Finally – News About the Next Nissan Frontier, 250K-Mile Prius and TFLcar’s new Suzuki Samurai? [Ask Nathan]

    • News about the next Nissan Frontier?
    • Replacing my 250,000-mile Prius?
    • TFLcar’s (and TFLtruck’s) New/Old 1987 Suzuki Samurai?

The first question comes from Twitter (@Nathanadlen) regarding the next Nissan Frontier (yes, there WILL be a replacement) and recent news about its production.

Q: (Via Twitter@NathanAdlen) What’s up BIG NATE!? Bro! I just heard that the next Nissan Frontier is coming in 2020 or 2021. Is that true? Please let me know! I’ve had three Frontiers since 2005 and still own two. They’re the best! Come on bro, let me know!

Howdy

Nissan’s factory in Canton, Mississippi, where the current Nissan Titan and Frontier are built side-by-side, is rumored to be pre-production planing for the next Nissan Frontier.

Being that the current Nissan Frontier has coasted on the premise, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality for far too many years; Nissan is fully aware of the issue. Frankly, with the return of the Ford Ranger, a new Jeep Wrangler pickup, the GM midsize truck growth, Honda’s Ridgeline and Toyota maintaining huge sales numbers, its time for something new.

Here’s the latest scuttlebutt:

  • The long rumored diesel, which we previewed (here), looks less likely to see U.S. production.
  • A new, more efficient VQ-series V6 may see production with competitive horsepower numbers.
  • It’s very likely that the seven-speed transmission will be added to the next Nissan Frontier being that the oversea’s Nissan Navara and our own Nissan Titan have one. A six-speed manual seems likely to continue, possibly with a revised overdrive.
  • The platform for the next Nissan Frontier will (most likely) be unique, but it should share components with the Titan’s platform. This will mitigate the need for the smaller Nissan Navara’s frame.
  • While Nissan will build a base model, most likely with an I-4 just like they currently have, we’re not expecting any major gains in the I-4’s performance, unless – they opt to use their new turbocharged I-4, which is doubtful.
  • There is a rumor that Nissan is considering a return of the Xterra, which would be base on the next Nissan Frontier.

That’s all I got for now, but we expect to hear a lot more about the next Nissan Titan very soon – stay tuned!

N

 


The next question comes from a fan who visited us and has a 250,000 mile Toyota Prius. He’s an Uber driver and he has already invested money into rehabilitating his car.

Hi

(Paraphrased from our conversation) I already invested in testing and replacing batteries which cost in excess of $2,000. Now I think it’s time for something new. I like the Jeep Compass with the manual transmission, but (as an Uber driver) that might not be the right call.

What do you think?

2012 toyota prius plug-in electric

A: Howdy, it was good seeing you!

I agree, it’s about time for you to retire your Prius. Although it’s an ideal Uber/Lyft vehicle, it’s not exactly cheap to test and replace those batteries. It sounded like you wanted that Jeep Compass, but you weren’t sure about the reliability and drivability of the six-speed manual.

While the previous Jeep Compass was on the bottom for reliability, the newest version (which is “all-new”) has received mostly positive reviews. Sure the six-speed manual is most likely more exciting to drive, the nine-speed is better for stop-and-go traffic. FCA has consistently upgraded the nine-speed over the past few years and it’s much better than the old/previous model’s transmission.

Overall, the Jeep Compass is a slightly longer Renegade, but I think it rides a bit better. In fact, it’s a very nice riding vehicle overall and one that may work well for you.

Hope that helps!

N

 


 

Suzuki Samurai

The last question comes from a fan who found out we got a 1987 Suzuki Samurai which is now part of the TFL fleet!

Hi Nathan. Riddle me this! 
Why would you ever be excited about getting a Suzuki Samurai!!??
Worse 4×4 EVEREVEREVER!!!
Thank you!
Closen

A:  Hi.

No it’s not.

I look at the old Suzuki Samurai as a pure and simple tiny off-road truck. It’s primitive, but very capable off-road. It’s inexpensive, but in my experience, fairly well put together. It’s tiny and tippy, when you don’t know how to drive one.

It’s incredibly easy to work on and modify.

Ours is special because it’s (almost) completely unmodified. Other than a few components, like an aftermarket hitch, it’s stock. Back in the late 80’s, I took a brand-new one off-road and it went places many other vehicles couldn’t.

Not only are these babies capable, they are a HELL of a lot less pricey than even a used side-by-side! We plan to prove that, and a lot more in the coming months.

Sorry pal, I totally disagree with you. Still, I appreciate the email!

Speaking of our newest, amazing and adorable acquisition, check out this 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
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.