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:
- Where’s my (mass produced) Lamborghini Amphi-Car?
- 2020 Toyota Corolla vs Nissan Sentra?
- You hate Ford, and Chevy and Toyota… and Nissan…. and…
The first question comes from a fan who wants to know where is a Lamborghini Amphi-car?
Q: Look man, I am so tired of waiting for a major automaker to build an amphibious car. One I can drive out of a dealership, to the ocean and through the waves!
Where’s my Lamborghini Amphi-car? Dude, where’s my Honda CivicSki? Where’s my Ford Mach-E Surf!? Why is there no Chevy Water Blazer!!??
A: You’re right. It’s a total bummer.
Indeed, no one is being serious about the awesomeness of an amphibian, especially a mass-produced amphibian! Among our TFL team, Andre is dying to get his hands on one – so he stops drowning vehicles.
There are some obvious reasons why major automakers are avoiding amphibians:
Demand: There is very little public outcry to get one. Seriously, if millions of people demanded a Buick Bombastic Boatcar, they might consider it. Maybe.
Serious insurance and liability issues: Imagine the expense needed just to build one, only to see that investment fall to pieces when something goes wrong. The first BMW Ski-3 that turns into a U-Boat after some crappy driver sinks one – it will be a legal nightmare.
ROI: Crash-testing/safety, emissions, reliability, performance… all of that has to be tested as a car AND a boat. Pricy for a large volume automaker. The Return On Investment could be problematic.
Balance: There are good cars and good boats, but something that’s good at both has yet to be seen. Sure, amphibians are getting better, but most are still mediocre at one, the other or both.
Other legal issues: In some states, it is difficult if not impossible to license current amphibious vehicles. Sure, a Gibbs Quadski off-road quad and jet ski is no biggie, but others like the Panther Water Car‘s licensing in some states can be an issue.
The next email comes from a new fan who is looking to buy a 2020 Toyota Corolla or a 2020 Nissan Sentra.
Q: Hi Nathan and the boys!
Just found out about your video channels and websites and I have to say that I love your content! I like your approach and your enthusiasm for even the most basic of cars. And that’s why I am sending you this email. I want to know what your impressions are of both vehicles from a base model point of view.
I’m looking at the 2020 Nissan Sentra and 2020 Toyota Corolla and I am serious about not including Honda. I have owned a Civic and it was not very good to me.
Just want to know, which one is a better bang for the buck with the base models. Yes I am okay with a cvt because my last car had a cvt that had no problems. I know you dislike them.
A: Hi Rubin!
On paper, the upcoming Nissan Sentra has the slight edge. It comes with more standard features and more horsepower right out of the box. The 2020 Toyota Corolla L (their base model) comes with a 139 horsepower, four-cylinder engine that makes 126 lb-ft of torque.
Both vehicles come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 2020 Nissan Sentra S is estimated to get 29 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. Interestingly, the 2020 Toyota Corolla L is estimated to get 30 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.
Power-wise, the 2020 Nissan Sentra comes with a standard 149 horsepower four-cylinder that makes 146 lbs-feet of torque. It also comes with more useable space along with a 14.3-cu-ft trunk. The Corolla has a 13.1 cu-ft truck. Both cars come with a impressive list of standard safety features.
While I cannot comment on driving impressions of the 2020 Nissan Sentra until tomorrow (12.16.19) I can say that they did everything they could to make the new Sentra competitive in this class. That includes pricing: the 2020 Toyota Corolla L has a base MSRP of $19,600. The 2020 Nissan Sentra’s base price is $19,090.
On paper, the new Sentra has a lot going for it. You asked for bang-for-the -buck and it seems to have it, Still, if you’re looking for more engine/drivetrain/body configurations – the 2020 Toyota Corolla is the way to go.
The last question comes from a disgruntled viewer who feels that I dislike everything he likes.
Q: (Via YouTube) Nathan is biased –
He loves Ram and s—ts on Chevy, Toyota and Ford. Not cool.
A: I see… did you watch my videos regarding the trucks you say I “hate?”
I fully admit to liking the Ram Power Wagon, which is just me being honest. Most reviewers who have taken it off-road will attest to its ability. Honestly, it’s a terrific, beastly truck.
I also stated (on video and on our web pages) that I like the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, GMC Sierra AT4, Ford Raptor, Ford Ranger, Toyota Tundra (despite it being old) and the 4Runner. I also like products from Nissan, Honda and Porsche.
Sure, I may not love the rides you like with the same enthusiasm, but to say that I go out of my way to bash these vehicles is simply untrue. I call them as I see them.
Speaking of trucks…
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.