Classic Cars

Ask Nathan: A Hyundai EV pickup, questions about the used Nissan Leaf, and – a battle of classic minivans?

Ask Nathan: A Hyundai EV pickup, questions about the used Nissan Leaf, and - a battle of classic minivans?

Hyundai EV Pickup Concept by: Alejandro Llisterri

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • What’s new with the Hyundai EV pickup?
  • Questions about the used Nissan Leaf
  • Used Chevrolet Lumina Minivan APV vs Used Nissan Quest

The first question comes from a fan who wants to know more about the Hyundai EV pickup that is supposed to go into production.

Q: (Via: [email protected]) Did you hear about the announcement of the Kia and Hyundai EV pickups?

I see how they’ve already brought the best EVs to the party, but a Hyundai EV pickup would be so cool. I think the EV6 and Ionic are so awesome and I bet the EV truck would be too. Did Nathan hear about the truck?

— Berkley J.

A: Ah yes, this announcement about the Hyundai EV pickup took a lot of journalists by surprise.

Here’s what we know about Kia (and possibly Hyundai), keep in mind:

Kia is planning two fully electric pickup trucks. One will be a dedicated van that they want to sell in emerging markets. This truck is simple, efficient and robust. Maybe it will have a ladder frame and rear wheel drive. The other Kia EV pickup should (some say) be in line with an activity-style entry-level vehicle, similar to the Hyundai Santa Cruz. If so, it’s possible the Santa Cruz itself could be hosting a Hyundai EV pickup platform.

It’s possible that the Kia and Hyundai EV pickup will be based on a smaller platform/battery that underpins vehicles like the Hyundai Ionic 5.

Recently, Kia said its pickups would be built in the US starting in 2024. The bottom line (for now) is that we know Kia is serious about building electric pickups. The question of Hyundai following suit may seem nebulous to some, but it is obvious to others. Over time we should see also a cousin of the Kia pickup(s) built by Hyundai.


The next question comes from a few fans asking about used Nissan Leafs.

Q: (Nissan) Thoughts on leaf tracking

Hi Nathan,

My daughter doesn’t have her license yet (she’s in college now but COVID delayed driver training just when she needed it). So I drove the 2016 Leaf that I bought for her and I really like it. It’s a pretty ordinary car but I really like not polluting or buying gas. The electricity here is 70% hydro/solar/wind, so it’s really quite clean. I think I might want a long-range Leaf SV Plus, for myself, to have enough range for a long drive that I do quite often. The air-cooled battery system works well for me here in the Northeast, and I like the old-school switches and simplicity of the Leaf controls.

The center console/legroom we talked about earlier is the main downside. I’m thinking of ordering the offending plastic part (found the part number) and having it scanned to create a new design (minus the intrusive side wings) to 3D print. It seems simple enough. If I can make it work, I might one day get a leaf for myself. If I do that, and you end up with a newer sheet yourself, I can send you the 3D file of the new part.


2019 Nissan LEAF Plus (e+)

Q: Excited and scared to buy a used Nissan Leaf

A friend of mine is returning home to Italy and he wants to sell me his 2018 Nissan Leaf for gold. It’s much cheaper than what I saw online and I need a car to replace my now wrecked Toyota Echo. I loved my echo. It was amazing and strange at the same time. I know it was ugly, but it was so faithful and efficient that I learned to love it. After 10 years of ownership, the poor thing was destroyed by a teenage text message. My companion was driving it at the time and was not injured.

We live near Santa Fe, New Mexico and have an easy commute. Every week I average about 120 miles or so. We have two small dogs and occasionally cycle along the Santa Fe River Trail. It’s a thirty minute drive each way.

After the accident, my partner suggested I go electric and showed me your videos and articles. I love that you bought the Leaf for your daughter and are using it for work. I agree with your logic of having a petrol car for long journeys and a second electric car. My partner has a Dodge Journey which works well for road trips.

I have a few concerns that I wanted to pass through to you Nathan. My house is primitive and I don’t want to spend a fortune setting it up for a level two load. I’m also worried about battery degradation. This Nissan Leaf has the 40 kilowatt hour battery which is supposed to be good for over 150 miles. This one never displays a range of more than 140 miles. Does that mean it will drop to 100 miles in 2024?

We have a garage for one car. Will it make a difference if I store it in the garage or not? There aren’t many charging options in my area and that worries me.

