Likes: Well equipped, smooth six-cylinder engine, roomy and comfortable to drive.
Dislikes: A bit strange looking, no base engine offered, not as sporty to drive as its looks suggest.
Crossovers are becoming more and more popular. They sit lower to the ground, and offer better fuel economy than many truck-based sport utility vehicles. The Nissan Murano uses the same engine from the 350Z, but has been detuned to 260hp. With so many other rivals catching up to the Murano, will this be a case of old dog old tricks?
Performance: There's only one engine available for the Murano, and that's a 3.5-liter six-cylinder. It's the same engine used in the 350Z, but only produces 260hp. Acceleration is brisk and effortless on the motorway, but the CVT-transmission is reluctant to allow the engine to rev. A base engine would be nice for those who seek the Murano's size, but better fuel economy.
Ride & Handling: The Murano isn't as sporty as the 350Z. The body leans in corners, because the suspension is softly tuned. The steering feels numb, and discourages sporty driving. Even though the car grips really well.
Refinement: The Murano is impressingly refined. THere's very little wind and road noise. The engine has a nice snarl when revved hard, but its never intrusive or loud. On the motorway, the Murano feels very comfortable and well laid back.
Behind the wheel: The steering wheel adjusts for reach and height, and the seats adjust eletrically. You won't struggle to find a comfortable driving position in the Murano. What's more, the layout of the controls is hard to find fault. Only hefty rear pillars let it down, but you do get two parking cameras as an option for limited the limited vision.
Space & Practicality: There's an impressive amount of space for five passengers. There isn't a third row seat option like in some rivals. This isn't a bad thing, as the boot is impressively large. The rear seats fold almost flat with a tug lever to increase space.
Equipment: The Murano comes well equipped for the price. Even the base trim comes with push button ignition, six-disc CD-changer and dual zone climate control. Higher trims offer a glass roof and leather seats. Top of the range offers Xenon-headlamps, chrome wheels and power lift tailgate.
Buying & Owning: The Murano is well equipped for the price. Even the base trim will satisfy most buyers. Strong resale values will help protect your investments. You'll need deep pockets to satisfy the six-cylinder's thirst for fuel.
Quality & reliability: The interior has a sense of logic behind it. Everything feels well laid out, and all the controls feel classy. Some switchgear feel cheap, but they feel sturdy and long lasting. Nissan has enjoy excellent reliability, with much not much worry of the mechanicals.
Safety & Security: Stability control is standard across the range, as well as side curtain airbags. Deadlocks, alarm and engine immobiliser make life for thieves hard.
The Murano is a decent crossover that's classy and well balanced for small families. It's not sporty, and looks the part. This may disappoint some buyers, and the lack of a base engine will put off some buyers. The six-cylinder is nice but some rivals offer lower powered engines to make the price more attractive. If you can overlook these few negatives, you'll find the Murano is a well suited crossover for small families.