In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- What about a future SRT4?
- Which is more significant, Toyota or Nissan?
- What Off-road package would you get?
This first question comes from a reader who wants to see a new SRT4 come to the market.
Q: I always write in about the same thing and have yet to get an answer, but here goes.
I want to know when dodge will bring out another srt4 as I think the dart was a lost opportunity. the dart looks sporty or even Chevy bring out a cobalt ss replacement. I ask these questions because I’m not paying 48 grand for a focus rs and don’t want the focus st, I just don’t trust fords, period.
A: Hi Brandon,
Sorry to say there is very little information about any new SRT4 vehicles. The Dodge Neon SRT4 was a beefy little thing and it was an ambitious project. Unfortunately, its replacement the Dodge Caliber SRT4 was poorly executed, poorly received and it hurt the SRT4 name.
I’m not sure if that’s what scared FCA away from building another SRT4 vehicle or not. I agree with you that the Dodge Dart was a missed opportunity. I’ve always felt that the platform was capable of handling so much more. Once again, poor planning and a lack of sales killed off the Dodge Dart before they could even think about selling an SRT4 version.
If you look around the FCA fleet of vehicles, the SRT name is rarely used. Fortunately, it hasn’t disappeared altogether, just look at the SRT Durango coming soon!
As for Chevrolet producing a Chevrolet Cobalt SS replacement, I doubt they would see a business case for production. Sorry.
This next question comes from a viewer who’s wondering which off-road package is best.
Q: Nathan and the guys, what company do yo u think is more significant?
It’s Nissan vs Toyota for me. I know that Toyota is much bigger than Nissan, and I know that Nissan’s quality doesn’t worry Toyota. But I’m thinking about cars that were important in the United States. If you think about it, Nissan has an amazing history right? The GTR and Nismo Z are killer cars.
Toyota doesn;t have the need for speed that Nissan has in my book.
So what do you think Nathan, is it Nissan or Toyota?
A: Howdy Mitt.
It seems like you already have your mind made up as to who’s best. I’m inclined to agree with some of your assessment, but there’s more to it than a few sports cars on Nissan’s side. Both companies have made incredible cars and trucks. In many ways, they fight toe-to-toe.
The Toyota Supra was an amazing car with one hell of a history. Yes, the 2001 A80 was one of the best Supras of its time. Hopefully we’ll see a replacement one day soon. Yes, the Nissan Z brand has a fantastic history too. Still, you weren’t asking me about a few cars, you were asking about automaker vs autonmakr.
Obviously, Toyota has proven to be one of the most popular worldwide. Why is that? QDR, (Quality, Durability and Reliability)… Yep, they build pretty good cars and they have an excellent reputation.
I’m not saying that Nissan has a bad reputation, but I am saying that Nissan would love to have a reputation that Toyota has.
Personally speaking, I agree with the accolades. I’ve owned Toyota products and they have proven to be pretty good. Now I own a Nissan product and I am very happy. It’s not so black-and-white for me, from a personal perspective.
Still, if you’re referring to (just) sports-cars, then – yes – I agree; Nissan has established themselves as a performance-car juggernaut in the USA.
The last question comes from a fan who wants my opinion on off-road packages.
PRO-4X; TRD Pro; FX4; Z71/All-Terrain; or that silly thing Ram calls a “4X4 Off-Road Package?”
P.S. I know the actual answer is Rubicon Hard Rock, but Jeep doesn’t make a pickup truck (for now).
I like the (Toyota) TRD Pro and (Nissan) Pro-4X packages quite a bit. I feel that Toyota’s Tacoma with the TRD Pro package needs beefier tires. The Nissan Pro-4X package is pretty comprehensive too; however, I think both packages are a tad pricy. Also, the TRD Pro in the Tundra needs a locking rear differential.
The other packages are okay, but they are overshadowed by much better off road packages in their own lineup.
Have a good one!
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.
Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.