Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Buick Regal GS and Reprieve for the i-MiEV [Ask Nathan]

2015 subaru legacy chicago video debut
While we rarely get a chance to cover Subaru the question regarding the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is something I can answer! [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:

  • Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
  • What luxury SUV should I get? 
  • Regarding your video comments about the Mitsubishi I-MiEV

The first question comes from a fan who is cross-shopping the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

Q: I love your YouTube channel! 
I have a question for Nathan for his ask TFL car column. I’m looking at purchasing either a new Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid or a new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Photo: Subaru

Right now it’s a bit of a tossup between the two as they each have their separate pros and cons.  The Toyota is larger and has great fuel economy which is important to me, but it only comes with apple carplay so I would have to switch to an iPhone (ugh!).

It’s AWD system also seems inferior to the Subaru.  The Subaru comes with Android auto and a higher base trim and would have 9.5K in Federal and state tax incentives, but lags in fuel economy and storage.  I would also have to purchase it on the east coast and drive it back to Colorado. 

Given the close race between the two, which one would you recommend, especially with a focus on reliability and resale value?


A: Hi Evan!

You’re in luck! I just drove the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid last week! Say that because we have limited access to Subaru products. I was lucky enough to rumble down a rutted, flooded back road in Missouri in one.

It was an excellent driver, but, like you said, it’s not as efficient as the Toyota RAV4 hybrid.

I considered your question for quite a while because I have friends who are asking similar questions here in Colorado. By saying “friends” I mean people “She-who-must-be-obeyed” is close to. These are people I will have to see at social functions for the foreseeable future. As such, a poor recommendation is a bad idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the Toyota RAV4. Each package is quite good. I especially like the Adventure and considered it for my spouse in the near future. Still, considering your situation and preferences, I would go with the Subaru Crosstrek hybrid.

I know it’s a pain to get in another state (why not the West Coast?), but it’s a damn good little car and a bit more engaging to drive than the Toyota. In my book, that reason alone is enough to pull the trigger.

Best of luck!


Buick Regal GS Sports Back (Photo: TFLcar)

The next question comes from a fan who is looking at a Buick Regal GS.

Q: I’m sure I could do enough digging on the internet to find the answer to my question, but I watch your YouTube shows all the time and just wanted to o redact with you guys.

Although I am not getting a new car anytime soon I like to narrow it down before the time comes because I love vehicles of all shapes and sizes for different reasons. But most of all I like the lesser known or more awkward vehicles best. I was looking into the new 2018-19 Buick Regal GS, I am a fan of the “sport back” designs right now.

My question is does this Buick have the same engine as the Cadillac ATS-V and if so would it be possible to put the turbo set up from the Cadillac onto the Buick? Thanks for any info. I love the shows keep up the good work. 


A: Hi Lee!

The Buick Regal GS and standard Cadillac both share General Motor’s newer LGX 3.6-liter V6 engine. However, the ATS-V uses a bespoke LF4 twin-turbocharged V6, which is an upgraded version of the LF3 engine in the current-generation CTS. While it is technically possible to turbocharge the buick, it is important to consider the differences between the Regal and the ATS-V.

Mainly, they are built on different platforms. The ATS-V is built on General Motor’s Alpha Platform and is based on a front-engine/rear-drive biased setup. The Buick Regal is based on GM’s Epsilon II platform which is a front-wheel drive-biased setup. The Cadillac ATS-V also has more than just power going for it, as it gets suspension upgrades and larger brakes.

The Buick’s 2.0-liter LTG I-4 turbocharged engine is different from the Cadillac’s LTG unit in terms of layout, mountings and performance.

Hope that helps!


Photo: TFLcar

The last question comes from a viewer who wants to comment about a video we produced called “One hit blunders.” He’s responding to the Mitsubishi i-MiEV section.

Q: Re: (Mitsubishi) i-MiEV in the one hit wonders 

Hello,I noticed that you had the i-MiEV in the one hit wonders and I think a crucial to note that this was a test bed for them. I had a relative who had two of these and he never paid anywhere close to the sticker price when he got it and when it was in an accident he made money since they gave him essentially dealer list price since there were no others to get a value from.

Then he purchased another new one about a year-and-a-half ago for less than $10,000, and about a month ago Mitsubishi  was done with testing so they did a buy back and he more than doubled what he paid on this one as part of them buying them back and just purchased a Tesla Model 3 . 

The i-MiEV was actually a fun car to drive when I drove it a few times and it was very roomy.


Photo: TFLcar

A: Hi Kevin!

The I-MiEV had its good points. I liked its handling and its rear-drive architecture. When it came out, I drove one of the first test models on our shores (which was still right-hand drive). That very car is pictured above.

I liked its looks too. My issues were price, low range and it wasn’t the right vehicle in our market at the right time. It was a few years too late to be competitive in our market.

Thanks for your email!


Here is that video Kevin is referring to.

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: