By on May 6, 2016

2016 Nissan Murano Front Three-Quarter, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

2016 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 (260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm; 240 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm)

Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), all-wheel drive

21 city/28 highway/24 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

22.0 (Observed, MPG)

Tested Options: Platinum Trim, AWD, Technology Package, Floor Mats & Carpeted Cargo Mat

Base Price: $39,100

As Tested: $44,070

All prices include $900 destination fee.

Upon its introduction in 2003, the Murano possessed a unique combination of traits that, in retrospect, make its La Jolla, California design studio and Design Chief Taiji Toyota look genius.

The Murano was built on the Altima platform, making it relatively inexpensive to build. It had a segment-first four-wheel independent suspension, imparting a genuine car-like driving experience. It featured generous proportions, yet eschewed three-rows in favor of spacious seating for five. Combined with its catchy anti-establishment styling, snappy 245-horsepower V6, and total lack of off-road pretension, it was the 21st century spiritual successor to the personal luxury car.

Nissan softened the Murano’s driving dynamics over the years, but otherwise stayed true to its 13-year old formula. Moving with the market allowed the Murano to weather a storm of competition and even vanquish the mighty Toyota. It’s most direct competitors are the Ford Edge, launched in 2006, and the Toyota Venza, which appeared in 2008. The Edge has dominated the niche since its arrival, but not to the detriment of the Murano. The Venza eclipsed the Murano in just one model year (2009) on its way to steady sales declines and eventually cancellation last year. Murano sales dipped with the recession but remained steady before returning to near pre-recession heights with the launch of the complete redesign in 2015.

2016 Nissan Murano Profile, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

Exterior

The 2016 Murano is true to its lineage with love-it-or-hate-it styling. Regardless which side you fall on, this crossover will not get lost in the crowd. It embraces Nissan’s “Energetic Flow” design language with the corporate V-Motion grille, boomerang headlights, and floating roof. The design is busy, but comes together well with visual distinction.

My only quibble with the exterior is tire sizing. The 20-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels on the top grade Platinum are sharp, and the 55-series tires provide a reasonable compromise between appearance and ride. However, the 235/55R20 all-season tires are too narrow. When viewed from the rear, the Murano’s spindly stance hobbles its sporting pretensions. By comparison, the Ford Edge Titanium’s standard rubber has a section width of 245mm. And the Edge Sport can be optioned up to a 265mm section width. While the Murano’s dual exhausts say go, its tires say take it slow.

2016 Nissan Murano Dash, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

Interior

Much like a new partner, an auto exterior must be sufficiently attractive to lure one in. But it’s the interior and drive where owners spend their time and where sustained interest is won or lost. It’s thus refreshing to see Nissan invest in the interior commensurate with its importance. And it’s easy to see why the Murano earned a spot on Ward’s prestigious list of 10 Best Interiors. The material quality, fit and finish, and ergonomics are best in class and should give Lexus RX350 shoppers pause.

The Murano has a clean, spacious, modern interior and, in Platinum spec, includes the amenities one expects in a $40,000 crossover: dual-zone climate control, heated and cooled front power seats, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, intelligent cruise control, Bose sound, power panoramic moonroof, navigation, and more.

As with the exterior, the interior takes some chances. The Jasper Pearlescent trim is a hard plastic, but it’s honest and does not attempt to approximate an organic material. It’s sparingly employed on the upper dash, center console, and all four doors. Together with Cashmere Leather, it works. The design team did, however, appear to run short on funds when orchestrating the cell phone charging enclosure forward of the center armrest. It’s too shallow to close with a cell phone inside and actuates with limited positive feedback and no sense of weight. Its looks good, but its cover’s quality is on par with a Happy Meal toy.

2016 Nissan Murano Center Console Open, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

Nissan’s marketing people could be taken to task for their overwrought seating description. But these “NASA-Inspired Zero Gravity Front and Rear Outboard Seats” are genuinely comfortable, providing cramp-free driving throughout my 400 miles with the car. Rear seat legroom is ample, exceeding the Maxima’s by more than four inches, though falling short of the Edge’s by two inches. With recline, temperature controls, heated seats, and USB ports, rear seat passengers are well cared for.

Technology

The navigation is standard Nissan, which is to say good. At the center of the infotainment system is an 8-inch screen with touch, voice, and steering-wheel-mounted controls. I gravitated toward the touch screen, which operated reliably with almost zero lag. Voice inputs are easy and transitioning calls from phone to Bluetooth is less disruptive than some competing systems. Easy to use hands-free text messaging and a clear rearview camera are also here. The Around View Monitor system is also a welcome feature, which enables one to place the Murano more accurately and rapidly when parking.

2016 Nissan Murano Infotainment, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

From a safety perspective, the Murano shines. It offers all the necessary acronyms: ABS (Four-Wheel Anti-Lock Brakes), VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control), TCS (Traction Control System), BSW (Blind Spot Warning), and RCTA (Rear Cross Traffic Alert). The Insurance Institute for Highway safety (IIHS) gives the Murano an overall Superior rating, with top marks across categories including the challenging small overlap frontal crash test. However, the Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) and Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) systems are unnecessarily invasive. The PFCW system produced audible warnings in heavy freeway traffic that startled passengers and the FEB system rendered unnecessary braking assistance that upset the driver. Were the systems malfunctioning? Absolutely not. But this tester would prefer a less invasive “tune” for each of these systems.

2016 Nissan Murano Engine, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

Drivetrain

The Murano’s standard and only motivation comes from Nissan’s familiar 3.5-liter DOHC V6 mated to an updated Xtronic CVT transmission. In the 4,020 pound Murano, the mature VQ-series V6 makes 260 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. According to last year’s review, the front-wheel-drive model is good for a 0-60 sprint in a responsible 7.1 seconds. Given the modest 130 pound weight penalty for all-wheel drive, its acceleration is likely identical.

Thanks to the CVT and a Porsche 911 matching 0.31 drag coefficient, rated fuel economy is a competitive 21/28/24 (city/highway/combined). During a mixed 400 mile mountain highway, freeway, and city test cycle, most of it with four people and a full load, the Murano delivered 22 mpg.

2016 Nissan Murano Rear Three-Quarter, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

Drive

Nissan’s commitment to creating a crossover without off-road pretense – there is no 4×4 selector here – allowed it to deliver a vehicle that rides every bit like a tall car. The ride is smooth and composed, if a bit soft. The 2016 Murano lacks the relatively edgy handling of the original. This is not the four-door sport ute it once was. Nonetheless, this nose-heavy crossover keeps pace with mainstream sedans through canyons, with modest body roll and acceptable steering feel. It quietly absorbs uneven pavement and is most at home in the city or on the freeway.

But don’t push the right pedal too hard when exiting a rolling stop. On two such occasions, I applied heavy throttle only to hear the revs build while the speedometer and my butt indicated what could be charitably described as lethargic acceleration. Unlike the 2016 Maxima, with essentially the same running gear, the Murano clearly communicates the belt-driven origin of its transmission. However, much like the Maxima, a committed driving enthusiast will probably have already looked elsewhere.

The Murano drives well. My biggest complaint is that its look-at-me appearance is not matched by watch-me-go driving dynamics. If you want a crossover with sporty handling and acceleration, check out the Ford Edge Sport. Nonetheless, the average driver will be non-pulsed by the Murano’s CVT, pleased with its credible acceleration, and impressed with its comfort and quiet composure.

2016 Nissan Murano Rear, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

Pricing

Much like other Nissans, the Murano offers a simple set of trim levels with a limited menu of options. The base S with FWD starts at $29,660. Trim levels step up through SV, SL, and Platinum. All-wheel drive is a $1,600 option across the range. With the Technology Package (power panoramic moonroof, intelligent cruise control, PFCW, FEB), carpeted floor mats all around, and AWD, the Platinum tester stickered about as high as one can go with a Murano at $44,070. Pricing is competitive, besting a similarly equipped Ford Edge Titanium by about $1,000.

Nissan does more with less. The Murano has one engine and transmission, but is poised to move more than 100,000 units for the first time based on sales through the first quarter of 2016. The Murano combines an expressive exterior with a clean, well-executed interior and mainstream driving dynamics. It may not have been the first crossover, but it was and continues to be unapologetic and focused on what it wants to be – a value play in the sporty midsize crossover niche. Think of it as a modern interpretation of the personal luxury vehicle.

Disclosure: Nissan provided the vehicle, insurance, and a tank of fuel for the purpose of this review.

[Images: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars]

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128 Comments on “2016 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD Review – Contemporary Personal Luxury...”


  • avatar
    Shinoda is my middle name

    If you are going to provide a credible review which purports to provide an historical context for the Murano’s evolution, how can you leave out any reference to the original’s CVT issues, or discussion of how, and how well, Nissan have remediated them?

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Why the fascination with past failures? Or is it not a proper review unless something can be brought up to embarrass the reviewed automobile? God help that a review should be done that doesn’t dig up some kind of dirt.

      Especially on a technology that a significant portion of the readership loathes. Now, if this model were using the original CVT, I could understand the concern, but I believe this is the unit that’s been designed with the lessons learned from its predecessors?

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    I don’t understand why center consoles keep getting wider. Tech advancement is allowing everything mechanical to be turned into an electronic module hidden somewhere, so why do we still see huge consoles?

