2016 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD Review
A curvaceous, comfortable CUV for cruisingNo Comments
It's far from perfect but for the right buyer, the Murano could be extremely satisfying
Nissan created a unique offering with the Murano. The CUV isn't for the kid-toting young professionals, it isn't for the off-road enthusiast and it isn't a shoo-in for the luxury vehicle shopper. Instead, it hits a special part of the market by providing an option for people who are in between almost any of the top target audiences. The Nissan Murano is for the empty nester who needs a comfortable vehicle but isn't quite yet ready to retire with a Lincoln. It's for the quirky Aunt who wants a vehicle that is as trendy as she is, or the English teacher who wants something that's fun, practical and comfortable.
Nissan has a knack for slipping vehicles into areas of the market that have been more or less previously untapped. It's doing it with the new Nissan Titan XD and the Murano plays a similar game. Why would Nissan try to compete in an already crowded market of CUVs all claiming to be the best family vehicle?
We recently spent a week with Nissan's Murano and came away happy with the results. It's far from perfect but for the right buyer, the Murano could be extremely satisfying.
In city streets, the Murano is easy to handle, though parking proves to be a bit of a challenge because the car feels bigger from the inside than it actually is. Luckily, Nissan equipped the Murano with a 360-degree camera and plenty of sensors, mitigating most of your parking worries. Ride Quality: Very smooth even over rough city streets and highways. Steering: Light and responsive, though lacking road feel. Acceleration: Faster than we expected. The Murano can really get up and go when you ask it to. Braking: Smooth, progressive and plenty powerful enough to slow and stop the CUV quickly. Handling: The Murano feels a little tall when cruising around corners and there is a fair amount of body roll, though it is not uncomfortable.
While we were mildly repulsed by the color scheme and overall look of the interior, there's no denying that the Murano is comfortable. Ergonomically everything was well-placed, and long drives are enjoyable. Front Seats: The zero gravity front seats are extremely comfortable and supportive. The lumbar support and other seat adjustments allow you to make the seat fit your body, and the ability to heat or cool the seats makes them even more comfortable. Rear Seats: The heated rear seats are plenty spacious enough for three adults, though the seats don't feature as many adjustments as the front. Visibility: There's good forward and rear visibility, and the Murano sits high enough for you to easily survey the road.
Storage: Spacious glove box, center console and cup holders mean you'll never have an issue bringing along your things. Trunk/Cargo Room: The large truck space edges out the competition with 39.6 cubic feet of space in the cargo area and 69.9 with the seat area.
When we first drove the Murano, we weren't sure who the vehicle was for. After taking in its pros and cons, it became clear that Nissan is hitting the CUV market from a different angle to attract a different kind of buyer. The Murano's upscale interior and polarizing styling don't make it the go to CUV for families or off-road enthusiasts, but that's what the Nissan Rouge and Pathfinder are for. The Murano stands out because it's different, and it's different in a good way.
Engine: 3.5-liter V6
Drivetrain/Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Power Output: 260 hp / 240 lb-ft of torque
Fuel Economy (mpg): 21 city / 28 highway
Base Price: $40,700
As Tested: $44,070 (incl. $900)
Standard Features: 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels, all-wheel drive, driver and front passenger, side-side impact and side curtain airbags, driver knee airbag, lower anchors and tethers for children, ABS brakes, vehicle dynamic control, traction control system, tire pressure monitoring system with easy-fill tire alert, vehicle security system, hill start assist, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, around view monitor with moving object detection, NASA-inspired zero-gravity seats, 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, driver's seat power lumbar support, 4-way power front-passenger's seat, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats with power return, leather-appointed seats, leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, driver-side memory for seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming inside mirror, Homelink universal transceiver, BOSE premium audio system, AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA in-dash changer ambient lighting, cruise control, NissanConnect with navigation, 8' multi-touch color display, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Sirius XM traffic and travel link, HD radio, front and rear USB connection ports, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, streaming audio via Bluetooth, voice-recognition for navigation and audio, hands-free text message assistant, 7' advanced drive-assist display, dual zone automatic temperature control with front and rear vents, Nissan intelligent key with push button ignition, remote engine start system with intelligent climate control, power windows with front window one-touch auto-up/down and auto-reverse feature, three 12-volt DC power outlets, LED signature and daytime running lights, LED low and high beam headlights, automatic on/off headlights, fog lights, heated outside mirrors with LED turn indicators and reverse tilt-down, LED taillights, rear tinted privacy glass, silver roof rails, power liftgate
Options on our test vehicle: Technology Package: power panoramic moonroof, intelligent cruise control, predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking; floor mats and carpeted cargo mat.
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