Ask Nathan: Will Small Cars Make a Comeback, Towing with a Jeep Wrangler and Selling My Mazda CX-5?

Here's this week's round of questions

Small cars aren’t dead – yet. This is the Nido EV by Pininfarina

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will small cars ever come back to the USA?
  • I want to tow with a Jeep Wrangler.
  • Should I sell my 2019 Mazda CX-5?

The first question comes from a reader who wants to know if tiny cars will return to the United States.

Q: (Via: Hi Nathan, I have a quick question about small cars.

I’ve owned a Smart Car, a Yaris and a Fit among other small cars. Living in Seattle, they worked great for me. After reading your work for some time, I know you understand the value of small cars too. When I look online, I see very few options out there. Is it me, or are the choices dwindling from the market?

I hope you have a good holiday season!

— Wendel

A: You are correct, the choices for small cars are getting mighty slim.

I was hoping that there would be an acceptable amount of affordable electrified alternatives by now. Sadly, that’s not the case. Both the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf hover around $30,000. I’m not counting incentives and whatnot, just the advertised price. Less expensive internal combustion vehicles, like the Mitsubishi Mirage, start at about $17,000. That’s a good price, for a simple conveyance.

All in all, there are about a dozen small cars that are fairly inexpensive in our current market, but the days of the Yaris and Fit are long gone.

I suspect that, given the current government mandates, many of these small cars will vanish in over the next decade. Hopefully, we’ll see some innovative replacements coming soon. Honestly, I don’t think too many Americans are interested in cars as small as the Smart Car, or this Nido EV Concept pictured. It’s kind of a bummer.

– N

The next question comes from a fan who want to tow with his Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

Q: (Via YouTube) I have a base model 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and I want to tow a trailer with it.

Everyone tells me that if I wanna tow I should buy a Jeep Gladiator. But I don’t want a Gladiator. The Wrangler suits my needs just fine as it is. But I was thinking about buying a boat and trailer. If you combined the weight it would be about 3,100 pounds and that’s less then the total for my Jeep. Is that going to work?

– Marlon M

A: That’s a lot to ask of the Wrangler, my friend.

Sure, it’s rated at 3,500-lbs, but you have to remember that its rated under 1,000-lbs. To prevent from overtasking the Wrangler, you would have to tow it bone dry, with very little in the cab. Even then, it isn’t a happy tow rig. The gang at TFL Studios has a lot of experience towing with Wranglers, and they don’t respond well to being overtaxed.

The sheer amount of squat, and your steering can be compromised right off the bat. If you absolutely must tow that much weight, please make sure you have your brakes, suspension and safety equipment sorted out.

– N

The last question comes from a fan who is thinking about selling their Mazda CX-5.

“T is for “Turbo” – that’s good enough for me! [Photo: TFLcar]

Q: (From NathanAdlen@Twitter): Saw your Mazda CX-5 video and I agree. It is THE BEST WINTER CAR EVER!

I’m moving to Florida this spring and I don’t think I need the AWD my CX-5 has. Do you think I should sell it before I move?

– T.Sess

A: Hi!

Man, I wish I had more information about your situation. That way, I could give you a more informed opinion. As it is, the market for used CX5s isn’t too shabby. With that being said, I would personally consider holding on to it, if you’re heading towards storm country. The Mazda works remarkably well in wet conditions as well.

– N