    Also, luxury is S P A C E. An airy cabin, wide shoulder area, plenty of space for the knees to relax, etc. I have not sat in the Murano but from pictures it looks like the center console is a big problem to the feeling of airiness and luxury.

    • 0 avatar
      Aetius

      Nope, not an issue. We’ve used ours since March 2015 and we drive about 2hrs each day and it’s never been an issue. Frankly I’ve never even thought of it as “too wide”.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      aquaticko

      Well, the center console is less of an impediment to the perception of space than the lack of glass area. Coming from an ’06 Forester, even with the Murano’s panoramic moonroof, the rising beltline really makes the space seem less than plentiful, even though the car is really quite roomy.

      • 0 avatar
        gottacook

        We have ’06 and ’07 Foresters, a stick and an automatic. Compared to that generation of Forester, ANY car is going to be perceived as more confining. There is no easier (non-convertible) car to see out of, at a glance in any direction, and possibly there never will be again.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        When I first saw one of these, I thought “tail-fins are back !”.
        I caught up with it and thought ‘limited visibility’. But it sort of reminds me of a painfully swollen and inflamed
        Volvo Sportwagon.

        http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v391/dogsledder54/1972%20Volvo%201800ES%20Sport%20Estate%20Wagon%203_zpsaekzxgqt.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          seanx37

          I can confirm this. A friend has one, and I drove it last night(they had too much to drink, and I drove her and her car home). I really liked it, except that HUGE rear blind spot. It was a little scary actually.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      Cactuar

      totally agree. Consoles seem to be getting taller and wider over the last 5-10 years.

      I love driving my 2004 Sienna, no console at all. Vast amounts of head room. Nice and wide & lots of glass.

      • 0 avatar
        Cactuar

        Yes! When I first drove my Odyssey I wondered why I put up with large intrusive consoles for all these years. It’s amazing how cramped even a large car can be when you’re used to not having a console.

        • 0 avatar
          formula m

          Moveable armrests. All the new vehicles are trying to replace console and movable armrests with one giant console. Parents purchase a 2014 CRV because of the individual armrests and auto transmission, 2015 has one piece console that only one person can use at a time and cvt. Love my large captain’s chair flip down armrest in my Highlander Limited.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    More like personal ugly vehicle.

    HEYO!

    Seriously though, can I grab this thing an epipen?

    Many reviewers have said the new Murano is a fabulous car to live with and I believe them, but woof. Aesthetically, Edge and Venza win on the exterior. The Venza always had that funky dash but the center console wasnt Panamax grade.

    Im off to browse kijiji for sensibly styled cars.

    (Ive found not one but two unmolested, rust free Sonoma SLS stepsides locally. My willpower is being tested)

    • 0 avatar
      Aetius

      Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder and the Edge does look nice but you have see the Murano in person to appreciate it. It simply works very, very well.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Oh I agree beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I loudly spout my very conservative design preferences (ie boxy, 90s) here and I generally disclaim “to my eye” because I dont want to hate on anyome for what they like and vice versa

        Ive seen it in person. I feel the same. This and the Maxima are horribly overwrought.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, the Venza already got discontinued.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The CVT is rubbish in these. I absolutely hated how it felt to drive.

  • avatar
    Aetius

    Hi everyone! Been reading this site for a month now and thought I’d finally make a comment as well since we own this vehicle. We bought this in March 2015 and have now driven it about 22,000kms (we are Canadian so kms!). Amazing, amazing vehicle. It truly feels like having an X3 or a RX but for much less money. The ride is beautiful, it’s fun to drive, looks stunning and it has so many features! Amazing sound system, the navigation and UI is smooth, the build quality is solid (no issues to report) and even the fuel economy is good, not great but good. The ride isn’t harsh even with the Platinum’s 20″ wheels on. I STRONGLY recommend this to anyone looking for a loaded and powerful CUV without paying for the Lexus or any other luxury badge. We had almost finalized the MDX but we didn’t feel the need for it after driving the Murano Platinum AWD. Love this vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      I own a 2014 pathfinder SL with the tech package, is basically another variant of this platform.

      Before my pathfinder I hated, really hated CVT, but really like mine. A very nice interior, great use of space. I have no complaints other than the GPS, (which costs 150us to upgrade the maps)
      I am aware of the CVT complaints/problems, but had zero with mine. I have 40000 kms on mine so far. Power is good, passing is incredible, i have to actually lay off the gas.

      • 0 avatar
        Aetius

        Agreed. I think a lot of people are too quick to dismiss the quality, power and packaging of high end Muranos. I actually like the Murano more than even some Hondas. Hondas don’t seem to have the luxury ride feeling as high end Nissans. We almost got the Pathfinder as well but we simply didn’t need a 3rd row. And then the Murano came out and we ordered one about a month after it became available.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      Aetius, to lend perspective, can you tell us what vehicles you have moved into the Murano from? Thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        Aetius

        Certainly! We have a 2008 Acura TSX and a 2003 Civic which we sold to buy the Murano. We also routinely drive my aunt’s 2012 Q5 which she doesn’t use much as she commute to work downtown (Toronto).

