Nissan Murano EV, Subaru Baja Replacement and Truck vs Van? [Ask Nathan]

Do you think this looks like a Nissan Murano EV? According to Nissan, it’s something else altogether. (Photo: Nissan)

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 full name will be omitted – leaving your first name, initials or nickname, your preference.

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Is this the future Nissan Murano EV?  
  • I want a replacement for my Subaru Baja! 
  • Looking at a used van or pickup for moving. 

The first question comes from a fan who caught a glimpse of what he things is a Nissan Murano EV.

I suppose the Nissan Ariya concept looks kind of like a future Nissan Murano EV.
(Photo: Nissan)

Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): Is this concept going to be a Nissan Murano EV?

It kinda looks like a Murano to me. I know Nissan has said more EVs are coming. Do you think they’ll replace the Murano gas engine with this?


Taking a page from Tesla and Porsche, the interior of the Ariya concept is simple, function and modern with only a few moving components. (Photo: Nissan)

A: That’s the Nissan Ariya Concept.

Thanks for sending me the photo WebB21, but that image is not a Murano EV, it’s Nissan Ariya concept. The Nissan Ariya concept was just unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan insiders indicated that it’s a near-production-ready design.

Several Nissan dealerships leaked that, along with updated products, they would be getting a crossover EV. They said it will have an approximate 300 mile range and would be competitively priced. They also said it would be all-wheel drive (AWD).

This is a Nissan Leaf dual-motor (AWD) test mule. (Photo: Nissan)

Nissan has been playing with a dual motor Nissan Leaf that is a testbed for new tech. It’s seems like that test mule could house a powertrain that’s featured in the Ariya. If that’s the case, expect combined output at about
304 horsepower, and 502 lb-ft of torque.

The current Nissan Murano is a good seller for the automaker. They sold about 100,000 units in North America in 2018. While 2019 is looking to fall short of that number, it’s still in Nissan’s top five. American drivers seem to like the size and packaging.

Looking at the two vehicles side-by-side, the 2019 Murano is bigger in most dimensions. The Murano’s dimensions are 192″ L x 75″ W x 67″ H. The smaller (in most dimensions) Nissan Ariya is 181.1″L x 75.6 W x 64.2″ H. That’s closer to the smaller Rogue Sport or a Toyota RAV4.

Regardless of where they place this EV, I am excited to try one myself. Nissan has been in the EV game a while and they have the potential to knock one out of the park! Time will tell.


The next question comes from a Subaru Baja (former) owner who saw my article on a Subaru pickup truck.

Subaru Baja (Photo: Sbaru)

Q:  Hi Nathan – I’m a Subaru /Nissan person. When they had the 1st commercial for the Baja I said I had to have.

I called Subaru in AZ they were just getting them shipped. The Baja blew a lot of minds. I got the 1st one in Tucson. That was the best car I ever owned. I d fit everything imaginable in it.

My friend totaled it. 

I need a pick up where I live. Want to feel safe and comfortable when I drive and I am begging for a Subaru awd pickup. I hope they actually come to the u.s..


Subaru believer

2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro (Photo: Toyota)

A: Howdy, and thanks for reading the article and sending an email!

True story: I almost bought a Subaru Baja. “She-who-must-be-obeyed” stated that it’s lack of a three-passenger backseat killed the deal. We ended up with a Forester. I know many people who adore the Baja and want it to return.

While it would be awesome to see what Subaru would come up with, I sincerely doubt they will build one anytime soon. That’s not to say it will never happen, time and market trends could change their minds. All in all, if the market explodes and they have something competitive to offer – maybe…

Ford Ranger (Photo: Ford)

As for finding a replacement that makes you feel safe and comfortable?

The two highest ranking midsize pickup trucks out there (according to the IIHS) are the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma. While I feel the Ranger is far more comfortable, the Tacoma offers more variety.

Both are great choices – but neither is as unique as the Baja.


The last question comes an entrepreneur who is looking to start a moving company. He wants to know if used vans or pickup trucks are best.

If you get a van, make sure it can safely haul your loads. Payload numbers are important!
(Photo: Nissan)

Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): I have a little bit of investment $$ and I want to start a moving company in Chicago.

Got the hands and equipment I need. Should I buy pickups or vans. I could afford two or three. Needs to be small enough to park at a house. That’s why no big cargo trucks.

Go Bears!


Evanston, IL

tflcar project pickup cold air intake
The guys work on Andre’s old pickup truck. (Photo: TFLtruck)

A: Hi Donnie!

Why not one of each?

Vans are good for precious items that your customers may not want exposed to the outside elements. They are also (usually) easier to load. Pickup trucks are better for large, ungainly items and they tow well.

One van for moving can also make a fantastic billboard for your moving company. I don’t know if you’re thinking about light-duty or heavy duty pickup trucks, but I would definitely recommend heavy-duty (2500/3500) trucks as they can haul/tow more.

Before you get started, invest in upkeep and good tires all around.

Hope that helps!


Speaking of tires…

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: