3.5-liter VQ35DE DOHC V-6, Continuously Variable Timing Control System (260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm; 240 lbs-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm)
Xtronic continuously variable transmission (2.413:1 – 0.383:1 range, 0.958:1 final drive)
21 city/28 highway/24 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
22.4 mpg on the Soccer Dad test cycle, 75 percent city (Observed, MPG)
Tested Options: SL trim, all-wheel drive
Base Price (S FWD):
$30,445* (U.S.)/$31,858* (Canada)
As Tested Price:
$39,435* (U.S.)/$41,393* (Canada)
* All prices include $885 destination fee (U.S.) or $1,860 destination fee, PDI and A/C tax (Canada).
“Damn, that’s ugly,” I thought to myself — in addition to saying it openly amongst my automotive journalist friends when Nissan unveiled the new, third-generation Murano at the 2014 New York Auto Show.
“Who’s going to buy this?” I asked myself — in addition to everyone who would possibly listen to my whining.
“I bet this won’t sell,” proclaimed my inner monologue — in addition to my external one.
Boy, was I wrong on that last point. The new Murano’s year-to-date sales in Canada have already eclipsed last year’s entirely (sales surpassed 1,000 units in June 2015 for the first time ever in Canada), and it will likely sell more in the U.S. than it has in the last couple years at the very least.
When I had a chance to drive the newest “lifestyle” crossover from Nissan, I realized why my predictions were so wrong. If you can look past the sheet metal, the aging VQ35DE V-6 engine and the continuously variable transmission that’s become ubiquitous with the Nissan brand, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what is arguably the best lifestyle crossover on the market.
That should be no surprise. One could make a case for the Nissan Murano being a pioneer in this segment. Back in 2002, Nissan rolled out the first-generation Murano to either fanfare or fiery criticism, depending on who you asked.
The non-luxury softroader was born — whether you liked it or not.
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