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Forty-four grand? My knees just got weak. I suppose it’s understood that no one will pay $44k for this, but that is just eye watering for what is essentially an average car. I thought I was making a pretty good living, but I guess not.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      @ Land Ark – It would help if we knew what Platinum Trim and Technology Package meant. Some months (years?) back, the LaCrosse got ripped in the TTAC comments for a high MSRP. The tester in question included a ludicrously expensive wheel option that no sane person would order. But yes, I got a bit of sticker shock from reading $44,070 as well.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Inflation is a pretty well known concept. This thing is priced appropriately.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        You raise a good point, Sporty. Generally speaking, inflation-adjusted vehicle prices have held steady or gone down over the past 50 years, haven’t they? It’s somewhat tough to make exact comparisons, as there are other factors at play: wage stagnation for buyers, bundled options vs individual options, and so forth. But your basic point is a valid one.

        More importantly, the base price listed above is over $9,000 higher than that indicated on Nissan’s web site. So we can categorize any sticker shock as typo shock.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          It goes even further beyond inflation. For example it’s almost silly to compare a current Accord to one from 20 years ago. A Civic would be a better comparison. And the scary thing there is, you don’t even need to adjust for inflation or consider new technologies like Bluetooth to see that the Civic is a screaming deal by comparison. We get way more for the $$$ than we used to.

          Hell, a 10 year old Civic was a better deal in nominal dollars. I have one and it’s just as roomy as one of those 20 yr old Accords, while also being safer, more efficient, faster, etc. etc. The average car is a screaming value compared to cars from the past.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Not sure what the big deal is about. That’s pretty normal pricing for a loaded V6 crossover (and this one has every option available).

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      You haven’t kept up with pricing. The Murano is class competitive.

      Everything in this class starts in the upper 20s and finishes in the upper 40s when you add all the trim pieces. We’re talking all the way from Ford to Nissan to Hyundai/Kia.

      Remember – we live in a world where Honda sells a nearly $50,000 minivan.

      I personally own a fully trimmed Hyundai Santa Fe that cost every bit of $41k new, granted actual price would have been more like $37-38k and I paid $29k for it 1 year used.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        Similar Lexus RX is $56kUS and Lincoln is $65kUS with the 2.7ecoboost

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          And no matter what Alex “Every Single Vehicle I Review IS AWESOME” Dykes maintains, the Lexus will be 2,700% more reliable than the Lincoln (especially motor, trans, electronics, etc.), while having a resale value that will literally shame the Lincoln.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Did Ford flat out purchase Vertical Scope?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      It really is a legitimate question.

      TTAC should just pick one day per week and crowning “Holy Ford Day!” whereby they praise a Ford vehicle and impart a religious, evangelical tone to the entire narrative in the manner of an equally juvenile Jalopnik.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        What prompts this? Seth said the Edge is pricier, sportier, has fatter tires and sells better. How is that not accurate?

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          Partly the language here, partly the recent reviews of other FoMoCo products, especially the one every buyer of the RX is a fool not to buy. Stupid invisible hand, acting like car ownership isn’t properly measured by a week with a brand new car and the ensuing years matter.

          Some quotes from this article:
          “The Edge has dominated”, “When viewed from the rear, the Murano’s spindly stance hobbles its sporting pretensions. By comparison, the Ford Edge Titanium’s standard rubber has a section width of 245mm. And the Edge Sport can be optioned up to a 265mm section width. While the Murano’s dual exhausts say go, its tires say take it slow.”, “If you want a crossover with sporty handling and acceleration, check out the Ford Edge Sport.” I’m going to highlight this part “check out the Ford Edge Sport”.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I see your point. The language is a little biased in favor of Ford. I guess I’m just not that sensitive to it.

            When he reviewed the Lincoln MKX and the Acura RDX, Alex was just as favorable to the RDX over the RX as he was the MKX, at least to my eyes.

            But again, maybe I just am not that sensitive to the perceived pro-Ford bias.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          Do you have any idea why and when the disclosure blurb died? I was thinking of requesting an add in the case of brands that are being compared that have blacklisted TTAC for press loaners. Something along the lines of “Ford and Nissan provide TTAC with press loaners, Toyota and Lexus have blacklisted us” if that’s the case. You know, transparency.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          I went and made myself curious. Looks to me like Alex has had one Lexus and two Toyotas so far in 2016, no one else has had a TMC press loaner. Reader reviews, maybe a rental… that’s it. Is there meat here or am I seeing sprites?

