What you need to know:
- I have never read anything so blatantly wrong since that time I perused the Flat Earth Society internet forum.
- You haven’t the faintest idea how old I am, have you? Do some quick Maths: I have been captain of this motoring journalism ship for eleven years straight; as the best autojourno in the best newspaper Africa has to offer.
- And that is during my tenure at the Nation Media Group; I had been at it before that (that is how NMG took notice and offered me a contract).
You seem to have a deep-rooted and peculiar disdain for anything Nissan. After a careful analysis, I have concluded it has to do with your age. Nissan/Datsuns ruled Kenya’s roads well before your pop and mom had a serious discussion about your conception. That is why you may not remember the resilient Datsuns - 240Z (won the E.A. Safari) 120Y, 180B (GOK had many), 160J, Nissan Junior (the Prisons department had many); the B11/12, the small but versatile 1200 and of course the Nissan Urvan which revolutionised the matatu industry to an extent that to this day, your beloved Toyota matatu van is still referred to as Nissan! Give us a break but give Nissan the credit it has rightly earned and deserved.
On a different note, what would happen if I pump a tankful of aviation fuel to my beloved Nissan Patrol? Will it develop wings to fly?
I have never read anything so blatantly wrong since that time I perused the Flat Earth Society internet forum.
You haven’t the faintest idea how old I am, have you? Do some quick Maths: I have been captain of this motoring journalism ship for eleven years straight; as the best autojourno in the best newspaper Africa has to offer. And that is during my tenure at the Nation Media Group; I had been at it before that (that is how NMG took notice and offered me a contract). Not only do I recall the “resilient” Datsuns, I have even driven (or ridden in) a few of them.
What you are suffering from is called a hang-up. It is like a hangover, the difference being, instead of experiencing a headache, you cause it in others by refusing to let go of the past. Yes, Nissan has a glorious past, but the modifier here is “distant”, i.e “distant past”. Nissan has another past, the modifier being “recent” and that one is not so good. I believe I have explained it several times. I do not need to repeat myself, do I?
The future? The best word I can come up with is “bleak”; unless another unwise French manufacturer like Renault decides to throw in with them and save them from drowning.
What engine does your Patrol have? Suppose it is a diesel engine and you feed it aviation fuel. In that case, you fully deserve the outcome that will follow for making funny accusations against my innocent little tail. If it is a petrol engine, then it will run as normal, but prolonged use may be risking some of your engine internals. Suppose it is using a competition engine, such as the type used in rally cars or by the kind of people who participate in Masinga TT. In that case, it should be right at home.
Murano, Mazda CX7 or Forester?
I am still smiling from your comparison of Toyota Alphard and Vellfire. But I am not looking for a seven-seater despite being a family man. Now, I am not sure I've seen you discuss the Murano. How will it compare to Mazda CX7? In terms of fuel consumption, rough road capabilities, agility and comfort. Or should I just hunt down the Forester and leave everyone assuming I am a spoiled "you guy, my guy" Subaru driver?
Hi Kahariri (I almost read that as Kalahari),
I have discussed the Murano a few times, to the chagrin of a few Murano owners known to me; so that should tell you the tone those discussions took. In case you are still in the dark, please see the above correspondence about the Nissan brand to put things in perspective. The Murano will not be winning any awards here.
And neither will the CX7. When it came out, it looked like a ground-hugging missile and it went like one too. Up to that point I don't think anyone offered a turbocharged crossover at that price point, and Mazda swept in, blowing the competition out of the water. However, they blew themselves out of the water as well because the CX7 was not very reliable and the fuel consumption was a bit shite.
Before we continue comparing the two crossovers, this head-to-head reminds me of another rivalry between the two brands, and that is in the sports coupé segment. Nissan offered the 350Z - a pretty good car, objectively, despite my previous sentiments about the brand - while Mazda heaved in with the RX8, a game-changer if there ever was one. Nissan sought motivation via cubic inches: three and a half liters’ worth of displacement from the exact same engine in the Murano, incidentally; while Mazda went for multiple power strokes per engine revolution by deploying one of the worst engine types ever, the rotary. The 350 was brash and hefty, while the RX8 was snazzy and keen to the touch.
The same applies to the crossovers. The Murano uses the same 3.5 V6 as the Fairlady coupé while the CX7 opts for a turbo'ed 2.3 four. The Murano is the toothy, chunky embarrassment of a mall crawler while the CX7 helps suburban dads rediscover their Subaru-driving days of youth with sheer firepower and responsiveness. There are patterns here, if you noticed.
