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:
- News on the 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer?
- Kia Seltos vs Hyundai Venue?
- Do you drive supercars?
The first question comes from a viewer who wants more information on the 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): So they’re fixing on building a 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer?
Just when I thought big SUVs were dying they go and build more! Any info on it? I done know notin!
— Mule Skinner 66
A: We have a few details – and lots of rumors!
Many of us have known about the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer and other projects that are in development. Unfortunately, FCA has bounced around a bit with their project development calendars. This made it difficult to track their progress – until now.
Recently, we (TFLtruck.com) was able to get some nice photos of a 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer (or – a Wagoneer… we honestly don’t know for sure) and we learned a few things.
What we know
- The 2021 Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer will share frame components with the new Ram 1500.
- Both vehicles will be built at the same plant as the Ram 1500 pickup truck Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Michigan.
- Both vehicles will have four-wheel independent suspension.
- The Wagoneer will be the entry-level vehicle while the Grand Wagoneer will be the higher end luxury version.
- Both vehicles will compete against big, body-on-frame SUVs from GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan among others. It’s becoming a crowded segment.
What we THINK we know
- Being that both vehicles share components with the Ram 1500, it’s a good chance they will share some powertrains. This could mean everything from a 5.7-liter HEMI with eTorque to a 3.0-liter V6 diesel.
- There’s a good chance that the ZF eight-speed automatic from the Ram may be part of the package.
- Both vehicles appear to be three-row, seven or eight-seat SUVs; however, credible reports state that there looks like there are two wheelbase configurations. This could be what differentiates the two SUVs with the 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer being on the longer wheelbase.
- While it’s hard to picture a “Trail Rated” version of such a big SUV, Jeep is likely to build an off-road-worthy version. It may have a electric rear locker, beefier suspension and off-road tires.
- We expect to see an official debut in 2020 – possibly at the NAIAS in June. It could happen at the New York Auto Show which will coincide with the 2020 Easter Jeep Safari.
- Electrification may be part of the package. Hybrid setups that go from e-Torque to a full-blown electric with range extending generator have been whispered. Even the idea of an all-EV platform have been suggested.
- Lots of aluminum. To keep the weight down, and to help overall performance, some say Jeep is using a lot of aluminum throughout the shell, doors, hood and more.
- The base Wagoneer will start in the high $30,000/low $40,000 range with a RWD V6 (Pentaster). On the other hand, the 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is supposed to be nearly double that price – to start.
- It will have nothing to do with the Jeep Commander. The Commander is a Chinese-market-only Jeep that has three rows, but isn’t exactly a Rubicon conqueror.
- SRT? Yep, some suggest that there will be a fire-breathing SRT version that will replace the Dodge Durango SRT.
We are very curious about this SUV. I promise you, we will be keeping an eye on this story and we’ll bring you updates as soon as we get them!
The next question is regarding the Kia Seltos vs Hyundai Venue.
Q: Hi Nathan! What’s the difference between the Kia Seltos vs Hyundai Venue?
My husband says they are the same exact car, but I wanted your perspective. We’ve driven Hyundais and Kias for the past 15 years and I currently drive a 2015 Hyundai Tucson. My husband has a Kia Optima and our daughter just bought a brand new Kia Soul based on your recommendation!
We saw the video and she bought the exact same car. It’s even red! I was thinking about getting something smaller than my SUV, but the Kona is a little too low for me. I want something with a higher roof.
Can you tell me what the difference is between the two? I would be most appreciative!
A: Hi Wanda!
Your husband is correct regarding the platforms and a lot of the engineering behind both vehicles, but there are some major differences.
The Hyundai Venue fights in the same segment as the Nissan Kicks, Chevrolet Trax, Ford EcoSport and so on. Priced higher and aimed at a slightly more premium market, the Kia Seltos is aimed at the all-new Buick Encore GX, Nissan Rogue Sport and the Jeep Compass/Jeep Renegade – among others. Prices for the Kia Seltos are expected to start in the low $20,000 range.
The Hyundai Venue will have a lower starting price ($18,345) and will offer a six-speed manual transmission along with a continuously variable transmission — both with front-wheel drive. Like the Nissan Kicks, there are no all-wheel drive (AWD) versions. There is a 121 horsepower 1.6-liter engine that makes 113 lb-ft of torque.
Two engines are available. You can have either a 2.0-liter that makes 146 horsepower, or a turbocharged 1.6-liter that puts out 175 horsepower. While the base engine is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission, the turbocharged four-cylinder comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. We know AWD is available with the dual-clutch setup, but we are getting conflicting reports on whether or not AWD is available with the CVT.
Altogether, the Kia Seltos will be a more powerful, feature-filled athernative to the Hyundai Venue. Prices have not been announced, but I believe prices should start north of $21,000.
We hope to drive the Kia Seltos in the very near future!
The last question comes from a fan who is curious about my favorite exotic (or super) car.
Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): Never see you (Nathan) in exotic cars. Just the other guys.
Do you ever drive them? If you do which one is your favorite?
A: Hi and thanks for the question!
Sure, I occasionally drive exotic cars. I’m not as enthusiastic as many of my compadres regarding outrageously expensive cars to be honest. I’ve driven Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens among many others. Fun stuff.
To me, many people who own them want to make a statement and lack passion. So many people have no clue what to do with them and leave them in a room to be gawked at. I hate that.
Those few who open the taps and enjoy their car for what it was meant for – those are the proper owners I say.
Still, it’s not just about the image and the owners to me. If I know that a car is beyond the reach of 99% of us, it’s kind of a toy to me and I can’t get too fired up about it. That’s one of the reasons the other guys drive them, they are far more enthusiastic.
My current favorite is a Porsche. I truly love the Porsche 911 Turbo with the manual transmission. Amazing machine and it’s almost affordable. Granted, it’s been years since I drove one, but it was amazing on so many levels.
My favorite exotic car of all time is one I will never drive and never own. It’s the 1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale. Sublime machine in both beauty and engineering. WAY ahead of its time.
One time, I got to see one drive off and I was permitted to touch one… but that’s it.
Speaking of Porsche…
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.