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah it is a little painful with Ford love on the site. I’m not sure when the last time I saw a negative Ford thing other that the Taurus story and the MKZ one a few years back. And those were product review rather then being critical of business or sales like they are with every other car maker on the planet.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You know, this is an opinion piece, and people are entitled to those.

      As long as the review is fair, who cares?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      If it were, Bark M. is probably in a lot of hot water over his scathing review of his Taurus rental.

      Come on guys, let’s try a little harder. Pointing the advantages of 1 of this thing’s 2 competitors hardly constitutes enough fodder for a conspiracy.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    “the mature VQ-series V6 makes 260 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.”
    Mature. That’s nice and gentle, but funny. Its performance as sad and difficult to watch as mature porn.

    The Ford Edge with its newer 2.0 offers 240 HP and 270 torque with zero to sixty at 7.2, which is equal to this Murano.
    And the MPG on the 2.0 is 20/30/24.
    I keep reading how wonderful the Edge is…except in hill climbing under heavy loads.

    I test drove the 2.0, but only around city streets and it was very, very nice. I do a lot of hill driving, so the higher end power bothers me.

    I do like the MPGs the Nissan is giving, but seems like the engine is very, very old.

    If Ford would update its trans so the V6 does better with MPG or Murano would get a good engine, they both would interest me more.

    • 0 avatar
      Aetius

      The engine is actually very very nice. I love the power band and it’s smooth. I know it’s in right now to proclaim Ford as the greatest in everything but I assure you that Nissan has built a fantastic vehicle with the Murano as well.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Well…I did test drive it.
        I thought, like the review, the interior worked.
        I was not impressed with the looks and the rear views were, as is the case these days, horrible.
        I was not able to really test it out as, like the Edge, the dealer kept me on the same urban roads and couldn’t test out the power.

      • 0 avatar
        cimarron typeR

        Can you comment on snow performance?

        • 0 avatar
          Aetius

          Very good! We have had one winter with it so far and we kept our stock OEM Bridgestones on. Very sure footed, the AWD kept us safe and I found it more composed in the snow than my Pirelli winters shod ’08 TSX. There was a snowstorm one day on the highway and I got off it because I didn’t feel too confident but then again I wouldn’t drive over 50-60kmph in any car during accumulating snow.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      7.2? Car and Driver measured a 0-60 of 8.3 seconds for an Edge with the 2.0T and 7.3 for this Murano.

      Not unexpected given that a Fusion with that engine takes about 7 seconds flat while an Altima with the 3.5 you deride does it in 6 flat.

      May as well brag about its newness, because you cannot brag about the Ford 2.0’s acceleration.

      • 0 avatar
        Aetius

        Yeah I have no idea what the deal about the Ford-love fest is. We checked out an Explorer Sport and it had ugly, cheap plastics and felt unrefined to drive. I have nothing against any brand but Fords genuinely aren’t all that nice. But enthusiasts tend to only focus on raw HP numbers I suppose. Thank goodness the car companies decided a long time to ignore enthusiasts. Or else we’d all be driving shit-fest hatchbacks with terrible ride quality and build quality.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        ya..seems very confusing, really.
        I see reports all over the place.
        But here is the link so if I am misreading something let me know.
        It seems optomistic to me.Like I said, when I test drove it there was no way to test all the way to sixty or under loads and up hills, all which concern me and I will need to know.

        http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2012-ford-edge-20-liter-ecoboost-first-drive-review

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          You missed three letters: EST. Estimated.

          This was a preview drive in which they did not actually run the vehicle through their measured performance tests, so they give a seat-of-the-pants acceleration figure. Here’s where they did put it through their instrumented test and got the 8.3:

          http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-ford-edge-titanium-20t-ecoboost-awd-test-review

  • avatar

    The owners are some of the worst drivers on the road, at least here in ATL.

    Also–I’ll have to take your word on the interior. In the photo, it doesn’t look out of place in an upper trim of the Gen 1 Escape or Tuscon.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yea, those interior pictures do not look impressive. The Maxima’s interior seems much nicer.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Having sat in both back-to-back, I can tell you that the Murano is quite a bit better-executed than the Maxima. The styling is similar but the Murano’s ergonomics work better and in person it feels substantially more upscale.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I’ve always felt like Nissan interiors have had a cheap feeling that I can never quite put my finger on, even the optioned out ones. My biggest pet peeve is the seats though.

      My parents have had a few and we have friends with a last gen Murano and current gen Altima. In every Nissan I’ve been in since the 02 Altima, I’ve always felt like I’m sitting on the seats rather than in them. It’s probably the biggest reason don’t plan to ever own another Nissan.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        For some reason, the HomeLink buttons on the mirror bother me — how long before it loosens and starts to vibrate?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I’m not sure if that mirror is a Nissan design, or if it’s something produced for GM as well, just with the ON* buttons.

