Ask Nathan: Is the Next Mazda Pickup Coming Here, You Hate Broncos and The TFL Studios Crew?

Concept sketch via: Mazda

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will the next Mazda pickup come to the USA?  
  • You hate the new Ford Bronco!
  • Tell us about the TFL Studios crew!

The first question comes from a fan who wants to know if the next generation Mazda pickup will come to our shores.

Q: (Via: NathanAdlen@Twitter) Hey Nathan! I have a quick question, about the Mazda pickup.

Do you think that Mazda would be willing to bring a small pickup into the United States? I know they were partnered with Ford for a while, and I know that changed. Maybe they could take their new rotary hybrid system and put it inside their newest pick up? How bout an all electric pickup?

What do you think?

— Titan_Log

Image: Mazda

A: Hi there!

That’s an interesting idea. Currently, Mazda sells the B-50, which is based on an Isuzu D-Max platform, overseas. It’s a nice looking truck, one that is capable and competitive with Nissan and Toyota – among others.

The possibility of getting one of these trucks federalized, and imported to our shores is remote. With the chicken tax, production tooling, and meeting DOT requirements, I think it would be too expensive for Mazda. Still, there may be something to the idea of an electric, or PHEV pickup.

Mazda is still working the kinks out of the MX-30 PHEV, which uses a tiny rotary engine as a range extender, but the potential is fascinating. If Mazda can up the battery capacity, power, durability and winter range – why not use it in other vehicles?

Image: Mazda

A PHEV Mazda pickup could be a gamechanger.

Currently, there are no PHEV pickup trucks in our market. The closest thing we have is the Ford F-150 hybrid, but it’s not a plug-in hybrid. Sure, we’re expecting a lot of EV pickups soon, but none of them have a range-extending generator thus far. As such, there’s a gap in the market.

I’m pretty sure that we’ll see a Jeep Gladiator PHEV (4xe) by or before 2022. It will (most likely) share the Wrangler 4xe’s powerplant. If that is the case, given its heavier weight, it will probably be less efficient. In my estimation, with a 17.3 kWh battery, it will have a shorter range (the Wrangler 4xe can go over 20 miles, on a full charge – on the road).

What if Mazda built a pickup PHEV with a larger battery, lighter weight and quicker charging? That would be epic! Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound feasible for such a small automaker.

I hope I’m wrong.

  • N

The next question/statements comes from our recent YouTube videos which featured (among others) our 2021 Ford Bronco. Some interesting, and rather negative points of view.

There are a few examples below that I scraped up from YouTube. The first one was a questions DMd to me during the broadcast.

Q: (Via YouTube) Nathan and crew. Why even bother owning a Bronco if you’re going to constantly insult it? (DM) – Bob Marley

Enjoyed the show guys! Nathan dismissing the Bronco off road compared to the Jeep is laughable. – James Harris

Tommy we know you hate the sounds of the eco boost, we have heard it in all of your videos. I sense you are not really fans of ford.

Ditto with your dad. – Michael Ross

A: Come on guys – TFL Studios has owned (and loved) four Ford vehicles in 11 years. Oh, and I love the new Bronco!

Just a few points to make:

  • In just over a decade, TFL Studios has owned a first generation Ford Raptor, a Ford Fiesta ST, a 2019 Ford Raptor – and now a new Ford Bronco. If Tommy and Roman disliked Ford – we wouldn’t buy them. Also, just because we complain about engine noise – doesn’t mean we hate the whole vehicle. Tommy’s absolute favorite car, his ’82 Mercedes-Benz 300D, sounds like a tractor… but he doesn’t care.

Oh, and Andre just bought a Ford F-150 hybrid.

  • After shooting the Red Cone pass with our Defender, Bronco and a loaner Wrangler 4xe, I was convinced that the Wrangler had a slight edge over the Bronco… off-road. That is based on many factors (maneuverability, articulation and so-on). The Bronco can more than hold its own, but those few extra inches of width can be an issue on a tight path. In terms of comfort, on-road superiority, and utility – the Ford Bronco wins hands down.

I will say this: that Jeep Wrangler 4xe can haul the mail!

  • N

The last question comes from a young fan who wants to know about the TFL Studio crew.

Q: (via Twitter@NathanAdlen) Hi to Nathan and the team from TFL.

My fourth grade son watches your videos with me and we enjoy them immensely. He wants to know, what do they drive?

— B. Bernstein

A: That’s a great question!

We have a terrific team at TFL Studios. I will give you a little bit of the lowdown on each member!

  • Alex (TFLBike Host, videographer & editor) Drives a Ram Rebel and rides several motorcycles.
  • Andre drives a Ford F-150 hybrid, a BMWi3 – and a Buhanka 4×4 van
  • Ian (Senior editor & videographer) drives a Volkswagen Passat
  • Kase (Host, videographer & editor) Drives a Dodge Ram 2500, a (highly modified) 1972 Mercedes 280 SEL and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
  • Matt (videographer & editor) drives a Jeep Cherokee and rides a skateboard
  • Nathan-me* I borrow my kid’s Nissan Leaf or my wife’s Mini Countryman often. I’m shopping for my own car now.
  • Tommy – Old Mercedes, old Mini, old Peugeot, old Jeep Grand Cherokee (see a pattern here?) and a brand new Jeep Wrangler.
  • Roman – Usually the Land Rover Defender, or the Bronco.
  • Zach (Manager, Producer, Editor) – Mazda3 Hatch

Many of us are lucky enough to try out new vehicles for reviews. In some cases – old vehicles. There’s a surprise coming: we all bought special vehicles for a special video series! Stay tuned for that on our TFLoffroad channel.

Thanks for watching!

— N

Speaking of off-road…