Ask Nathan: Ram “Dakota” EV Truck, Return of the Nissan Quest, and You Bought a POS Mitsubishi Montero?

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will the Ram Dakota EV be a “thing?”
  • Do you think Nissan will bring back the Quest minivan?
  • Ha! I can’t believe you (Nathan) bought a POS Mitsubishi Montero!

The first question comes from an EV fan who thinks the Stellantis EV pickup truck will be called the Ram Dakota EV.

Q: (Via: NathanAdlen@Twitter) Hi Nathan! I sent you an email ( about the Ram Dakota EV!

I didn’t get a response, so I am sending it to your twitter page too. And I have hot news about the Ram Dakota EV! My friend, who works near the Chelsea proving grounds said he saw a pick up truck that was noticeably smaller than the regular Ram! It was all covered like usual. He said that it was on the opposite end of the testing facility and he could clearly see it next to a current Ram.

He said it was smaller. I think it could be their answer to the explosion in mid and small pick ups recently. Love electric cars and my family owns a Nissan Leaf and a Tesla model S. I have wanted a electric pick up for a very long time. But the Ford F-150 Lightning is too large for my needs. I want that capability and range in a smaller package. Do you think Stellantis has just built that!?

— ScoobieEV

A: Interesting information.

For quite some time, we’ve seen a variety of small, partially disguised pickup trucks running around the Chelsea Proving Grounds’ surroundings. In many cases, the pickups have turned out to be Fiat-based vehicles, like the Strada. Yes, those pickups are very small. Much closer to the size of a Ford Maverick or Hyundai Santa Cruz.

We started seeing these little guys testing as far back as 2014.

With that being said, it could be something else entirely. Stellantis has stated that there will be an all-electric Ram pickup, and even showed us some teaser images. They never said that it was going to be the same size as a gas 1500. If I were on that planning committee, my suggestion would to build both – a full-size and small EV pickup. Americans love full-size pickups, so building them one on the upcoming STLA Frame EV platform makes sense.

… but a Ram Dakota EV?

It would be cool if they shrank down that platform to build a pint-sized pickup that is affordable and still has good range. It’s possible, but I doubt they would do both at the same time.

One more thing: I’m sorry you didn’t get a response from your email. Sometimes emails fall through the cracks and we miss them. Thanks for your patronage!

— N

The next question comes from a fan who wanted to know about the possibility of Nissan bringing back its Quest minivan.

Nissan Concept

Q: (Via: NathanAdlen@Twitter)  Hey @NathanAdlen , do you still do ask Nathan segments on TFL?

Was wondering if Nissan considered bringing back the Quest? The mini van game seems like it’s coming back with the Pacifica, Sienna, and Carnival. Would like to get your thoughts on this. Thanks!

— Gary

Nissan Elgrand

A: Hi Gary!

That’s a great (and timely) question. There are a bunch of rumors floating around about the Nissan Quest. It’s as if it just reappeared on my radar last month.

First, a little back story: the Nissan Quest was fairly successful after its American debut in the early 90s. The final version sold here, the RE52 platform departed with a whimper. Slow sales, poor safety ratings and better equipped competitors finished the Quest’s run in the United States by 2017.

I liked the earlier Quest minivans, especially the uniquely designed V42.

Nissan Quest/Elgrand rumors:

The JDM Nissan Elgrand was a slightly smaller version of the Quest. Most of my sources are siting that minivan as their main topic, but there’s a whopper that I just caught about the Quest as well.


