In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- What’s up with the 2020 Toyota Corolla?
- Do automakers influence journalists at press events?
- What sports car would you get to eventually pass down to your kids?
The first question comes from a long time fan who wants the inside scoop on the upcoming 2020 Toyota Corolla.
Q: Hi Nathan! It’s Robert from Ojai near Santa Barbara and I have a Toyota question.
You responded to an email years ago and it helped convince me to get a Toyota Prius C to replace my old Corolla. Now I hear that there will be a 2020 Toyota Corolla that may be a hybrid. Is that true or am I reading not-so-real news?
Please let me know when you can!
Always a pleasure,
A: Hi Robert!
The new Toyota Auris just debuted at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. It’s a sibling to the Toyota Corolla and it’s based on the TNGA platform ( Toyota New Global Architecture) which is used on the Prius, brand-new Camry and others. It stands to reason that one of the best selling cars in (current) history will share that new, well-built platforms as well.
There’s more – it might have an optional hybrid system too!
Toyota is slowing their overseas small diesel fleet in favor for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. It looks like that’s the direction they went with this new Auris. It’s a good bet that, if the bring the 2020 Toyota Corolla (it may be a 2019) to the USA, the hybrid version may replace the Prius C.
Given the United State’s preference for sedans, the 2020 Toyota Corolla will, most likely, have both a hatchback and sedan version.
This next question comes from a longtime fan who wants to know if we (journalist) are influenced by lavish press events to favor their vehicle in reviews.
Q:Six months later?
I’m especially thinking of reviews written (in perfectly good faith) right after an automaker press invite. I sometimes think auto journalists can come back with those things a little bit hypnotized. Without naming names, have you ever wanted to go back and rewrite a review six months down the road? In that same vein, would TFL ever consider a section called “six months later”?
First impressions are very important and, despite over-optimistic ramblings by some, full reviews done later on tend to equalize first impressions. What many miss is that the journalist only has a few hours with the vehicle at a press event.
Sure, some are won over by a perfect ribbon of road, four-star treatment and majestic settings, while others can separate the fantasy from the product and give an honest evaluation.
TFL has a three-prong approach that some don’t fully understand:
We first report on the vehicle via roaming prototypes and/or auto show debuts.
We attend press events that (usually) favor the vehicle in an environment that’s conducive to showing its strong-points.
Finally, we get our grubby hands on the vehicle and (usually) do more than one review – both video and written.
By the time we’re finished reviewing a vehicle through this process, we get different perspectives, tested the vehicle in more than one environment and had a chance to live with the vehicle as a daily driver.
The “six-months later” idea is a good one, but it’s impossible to hit that date after our first drive at the press event. Some vehicles take a few weeks to get to us, some take nine to 11 months and some never come at all.
Thanks for the email!
The last question comes from a fan who looking at a sporty car that he can hand down to his kids later on.
Q: I have a simple question for a daily fun driver or weekend cruiser I’ve asked before I’ll ask again.
Which would you choose a 03-06 350z/g35 coupe, rx8 , Chrysler crossfire, brz/frs ,Hyundai tiberon v6/ genesis coupe, camaro 2.0t these are my options and I also need it to pass down to my kids when their old enough so a long term vehicle of you will I’m leaning towards the crossfire or camaro 2.0t.
A: Hi Brandon!
Right off the bat, avoid the Chrysler Crossfire! Please! Nothing but bad mojo with that ride.
You mentioned liking the Chevrolet Camaro with the four-cylinder turbo, which is a great choice. I highly recommend the Chevrolet Camaro V6 RS as a excellent alternative. Out of all the vehicles you mentioned, the Camaro would be my first choice.
Your other choices are pretty good, but most of them are no longer in production and, as much as I love the Mazda RX8, the upkeep on some of these vehicles is daunting.
Speaking of Mazda…
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.