          Anyway, my 09 Infiniti has that same mirror. The buttons are really very sturdy in there. No space for them to rattle.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Nissan should, if things flow logically, become the next Mitsubishi.

    They have awful vehicles, awful exterior & interior design, average reliability or worse, milquetoast or worse driving experience (with lots and lots of sales to rental agencies to give them more presence in U.S. than they’d ordinarily otherwise have).

    Also, their dealerships typically are slime-breeding training grounds churning out the next generation of BHPH auto sales “professionals.”

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      This 100%. Most of the nightmares I’ve witnessed were attributable to the CVT that is mated to the 3.5 choo-choo. How many times can you re-flash CVT logic? Maybe I give up too easily?

      One word to describe the Titan, Frontier, Pathfinder, Murano, Rogue, Maxima, Altima, Sentra, Juke, Versa & Leaf = UGLY.

      Anyone know the sales figures for the Rogue last year? I must say, they’ve sold quite a few around my area. They must be inexpensive to lease.

      At the end of the day, although I would not buy either, I can’t hate on the 370z or the GT-R.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      Such bitterness , DeadWood ! Did a Nissan run over your dog or something ?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Probably not. Whatever your opinion of Nissan, the cars are competitively-priced, popular, and perceived to be on the right side of the reliability line. Nissan shows no signs of fading into irrelevance.

      The next Mitsubishi will probably be Dodge…fitting, since they’ve shared platforms and development.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Yep.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        DeadWeight is just hedging his bets. If he proclaims every automaker under the sun is the worst thing since Mitsubishi and doomed to fail, EVENTUALLY he just may be right once.

        It’s funny to hear him claim others get moist in the pants for Carlos Ghosn, given how insane his posting has become since Johan said his name. Dude is a complete clown.

        • 0 avatar
          Hydromatic

          “If he proclaims every automaker under the sun is the worst thing since Mitsubishi and doomed to fail, EVENTUALLY he just may be right once.”

          Except Lexus and Volvo. Haven’t heard DW’s doom and gloom predictions about them yet.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I tender burnt offerings to the Flying Spaghetti Monster each morning, in strict accordance with my Pastafarianism, to reincarnate me as the largest owner of Subaru Dealerships in the states of Washington, Colorado, Oregon, New Mexico, Utah, California & also Vancouver, Canada.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Don’t forget Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You watch too much OITNB.

      • 0 avatar

        Kyree, that’s a good call, but I think it won’t be Dodge that goes first. Dodge, like Chevy (though Chevy is better these days) long-ago proved there’s a market for those who view vehicles as acceptable appliances as long as they’re ‘Murican, and who start their thought process heaping points in the column marked as such. Dodge owners tend to be the kind that don’t think too hard about what else is available on the road, because a Dodge *generally* does the job and isn’t one of those “foreign” things they don’t care for anyway.

        Mitsu doesn’t have that advantage, and neither does Nissan.

        Plus, Dodge does have a few vehicles that at least entice some amount of car lust. I can’t say that about Nissan.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Agreed, Nissan does a nice job with styling and based on this Murano and new Maxima, they’re getting their act together regarding interiors.

        That cvt though, ugh. Still can’t get the experience of driving the FX45 and prior Murano out of my head. Droning transmissions suck.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        DSM flashbacks!

  • avatar
    tonycd

    So we have a $44,000 mushball with luxury pretensions, question marks about materials quality, reliability and durability, and styling that looks like it was left in the oven until it melted.

    Nissan sure is building some irresistible vehicles these days.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Weird. Seemed like a positive review to me. A loaded Edge 2.0 will run $45K, so this seems par for the course.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        The right Edge to buy would be the Edge Sport with the 3.5L Ecoboost motor. The ES is one very fast crossover, it has a proper transmission, and is better looking to boot.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Jeebus there is so much wrong with this.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Durango r/t is the only SUV worth considering in this soft roader class.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      What class *is* the Durango in? Originally, most considered it competition for BOF 3-row SUVs, essentially a narrow Tahoe or Expedition.

      Now it’s more of a soft roader, related to the JGC and (more distantly) the GLE, but with 3 rows.

      I’d be curious to see what people X-shop the Durango against. I suspect the major issue is that the Dodge brand is too downmarket for its intended audience. Most buyers with $45K to spend on a CUV would rather pull up in an RX or X3 than a Durango Citadel.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The Durango should only exist in base SXT and V8-powered R/T form. The fancy Citadel is stupid (cool name though).

        To slightly channel my inner Jack Baruth, the Durango R/T is the crossover for men that have utility and towing needs beyond the Charger/300 but can’t quite pop for the $50K+ Yukon, and don’t want to own a minivan. I expect that demographic isn’t interested in an RX or X3.

