2015 Nissan Murano Platinum Review
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The Murano looks like a station wagon that's morphing into a crudely fashioned, fully robotic liger.
The Nissan Murano has undergone quite a transformation from the debut 2003 model. Originally released as a crossover, the Murano has done the opposite of what most SUVs have done recently; it's gotten bigger.
With the Murano, Nissan hopes to attract buyers looking for a luxury-level experience at a slightly-less-than-luxury price.
But Nissan has done more than mere puffing-up; the new Murano is actually a few inches longer and a few inches wider than the previous models. It's an unusually aggressive look for what is quite obviously a minivan in please-god-anything-but-a-minivan's clothing.
The Murano looks like a station wagon that's morphing into a crudely fashioned, fully robotic liger. The dominance of the massively large hood and unusually protuberant grilles is meant to evoke both toughness and regalness, and the fact that it succeeds either affirms its ground-breakingness, or confirms its pure wrongness, depending on your sense of decorum.
Taste is a massively personal thing, of course; one man's Pei is another man's Gaudi. But as with the exterior, the inside of the Murano does an amazing job of defining space as it expands beyond its own definitions. The oddly faux-chrome receding dash level is curved in such a way that it becomes impossible not to imagine the design department having a great, self-satisfied laugh at the shockingly obvious visual references to a boat.
But a stouter vessel you'd need to hire Harland & Wolfe to build. The Murano promises a luxury-liner-like ambiance, and thus all pitches and yaws are fully absorbed, lest they cause you any discomfiture.
All outside noise is similarly re-routed to places unknown; anywhere but within vibrating range of your luxuriating ears. There's a good-for-its-class sound system, as well as those most vital of luxury appointments, the large full-color touchscreen and the panoramic sunroof.
There's no lack of power in this beast of a car; for all its visual heft it never feels leaden or hesitant. To the extent that it can even be tested in everyday conditions, the handling is impressively taut - this is an almost unbelievably effortless ship to pilot.
In all aspects, from headlight to headroom, the Murano exists to make those betrothed to lifelong domesticity feel like the royal family of Freedomland itself, and do it for a monetary pie-slice even working class families can afford.
The Murano should be lauded for its audacity, if not its subtlety or actual utility. It's beautiful in that way that pay-cable violence is; visually arresting, first and foremost, but very obviously the product of mankind's darker impulses.
Transmission: Continuously variable
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Power Output: 240 hp / 260 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 21 city / 28 highway
Base Price: $40,060
As Tested: $43,955 (incl. $895 destination)
Technology Package: Power panoramic moonroof, intelligent cruise control, predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking
Other options: Floor mats and cargo area protector