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.
In this edition of Ask Nathan:
- Ford Fusion vs Chrysler 200?
- Jeep Wrangler Hard Rock vs Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk?
- Where is Porsche?
- Where’s the 2015 Chevy SS Review?
The first question comes from a viewer who’s looking to buy a sedan like the Ford Fusion or Chrysler 200. He Wants to know about the quality comparison.
Q: Good afternoon
I am planing to buy a new car and I was wondering based on you experience what is a better choice and quality. The Fusion or the new Chrysler 200.
Thanks and excellent job with the videos
Both cars represent a great value in their segment. In fact, they are more than a match for the (usually) dominate Japanese competitors. The quality of these cars is impressive.
I cannot comment on long-term reliability or quality. We do not have the vehicles long enough to rate anything long-term. Still, I can say that the Chrysler 200’s interior feels like a nicer place to be. The Ford Fusion is a more flexible platform, offering more drive options. Both vehicles have okay backseat room, but (if you want maximum backseat space) the Chevrolet Impala beats both.
Like I said last week (click Ask Nathan Durango, AWD Sedan (Chrysler 200)), the Chrysler 200 is a remarkably well made machine.
Best of luck!
This next question comes from a viewer from Idaho who’s looking to get a Jeep Cherokee or Jeep Wrangler.
Q: Hello TFL,
Thanks for your show and all the knowledge you share with the world. I am currently living in Boise Idaho and looking to purchase a new ’15 or ’16 Jeep. I’m a third gen Nissan Xterra owner with currently an ’10 Offroad. I love my trucks, and they’re capabilities and versatility. However, I have a new job that has a commute of 55miles round trip and the fuel economy sucks! My wife and I have in our budget to purchase a new Jeep by Feb/Mar next year. We camp, fish, hike, bike, drink beer, and have two large dogs that love to make nose art on my glass in the Xterra. Not to mention the dogs totally make short work to dirty the Xterra once cleaned. Were considering a Cherokee Trailhawk 6cyl, or Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon(hard rock if possible). I’m not keen with the lane departure gizmos or the engine turn off crap, I do however anticipate the panoramic moon roof (wife wants it) she also wants the key less option and heated everything. Any advice you can send our way?
PS, our goal is to make it to Easter Jeep Safari ’16…
PSS, I hope to retrieve the belt buckle when you come to Idaho.
Thanks and continue what you all do…wish I could do what you all do
A: Howdy! Thanks for the email and the patronage!
Interestingly enough, you’re the second person I’ve spoken to this week about the choice between a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. You already know the obvious: the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is one of the most capable off-road vehicles you can buy from the factory. It’s a fact, even a forgone conclusion. Ah, but it’s also a fact that the build of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (and it’s Hard Rock variant) is NOT meant for economy in any way.
Sure, you can get the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a six-speed manual which mayhelp your mpg a bit, but it’s simply not an efficient design.
The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is a remarkable machine. Not because its damn good off-road (it is), but it’s a pretty good daily driver too. Usually, I recommend the Limited to city-folk who will rarely go off-road, but who need something that’s good in foul weather conditions. In your case – with the emphasis on out-door activities and two doggies, I think the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is worth a look.
I hope this helps and good luck finding that belt buckle!
This email comes from a viewer who wants to know where our Porsche review videos are.
Q: TFL guys,
Where the hell is Porsche? I haven’t seen a Porsche video review from you in ages. Are they simply out of cars for you to review? Or, are they too stingy and snobby to allow TFL to test them. Don’t they see your numbers? Don’t they think they can compete or are they afraid of the harshness of high elevation?
Seriously, review some Porsches guys!
A: Boy, you said a mouthful. Our fleet is on and off with Porsche. I have no idea why. We have petitioned the automaker and our fleet manager to get a Porsche in our rotation. Sadly, nothing has happened.
We’ll keep trying.
Wish I had a better answer.
This last question comes from a viewer who would like a review of the 2015 Chevrolet SS (so would we).
Thank you for your review of the 2014 Chevy SS. Final verdict… “Lease it”! As you and most other reviewers noted, the 2014 model lacked a manual transmission and magnetic ride control. So what about the 2015 Chevy SS? It now has almost everything most reviewers complained about, but where are the reviews for this now almost perfect sports sedan? There have been a few written reviews on the 2015 model, but no video reviews.
Spoken word is usually more insightful than written word! I am most interested in your view of the subtle differences between the convention suspension on the 2014 model and the magnetic ride suspension on the 2015 model and how the mag ride performs on a variety of roads and everyday driving, compared to the conventional suspension. And then there is the TREMEC TR6060 six-speed manual transmission. So Nathan, would your final verdict for the 2015 model be …. “Buy it”? Eagerly awaiting your video review on the 2015 Chevy SS!
A: That’s a hell of a good question and I wish I had an easy answer. The simple fact is: we get very few Chevrolet products in our Rocky Mountain fleet. I have absolutely no idea where the 2015 Chevrolet SS is or even if it’s ever going to be in our fleet. It’s very frustrating as I eagerly want to answer your question too.
I hear that it’s the best handling 4-door for under $50,000 – but that’s simply hearsay.
We’ll do our best to convince GM to allow Chevrolet to give us more vehicles to test – promise!
Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: email@example.com
Check out this video where Roman pits a 2015 Acura TLX vs the 2016 Nissan Maxima!