The Next Nissan Frontier, Jeep Patriot vs Jeep Renegade and Base Ford Mustang vs Base Dodge Challenger [Ask Nathan]

  • What’s up with the next Nissan Frontier?
  • Base Ford Mustang vs Base Dodge Challenger?
  • Base Jeep Patriot vs Base Jeep Renegade?
This is the Nissan Navara, an overseas sibling to the Nissan Frontier.

The first question comes from a viewer who wants to know if the next Nissan Frontier will ever hit our shores.

Q:Nathan and Roman, do you know anything about the next Nissan Frontier?

Will they even build one? Will it have a terrible CVT? Will it compete against the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado? Will it have a diesel option like the Colorado? Will it be like the ugly Navara over seas, or will it be unique to this market?

Please let me know when you can.



nissan frontier crew pro-4x
2012 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x

A: Greetings Segumi!

Lots and lots of rumours about the next Nissan Frontier. The only thing official is that Nissan announced that they will build a new one and it will be built in Canton, Mississippi manufacturing facility alongside the Nissan Titan. You can read that TFLtruck story (here). I am hoping to hear more about it either during the 2018 Chicago Auto Show or the 2019 NAIAS.

Here are the rumors:

  • A diesel should be part of the next Nissan Frontier; however, it may be more powerful than the one TFLtruck tested a while back.

  • Expect more options, packages and special editions this time around
  • Nissan may mimic the Titan’s interior design, which will be a vast improvement over the current Nissan Frontier’s design.
  • The next Nissan Frontier will have to be competitive out of the box, this means greater towing and payload numbers are rather likely.
  • Stiffer chassis (frame) and lighter materials should help with its utility and efficiency.
  • It should look different than the current Nissan Navara. There has been a ton of negative comments coming from consumers regarding the Navara’s design. Nissan takes consumer remarks seriously.
  • Nissan will aim for a few “best-in-class” titles. Interior space may be one of the area’s Nissan can quickly proclaim as the champion.
  • Nissan may wait for the North American debut of the Ford Ranger before finalizing the design of the next Nissan Frontier.

Wish I had more, but we are watching Nissan closely to see what happens next, and, we will be on the lookout for prototypes and test mules to his the road soon.



Jeep Renegade Latitude

This next question comes from a viewer who wants to buy a simple all wheel drive (AWD) hatchback with a manual transmission. She’s comparing a Jeep Patriot to a Jeep Renegade.

2015 Jeep Patriot climbing a snowy hill

Q: Hi Mr. Nathan. You guys make car stuff super fun to watch. I love your show and I love your group of reviewers!  

I like my old 2003 Honda CRV! It’s a stick shift with almost 200,000 miles on it. I love driving stick and I noticed only a few current cars are available with one. I wanted something similar and something fun. But, other than the front wheel drive Honda HR-V, which doesn’t an option for an AWD with a stick, I didn’t like my choices.

I have a friend who owns a 2015 Jeep Patriot with a manual and AWD. She loves it and over the past three years shes been trouble free. So I went to my Jeep dealer (Pat McGrath Chrysler  Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat) and others near Cedar Rapids to see if they had one.

The other dealership could get one for a very cheap price. But then, I saw the Jeep Renegade and fell in love with its looks. It’s absolutely adorable! They do have a base version with a manual and AWD, it’s more expensive than the Patriot by nearly $5,000.

What to do!?!? I would like to keep my loan well under $25,000 and still have a good warranty along with a maintenance plan. I know the Patriot is being phased out and I know about the new Compass too. I don’t like its design.

Which one would you get?

Thanks Nathan!



A: Hi Connie!

Right off the bat, I would get the Jeep Renegade. It’s a ton of fun using that base turbo engine – it’s very zippy. I would say that the Patriot will, undoubtedly, be less expensive, but it’s a dated design internally and externally. The overall utility and feel of the Renegade is superior to the old Jeep Patriot.

With that being said, please look at the Subaru Forester and Crosstrek, both are available with manual transmissions and both are very well built. Especially in your climate, I would look at these Subarus too.

I hope that helps!


2015 Mustang EcoBoost

The last question comes from someone who wants me to choose between a base Mustang and a base Challenger.

Q: (via Nathanadlen@Twitter) Base Ford Mustang vs Base Dodge Challenger

Which one would you choose for fun at an affordable price?



A: Hi Akim!

The Mustang is much more fun, especially with the EcoBoost and manual transmission. That’s the one to get for fun, while the Challenger is great for comfort and a little bit of fun. Sadly, Dodge does not offer a manual with their base V6.

I like the overall feel of the Mustang, it’s not that much slower than the GT around a track and it’s terrific on a winding road. The Dodge Challenger’s V6 has pretty good grunt, but the car is too heavy to sling around corners like the Mustang. The Challenger has a lot more space both inside and in the truck. It’s a better car for long highway cruises too.

Still, if I had to choose from any car in this class – I would get the Chevrolet Camaro with the V6 and 6-speed manual. I absolutely love its driving dynamics and that V6 is a keeper.

Thanks for the question!


Check out this fun Chevrolet Camaro in the snow 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.

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