In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Will the Chevrolet Blazer K5 truck return?
- Off-road trucks for $2,000
- New car for Disneyland
The first question comes from a NathanAdlen@Twitter question, asking about the possible return of the Chevrolet Blazer K5 truck.
Q: (Via NathanAdlen@Twitter) Hate what Chevy did with the new Blazer. It’s just a crossover.
Think we’ll see a proper Chevrolet Blazer K5 TRUCK? I mean a real competitor for Jeep and Ford!
A: Chevrolet and GMC know there is discontent out there regarding their crossovers.
They are fully aware of the hit they took when they named their premium crossover the Blazer. The internet wasn’t very kind, and, despite it being a fine crossover, many were upset. Part of it had to do with the timing of the upcoming Ford Bronco, which is a real off-road truck.
Folks wanted a real competitor from GM, but repurposing the Blazer name on a street-bias crossover wasn’t the answer.
The irony is that they have serious off-road capability with their Colorado ZR2/Bison – which is a truck platform that would work with an SUV setup. There have been many concepts, even a military vehicle concept, based on the Colorado’s platform. Nothing has come of these concepts – yet.
As reported on TFLtruck.com, there are a variety of different off-road-bias vehicles GM is working on. Some would argue that the vehicles like the GMC Yukon AT4 have some off-road chops. Still, nothing has been officially revealed about a real/proper off-road capable SUV.
It’s my guess that, if the big Bronco sells like gangbusters over the next few years, GM may build a competitor.
The next question comes from a viewer who wants to buy a cheap off-road project that he can drive daily.
Q: I want to drive a super cheap off-road truck. I only have about $2,000 to play with.
My problem is that I have to drive it as a daily driver. It needs to have a reliable engine and has to be easy to work on for a beginner. Also it has to get good mileage because I have to commute from McKinney to Dallas every day. Also, it has to be a SUV and not a pick up because my dad said so.
Its a tall order and all but I just need a few ideas to point me in the right direction. It can’t be a Jeep of any kind because my dad hates Jeeps and already said no. But just about anything else is okay. I want to slowly build the truck up to make it capable off road.
I don’t mind driving a stick or a automatic but I need it to be easy to park so I need power steering.
Can you help me out? Thanks a bunch and thank you all at TFL for making such great videos all the time. I watch all of your channels all the time!
McKinney North High School
A: Hi Don!
I took a look at some of your local listings and there were a few contenders out there that may work. Here’s the thing: there are very few SUVs that will perfectly fit the bill. In most cases, you will have to compromise on one of the parameters you set – such as good fuel mileage.
Right off the bat, I would recommend looking at the Toyota 4Runner. The first three generations were solid and have tons of potential. There is a ton of aftermarket goodies available and, if well maintained, they will run for a long time.
I also saw a second generation Pathfinder and rough Xterra near your price range. They have potential as well.
Now, the only vehicles I could find that met your requirements were much older SUVs like the Suzuki Sidekick/Geo Tracker. These SUVs have solid little engines, good off-road potential and get pretty good mpg (for an SUV), but it comes at a cost. These small SUVs are not very safe in a traffic accident, and you have to keep that in mind.
Hope this helped!
The last question comes from a fan who wants to buy a brand new car to drive from Chicago to Los Angeles. They want to visit Disneyland as their first cross-country trip!
Q: Greetings Nathan and Andre!
I know that right now is a weird time to plan a cross country trip, but I am thinking ahead when the Coronavirus threat goes away. I want to buy my first new car and I want to celebrate by driving it from Chicago (my mom’s city) to Los Angeles (to see Disneyland). If it goes well, I want to continue the long distance driving to a adventure every six months or so. Maybe Phoenix to Daytona Beach next?
So I need a comfortable car I can ease through the miles. Having big power or AWD is totally unnecessary. No SUVs or trucks for me. I want a sedan. I would like it to get great gas mileage, pamper me and cost less than $25,000. It would be great if it had a good warranty because I know nothing about mechanics. It needs to come in red too. I love red cars.
By the way, I am a huge Rod Stewart fan. I know you’re a rocker, but do you like him too? I appreciate it! Oh tell Andre that there’s a Russian fan of his who wants to buy a Hummer, my brother in law!
A: Hi there!
Sounds like a great plan! It’s great that you have a fun goal like that to look forward to when this whole thing passes. Love me some Disneyland!
One car I was real impressed with was the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. Now, if you’re willing to get the base SE model, you’ll still get a great car for less than $25,000. Not only that, I think you can score a higher level trim with all the incentives that are out there.
I like the Buick Regal a lot and they have the Sportback starting near the price you mentioned. Being that this vehicle is going away, you may be able to get a good deal on one of these as well.
Hope that helps. Oh, and I dig Rod Stewart – especially back in the early 1970s. I’ll let Andre know about your brother in-law too.
Here’s a great conversation with a car-buying expert on purchasing a vehicle right now.