In accordance with my “10 Year Plan” I started in 2016, I traded in my 2016 370Z “Nismo” on a 2018 Murano “Midnight Edition” on Friday.

It looks like this:

The reason for this sudden outburst of adulthood centers on the fact that with all of the land and house stuff that will be going on soon(tm) down in southern Colorado, I needed a vehicle with less of an alergy to unmaintained roads. There’s also the fact that Colorado has winter and the 370Z is pretty much paralyzed when the pavement gets wet… And while I usually carpool with folks who own Jeeps and whatnot when the weather gets bad, I like to get to work about two hours before everyone else does.

Enter the Murano…

The Murano is pretty much an AWD spaceship, and coming from the wonderfully analog 370Z the Murano is something of a culture-shock; it has more radar than an airport that it uses to control everything from lane changes to cruise control, no less than five motion-tracking cameras that it can stitch together in this almost Star-Trek fashion to make it appear that you are looking down at the car when parking or pulling out of a spot, an 11 speaker Bose surround system, power everything, and the interior is all leather and looks like the bridge set for the Enterprise.

Performance-wise it does well enough to not have me regretting driving it anywhere as it’s a naturally aspirated 3.6L V-6 with enough torque to get the 2-ton beast moving fairly quickly, but the transmission is a CVT… I was a bit leery of the CVT as they tend to be very “squishy” and overly sedate, but the unit in the Murano is quite nice and can adequately fake being a real transmission. There are two up-sides to the CVT; one being that it can happily go all the way down to 0.38:1 and up to 2.41:1, so it can really make the car scoot when you put your foot into it, and the second is that if you don’t drive it like a racecar it’ll get 40+ mpg on the highway.

Ultimately though, it gets twice the gas milage of the 370Z and burns cheaper gas while doing it, the insurance is $150/6-months cheaper, the tires are about a quarter of the price of the litteral racing tires on the 370Z, rides a lot nicer for road trips, holds a lot more stuff (makes moving easier), and it has all of the latest safety gizmos…

The motion tracking cameras have already paid off as the typical oblivious pedestrian just walked out behind me as I was backing out at Microcenter; I mean as in the car is moving and is sticking six feet out into the lane when Joe Cellphone just strolled into the back of the car – and the Murano halted when it saw them… It’s a bit disconcerting that the car is in that much control, but I also didn’t flatten an idiot – so I’ll give it a pass.