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.
In this edition of Ask Nathan:
- Which is the best bang for the buck? 2015 Chevrolet Sonic RS vs Ford Fiesta ST?
- What is a “Bug Out” vehicle?
- 2016 Hyundai Accent rumors?
The first question comes from a viewer who wants to buy a 2015 Chevrolet Sonic RS or a 2015 Ford Fiesta ST.
Q: Hi Nathan and TFL.
I finally have enough money to buy my very first new car. The idea of having a car that was and driven just by me makes me very happy. I’ve been driving for 15 years and I am so sick of cars with history. Last June, I got a better paying job and have enough for a good down payment on something fun.
Guys like Jeremy Clarkson and you Nathan mentioned how smart a hot hatchback is and this will be my first. I need to get a four door (what you call a five door) hatchback because I have dogs and want to start a family one day. That means the Fiat 500 Abarth is out of the question. I want something that drives just like it.
I am able to get a low interest loan through a credit union that will be cheaper than financing the car through a dealership. This means I have to keep the out the door price under $24,000 if I want to keep the payments manageable. This is the way I can keep my insurance affordable too.
The GTI and Focus ST are way too expensive for me. But the 2015 Chevy Sonic RS and Ford Fiesta ST are just right. I can get options on both and still keep the price under $24,000 after tax.
I have driven the Chevy Sonic RS and I love it. But I am ver curious about the Ford Fiesta ST. Which one do you like better?
Love watching your show!
A: Thanks for the great email and congratulations on buying your first new car!
Both the 2015 Ford Fiesta ST and the Chevrolet Sonic RS are great choices. I think the Chevrolet Sonic RS has an excellent ride, for a hot-hatch, and is a very easy car to live with. The Ford Fiesta ST is the best car on the track.
Like its bigger brother (the Ford Focus ST) the Ford Fiesta ST is a proper driver’s car. If you’re serious about the best performer of the two, the 2015 Ford Fiesta ST is the most athletic and is has the most driver-focused interior of the two as well. Other alternatives like the Hyundai Veloster Turbo and Dodge Dart GT (which is not a hatch, but it’s got a huge trunk) are out there too.
If it were my money, and if I go to a track often (I try) – the 2015 Ford Fiesta would be my choice.
Hope that helps!
This next one comes from a viewer that wants to know what a “Bug Out” vehicle is.
Q: Hi guy!
I recently head my neighbor mention that he is building a “Bug Out” vehicle out of an old Toyota RAV4. He’s a gun-nut and I am not. He’s nice enough and I know he keeps an eye on the neighborhood which is comforting. I smiled when he mentioned “Bug Out” but I have no idea how that pertains to a RAV4 or any car.
I thought that when someone bug’s out – they take off or quickly depart.
How can a RAV4 do anything like that?
Let me know what you think Nathan.
A: Thanks for the email! Yes, it can be confusing for some as a “Bug Out” vehicle depends on the owner’s take on what works best for them.
When you bug-out, you do indeed leave. The point of one of these vehicles is to take its owner off the grid or away from a problem. Some Bug Out vehicles are total survival trucks built to military specifications, run on just about anything, hold enough supplies for long-term survival and can be safe from chemical attack. Other Bug Out vehicles are simply any car that is left in a strategically advantageous area the owner can access in times of trouble.
Many people are buying older vehicles that (they feel) are reliable and can be modified for trekking out of large urban areas and find safety in the bush. I believe this is what your neighbor is doing with the older Toyota RAV4.
The load floor in any Toyota RAV4 is pretty low and easy to modify by adding a two level floor (a floor made of wood that may have compartments for survival gear, then covered with the vehicle’s original carpet/mat. It keeps the survival equipment hidden. Also, a Toyota RAV4 has room for additional gas tanks, some can tow and all of them make good tow vehicles.
There are a ton of videos on Bug Out vehicles on the web – some are pretty entertaining.
Here’s what I would use.
Take my word for it; having a neighbor who’s into survival and who’s vigilant is (usually) a good thing.
I would show some interest and have a gander at what your neighbor is doing with it.
Thanks for the email!
This viewer is wondering what Hyundai is doing when they re-do or update the Hyundai Accent.
Q: (From TFLcar’s video channel).
Do you guys know what Hyundai is going to do with the 2016 or 2017 Hyundai Accent? I have heard nothing.
A: This is all I can find: The 2016 Hyundai Accent (may) have an exterior refresh making it look more like the recently updated Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Genesis. Being that they share a similar platform, there is a possibility that the 2016 Hyundai Accent will have a sporty edition that uses the same turbocharged engine used in the Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
Expect Hyundai to aim for an over 40 mpg highway rating and there is a possibility that they will include a new automatic transmission with additional gears.
Please keep in mind, this is all speculation based on rumor.
I’ll keep my ears open; however, seeing that Hyundai never allowed us to drive any of their previous generation Accents, we may have to wait a while before we drive the next Hyundai Accent. Bummer.
Thanks for the email!
This is the only video we have from Hyundai’s Accent… it was a rental.
This last question comes from a viewer who wants to know about the four-door MINI Cooper.
Q: Hi Nathan. Have you had a chance to drive the 4-door Mini? I think it looks unique and it could be a better choice for me than the Volkswagen GTI 5-door. What do you think?
A: Unfortunately, we have yet to drive the 2015 MINI 5-door. Based on what I’ve seen and what I’ve been told, it drives a lot like the regular 3-door MINI. I have always been a fan of the MINI Clubman as it had just enough room for my family and dogs. That’s the way I look at this new 5-Door MINI.
It’s a more logical car.
Is it better looking? No. I think it looks a bit awkward, but I’ll reserve my critique until I live with one.
Sorry, I wish I had more for you.
Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org