TodayApril 16, 2022

Warren Brown washingtonpost September 5 2014

Good Morning Warren and friends

This week I drove the 2014 Nissan 370 Z Nismo. Talk about a car that gets looks! People that couldn’t see the badging thought it looked like a Porsche. We ran into a couple of guys, Eric and Nick, who were just back from a Z-club gathering in San Diego, CA. They were so excited because the father of the Z-car, the original designer, Yoshihiko Matsuo, was there and had signed their car. They agreed that the new 370Z looked more like a 70s Z than an 80 Z car. Both guys had Fairlady on their car, the original name of the Z car in Japan and the green 70 Z had the original name, Datsun.

The owner of the 70 Z had kept the original air conditioning in the car because it would have messed up the lines of the car if he didn’t, but he added a lot of dampening that took away the noise so that you could hear the melodic exhaust tones of the car, something that could be done to the present day car as well.

It’s a sports car and true to sports car fame it was fun to drive especially around the curves. At $46,370 it was sparse on technology; there was no USB. There were an aux-in and 2 DC cigarette lighters but no Bluetooth. There was no NAV system but Nissan cleverly had the backup camera in the rear mirror, though it didn’t have steering trajectory on it, it was still a great invention.

Our drive, city and highway, mostly highway garnered about 25 mpg. The sticker says EPA numbers are 18 city/26 highway/21 combined.

I drove the Jeep Cherokee Latitude 4X4 priced at $31020. Great vehicle, it would be better if it had more low-end torque. We got about 22mpg for the week.

I also drove the 2015 Chrysler 200. There are four trim levels and, depending on the content you want and the money you want to spend, you can pay as little as $21,700 up to $38,000. You can get an inline 4 with 9-speed or opt up to a V-6 all-wheel drive.

When you look at the 2015 Chrysler 200 notice the console. Next to the cupholders, on the left side is a button that you click and pull back. Hidden in there is enough room to put your small valuables or to charge your smartphone. Because Chrysler used an electronic gear shifter they had enough room underneath the console is a skidpad for your smartphone or change. Imprinted on the pad is a horizon of Detroit, probably an older version – predating General Motor’s Renaissance Center :)

But what is between them is thoughtful design. There is a pass-through that allows you to keep your USB lines underneath the cupholder and your smartphone in the empty space underneath the console space.

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Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.