Ask Nathan: Is Nissan Serious About An Electric Pickup, Is 2.3L Enough For A Bronco, TFL Talkin’ Trucks Passed A Milestone?

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Do you think Nissan is serious about building an electric pickup truck?
  • Is the 2.3-liter I4 turbo enough power for a Ford Bronco?
  • WOW! TFL Talkin’ Trucks passed 5-million downloads!

The first question comes from a viewer who is dubious about Nissan actually building an electric pickup.

Q: Is Nissan Serious about building an electric pickup? ( Simply want to know about this thread you started back when Nissan did a teaser of an electric pickup back in 2021.

You mentioned that Nissan was the front-runner for electric vehicles, but lost its way. I agree with you. As a Nissan Leaf owner, and a Tesla Model III owner, I see the value in production electric vehicles for sure. 

Electric pickup trucks are another story give the weaknesses you and other journalists have pointed out. They just fall on their face when they tow, just about anything. Weight is another problem, and so is the sky high pricing. It would appear that the first generation of pickup trucks are more for show. 

So when you said that Nissan is poised to enter the electric pickup craze, I thought you might be on to something. Unfortunately I see a big problem, Nissan builds electric cars not trucks. They don’t have the experience to simply throw a pickup bed on a electric platform and call it done. It just doesn’t work that way, and I doubt Nissan can use their limited expertise in pickups, compared to Ford, and make it happen. 

– Dominque J 

A: If Nissan wants to build an electric pickup, believe me – they have the experience.

The older electric pickup you see in these photos is the Nissan EV4, which was a working prototype back in 1971. That is to say, Nissan built a viable electric pickup over 50-years ago. On top of that, they built the Nissan EV4-H which was a hybrid pickup experiment shortly thereafter.

Check out this fantastic article on the EV4.

I think you may have swapped know-how for desire. Nissan knows how to build an electric pickup that can compete, or even create a new segment. As I stated before, there is potential for Nissan to build a smaller, more affordable EV pickup. It’s kind of what they did originally with the Nissan Leaf – when compared to Tesla.

Now Nissan has over a decade of production experience with their little EV. I think it’s obvious that they have learned many lessons since the first generation Leaf. On top of that, they have research that dates back half a century specifically based on electric pickups. I think that’s a great start, and they still have the advantage over some competitors.

Will Nissan take the initiative?

The big question is: will Nissan see a sufficient return on their investment if they enter the electric pickup fray?

— N

The next question comes from a fan who wants to know if the 2.3-liter EcoBoost I4 is a good engine for the Ford Bronco.

Q: ( Hello Nathan- I need some advice about a Ford Bronco.

This whole chip shortage has gotten to the point that newspapers like the New York Post are doing stories saying how ridiculous it is that dealerships are charging 15 grand over sticker. I have a friend at a Ford dealership who is telling me they have an inbound 4 door base Bronco with a 2.3 turbo that he would sell to me at roughly $40k.

“He was telling me he could sell it to me for $40,000, a markup of $7,000. We currently live in a world where locally where I live, every vehicle is a minimum of $15k over msrp regardless of make or model.” 

My first question, is the 2.3 turbo going to be a reliable engine in a truck this heavy? Secondly, is a base model Bronco worth $40k? I currently drive a 2010 Ford Explorer with a very reliable 4.0 V6.  (Added later: It’s been my observation, as somebody who is in the market, that the majority of the videos online about the Bronco seem to focus all their attention on the Black Diamond, Bad Lands, and First Edition. Which, is making it very difficult to make an honest assessment about a base model 4 cylinder engine. Any help you could give me would be great.)

Should I trade it in or hold out until this shortage comes to an end? 

— Lou

A: That price is steep, but the engine is solid.

I configured a few Broncos and $40K seems extremely steep for a base model, and the dealership giving you $7,000 over MSRP is almost a crime. Normally, that price is about what you would pay for a four-door Black Diamond edition – which is well equipped. Prices are still being jacked, and if your Explorer is still treating you well, I would hold on to it for a little while.

Markups will ease, but it won’t be over night.

I look at it this way: a few months back, I made the mistake of going to a dealership with “she-who-must-be-obeyed” to see if there was a Ford Maverick configuration she preferred. A base model, AWD XL with almost no options added was going for $5,500 over sticker. This vehicle is worth about $26,000… so add an additional 20-percent to the price? I don’t think so.

Look, that adds more interest to my payments, extends the amount of time I have to pay top insurance and it pushes the vehicle’s timeline for resale further out. On top of that, I will never regain that value in a mass-produced vehicle. Simply put, I might as well take that $5,500, ignite a match, set it on fire and watch it burn. At least I can get some heat out of the burning cash, which is more than I can say about just bending over and handing it to a dealer.

Remember that dealership in the future, when they’re desperate to sell vehicles. Act accordingly.

As for the 2.3-liter EcoBoost: it’s a solid little engine, one that seems to be fairly reliable. I checked on a few forums for Mustangs, and the similar EcoBoost they use has been pretty reliable. It’s said that Ford tweaked it for more power, so you get up to 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Oddly, it makes less power and torque than the Mustang variant, but it’s still acceptable.

Speaking from personal experience, I felt the power in the early models was tepid, even with the V6 EcoBoost. Still, it was more athletic at high elevation than the Pentastar V6 jeep uses. Off the line, both engines feel a bit pokey, but passing power and high RPM demands are pretty smooth.

Keep us in the look and best of luck!

Thanks for the email!

— N

The last question comes from a podcast fan who caught wind of TFL Talkin’ Truck’s growth.

(Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) Wow. TFL Talkin’ Trucks is exploding!

Your numbers on YouTube are growing, but what about your actual podcast? You guys leapfrogged a ton of other guys!

– M.Nix

A:  We just past 5,000,000 downloads on Apple alone!

It has been about two years, and we are not slowing down. Thanks to the hard work of Andre and the boys, we are recognized as the place to go when you want some damn good commentary on trucks, and deep-dive interviews. It’s been a fun ride, and we’re just getting started!

— N

Here’s that TFL Talkin’ Trucks episode where we talk about the numbers!