So now, fuel consumption: both are thirsty and will be even thirstier if you exploit their pretensions at performance. You will not like what awaits you here.
Rough road capabilities: again, you are barking up the wrong tree. Neither does rough roads particularly well; for the Nissan perhaps you could opt for a Pathfinder instead; or go the whole hog and sling a Patrol, while for the Mazda, your best bet is the BT50 pickup which belongs in a whole other argument, not this one.
Agility: definitely the Mazda. Its sharpness and responsiveness belies its size and seating capacity. The CX7 moves and feels like the RX8 from which it borrowed its inspiration from. The Murano feels exactly like it looks: like a toothy, chunky embarrassment of a mall crawler...
Comfort: well, this depends on what you like: the ambience or the sensations. In terms of ambience, the Mazda edges forward because the Murano's interior was made by someone without a single grain of taste in his entire being. However, the Mazda's dynamic sharpness points at sporting tendencies, and sports have never been comfortable no matter how entertaining. The Murano takes this one because of that heft and the fact that it was designed for (and by) plus-sized Californians with delicate constitutions means that it doesn't quite tackle road imperfections as much as it crushes them underfoot using sheer heft.
You may want to hunt down the Forester. Depending on which one you choose, the CX7 may be faster and it has seven seats, but it's defunct. Yes, the CX7 died off; what we have now is something called a CX9 that I strongly implore you to give a shot. You will be pleasantly surprised. The Murano? Buy this if all the excitement has gone out of your life and you sincerely believe you have done all you were ever destined to do on God's green earth, so now your daily routine is a slog through a repetitive schedule to the point that all the days run into each other and your calendar is calibrated using your kids' opening and closing days at school...
I ‘m a woman and a better driver than you are
I always look forward to your motoring column in the Wednesday DN. I never comment but today, I couldn’t restrain myself after reading your response to Mr Swai.
I hope it is open for women to comment on your column as opposed to always seeking advice.
You gloated your heart out and declared that you wouldn’t like to gloat, understandably because there was no more gloat left in you!
I have no doubt you’re A very good driver; not those who go jostling others on the road to make up for their self-imagined, self-inflicted inadequacy.
However, I do not think that being such a good driver qualifies you to teach. The best students don’t become teachers; they take to other professions.
Teaching is about imparting skills. Not all gurus are able to do that!
I have a better suggestion; all these driving schools mushrooming in every corner of the city could use your skill set. You can lecture their instructors on how to handle their students.
You could advise them on the best driving practices, and then they will know how to pass on this to their learners. Perhaps even review/revise their teaching curriculum to adjust to changing times, roads and vehicle models. Possibilities are endless!
Anyway, all I wanted to say is; as good a driver as you may be, you can’t beat me.
Of course it is open for women to comment on my column... not just open, but very welcome as well.
When I gloated after declaring that I wouldn't like to gloat, it's because I was trying to be funny, not because there was no more gloat left in me. Once I get warmed up, the chest-thumping can get so intense, you'd think it's a diesel posho mill at idling speed.
You have a very strange perspective here, woman. The best students don't become teachers... well that may apply in certain fields, but if you want to learn how to drive well, it will do you good to learn from the best. Plus, teaching is what this column has been doing for the past eleven years, once you look past the gloating, and I must say I have been doing a good job of it, no?
I like your suggestion and it's an idea that has been floating around inside my head for some time now. Teach the teachers. Of course I cannot handle a practical class numbering several hundreds of thousands (my column readership, but I'm not gloating), but I can reach a significant fraction of these via lieutenants. I have been perusing the driving curriculum with the intentions of refining and improving it, but these documents tend to be the brainchild of some egomaniacal bureaucrat somewhere who mistakes criticism for calumny, so I decided to play it quiet. I have an even better idea... Why not implement those refinements in a school of my own? The Motoring Press Agency is open to investors who, like me, believe this is a good idea that will not step on a government official's toes.
That closing statement... that is a challenge, is it not? How about you put your accelerator pedal where your mouth is and step up for a showdown? I'll bring my videography crew and make an episode out of that joust. If I win, I will put the show on TV. If I lose, I will destroy my own filming equipment and ensure no one will ever believe that you bested Baraza JM at his own game...
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