Ask Nathan: When will I see an affordable Jeep EV, respect for GM’s EcoTec and Great Road Trip Music?


In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will we see an affordable and off-road Jeep EV?
  • Do you cover EcoTec (vs EcoBoost)?
  • What was your choice of music during your 5,000 mile road trip?

The first question comes from a fan who wants a Jeep EV that can seriously go off-road and not break the bank.

Rocco Morales, a 10th grader – 2nd Place Drive for Design Competition (Image: Stellantis) I added this image because it has the look of what an off-road capable all-electric Jeep might look like in the future. I doubt it would be “affordable”.

Q: (Via: AskNathan@tflcar.com) I know we’ll be getting more than one type of Jeep EV in the next few years.

My question to you Nathan and to Tommy and Andre is if they are going to build a Jeep EV that can seriously handle difficult terrain obstacles and be affordable? I saw that Jeep EV that the Europeans get and it’s basically a car. Good for me because I want Magneto. Then I saw the Jeep Recon EV and I thought to myself “it’s going to be stupidly expensive like all Jeeps!”

Every Jeep is overpriced and the ones that are almost affordable are basically cars. I can’t run as hard as I do in my 2007 Wrangler in a Compass! I know you guys have talked about the other Jeeps like the Wrangler getting an EV powertrain. But you and I know it will be stupidly expensive. How about a Jeep EV that’s for regular guys who make less than six figures a year!?

— Orson

A: I’m not trying to sound like an idiot – but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The modern day Jeep is not known for discounting its vehicles. That’s especially true when it comes to new technology. Normally, I’d say hold your horses until the value of used Jeep EVs drops. The problem with that is that Jeeps (like the Wrangler) seem to hold their value pretty well. Not only that, we still haven’t seen what the price and capabilities of the Recon will be.

Who knows? Perhaps there will be a two-door base model version. It’s a long shot, but anything is possible…

Or probably not. Sorry.

– N


Two questions about GM’s EcoTec engines.

Q: (Via asknathan@tfl.com) Just wanted to know if you could do anything with the EcoTec motor.

It’s the cheapest wheel drive you can get to my knowledge. I would love to have one but don’t know much about them. No one had done a review of them that I’m aware of. Would like to see how it goes in snow and zero to 60 and all that good stuff. Love all the content by the way keep it up

– Keith

Q: Does GM still build the EcoTec?

I drove a Sonic with the turbo EcoTec and it was amazing.

– DX

A: Yeah, I liked the EcoTec too, and it never got the fanfare that Ford’s EcoBoost did.

There have been many derivatives of the EcoTec branded engine over the years. They pack a big punch for a small-displacement powertrain, when we’re talking about its four- and six-cylinder versions. In fact, unlike many of Ford’s EcoBoost variants that like to raise their maximum output, the EcoTec tends to produce power at lower revs.

– N


The last question comes from a fan who wants to know what was on my jukebox when I drove a Hyundai Ioniq 5 from California to Florida and back again.

Q: (From NathanAdlen@Twitter): You are crazy man!

I have asked you such questions before. Remember when I asked you what kind of music you would listen to on a cross country trip? Yes, you and Jeremy Clarkson made me listen to more prog rock than ever before. I was supposed to go on a long distance trip at school, but I ended up flying.

Then I tune in to TFL and watch you do this crazy EV road trip! I saw the parts where you talk about Rush and I even saw some Jethro Tull, so I knew it was you Nathan. I think you mentioned that Roman listens to house music. I’m not at all surprised by that.

So tell me what you listened to on the way from Florida to California? It takes balls to drive a car like that alone. Especially in an electric car!

– Allen

Image: Concord Records

A: Thanks amigo!

I have to say: there is something soothing, almost cathartic about driving long distances alone. It gives people like me some time to let my mind explore when I see amazing scenery. It just sparks the imagination, and it can be healing – for some.

This trip I chose to do two things: play old albums I’d forgotten about and play some songs based on where I was. For example, I played Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima and Ella Fitzgerald when I went from Mobile, AL to New Orleans, LA. It was awesome!

Most of the trip revolved around bands like Led Zeppelin, Triumph, Blue Oyster Cult and (mostly) Rush. When I zeroed in on California I downloaded Let The Bad Times Roll by The Offspring. It was an epic album, and I always rock The Offspring when I get home. Everything else was SiriusXM, bouncing between Ozzie’s Boneyard and Lithium.

Finally, I listened to Trinidad by Leon Uris and Crescent Dawn by Clive and Dirk Cussler. Good books!

If you ever decide to drive long distance, I highly recommend some audiobooks to soak up those boring night hours.

– N

Leave a Comment