In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- What’s up with the 2019 Cadillac XT4 (XT3)?
- Will there ever be a small truck again?
- Why not use off-road Tires?
This first question comes from a reader who is curious about the upcoming 2019 Cadillac XT4 – even though he calls it an XT3.
Q: Nathan, are you sick of Cadillac building pricy cars that can’t compete?
I hear that General Motors is considering a small crossover for luxury buyers. It that going to be the Cadillac XT3? I was told that it would be like a Buick Encore.
Why bother? I mean it! Cadillac no longer builds cars for drivers according to their own people! I say let’s let them keep build Esclades for rappers and be done with the rest.
A: Hi Bill,
First of all, yes – there appears to be a Cadillac XT4 coming around 2019. My sources say it will not be based on the Gamma II platform, which underpins vehicles like the Buick Encore, Sonic and Chevrolet Trax. It will most likely be front-wheel drive and have an optional all-wheel drive system.
Second, the image I used was from the Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept from 2010. It reminded me of something important about Cadillac; they have serious potential to surprise. Give them a chance, they may surprise you too.
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 will supposedly compete with the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40 among other vehicles. While no concrete information is available yet, Cadillac is way behind the pack when it comes to competing crossovers. They say that, in the near future, Cadillac will release a new vehicle every six months.
I’m pretty sure the 2019 Cadillac XT4 will be one of the earliest of the new batch of Cadillacs to debut.
Stay tuned for more information soon!
This next question comes from a fan who wants a small, new truck. NOT a midsized truck.
Q: My country neighborhood is filled with Ranger owners like me wearing sad, sad, frowns.
We all expect to drive our Ford Rangers until we die. Mid size and full size trucks are awesome these days – but we want a small truck!
Can we expect someone, anyone, to once again build a true small truck in our lifetimes? Or should I plan on a million-mile Ranger?
PS: Big Ben is back for another season! Steelers to the Super Bowl in 2018!
PS: Maybe you and Roman could kidnap the Ford CEO next auto show and hold for ransom until Ford builds a small truck?
Great email (except for the “kidnapping” part. Roman said, “No more kidnapping executives! Sorry).
There are several reasons automakers no longer sell small trucks in North America. Three of the biggest issues were capability, safety and amenities. Customers wanted all of the toys cars have along with passenger space. Add to that the need for safer vehicles and higher capacity… you know the rest.
Can automakers build a small truck? Sure, just look at our long-term Nissan Frontier. It’s not much bigger than your Ford Ranger. It runs great and it’s fairly inexpensive. It is, for lack of a better example, the least expensive, small-(ish) truck you can buy.
To get a smaller truck-like-vehicle, there’s a chance that small car-based pickups will be heading to our market in the near future. The buzz alone for the Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept should be pretty compelling for many automakers out there.
I wish I could give you something more definitive than that. At the end of the day, it will be the mid-size market (which is growing) that may push automakers to build smaller trucks – maybe.
The last question comes from a fan who wants to know why we don’t test all of our vehicles using one brand of tire.
Q: Nathan and Roman! Whats up?
Half of the reason one car or truck beats another is because of tires. Up hill, on dirt certain tires just perform better than others. Same thing on the track! One tire is superior to others. So why not put the same tire make and brand on each car and truck you test?
A: Hi Dennis!
I wish we had the resources to do that. Even if we had tire sponsors, extra crew and the ability to swap dozens of tires every few days, some of the automakers who give us cars to test may be against it. Remember: choosing a tire supplier for a car that hits the market is a big deal.
If we strip the tires off a car to test it, consumers would question why those tires were on the vehicle in the first place. We might be able to get away with that with some winter driving (we get Mazdas with snow tires from time-to-time), but even that creates some consternation.
Dennis, at the end of the day, team TFL tests the cars the way the automaker sells them. If that means cheap tires, so be it. If they feel that a certain tire is worth the price; or sacrifice, that’s what we are meant to find out.
Still, on track events, I truly wish we could use one designated brand for our professional driver Paul to destroy.
Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and name will be omitted – leaving your initials or nickname, your preference.
From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.
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