  • One source says that the Elgrand may become the first mass marketed EV minivan as it may share the upcoming Ariya’s powertrain.
  • A bunch of Nissan rumors came from bestcarwebJP regarding a slew of possible upcoming products. One of those vehicles was the Serena minivan, which could be all-new. It could spawn a U.S. Quest knock-off too. The other was a Elgrand – both received a CG makeover, but neither could site official information. One thing this website concluded was the extensive use of Nissan’s E-Power powertrain.
  • E-Power: This powertrain has yet to be introduced to the United States. It uses a Nissan Leaf powertrain, and adds a small displacement generator. Nissan has been able to squeeze all this into a small platform (Nissan Note) in Japan, where it’s a hot seller. Some rumors point to a more robust version heading for their minivans.
  • All-new, all American Nissan Quest? Yep, the final rumor just crossed my desk the other day. This information is all speculation, but it comes from one of my Nissan buddies who’s batted around 275 with Nissan predictions (out of 500). The source says that Nissan is toying with the idea of using most of the powertrain from the new Nissan Pathfinder (9-speed and V6) for an all-new Quest. They think it will be FWD only.

Once again, remember that the aforementioned are based on rumor and speculation.

Nissan is becoming interesting again, and I can’t wait to see what they cook up next!

— N

If the Quest returns, it has to go up against this…

The last questions/statements are regarding my acquisition of a 2004 Mitsubishi Montero. Most have been positive, but here are a few that are not.

Q: (Via: Youtube) You bought a POS Nathan!

joeri gielen

8000 $ thrown in the toilet. They have a weak hi/ lo case and the automatic 4×4 only engages when driving foreward….when you want to reverse it disengages the 4wd.


Looks don’t make it run, take if off road and post a true video on how it performed!!! I can’t believe you all are responding to the interior and under the hood!!! Put a Jeep, Tacoma vs this SUV, let them perform stock and see who will win!!! Do any of you responded, have ever been off road in the Suv??

(Via Facebook group

D. Port – You bought a POS Nathan!

(Via Facebook group Mitsubishi Monteros USA)

Jeff King

Value just skyrocketed. Off to the moon (Gif of guys swimming in money).

Frank Eck

Ha ha ha. Another YouTube guy raising the price/cost of these vehicles! Bad news for the enthusiasts, good news for all the flippers. (Middle finger inserted here)

(Via Twitter)

Glenn Boeb

Nathan. I am disappointed in you. A 4Runner is a much smarter buy. Will you even take this off road?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_1032-1024x613.jpg
Images: TFLcar

A: I think some of these comments are based on a lack of information. I will address these comments one at a time.

First: a brief explanation.

About a month ago, my kiddo was driving my beloved Nissan Pathfinder (R51) and got rear-ended. Nobody was injured, but the hit totaled my truck. It was one of the most reliable vehicles I have ever owned, and it was very utilitarian. I’ll miss it.

Now, I had a limited window to take my insurance payout and find a replacement. What a crappy time to do that! This market is brutal, and I have told all who’ve asked to wait until things even out later this year, or early next year. That’s for ALL vehicles – new and used.

On to my responses:

I seriously doubt that my purchase will make priced explode. If interest builds base on these videos, it’s possible that there may be a small surge in the market, but I doubt it. On top of that, it could open up a few aftermarket options that have been shelved in the past. You never know.

The reason I paid a high premium for this vehicle was based on its history of maintenance, its overall condition, and its rarity. Since 1994, I’ve owned three Monteros. Each one I regretted selling. Initially, I was looking for a pre 2001 model – but this one (among others) caught my eye.

Yes, this rig WILL go off road and I am thinking about filming a build on it. It needs tires, suspension and a bit of armor to make me happy. I will not go overboard as it has to be daily driveable.

Fortunately, it runs great and its transmission along with its transfer case work well. Some of the nasty comments I’ve seen regarding its powertrain and reliability seem to come from folks who knew someone who had a bad experience. These things happen.

Hell, I know a family who had a newer 4Runner that was unreliable. It can happen.

Most (seriously – like 95%) of the readers and viewers have been extremely positive; I appreciate it mucho!

The bottom line for me is this: despite being miserable that I had to buy something in the worst car buyer’s market in modern history – I’m very happy with my Monte’.

— N

Now, here’s the video featuring my new Monte’!