In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- What’s up Future Fiat Cars?
- Are you attending this year’s Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah?
- What sports car would you get to eventually pass down to your kids?
The first question comes from a viewer who wants more information on future Fiat cars.
I know you get a lot of questions. but I was hoping you can answer a simple one for me. I hear all sorts of bad things about Fiat, but my 2013 500 Pop is a great little companion. I named her, “Julie” and she is going strong with 90,300 on her odometer. Sadly, someone rear ended Julie and my insurance company is going to total her.
I’m sad about that, but I think I’ll get another 500 and get one with more options (I’m thinking about the convertible, but it may not be practical in Portland) and maybe a new color. Here is the thing, I want to know if they are going to be around. Will there even be new/ future Fiat cars in the USA?
Are there new (Future Fiat Cars) models I should wait for? A new 500? I don’t want a boring hatch back from the current batch of brands (I know you like Toyota) because I like a little brio in my machine LOL!
Thanks Nathan! Keep up the fun reviews!
XO Lydia C
A: Hi Lydia!
I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your car. It’s hard when they have become a part of your life, like a friend. Fortunately, you needn’t worry about Fiat in the United States. New models are still coming out and even the 500 has received some welcome upgrades – i.e. more power!
The 500 is considered by many to be their most reliable car, which is good new for you too.
The next few years will be very interesting for Fiat and FCA. They may be acquired/sold or split up, but nothing is happening right now. I hear the whole lineup is about to be significantly updated and new models are still slated to enter their U.S. fleet.
Let’s hope they can make quality improvements and help their reputation.
Thanks for the email!
This next question comes from a longtime fan who is heading to the 2018 Easter Jeep Safari and wants to know if they can see us there!
Q:NATHAN AND ROMAN! ARE YOU GOING TO THIS YEAR’S EJS (Easter Jeep Safari)?
I wanna meet you knuckle heads! Will you have time to meet fans at the EJS? Please let me know!
A: Hi David Lee!
Yep, we’re going to be at the 2018 Easter Jeep Safari. We will most likely do a meet-up on Sunday, March 25th in the late afternoon at one of our partner’s booths in town. We will post several announcements on TFLcar.com, TFLtruck.com and on our live broadcasts on our TFLNow YouTube channel all throughout the week. We hope to see you there!
Thanks for the email!
The last question comes from a fan who looking to start her own dog grooming business and wants a good vehicle for the enterprise.
Q: I think I need a small van or SUV for my new mobile dog grooming company.
I am in process of finishing up six months working at a Pet Smart as a groomer and I’m moving back home. I’ll be in the country working with my cousin and there is a need for a mobile pet grooming service.
I need something easy to drive and something that can tow a small utility trailer. We have all the components to make our own grooming van or SUV. I don’t want tow anything big, just a 500 pound trailer that holds the essentials. The van is the most important part.
I think I’ll test the little Nissan van soon. Do you have any recommendations? I want it to be new and fuel efficient and easy to drive. I expect to be driving hundreds of miles every week.
I will be buying some time either this summer or fall.
Thank you Nathan! My name is April.
A: Hi April!
Right off the bat, unless you truly need an SUV, I would stick to small vans. Just getting animals and equipment into a tall SUV would be a pain. There are lots of small work-van choices out there right now and a few stellar choices coming soon. Each small van has its pros and cons, with a choice for each budget. I’ll list them for you.
Nissan NV200: This is one of the lease expensive and smallest of the small work vans. Nissan has lots of incentives for business owners that I recommend you look at (here). The van itself is easy to drive and a snap to park. It is not meant to tow, but aftermarket hitches are available (The Chevrolet City Express is, basically, a NV200).
It’s a bit tight, but it’s very easy to load and unload given it low step-in height.
Ford Transit Connect: the best seller in its class, the Ford Transit Connect can hold, tow and accommodate more cargo than the NV200. In a few months, it will be available with a tiny diesel which will not only increase its range (up to 30 mpg) it should make it a better tow vehicle. Currently, it’s rated at 2,000 lbs.
It is available in two wheelbases and, like Nissan, Ford has incentive programs for small businesses. Lots of tech goodies and a good mix of passenger and cargo capability for a few bucks more than the Nissan. Check out the preview (here).
Ram Promaster City: TFLtruck has a lot of experience with the Ram Promaster City as it’s the only small van that we were permitted to test. We took it up the Ike Gauntlet with a trailer. It did well. It also meets or exceeds the class with interior space, cargo capacity and roof load capacity.
I feel that it drives similar to the Ford, which is to say – very “car-like.”
Write me again and let me know how your business turns out!
Interested in Moab, Utah?
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: email@example.com.