Ask Nathan, “Silverado EV vs F-150 EV, Mini Update and Outrageous Rental Prices?

 (Image: GM Design, via Instagram)

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Thoughts on the upcoming Silverado EV vs F-150 EV?
  • Update on your Mini Countryman?
  • What’s up with these outrageous rental prices?

The first question comes from a fan who wants to know about our take of the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV vs F-150 EV.

This is the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. (Image: Ford)

Q: (Via NathanAdlen@Twitter) Can I get your $.02 on a future Silverado EV vs F-150 EV showdown?

Saw your video and liked the info. Can Chevy compete or will they even bother? Like to know your thoughts!

— SlckingSam from CoPart

(Image: Chevrolet)

A: It’s still far too early to go deep into the Silverado EV vs F-150 EV, but we do know a few things.

Insiders, other outlets and even GM have indicated that the Chevrolet Silverado EV will have a 400 mile range, and it’s expected to share components with the upcoming GMC Hummer EV. It will be built in Michigan at the same plant that is building the Hummer. The Chevrolet Silverado EV is expected to debut as a 2023 model and go on sale in early 2024 – which will be after the announced (expected) F-150 EV and Rivian sale dates.

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning’s pricing may have been unexpected:

If you look at the upcoming EV pickup trucks, only Tesla says they will have a competitive base price that’s at a hair under $40,000. Ford added the 4×4/AWD standard to all of the Lightning models. Between that, and the pricing, some automakers may have to rethink their pricing strategy.

Insiders are saying that Chevrolet is aiming at a $50,000 base price.

Now that Ford has fully committed to building this truck, it’s incumbent upon the rest of the automotive world to respond. I have a feeling, we will hear from Tesla, GM and Rivian soon.

— N

The next question is in regards to the Mini Cooper Countryman I bought about a year ago. She wants an update.

Hi Nathan! I was wondering how you and your wife are enjoying your Mini Countryman?

My name is Rose and I’m from Las Vegas. I love your funny videos and when you said you bought a Mini Countryman used, I thought I would have a look! My brother is worried about reliability and he says Minis are fragile.

When I saw your video, I noticed it was a year ago so I was curious about how you were doing with it.

I work as a lab technician and I travel less than 10,000 miles a year. For the past five years, I’ve driven a 2009 Volkswagen Beetle. It has lots of problems with oil and the transmission. I’ve spent lots of money and mechanics all say it has been abused before I bought it in 2016. My boyfriend has a Subaru WRX and I hate riding in it. But I want something fun and filled with personality. I think the Mini you have would be great.

Please tell me how it’s going so far!

A: Thanks for the email. 

We put on about 9,000 miles in over a year of ownership. When I brought it to our local Mini dealership for a checkup and oil change, they replaced a bracket under warranty. That was the only thing the Mini needed this year. It’s been on two long road trips, and limited commuting (thanks to COVID), but it has been a blast for the wife.

For a Colorado car, the all-wheel drive (AWD) Mini Countryman is outstanding. We scampered over spots were others got stuck during a rough winter. It’s a blast to drive, but it has its quirks. On top of that, it has been surprisingly utilitarian. It has more useable cargo space than your Beetle.

Being that you live in Las Vegas, I don’t think you need AWD, but it’s handy when things get rough. One thing we did notice is the gas mileage was kind of poor. Some of that has to do with “She-who-must-be-obeyed.” Her driving characters match those of a NASCAR driver on a caffeine-filled holiday. I drive it pretty aggressively too.

All in all, it’s been a treat and there have been no issues. Simply put, we love it!

If you are looking at used Minis, I recommend you make sure they were well maintained, have complete service records, and (if possible) were owned by someone who drove it respectfully. If it’s slammed, kitted, augmented, modified, or tweaked – I would avoid it.

Let me know how it goes!

The last question is in regards to the ridiculous rental car pricing we’re seeing right now.  

Q: (Via NathanAdlen@Twitter) Maybe you can help answer this.

What the —- is up with these outrageous rental car prices!? I wanted to go to San Diego and the prices are 3 or 4 times more than usual. I got no explanation from the rental car company other than them saying things are busy! JERKS!!

— Anonymous

The Mirage is the only passenger car Mitsubishi currently sells in the U.S. [Photo: Mitsubishi]

A: There are a few reasons – some are kind of absurd.

When the pandemic truly started to make an impact, rental car agencies were hit hard. Some folded shop completely, while others sold off a ton of inventory to stay afloat – or to pay off debt as they went under. It was brutal, and most travel industries were severely affected.

When restrictions eased, and Americans began to book trips in excess — there were fewer rental car companies (with fewer cars) to respond. Those rental car agencies that survived needed vehicles ASAP, but the COVID slowdown and chip shortage limited the fleet vehicles they could procure. In some cases, there are reports of rental car agencies swiftly buying up newer used cars to fill their inventory.

I have a friend who spent nearly $600 on a four day rental of a Mitsubishi Mirage. Not that it’s that terrible of a car, but he spent the same amount of money in 2019 for a Lexus RX rental for the same amount of time. Absurd.

In time, we will see prices ease as their inventory increases, and demand subsides. Now, I am not sponsored by this company at all, but I do recommend looking at TURO for rentals. They are like the Air B&B of car rentals, and some of their selections/prices are impressive.


— N