Ezra Dyer, Hero

Forget Conan, gimme this guy late nights:

My view on bringing wacky Japanese-market cars here is that companies should strive to keep the product as un-Americanized as possible. Offer a shrimp-scented air freshener and a holographic hood ornament and a GPS system that includes maps of other planets: the whole appeal lies in cultural authenticity. This kind of car should be so Japanese that it makes me want to wear a Hello Kitty backpack, watch incomprehensible game shows and eat whales. I mean, research whales.

The Cube is undiluted Tokyo chic, from its asymmetrical rear window to its shag-carpet dashboard pad to the bungee cords on the doors, which Nissan says are useful for holding “stuffed driving mascots.”

Speaking of stuffed driving mascots, Nissan is prepared for a couple of those to occupy the front seats, as one of the Cube’s available accessories is an eight-inch seat belt extender. I suspect that this option isn’t popular in Japan.

The interior is rife with interesting touches. The headliner is imprinted with a ripple texture that spreads in concentric circles from the dome light. Available LED ambient lighting bathes the footwells and console in the hue of your choice. To the left of the steering wheel, there’s a small cup holder that seems so narrow as to be useless. I wondered what would fit in there and then it dawned on me: a slim can of Red Bull.

No more trying to keep your Red Bull in a standard cup holder only to have it tip over and spill on your extreme downhill freestyle unicycle equipment.

[…] There are four Cube trim levels, beginning with the $14,710 Cube 1.8 and culminating with the $20,090 1.8 Krom. The largest standalone option, available on the midlevel models, is the $2,550 “Ginormous package,” which includes an exterior aero kit and interior accessories like illuminated door-sill kick plates.

If you don’t see the point of tacking aerodynamic gear on something named the Cube, then maybe your appetite for accessories is neither gigantic nor enormous enough for the Ginormous package.

[…] On one hand, you might want your high-school or college-age progeny driving around in a Cube because it’s slow, has six air bags and a stability-control system. On the other hand, it also features a “Jacuzzi lounge” interior layout. I’m not sure what a Jacuzzi lounge is, but I don’t think I approve.

The Cube is cheerfully bizarre, and I appreciate that. It’s not a riot to drive, but in this case, the driving experience is really beside the point. The kids don’t care about that noise, pops. They want connectivity. They want a car that’s a rolling Tweet about a new iPhone app from the Jonas Brothers.

I, however, want a car that doesn’t look like a myopic washing machine, but I’m a lame old guy of 31 who remembers listening to CDs and saying things like, “My modem is taking forever to load this Kozmo.com order.”

It is simply impossible to write better reviews of futuristic Japanese imports. My great love for Ezra Dyer has been no secret for some time. I now demand that you share that love, and greatly. As Homer Simpson might warn: Shar-r-r-re it…