toyota Tacoma in the near future, however recently I found a 2002 Toyota Tundra that only has 70,000 miles and looks to be in fantastic shape.  I don’t have any real towing or hauling needs, but I really liked the styling of the original Tundra and this one seems to be great.  I am planning to go check it out soon, but I wanted to know if you had any thoughts or concerns of the the first gen Tundra or tips for buying a 17 year old used truck.

Thanks so much again,Dan

A: Hi Dan!

Buy it!

Yep, if it’s in good shape and the mileage is truly that low, it’s a killer buy. You have to understand, I’m a huge fan of the first generation Toyota Tundra. Both the 3.4-liter V6 and 4.7-liter V8 were bulletproof, but the V8 is the one you want.

I actually was this close to pulling the trigger on a 4X4 V6 with a 5-speed (super rare) when I opted for my 2008 Tacoma instead. I still wonder if that was the right choice.


An old truck, even a Toyota – is an old truck. Look for possible leaking from the main seal and head gasket. Rust is a problem for some, especially in certain climates, so watch for that too. Some transmissions, when abused, can slip and have issues with shifting. You’ll know after driving for a while.

Remember to use the brakes a lot to simulate stop-and-go traffic. This will test the brakes and transmission. Check the E-brake on a hill too.

Look for recall information, including a recall on the lower ball joint for that year. Make sure it was addressed. Some corrosion issues with the rear crossmembers have been reported too. Have a looksee to make sure it’s up to snuff.

When in doubt, take it to a mechanic and see what they say. In many cases, they will do a diagnostic and checkup for less than $200. It’s money well spent if you have a trustworthy mechanic.

Once again, it was great chatting with you. Best of luck with this truck!


Speaking of Toyota Tundras…

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.