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          The yukon is a wallowly bof with brakes and handling so bad its dangerous to drive during rush hour traffic and the interior falls apar by 100k. I own its sibling, a tahoe…I hate it.

          It wouldnt be so egregous if the msrp wasnt as painful as a hot coal to the eyeball.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            You own a GMTK2XX Tahoe? I didn’t have you pegged as a millionaire.

            And FWIW, the interior of my 2014 Dodge is falling apart and it has 16K miles on it.

            The on-road dynamic performance of the Durango R/T certainly leaves any BOF SUV for dead though.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            Ajla, Yes, the dodges fall apart, but its expected. They are dodges afterall..the tahoe was a very generous gift from family.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You’re doing something wrong with your Tahoe to have these problems. The number of them around with 200K+ miles is staggering.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          The Durango is a Charger wagon as far as I’m concerned, and I like that. An SRT Durango would pretty well check all my boxes.

          The direct competition is the Explorer, Acadia, Traverse with some crossover ;) into luxury territory. The advantage over those others that’s a major reason to buy is the towing capacity.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          Neither the RX or X3 offer a 3rd row, so they’re not competitors. Also, I’m sure the number of people who ever cross shopped Dodge, Lexus and BMW might hit double digits.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        The “no intentions of ever going offroad or pretending I will, but still want SUV room awd and fun to drive” class.

        Murano edge model X durango x5 jgc srt etc

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      If you care about RWD, then Durango is the CUV for you.

      If not, there are choices with better fuel economy and better packaging.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    *WHY* (why, why, why) didn’t they keep the horsepower the exact same as they did with the 3.5L VQ in the Maxima as they did in the Murano? Why would they drop it to 245?

    Sh*t, my lady’s ’10 Maxima has the same engine… except hers has 290 hp.

    If they’d have kept the 290 hp rating in this, I could… maybe… (a big maybe) justify its 40k asking price.

    Fit and finish is always seemingly good on these higher end Nissans. It’s not BMW or Merc level quality… but it’s not too terribly far off. Run your hands across the dash on that Murano. It’s tight as a drum, very good materials being used.

    Still, price is nuts. 40k? Lol. April Fool’s was over a long time ago.

    And I really wish they’d ditch that keyless ignition thingamabob jigger (I know they won’t, it’s one of their “things”… product differentiation, etc… I get it).

    But put about 100k+ more miles on the car. Then tell me how much you like that keyless ignition and all of its b.s. sensors. (NOTE: those “sensors”- the ones which “think” the fob is still in the car, etc.- DO start to age. Who knew?)

    The last Murano I drove had that infamous CVT which, felt somewhat spacey and hesitant (at least in that application). The CVT in the Maxima (IMHO) feels much more responsive and snappy. I understand, apples to oranges. But still. Just sayin’.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Because it gets the job done. As others said, this thing’s 240HP hurls this down the road with more verve than Ford’s 240HP out of its overworked 2.0L. The Maxima’s VQ, IIRC, has VVL on the intake and exhaust cams. This has the old one with VVL just on the intake. So there are cost savings there.

      And as far as its pricing, its slower competition costs the same, and its price is pretty much in line with the original of this trim level when adjusted for inflation. Another 50HP would not sell more of these, but it would add cost and torpedo gas mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Exhaust and intake routing. De-tune for AWD setup.

      Same engine in different vehicles doesn’t always give the same results.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Love my keyless entry and ignition. Hate fishing keys out of pockets when my hands are full. All the sensors work correctly on my eight-year-old Lexus.

      • 0 avatar
        06V66speed

        “All the sensors work correctly on my eight-year-old Lexus”.

        Oh quit your dilly-dallying, Dal.

        They work because of that magical five letter word that starts with L. :) Dare I say that these here Nissans’ electronics may (just may) yield different results (with regards to longevity) over the long haul.

        I don’t trust the electronics on these Nissans in the same manner which I’d trust them on your fine, proven Lexus product.

        In fact, come here to beautiful St. Louis and take off with my lady’s six year old Maxima for a day. Indulge in the electronics which all seem to be suffering an early death from Alzheimer’s. It’s got a touch over 106k miles, and has faulty switches, a gauge cluster that illuminates more lights than your Christmas tree (electrical gremlins), and has an appetite for draining batteries for seemingly no reason.

        My ’99 Suburban with 199k miles is holding up better than this Maxima. And we all know how high quality 90’s GM products were, donchaknow.

        These aren’t Hondas or Toyotas. These are different beasts entirely.

        You’ll see.

        I pity the fool who takes out a 6 or 7 year loan, racks up a sh*t ton of miles on one of these high end Nissans, and is stuck paying on a $450+ note for years to come. These cars will let you down. Gambling isn’t my thing. ;)

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I think the parts and location of manufacture matter for Nissans. American things based on the Altima, ehhh.

