Ask Nathan: Retro EVs, Are Used Car Prices Coming Down and I Bought the Wrong Pickup?

Images: Nissan

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Retro EVs are cool?
  • So you think used vehicle prices are finally coming down?
  • I bought the wrong pickup?

The first question/comment comes from a video we posted from the 2022 SEMA show – which featured retro EVs.

Q: (Via: Totally agree that retro EVs are super cool!

I think that if they made more retro EVs, more people would buy them. It’s like looking at the ability to be an individual when you own a car. If it looks like every other one like Teslas, it gets old fast. There’s only so much you can do with a vinyl wrap and wheels. But I like the idea of going into the past to make things look unique.

What about you Nathan!?

— Ann

We see some retro EVs at about 29-mimnutes

A: I’m with you on that. Retro design can make a boring car SO much better,

There are pluses and minuses to going full retro on a vehicle’s design. The New Beetle and Chrysler PT Cruiser are good examples of this. Both were hits when they debuted, but updating both vehicles proved to be an issue. I mean, how do you update something that’s supposed to evoke a feeling of nostalgia? It’s a difficult proposition, to say the least.

Automakers need to have their vehicles, even EVs, last more than one cycle to get their share of profits. If they build retro EVs right out of the box, some might be concerned about how they update them down the line. I get it, but I still want them to go full gonzo on the whole retro thing.

After a while, the shapes and designs of these new vehicles seem to blend together. I’m a huge proponent of individualization, and I hope we see some cool ideas based on flexible EV platforms soon.

– N

used 1996 honda accord ex coupe for sale
Credit: eBay/Max Lanman

This next question comes from a viewer who sees a trend in used car prices coming down.

Q: (Via Twitter@NathanAdlen) After doing some research I see the overall used car market coming down.

It is not that obvious when you look at dealerships. But when you look at personal sales it looks like things are coming back to reality. This might be the first time in over two years that the used car bubble is popping.

– Lovie

A: You are correct!

According to, used car affordability fell 26.7% from August 2019 to August 2022. J.P. Morgan expects used car pricing to slide down 10-20% in 2023. Consumer Reports also stated in a post that used car prices are falling.

Here’s the problem, the ability to buy a quality used car is still difficult. It’s hard for many to get financing, or scrape enough cash together to outright buy a used car. Hopefully, we will see a surge in the surplus and bigger discounts down the line.

– N

The last question comes from some commenters regarding my purchase of a 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL AWD.

My Santa Cruz holding a pretty big load, for such a small pickup. (Image: TFLtruck)

Q: (From YouTube, and Twitter) – Here are a few comments that I wanted you to see..

  • Hyundai is refusing to fix my 2022 Santa Cruz under warranty. Look up Hyundai recall 236. I’ve never had warranty issues with any other manufacturer. Only Hyundai. – Mr. Dy
  • Any thoughts on engine issues that Hyundai/ Kia had in the past? – notsodelusional
  • Great … nothing personal … but I went with the Ridgeline since it’s bigger all around … and probably gets pretty close to the same RealWordMPG as the Santa Cruz and there is no question about Honda’s reliability or SH-AWD (ooops meant VTM-4) … Thanks Keith Chicago IL – Keith
  • Hope the engine doesn’t fail congrats – NatureRecycleFlorida
  • Is there any concern with the Hyundai/Kia engine issue with this vehicle?. I had a 2013 Santa Fe that Hyundai replaced the long block at 6k miles. – WayneWallace
  • I lost all trust in you Nathan. You bought something no one should ever drive. How much did Hyundai pay you to buy their truck? – SPHoleMn

A: First of all, I have to say that about 95-percent of the comments were very positive – which I truly appreciate.

Let’s get this out of the way: Recall #236 is focused on the dual-clutch, eight-speed transmission. My pickup has the regular, A8F27 eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s pretty solid.

Yes, older GDI 2.5-liter (and 2.0) engines had a lot of recalls. IF I maintain it through Hyundai, with their maintenance plan and use their products, the powertrain should be okay. I will keep an eye on oil consumption, but I have done my research – and I think the 2.5-liter should be okay for a long time.

When people say that an automaker paid me to say something, or to actually BUY their product – I usually shake my head and ask the same question. “If they keep paying me to say and do things, wouldn’t I have more money? If every alleged payment was made to me over all these years, I’d be cruising in a friggin’ Power Wagon!”

Honestly, my first choice was the Honda Ridgeline, but it was priced over my budget.

Anyway, I will keep an eye on the little guy. I will be posting updates from time to time.


– N