Ask Nathan: A Jeep WRX Challenger, Polaris Daily Driver and Dead Mouse Odor?

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will there ever be a Jeep WRX challenger? 
  • I’ve seen a Polaris overseas as a daily driver! 
  • Help! Dead mouse smell in my car! 
2018 Jeep Compass drag race vs. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
A Compass Trackhawk, maybe? Would you buy one? [Photo: Jeep]

The first question comes from a NathanAdlen@Twitter question, asking about a future Jeep WRX challenger. 

Q: (Via NathanAdlen@Twitter) Do you think that there will be a Jeep WRX challenger? Like a Compass on steroids? 

It seems logical for Jeep to beat Subaru at their own game. Right? 

Oh and sorry about Fountains of Wayne. I know you’re a fan. 


What's Better Off-Road - the 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk or the Toyota RAV4 Adventure

A: Thanks! 

There has been talk from Jeep for years about a performance Jeep that might take on the WRX. It started back when the first Jeep Compass was a concept. Since then, there have been a variety of concepts here and there, but nothing sincere. 

The concept renderings I posted look damn promising. It’s called the Jeep Concept Freedom and it was penned by Antonio Paglia back in 2018. There are no technical details about this concept, but many assume that it was an EV or hybrid of some sort. It could be an idea of what the next Compass could have looked like as well. 

I’ve always wanted Jeep to compete in more competitions like Rally Raid, Dakar and WRC. It’s a hell of an expensive endeavor, but it could play well for their international image.  

One thing that struck me was its aggressive looks and rally-car stance. What it they used an existing platform and beefed it up? I wonder if the Giulia platform would work? Imagine that platform with Alfa Romeo’s beefy 2.0-liter 280 hp I-4? It would make for a compelling start to something evil for the rally world. 

You never know. 

— N

The next question comes from a fan who saw a Polaris truck being driven as a daily driver in India. 

Q: Hi Nathan!!! My brother lives in India and sent me a video of him driving in a crazy pickup truck!  

He was in the back seat and shot some video. It’s built by Polaris, but it’s used as his friend’s everyday ride! It looks weird, but it’s kind of cool at the same time if you know what I mean. 

Wouldn’t it be so cool if they built little trucks for the United States? I miss the days of little trucks here. I owned a 1990 Nissan Hardbody and a Mitsubishi Mighty Max before that. 

Do you think we’ll even see a tiny truck in the US again? I hope you guys are doing okay! 

Jugdish K

Sacramento, CA

A: Hi Jugdish!

Your brother was riding in a Polaris/Eicher Motors Multix mini-truck. This is not a regular road machine, it was built for farming and agriculture. Basically, it’s a rugged little utility vehicle that can help bring your goods to market. 

It has a tiny 510cc, single-cylinder diesel engine, a power take-off system and a four-speed manual transmission.  

India truck 3

I believe production has ceased as demand was low. You can read more about it here. A tiny truck this size is something that could never make it into our market. Still, it would be cool to play with a beefed up version of one of these on the trail. 

I agree, it’s sad that tiny trucks are no longer in our market. Still, there are rumors of products coming from Ford and possibly FCA in the future that may fill the gap. 


— N

The last question comes from a reader who is dealing with a rather messy situation. Her mom’s car has dead mice inside! 

Q: Help Nathan! My mom’s brand new car has dead mice or small rats in it! 

My mom parked her 2019 Dodge Durango in my back barn a month ago when she deployed. She will hopefully return by June. But the problem is that she left her rear window a bit open and for some reason our cat has left dead rodents in the back of the car! 

My boyfriend noticed a smell yesterday when he was in the barn and traced it to her car! It’s nasty. There are two or three rotting carcasses on the rear seat. They were just left there! DISGUSTING!

I don’t want my mom to return to this mess. It’s totally her fault and I can’t stand the idea of cleaning this up. My boyfriend said he would do it but he’s never done something like this before. 

Can you please help? 


Sara J

A: Hi Sara! 

There is good news, the rotting smell can be tackled. Unfortunately, it will take some real effort to fight it. You need to get the biological contaminants out of there as soon as possible. If it’s real bad, there are professionals you can hire, but that’s usually unnecessary – as long as you take precautions. 

Here are some basic ideas: 

  • Wear protective gloves and, if you’re using toxic cleaning products, make sure the space is well ventilated. You may need a mask and eyewear too. Make sure the cleaner is safe for interior use. 
  • Get rid of the carcass and all biological material that may have oozed out of the rodents. 
  • Open up the doors and windows. Let it ventilate. Not just the vehicle, but the barn as well. 
  • Make sure that other critters (maggots) haven’t burrowed into the vehicle’s fabrics. Look for insect eggs too. 
  • Apply and reapply the cleaners. Be careful and read all of the directions! Bleach and ammonia (among other cleaning solutions) can be toxic and can damage surfaces. Depending on the fabric and depth of the bio waste, you may need to go through more than one cleaner. 
  • In some cases, something as simple as cleaning wipes can do the job. A few hard wipes with a proper cleaning wipe can do remarkable things. I find they work great after the mess has first been hit with good old soap and water. If it’s deep, you need to go on a more aggressive path. That’s where the heavy duty cleaners come in to play. 
  • Once you’re finished, you may want to use something to remove the rotting and chemical smell. There are a ton of products that you can buy, but I swear by one thing that works remarkably well: coffee. Yep, open a small pack of fresh coffee beans and put in a few bowels. Place those bowls in the vehicle and the barn as it airs out. 
  • Finally, give the whole interior a proper cleaning. You may have missed rodent droppings in the carpet or under the seats. Use a vacuum, carpet cleaner, glass cleaner and fabric cleaner.  

When everything is clean and smelling good, I would drive it around a bit, windows open, just to mix in the fresh air. After that – close the windows and keep the kitty away from it! 

Hope that helps!  


Speaking of cleaning…