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商业 - 汽车

日产美人奴敞篷车加冕年度差评车

Alex Taylor III 2011年08月12日

2011年还剩下四个多月,但“2011年度最不受欢迎的汽车”究竟花落谁家,我们现在已经大致有了谱。从汽车评论员的一片嘘声来看,这个“殊荣”理所当然地落到了日产(Nissan)美人奴(Murano)跨界敞篷车身上。

    2011年还剩下四个多月,但“2011年度最不受欢迎的汽车”究竟花落谁家,我们现在已经大致有了谱。从汽车评论员的一片嘘声来看,这个“殊荣”理所当然地落到了日产(Nissan)美人奴(Murano)跨界敞篷车身上。此前既不叫好也不叫座的车型不光只有梅塞德斯的R级车,早年间的旁蒂克阿兹特克(Pontiac Aztek)也曾被贬得一无是处。现在评论员们在方方面面都给了美人奴差评,说它笨拙、矮胖、颠簸而且反应迟钝。

    简单来说,美人奴跨界敞篷车就是一款四轮驱动的美人奴跨界车,只是用自动折叠的软顶取代了金属的硬顶,而且取消了两个后方车门。它打出的噱头是“有史以来第一款敞篷跨界车【如果不把吉普牧马人(Jeep Wrangler)算在内的话】。它的悬挂被抬高了,行李箱盖的位置也很高,因此这款车看起来有点像一颗安了四个轮子的洋蓟(一种蔬菜——译注)。这是一款典型的小众车型,它最多只能坐下四个人,厂商建议零售价为每台47,520美元。

    要说这款美人奴跨界敞篷车还是获得了一些女性评论员的好评的,她们喜欢它较高的坐姿和载物能力以及四驱功能。例如《洛杉矶时报》(Los Angeles Times)评论员苏珊•卡朋特就称它为“一款活力四射且舒适惬意的‘妈妈车’,适合那些喜欢冒险和奢华的女性。”而女性生活科技咨询网站ThatTechChick.com的杰西卡•本顿则称:“我在试驾之前就非常偏爱这款车型,试驾之后更是对美人奴跨界敞篷车钟爱有加。”

    而男性评论员对这款跨界敞篷车则并不这么热情——这已经是最客气的说法了。比如专业汽车资讯网站Edmunds.com的汽车编辑詹姆斯•里斯威克听说日产在生产这款跨界敞篷车时,他就忍不住问道:“他们脑子进水了吗?”见到实车以后,里斯威克发现这款汽车的造型实在太叛逆了,让他忍不住扭头看看【《星球大战》里的】七尺多毛生物(楚巴卡)是不是坐在里头。

    《Road & Track》汽车杂志援引了一名观察家的评论,他说美人奴的这款跨界敞篷车看起来就像“一个古怪的机器突变体”。然后该杂志给出了自己的评价:“日产耗资数十亿日元,在工艺上付出了巨大的努力,终于创造出了‘世界第一款四驱跨界敞篷车’,想想就令人激动,不过看到这台车的真身,你会更‘激动’。”

    不过和丹•尼尔的评论相比,他们的评论已经算是相当客气的了。丹•尼尔是《华尔街日报》(Wall Street Journal)的评论员,德高望重,很有影响力。在我的记忆里,他是唯一一位得过普利策奖的汽车评论员,文风华丽。这次他对美人奴跨界敞篷车的描述也是特别生动:“笨拙、颠簸、长得丑,车前端抖得能调酒,差劲儿得要命——这款跨界敞篷车就是一坨光鲜的老鼠屎。”

    丹•尼尔还说道:“跨界敞篷车的概念不是站不住脚,只是日产的执行太差劲了。”他抱怨这款车的加速和柔性车身,说:“这东西每次轧过一个小坑,它的下巴就像《活宝三人组》(Three Stooges)里的柯利一样抖个不停:唔啊唔啊唔啊……”

    这些苛责也算是对日产的恨铁不成钢。日产虽然标榜自己“创新无极限”,但这已经不是它第一次受到这种抨击了。日产2003年推出了一款名叫“贵士”(Quest)的大型MPV,为了让它更迎合“性感妈妈”们的口味,日产把它设计得很有少妇的曲线美,不过这款车型最后反响平平。现在日产又推出了一款乱七八糟的Juke跨界车,再次挑战了消费者审美品味的极限。

    虽然这款美人奴跨界敞篷车饱受差评,但这并不是盖棺定论。汽车评论员们也跟影评人和书评人一样,他们不能像工程师和设计师一样践行自己的审美,所以只能远远地评头论足一番,只有汽车和他们的品味一致时,他们才会表扬一番。他们对工艺上的颠覆式创新存在着本能的反感,比如很多评论员不喜欢福特(Ford)的触屏中控台和宝马(BMW)的iDrive控制系统。此外和记者一样,这一行也有羊群效应和从众心理,少数一流的评论员说了什么,大多数人便开始人云亦云。

