Ask Nathan: When Will I See an Affordable Jeep EV, Respect for GM’s EcoTec and Great Road Trip Music?

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will we see an affordable and off-road ready Jeep EV?
  • Covering EcoTec (vs. EcoBoost)?
  • What was your music selection during your 5,000-mile road trip?

The first question comes from a fan who wants a Jeep EV that can seriously go off-road, and not break the bank.

Rocco Morales, a 10th grade – 2nd Place Drive for Design contest (Image: Stellantis) I added this image as it has the look of what an off-road capable all-electric Jeep might look like in the future. I doubt it would be “affordable.”

Q: (Via: I know we will get more than one kind of Jeep EV in the next few years.

My question to you Nathan and to Tommy and Andre is whether they will build a Jeep EV that can seriously handle hard off road obstacles and be affordable? I saw that Jeep EV that the Europeans get and it is basically a car. Fine with me ’cause I want the Magneto. Then I saw the Jeep Recon EV and I thought to myself “that is going to be stupid expensive like all Jeeps!”

Every Jeep is overpriced and the ones that are almost affordable are basically cars. I can’t run as hard as I do in my 2007 Wrangler in a Compass! I know that you guys have talked about the other Jeeps like the Wrangler getting a EV powertrain. But you and I know that it will be stupid expensive. How about a Jeep EV that is for regular guys who make less than six digits a year!?

— Orson

A: I’m not trying to sound like a jerk – but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The modern day Jeep isn’t known for discounting their vehicles. That’s especially true when it comes to new tech. Normally, I would say to hold your horses until the value of used Jeep EVs drop. The problem with that is, Jeeps (like the Wrangler) seem to hold their value quite well. Not only that, we still haven’t seen what the price and capability of the Recon will be.

Who knows? Maybe there will be a two-door, base model version. It’s a long shot, but anything’s possible…

Or probably not. Sorry.

– N

Two questions about GM’s EcoTec engines.

Q: (Via Just wanted to know if you could do something on the EcoTec engine.

It’s the cheapest for wheel drive you can get to my knowledge. I would love to by one but don’t know a lot about them. No one had done a review of them that I’m aware of. Would like to see how it does in snow and zero to 60 and all of that good stuff. Love all the content by the way keep it up 

– Keith

Q: Does GM still build the EcoTec?

I drove in a Sonic with the turbo EcoTec and it was amazing.

– DX

A: Yes, I liked the EcoTec as well, and it never got the fanfare of the EcoBoost from Ford.

There have been many derivatives of the EcoTec-branded engine over the years. They provide a big punch for a small-displacement powertrain, when we’re talking about its four- and six-cylinder versions. In fact, unlike many of Ford’s EcoBoost variants that like to make their max power up high, the EcoTec tends to make power at lower RPM.

– N

The last question comes from a fan who wants to know what was on my jukebox as I drove a Hyundai Ioniq 5 from California to Florida, and back again.

Q: (From NathanAdlen@Twitter): You are insane man!

I’ve asked you questions like this before. Remember back when I asked you about what type of music you would listen to on a cross country trip? Yeah, you and Jeremy Clarkson got me listening to more prog-rock than ever before. I was going to to a long trip cross-country for school, but I ended up flying.

Then I tune into TFL and see you guys doing this crazy EV road trip! I saw the parts where you guys talk about Rush and I even saw some Jethro Tull, so I knew it was you Nathan. I think you mentioned Roman listens to house music. I’m not surprised about that at all.

So tell me what you listened to on the way from Florida to California? It takes balls to do a drive like that alone. Especially in a electric car!

– Allen

Image: Concord Records

A: Thanks amigo!

I got to say: there’s something soothing, almost cathartic about driving long distance alone. It gives people like me a bit of time to let my thoughts explore as I see amazing scenery. It just fires the imagination, and it can be healing – for some.

This trip, I opted to do two things: play old albums I forgot about, and play a few tracks based on where I was. For example, I played Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima and Ella Fitzgerald when I went from Mobile, AL to New Orleans, LA. That was awesome!

Most of the trip revolved around bands like Led Zeppelin, Triumph, Blue Oyster Cult, and (of coarse) Rush. When I zeroed in on California, I downloaded Let The Bad Times Roll from The Offspring. It was an epic album, and I always rock The Offspring when I get back home. Everything else was SiriusXM, bouncing between Ozzie’s Boneyard and Lithium.

Finally, I listened to Trinidad by Leon Uris and Crescent Dawn by Clive and Dirk Cussler. Great books!

If you ever decided to do a long distance drive, I highly recommend a few audio books to soak up those boring, night time slogs.

– N