Ask Nathan: Corolla Cross vs HR-V Hybrids, Russian Cars and – Who Bought Tommy’s Jeep?

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Toyota Corolla Cross vs HR-V hybrids?
  • Why so many Russian cars?
  • Who bought Tommy’s Jeep?

The first question comes from a fan who wants to know how the Corolla Cross vs HR-V hybrids war would pan out.

Image: Toyota

Q: (via Twitter @NathanAdlen) What I am curious about is the Corolla Cross vs HR-V hybrids battle.

We know they are both coming and we know that they should be competitive with each other. Do you think they will both have an option for all wheel drive? I need all wheel drive in a small suv. You tell me!

— P. Long

A: We still have no confirmation that either hybrid will be sold here.

Overseas, the Honda HR-V hybrid comes with a 1.5-litre gas engine linked up to a pair of electric motors – which makes about 130 (European measure) horsepower. The overseas’ market Toyota Corolla Cross hybrid makes between 121 and 196 horsepower, depending on the market and engine. Their hybrid systems work differently, but both are effective.

The upcoming Honda HR-V will not look like the European version, and I suspect it will have a different drivetrain. One thing the current HR-V suffers from is a lack of zing. It’s quite possible, like the rest of the planet, we’ll get a hybrid-only HR-V, but it may have more ponies. As for the Corolla Cross hybrid? It’s a good bet that it will have a similar upgrade over other markets.

You can read about the Toyota Camry hybrid (here).

One thing we have no real information on is all-wheel drive. Hell, in other markets – there is no mention of all-wheel drive (AWD) for the Corolla Cross hybrid, or the 2022 Honda HR-V hybrid. With that being said, in some markets, the smaller Yaris Cross Hybrid does have an “intelligent AWD” option. On top of that, Toyota offers a compact “electrified” AWD system in vehicles like the Prius AWD in our market. Perhaps that system could find its way into the Corolla Cross.

Bottom line:

Both automakers have all but officially confirmed that we will get a hybrid version of the Toyota Corolla Cross and upcoming, all-new Honda HR-V. What remains a big question is whether or not we will get AWD version of those hybrids in our market. This upcoming year will be very telling.

Stay tuned!

  • N
2022 Honda HR-V teaser mage: Honda

The next question comes from a long time fan who wants to know why our man Andre is so obsessed with Russian vehicles.

Q: Hi Nathan, thanks for responding to my last email!

You’ve known Andre for longer than I have been a viewer. In seven years of watching, I never saw Andre freak out so much about Russian cars until now. He went from zero to two in a short amount of time didn’t he? It’s not that I am against Russian cars but I know for a fact that they are kind of junky.

The fact is that communist cars were always poorly made. Why would he do that to himself? Andre has to know that it is impossible to get parts for these car in the United States am I right?

Nathan. He’s your friend and maybe you understand him better.

  • Buck

A: Thank you for the note!

In many ways, what Andre is doing is similar to what Roman did when he purchased his 1987 Porsche 944 turbo, or Tatra 603. It’s all about nostalgia and (perhaps) being a bit unique. The (UAZ 452) Buhanka 4×4 is a toy Andre wanted for some time, as a guilty pleasure. It’s novel, and not too shabby off-road.

The Volga is a different story. He bought that one having a nostalgic connection to his childhood in Russia. When Andre grew up in Moscow, his grandparents owned a silver Volga, very similar to the one he now owns. On top of that, his grand-uncle had one as well. In fact, that part of the family still owns it.

Simply finding a Volga (or any Russian vehicle) in the U.S. is a challenge. The fact that he found this Volga locally, and it wasn’t a pile of rust in some barn, is downright miraculous. Sure, getting parts will be difficult – but not impossible. Online shopping, mixed with Andre’s fluent Russian makes buying and shipping parts a bit easier.

Just about everyone at TFL Studios has a soft spot for a vehicle from their past that evokes fond memories. Andre and Roman are unique as they have Eastern European roots. Their memories are filled with vehicles that many would consider remarkably alien. That’s what’s so cool about those guys.

Check out the Tatra 603 that Roman shipped from overseas!

  • N

The last question comes from a fan who wants to know who bought Tommy’s 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee. 😊

(Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) Okay, you answered my question about the (Mitsubishi) Montero.

Did you buy Tommy’s Jeep?

If so. Why? It’s junk right?

— American Monte

A: Yea, I bought Tommy’s 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Like the Montero, the Grand Cherokee is an extra vehicle that my family can use. I wanted a snow vehicle that could take on nasty days with ease. My kid’s Nissan Leaf isn’t great in deep snow, but the Jeep is outstanding. On top of that, it will be a fun vehicle to tweak for a while.

It already has a new transmission (one of its weakest points), good breaks, new KM3 tires and the engine runs great. I truly enjoy driving it. In fact, when we filmed the For a Few Bucks Less series, I was upset that Tommy bought it – as it was the best choice for the challenge.

Oh, and I always loved the WJ design.

— N