    与很多进口车的遭遇一样,美人奴跨界越界车之所以饱受诟病,也是因为评论员门和这款车没有什么切身的联系。而美国厂商都和记者们保持着良好的关系,这种关系可以回溯到好多年以前。而日产公司的大多数车型都是在美国以外研发的,并没有这种优势。要骂街的话,隔着几条街肯定要比站在人家家门口容易。

    最后请允许我也给这款车提点不同的意见。我已经开了这款美人奴好几天了。我发现自己的看法和男同行和女同行们都不同。我也同意它太重了,价格也太贵,加速性也不能让飙车迷兴奋起来。不过它在几个方面还是值得表扬的。首先它比奔驰R级的创新性更强,比旁蒂克的阿兹特克做工更精良,而且造型也比市面上的任何其他车型更前卫。

    关于美人奴,还有很多评论员没有发出自己的声音,尤其是一贯直言不讳的《消费者报告》(Consumer Reports)杂志的分析师们尚未发言。但目前来说,美人奴跨界敞篷车成为“年度差评车”,已经是板上钉钉的事。

    译者:朴成奎

    The year has four more months left, but a chorus of boos from the nation's auto reviewers makes it evident that the clear favorite for the title of "Most Disliked 2011 Car" is ... the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. Not since the Mercedes R-class, and, before that, the Pontiac Aztek has the overall verdict been so bruisingly negative. The CrossCabrio has been tarred for being lumpy, dumpy, shaky, and sluggish.

    In simple terms, the Murano CrossCabriolet is an all-wheel-drive Murano crossover in which an automatic folding fabric top replaces the metal roof, and the two rear doors have been eliminated. It has been billed as the first convertible crossover (if you exclude the Jeep Wrangler). With its raised suspension and high deck lid, the CrossCabrio looks somewhat like an artichoke on wheels, the prototypical niche vehicle. It seats four and, available only fully-loaded, has an MSRP of $47,520.

    The CrossCabrio does appeal to a few female reviewers who like the high seating position, carrying capacity, and all-wheel-drive. Susan Carpenter, who writes for the Los Angeles Times calls it "a spirited-yet-cushy mom mobile for those who value adventure and luxury," while Jessica Benton of ThatTechChick.com declared, "I was partial to the Murano prior to test driving it. But now I am even more in love with the Murano CrossCabriolet."

    Their male colleagues, on the other hand, are less enthusiastic -- to say the very least. James Riswick, automotive editor of Edmunds.com, wanted to know, "What on Earth are they thinking?" when he heard about the CrossCabrio. After seeing it for the first time, Riswick found it so bizarre that he looked for a "seven-foot furry creature riding shotgun."

    Road & Track quoted one observer who thought the CrossCabrio resembled "some weird mechanical mutant" and then added on its own: "Thinking of the billions of yen and exhaustive engineering efforts needed to create the 'world's first all-wheel-drive crossover convertible' is as shocking as the CrossCabriolet itself."

    But their comments were moderate compared with the broadside leveled by Dan Neil, the respected and influential critic of the Wall Street Journal. Neil, the only auto reviewer in my memory to win a Pulitzer Prize, is fond of using flamboyant phrases in his writing, and his description of the CrossCabrio is particularly expressive: "Sluggish, wobbly, weird-looking, with a front-end shake that would mix a good daiquiri, crazy-awful ... CrossCabriolet is like a sorbet of mouse scat."

    Neil goes on to say, "the concept of the CC isn't indefensible, only the execution." He complains about its acceleration and its flexible body. "When this thing hits a pothole, it shakes its jowls like Curly from the Three Stooges -- wubba-wubba-wubba."

    That's tough love for Nissan, which prides itself on "innovation without limits," but it's taken hits before. The Japanese automaker tried unsuccessfully to liven up its 2003 Quest minivan by making it curvy for "sexy moms" and is currently testing the outer limits of automotive taste with the chaotic Juke crossover.

    The reviewers' judgment of the CrossCabrio is not necessarily final. Car critics can be like movie and book reviewers: Unable to practice in their chosen field as engineers and designers, they critique from afar -- advising the pros on what THEY'D do if they were in charge They have an instinctive dislike for engineering surprises, such as Ford's touchscreen and BMW's iDrive controls. And, like other journalists, they are inclined to a herd mentality and the lead of a few A-list reviewers.

    Like many imports, the CrossCabrio also suffers because reviewers don't have a personal connection with it. Detroit Three engineers maintain journalist relationships that sometimes stretch back years. That's not true of companies like Nissan that perform most of their car development overseas. When you are being critical, it is always easier to be critical from a distance.

    Let me also add a dissenting opinion on the CrossCabrio. Having driven the Murano for several days, I find myself falling between my male and female colleagues. While I agree that it is overweight, overpriced, and won't excite any hot-shoe drivers, the CrossCabrio is praiseworthy in several respects. It is more innovative than the R-class, more refined than the Aztek, and more imaginative than just about anything else on the road.

    There are more voices to be heard on the Murano, notably the fearless auto analysts at Consumer Reports. But for now, it is safe to label the CrossCabriolet the most disrespected car of 2011.

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