In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Any information on the Dodge Charger EV?
- Base model battle – Honda Civic vs. Nissan Sentra vs. Toyota Corolla!
- Did you approve the name, “Nathan’s Crack?”
The first question comes from a fan who wants an update on the upcoming Dodge Charger EV.
Q: Do you have any info on the Dodge Charger EV? (AskNathan@TFLCar.com) Did they post anything after the teaser?
I own a 2017 Dodge Challenger SXT with almost 90,000 miles on it. Say what you want about Dodge quality, this is the most reliable car I have owned in five decades of driving. I replaced the tires and updated the brakes. It had a check engine light come on a few times, but the fix was a burnt sensor. That’s it.
I was thinking about a larger 4 door for my family now and the Challenger is a pain to get in and out for rear passengers. That’s why I’m looking at the Charger. Now I hear that there will be a Dodge Charger EV instead of a gas one soon. I don’t mind. But I want it to keep the same spirit as the one I drive.
My car is a ton of fun to drive despite having a V6. I get pretty good mileage too. So what about this Charger EV? Is this the car that will make me turn to electric power?
A: Yes, some sort of Dodge Charger EV is coming soon.
It may or may not be called the Dodge Charger EV. They may opt for something more akin to electrification. Who knows? It could be called the Dodge Charger Gigawatt at this point. Stellantis is using the term eMuscle with Dodge, and that theme will kick in across the line after 2024.
As for information: here’s the latest.
- First of all, the Dodge Charger and Challenger are expected to survive. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares confirmed this in an interview with MotorTrend in July 2021.
- CEO Tim Kuniskis stated that the brand will stop making the current Charger by 2024. This may be a brief pause before production of new variants hit the market. Kuniskis said, “If a charger can make the Charger faster, we’re in.”
- There is a lot of buzz behind bringing back the “Cuda” name – as a possible convertible.
- If you watch the Dodge EV promo that’s attached, you’ll notice a four-wheel burnout of, what appears to be, a Charger or Challenger EV. Many believe that vehicle could be sitting on a STLA Large EV platform. That means it could have a range of up to 500 miles, and all-wheel drive.
- We may see early use of the all-new (GME-T6) inline six-cylinder turbo before going all electric. That six-banger is said to outperform just about every V8 currently built by Stellantis. It’s a powertrain that is expected to work well within a hybrid powertrain, meaning a possible PHEV setup.
- An insider recently revealed that there could be up to five powertrains available for one vehicle, but didn’t elaborate further. Stellantis is modifying the current Giorgio architecture. This is the platform that should be able to utilize hybrid, PHEV, and full battery electric powertrains.
- Stellantis is aiming to have 40-percent of their North American sales to be battery electric or plug-in hybrids. By then, they expect 70-percent of sales in Europe will be BEVs or PHEVs.
Insiders say that the rear will look a lot like the 1999 Dodge Charger concept, which is a popular design among fans.
The next question comes from a fan who wants a good, entry level compact sedan.
Q: (AskNathan@TFLCar.com) Hi TFL crew!
So, I wanted to ask Nathan a question about the least expensive fun cars for commuters out there. I though that the Sentra vs Corolla vs Civic makes sense. I can’t drive a manual very well, and I live in Sacramento, so it makes no sense to drive a stick in traffic anyway.
Nathan. It seems that most of the cheap and unfun cars are left to you for review. So, I thought you would be the one to ask about these cars. Like you guys said before, I am waiting a little while during the price hikes to let things calm down before I buy. This gives me a lot of time to pick and choose.
For $23,000.00 which one is best for the money? I want something that gives me good bang for the buck! Nothing complicated Nathan, I just want to know what makes them worth looking at.
Thank you Nathan!
A: These are great choices, but I think you should include a few others.
I would say (for under $23K) Sentra vs Jetta vs Corolla vs Impreza vs Civic vs Forte vs Mazda3 vs Elantra… now the comparison is complete. Compact sedans still represent a very competitive class, one that represents well over a million vehicles sold every year. I’ll keep it brief with each one, as they all have their strengths.
Keep in mind: these are based on the base models, not the higher trim, higher performing versions.
- Honda Civic – Good dynamics, great interior and efficiency.
- Hyundai Elantra – Lots of kit for the price, including a great warranty. Great all-arounder.
- Kia Forte – Similar to its cousin the Hyundai Elantra, but with a different physical design, with a little less pizzaz.
- Mazda3 – Good looing inside and out, with great overall driving manners.
- Nissan Sentra – Outstanding ride and comfort.
- Subaru Impreza – Offers all-wheel drive and has outstanding safety numbers.
- Toyota Corolla – A great all-arounder with an excellent long-term quality reputation.
- Volkswagen Jetta – Good space and a decent all-around driving experience.
My choice? It’s a tie between the Honda Civic and Mazda3, with the Hyundai Elantra a close second. I like cars that are fun to drive, and offer outstanding quality – and I believe these three have that.
Thanks for the email!
The last question comes from a fan asking about… “Nathan’s Crack.”
(Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) What’s up with Nathan’s Crack!?
Did YOU pick that name!? Are the guys slamming my favorite TFL presenter?!
A: Yes, as I said in the past: some get libraries and ships named for them – but I get an off-road obstacle named for my derriere.
Yea, I had no idea until I saw an edit of an off-road shoot where Roman proclaimed that the off-kilter obstacle would be named for me. It’s a fun obstacle, with a deep drop and an off-center lip, it challenges some vehicles’ articulation.
Or, it’s simply how the guys have viewed my ass over the years. Troubling thought.
In time, we will make Nathan’s Crack even more challenging as we augment Tumbleweed Ranch, building a serious and permanent off-road course. My tush shall be immortalized.
It’s not that bad. I look at it this way, considering my love of off-road adventuring, the name “Nathan’s Crack” will enter the lexicon of the off-road community. Plus, people will start looking at my butt – which is great for my ego.