• “Another” Toyota FJ Replacement, Fun with Three Pedals and Is Andre a real Russian? [Ask Nathan]

    • Is this Toyota FJ Replacement for real?
    • Can I find a fun, three-pedal car on the cheap?
    • Is Andre from Russia?
  • The first question comes from a viewer who noted the Toyota TJ Cruiser Concept may be (yet) another Toyota FJ Replacement.

    Q:Nathan Adlen, did you see the Toyota TJ Cruiser concept!!!???

    I think this is another vehicle Toyota is looking at to replace the old FJ. But I have a problem with that because they keep missing the mark. No one wants a wimpy replacement of one of the most capable off road trucks Toyota built. Is it just me or do you agree too? What do you know about this thing?



    A: Howdy Bear!

    This isn’t the first time Toyota has built something aimed at fans of the Toyota FJ. Do you remember the Toyota FT-4X Concept? This vehicle is built on the same TNGA platform the new Toyota Camry and CH-R are on. There is a 2-liter, hybrid power plant and it has “on-demand all-wheel drive system” – which doesn’t sound as off-road worthy as fans of the old FJ would like.

    The whole thing is about packaging and innovative interior design. It looks like the back of the folding seats are covered in hard bed-liner and that there’s good space inside.

    Sadly, it does’t look like it will be able to take on the Rubicon.



    This next question comes from a fan who wants the most fun (with a manual transmission) for the least amount of dough.

    2016 Chevrolet Spark RS Concept

    Q: I’ve sent this question to other automotive websites and was either treated like crap or ignored. Can you help me Nathan?

    I wanted your opinion on what cheap new vehicle has the most excitement. I want a manual transmission and a hatchback, but nothing used. Not me. I want something with less than 10 miles on the odometer and a warranty.

    My best friend turned me on to TFL and I know you are the one who loves small, and inexpensive cars. My needs are probably different than yours because I rarely haul people. I have to commute almost an hour from my home to work every day. There’s a nice driver’s road on part of the trip and traffic is usually light.

    I’m real short around 5 foot three, legroom and headroom won’t be an issue for me. My best friend is the opposite he’s like Roman. I think I want five doors instead of three, that counts the Fiat 500 out. I like the idea of being able to fold the seats down so I can sleep in my car. Hatchback time my friends. No sedan, no trucks, no way.

    If everything goes according to plan, I will be able to get a loan for fifteen thousand dollars. I want to use some to pay off some minor debt and the rest to get the car. That’s why I want one that’s cheap, cheap, cheap.

    If you get this email, please call me Vince. Thanks!

    A: Hi Vince!

    There are only a handful of vehicles that meet your requirements: the Chevrolet Spark, Mitsubishi Mirage and the Ford Fiesta. While the Mitsubishi Mirage is least expensive, the driver of the group is the Ford Fiesta.

    You will have to look for online rebates and whatnot to keep the price low, but it’s a fun little car. It’s going away soon too – so, jump on it while you can.

    There is one issue, the rear cargo area doesn’t fold completely flat with the rest of the cargo area. Sleeping in it may be a challenge.

    Best of luck Vince!



    2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost Profile

    The last question comes from a fan who is curious about Andre, our producer.

    mmusa north dakota motor mountain us
    MMUSA North Dakota: Getting Found

    Q:Hi. Is Andre really from Russia?

    Sent via Twitter (@Nathanadlen)

    A: Howdy!

    Yes, he’s from Moscow.


    Check out this fun video!

    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: asknathan@tflcar.com.

    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

    14 thoughts on ““Another” Toyota FJ Replacement, Fun with Three Pedals and Is Andre a real Russian? [Ask Nathan]

    1. Stay away from the mirage and fiesta I test drove both and found that geo metro was quicker and just as crappy and saving thousand. spark and sonic both are Farley sporty and look sporty cheap and very reliable. And Andree is American now and Russians are kool any way

      1. The Ford is a far better driver than the Spark. It has more power, a better suspension, better steering feel and great brakes. I’ve driven each one for over a week.

    2. TJ CRUISER ( Toolbox Joke ). Bring back larger FJ-X Cruiser with longer wheelbase, larger side hatch doors, V6 Turbo or V8 / V6 cylinder deactivation, larger horizontal mirrors that can tow 7000-7500 pounds. KILL Sequia.

      1. Absolutely… What he said…i have a fj cruiser…i love it…….whatever that thing tj cruiser thing is u can keep not interested…come big or stay at home

        1. Agreed I think the fj cruiser and hummer h3 the smaller one was the best jeep alternatives out their but this looks like Scion xB mixed with some Chinese vehicle

    3. Hey guys, just wondering what happened to the sales reports for the mid-size sedans and SUV? I just wanted to know because you guys haven’t been posting it for a few months.

    4. I see that Nissan is having major incentive deals right now. You can get a 2016 Versa Note with a manual transmission for $11,000 but I don’t know how much fun it will be even with the MT.

      1. That’s because nobody wants that soulless gutless pos yes it has a lot of room for five but has no power to pull the five up the hill. That’s to funny.

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