Ask Nathan: I want to buy the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV, Buying a Used Jeep Gladiator – and – Great Driving Music?

Toyota Compact Cruiser or Lite Cruiser Concept (Image: Toyota)

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • I want the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV!
  • Should I buy a Jeep Gladiator?
  • What is some good music to listen to as I drive cross country?

The first question is about the wildly popular Toyota Compact Cruiser EV concept.

Q: (via Twitter @NathanAdlen) Nathan! Tell me that they will build the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV!

Take a look around and see the boring ass EVs out there? I do and I think the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV would destroy the anti EV crowd with its cuteness and capability. It better have a good range and be affordable though. Know anything about it?

  • 5-Trent-5

A: The chances for us seeing a Toyota Compact Cruiser EV are pretty good, but…

The Toyota Compact Cruiser EV is a concept. As such, a lot of things can change between now and when production comes. Even the name is subject to change. Toyota designers hid a “Yaris Cruiser” name on a tire in an earlier image. Some think it will be called something like the “EVRunner,” or “bxRunner.” The shot of its dashboard has “Lite Cruiser” under the speedometer. Yea, I’m not too sure about that.

It is a “Lite Cruiser” a “Compact Cruiser” or something else? (Images: Toyota)

Toyota is well aware of the popularity of the Compact Cruiser EV, but they haven’t stated anything official about production or capability. An article in Top Electric SUV suggests that it will live on a shared platform with internal combustion vehicles. Perhaps a version of the TNGA platform? Others believe it will share a majority of its platform (e-TNGA) and running gear with the Toyota bZ4x.

Image: Toyota

Recently, Toyota pulled off a brilliant PR stunt with Akio Toyoda, President & CEO and Koji Sato, President, Lexus International, Chief Branding Officer. It only took a few moments for Toyota to go from being a brand without an EV identity, to one with up to 16 EVs looking at production. Impressive. Not only that, but they have the means to make it happen.

Not all of these vehicles (including the Compact Cruiser EV) will look the same if/when they make it to production. Still, it was a bold move, one that shut up a lot of critics.

At every Toyota event we attend (which has been a lot recently) we pounce on any nugget of information we find. So far, there’s been next to no information about the Light Cruiser EV.

We’ll keep trying!

  • N

The next question comes from a fan who is considering the purchase of a used Jeep Gladiator.

Q: (A summary of a conversation with a fan at a DIY store) I’m thinking about buying a used Jeep Gladiator.

It’s a 2020 Rubicon with a little bit of trail damage. It has a few modifications, like larger tires and a lift. The owner wants $52,000 for it. Do you think it’s a good deal?

  • JJ

A: That’s a great question JJ. (I’m calling him “JJ” but I never actually caught his name)

I know the Gladiator has 40,000 miles on it, and it comes with the Pentastar V6. You mentioned that it has a few accessories, but it’s not “loaded.” After a bit of research, that price would be about ten-percent less than a new one. Used Jeeps are going for stupid money, and the Gladiator owner seems to be under the current pricing – by just a bit

The only red flags I would look into revolve around the trail damage, modifications and milage.

Taking it to a trusted mechanic is a great way to figure out a few things right off the bat. They should be able to see if the trail damage is serious or not. A decent mechanic can usually tell if a modification is done improperly, or if it’s hurting the vehicle in some way. 40,000 miles is a lot in two years, the average floats around 12-15,000 per year. So, it’s a bit high.

If it looks like a solid vehicle, based on an expert looking underneath, and you’re okay with a vehicle that has some damage – sure, it might be okay. Check into the warranty and service history too. At the same time, if you’re willing to wait a bit, and dispense with some goodies, you can get a new one for about the same price.

  • N

The last question comes from a young fan who wants a playlist to download as he crosses the country.

Quadrophenia The Who

You and Jeremy Clarkson got me into listening to PROG-ROCK (progressive rock)

Maybe a little bit James May and my uncle who’s a huge Yes fan.

I went from liking One Direction and OAR to listening to Genesis and Rush! I also love the Who and Pink Floyd. Now it’s time for me to move to Oregon [GO DUCKS!] for school. I am heading out there this summer to work before I start school this fall. I am bringing my trusty 2009 Toyota Tacoma from Bridgeport, CT to Eugene OR. That’s literally cross country Nathan!

I am towing a UHaul with all my stuff solo! So, I was thinking about asking about suggestions for this long drive. I’m familiar with the more popular songs and albums form these bands. But I think this drive will give me a chance to immerse myself deeply into the music.

None of the GT guys got back to me. But I am hoping you do Nathan!

Allen p.s. can I swing by the studio on my way west?

Image: Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull

A: Hi Allen.

Now that’s a great question!

There’s so much out there that I would love to recommend; however, over the past few months I “re-discovered” an extraordinary album. The album is called “Quadrophenia” and it’s a brilliant theme album from The Who. It goes along with a movie by the same name, which is a great watch too. Especially if you’re interested in a slice of the British Mod scene in 1964. It’s pretty deep, and one of their best albums in my opinion.

The other album is “Songs from the Wood” by Jethro Tull.

As you drive through forests and long fields of green heading west, listening to this album will blow your mind. It conjures up rustic images of historic journeys. Absolutely fantastic travel music!

Image: Black Sabbath

I thought about it for a while, and I opted to add one more album to this list. Now, Black Sabbath is considered by most to be heavy-metal, and I’m good with that. Still, Heaven and Hell was my gateway into the newer material from Sabbath, and it (along with The Mob Rules) is epic. I think it boarders the depth of progressive rock, and the fire of heavy metal.

This is only to listen to IF you need deep, aggressive music on your road trip!

I could go on and on, but part of the fun of prog rock is discovery.

Something tells me, a few readers will chime in too.

Let me know what you think, and good luck at school!

  • N

Speaking of the Toyota Tacoma..