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Thank you Nathan and the Fast Lane team. And thank you also for your educational and fun videos!

– She

A: Excellent questions!

I never thought I would become a Nissan Leaf champion; especially the used ones.

SeanI’m glad you got your daughter a used Nissan Leaf!

Honestly, I think it’s a great starter car/first car – and I’m curious to hear what you think of it over time. Sounds like you’re enjoying it right now. We use my daughter’s as often as possible for errands around town, and it saves us a bunch of gas.

I was watching the Leaf SV Plus for a possible replacement for my child’s Leaf in the future. That’s more than double its range, and I bet they’ll be cheap as chips on the used market… once this gas crisis is over.

There are a few fan pages and Leaf panels that talk about 3D printing upgrades. Some are quite inventive. I’m curious to see how you fix the center console issue. My brother has a 2019 Leaf, and he seems to have a similar layout. Leg room is tolerable, but it could be better (he’s a small person, so it’s no big deal for him).


2019 Nissan LEAF Plus (e+)
[Photo: Nissan]

SheI’m sorry to hear of your car’s death, but I’m happy to hear that no one was injured.

You are in an ideal situation for an electric commuter. You have a vehicle for long trips and an EV for daily trips. It’s the best of both worlds, and I believe it’s a good compromise in today’s world.

If you keep the Leaf in the garage and just charge it with your 110V outlet, that should make things pretty easy. Keeping the Leaf in the garage is a good idea as cold and hot temperatures can affect battery longevity. Also avoid fast charging when possible. If you use fast charging too often, it can also damage the battery.

If you must have a Level II charger, you can use one that works with many 220v outlets (like those often used with clothes dryers). I bought a portable charger, a splitter and a switch that allows me to use level II, Where my clothes dryer. I only used it once for testing. In two years, about 80% of my Nissan Leaf’s charging is done at home, on 110V power. The rest is done at my office or at various charging points, when needed.

My brother does about 90% of his load at home and has a 30+ mile commute.

Different things can cause a degradation of the Nissan Leaf battery. I mentioned overload and climate, and regular wear and tear. In addition, your driving habits can also influence pressure drop.

Fortunately, Nissan’s battery technology has improved over the years, and they back their new products with a guarantee. If your battery drops below a certain percentage of charge capacity, Nissan will service or replace it. Details can be viewed in the guarantee brochure.

Bottom line: you’ll need to make some adjustments in your life to get the most out of electric vehicle ownership, but the payoff is well worth it for many. Good luck!


The last question comes from a young fan who is considering two old minivans

1992 Chevy Lumina APV: the official car of... : r/regularcarreviews

Q: Hello André and Nathancan you help a bro with a minivan question.

I’m thinking of buying a 1993 Chevy Lumina APV that has 98,936 miles on it. The seller is the second owner. It has a rebuilt transmission and lots of new parts. It also has the smaller 3.1 v6 and some surface rust. The other pickup is also a 1993 pickup, but it’s a Nissan Quest. She received a rebuilt engine in April 2020 and the owner took great care of the interior but not the exterior. It has yellowed headlights and a lot of small knocks.

I want a van as an additional vehicle in which I can transport my projects. Almost every weekend I fly scale models or RC planes. I need a good cargo and sometimes a people carrier.

What do you think of these two? I know Nathan grew up as a junk dog and drove everything in the 90s. So which one would you spend $2000 on?

—Anton B. from Danbury, Connecticut

A: Wow, you found an APV! ?

It becomes difficult to find the famous “Dustbuster” vans like the Lumina APV and its brothers.

You’re right, I’ve driven both, and they’re very different vehicles. Honestly, if they were both well-maintained, I’d go for the Nissan Quest as a “beater” and the APV as some kind of collector’s runabout. The Quest is more powerful, handles better and has a utilitarian interior. It’s the most like a car out of both.

The Lumina APV is taller and has a smoother ride on the highway. Some people don’t like to drive them because of the massive front and side windows. Ironically, I think outdoor visibility on the Quest was better. Power is 120 hp V6 in the Chevrolet Lumina APV. There were larger displacements, more powerful GM V6s that came later. The Nissan Quest, has a 151 hp V6 that comes out of the Maxima.

I think these GM vans looked cool and were comfortable enough, but I’d go with the Nissan as it offers more for the price.


Speaking of minivans: the all-wheel drive system of this new Toyota Sienna minivan is outstanding in the snow!!