Kia’s Baby SUV (Smaller than Soul), Nightmare Teen Driving and MG? [Ask Nathan]

What about Kia’s baby SUV? SUVs make Nathan happy. [Photo: TFLcar]

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.

  • Is Kia’s Baby SUV coming?
  • Help with my teen driving nightmare!
  • What is this MG sitting in my uncle’s garage?

The first question comes from Twitter (@Nathanadlen) wondering about a rumor of Kia’s baby SUV coming to the United States.

Q: (Via Twitter@NathanAdlen) Saw that Kia’s baby SUV is coming. What is it? 

Is it smaller than the Hyundai Kona or the Kia Soul?

Thanks! DiceyDiggs76

This is the (Korean overseas market only) Kia Ray

A: Hi DiceyDiggs!

Thanks for the text! While it’s true that Hyundai/Kia are mulling a smaller crossover that slates in under the Hyundai Kona for our market, there’s been no official word.

Currently, Kia’s baby SUV is an unknown; however, they do have a tiny vehicle that may have a platform they could use in this market. It’s known as the Kia Ray and it’s a tiny gas and EV vehicle that (in theory) could underpin a tiny crossover.

The fact that the platform (known as the Hyundai-Kia SA platform) works with EV and gas engine setups would be important to Kia. They are seriously looking at more EVs in their near future.

Will it look like the Kia Ray, if they put it into production? Doubtful. I am guessing that it will look more like a baby Kia Niro/Telluride mix. While it may not have a mechanical all-wheel drive (AWD) system, it could have an electric motor powering the rear wheels, when needed.

Mind you, this is all speculation.

If they pull the trigger, I suspect we will hear about it (or see a concept) at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show or the 2020 Geneva Motor Show.

We’ll see… and I can’t wait!


This is the Kia Ray, It has a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder that makes 77 horsepower, or a
50 kW (67 hp) electric motor.

The next question comes from a mom that’s dealing with a nightmarish teenage driver.

2017, subaru, impreza, wrx, hatch, hatchback
Photo: TFLcar

Q: Hi Nathan, how are you doing? My girlfriend Nancy G sent you an email a while back and you gave her some great advice.

I was wondering if you could spare a moment for a single mom who has a tough time with her teen’s driving habits?

My daughter is a bit spoiled. She’s 17 and has a father who doesn’t think about the long-term ramifications of his actions. Case in point, he bought her a Subaru WRX that was in terrible condition. It was her first car after driving my Toyota Venza for six months, which she crashed twice.

I know kids make mistakes, but both accidents were her fault. Unfortunately, we live in rural area outside of Bozeman, Montana and it’s difficult to find transportation for her. She swore that she would improve when she got her own car, and for a while she did.

That damn car is costing a fortune for upkeep. It was already in rough shape, but it seems to require something fixed every month. It costs a fortune to insure and it’s not very good on gas either. But she loves it.

The Subaru made her very popular at school, most kids there aspire to have one or a Jeep or a pickup truck. Sadly she got arrested last week for racing her car and causing an accident.

I was going to take her car away, but her father was resistant and said it’s the driver, not the car. We both work far from home and dropping her off daily is almost impossible. We live over three miles from her school, which is a bot too far to walk in bad weather.

She does work a job that makes her enough to pay for gas and insurance, but not for a different car. I wanted her to drive a big car like a minivan or such. Something to quell her reckless driving.

Nathan. What would you do?


Melanie G

2017 nissan leaf recharging at ChargePoint DC fast charging station

A: Hi Melanie!

While I cannot help with the parenting part of the situation, I can make a few suggestions:

  • Get rid of her car ASAP. She doesn’t need a WRX. A regular Subaru Impreza or other vehicle that’s not high performance will do.
  • Make her take public transportation for a few months. The bus, Uber, Lyft… etc. It sucks, but it may drive home the point that driving is a privilege, not a right.
  • I am getting my teen a used electric car. Why? Because of its limited range, (they get shorter as time goes on) and it’s an easy way to keep track of what the kid’s up to. Also, it’s cheap to maintain and fairly safe. Further, the temptation to race is mitigated in inexpensive EVs. You can read about that in detail (here).
  • Enroll her in a driver’s safety course. NOT an online one, but one she needs to take time off to attend. Make her pay for it.
  • Make her father drive with her. You need to do it too. Just let her drive without too many audible distractions. No music, no conversation and no criticism. Just ride with her.
  • Buy her a bike.

Sorry if these seem absolute and strict, but it’s important that she sees punitive consequences like these before she seriously hurts or kills someone else… including herself.

Good luck!


Photo: Hemmings
Worth keeping?

The last question comes from a young viewer who recently inherited a late 60’s/early 70’s MG GT.

(Via Twitter @NathanAdlen) Sending a shot of a MG GT that was left to me from my uncle.

No idea what it is beyond old and rusty. Should I crush it or sell it? It doesn’t run.


A:  Hi Cotton!

Please don’t crush it! It looks like a late 1960s or early 1970s MG GT. While not as big-dollar collectable as a Jaguar E-Type, they are gaining in popularity. A nice one can fetch over $20,000 – even more.

GT’s are becoming scarce in the United States. They make popular restoration projects and many are raced at vintage racing events. I played with a ’68 for a summer when I was younger. It was a blast to drive!

It doesn’t sound like you are interested in restoring it yourself, so I would recommend placing it in a vintage magazine’s classified section.

By the way, if it’s a V8, it’s worth a lot more. Please don’t crush it!


Speaking of resale value…

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:[Ask Nathan]

Nathan Adlen

Nathan AdlenEasily 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.