          Japanese things which are RWD, much different story.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Parks is right – this type of car is the Chrysler Cordoba of the 2010s. It advertises a lifestyle.

    Then again, there’s no way I’d have bought a Cordoba – the fact that I was 12 when it came out notwitshstanding, it’s not the lifestyle I want to advertise.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I don’t see the problem with this, though what would the B&B be without hyperbole, misinformation, conspiracy theory, automaker Chicken Little cries and car-purchase based character indictments?

    My only gripe with this thing is that its interior would have been so-so in a 10 year old car. At least based on design; maybe the materials are very nice. It looks like a very boring, though comfortable, place to be. To be fair the Edge is no better, with its 1987 Ford Tempo GL HVAC buttons and text, and equally unimaginative dash layout.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “…what would the B&B be without hyperbole…”

      “…the Edge is no better, with its 1987 Ford Tempo GL HVAC buttons and text…”

      One of us. One of us. One of us.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Good on you for calling out “sporty”accord’s hypocrisy, bullsh!t, and overall lameness, ajla.

        sporty’s madly jealous of my uncanny ability to call spades as spades (which, incredibly!, allows one to usually predict the direction/trend of most manufacturers’ fortunes) and he’s vagina hurt about many, many other things.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          You occasionally make insightful points, DW, but then you lose credibility by going over the top or by being insulting.

          PS: Sorry if I offended you with the old lady joke.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I think that I *often* make insightful posts.

            I also think that my style, and tone, which is admittedly (and intentionally) acerbic, is very much needed in the densely thicketed bullish!t forest that is anything-automotive-related-especially-when-it-is-parsing-manufacturers’-or-their-executives’-or-representatives’-claims.

            Also, no offense taken (I’m impregnable.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          What could I possibly be jealous of you for?

          And your batting average is the reciprocal of the number of comments you’ve made here. The first time you called out GM on the Cadillac nonsense is the only time you’ve ever provided any kind of fresh and truthful insight. The rest of your comments are generally hyperbolic attention craving drivel.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            “sporty”accord,” did you not allege you were going to ignore my comments a while ago?

            I rarely if ever respond to your comments (unless you’re stalking me as you’re prone to do), as little to nothing you state has any substance or is thought-provoking.

            You can’t quit me.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          DW, Don’t ever change.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I had the Edge confused with the MKX, which is even worse.

        http://autoguide.com.vsassets.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-Lincoln-MKX-Switches-01.jpg

        Not hyperbole at all.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I like this interior based on both design and material quality. It looks very good in person. I think it’s the best interior Nissan has going right now.

      Although saying the RX should be worried is deeply hyperbolic on the reviewer’s part. The RX is a $10k to $20k more expensive vehicle and the interior feels like it.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      You know, I had crafted the following comment for a different thread (10 best/worst cars) but decided that it was bit over the top. I’ve changed my mind:

      At times, this forum, inhabited by the so-called b&b, resembles a gang of monkeys pleasuring themselves in a room full of mirrors.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        “At times, this forum, inhabited by the so-called b&b, resembles a gang of monkeys pleasuring themselves in a room full of mirrors.”

        *This* is the truth about The Truth About Cars!

  • avatar
    Joss

    Seth: Murano butt shot – the last photo. The bronze Spinosaurus walked on all fours like Murano. They found the back leg bones just a couple of years ago. The JP3 stance depicted here in a bronze – upright like a therapod – was all wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      Seth Parks

      A paleontologist I am not. Feel free to reach out to Ricardo Bredeca and let him know. Here is a link to a news story about his work.

      http://www.kesq.com/kesq/Accidental-artist-behind-Highway-79-sculptures/17585782

  • avatar

    Not at all related to the car, but where were these pictures taken with the dinosaur statues? This would be the perfect backdrop with my Jurassic Park Ford Explorer, and it looks like somewhere in Southern California

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Regardless of what you think of their exterior styling, I think the interiors of both the new Maxima and Murano are quite well executed…with one exception. Both the prior gen Maxima and Murano had their HVAC controls and NAV setups pulled from the Infiniti G/EX/FX setup, so it kind of felt like you were getting a little bit extra without paying Infiniti money, extra that you don’t in a Honda or Toyota (though in Honda’s case that’s probably a good thing, as the Acura system is godawful).

    That’s not the case in the new Maxima and Murano. While their interior designs and materials are overall MUCH nicer than the cars they replace, their HVAC controls and NAV systems are pulled straight out of the Altima. I suppose that’s both a blessing and a curse as Nissan’s latest system seems to work quite well, while the Infiniti InTouch or InTuition or whatever it’s called in the Q50 is a slow, buggy, crashy mess that seems to be a big part of why Infiniti’s quality scores have nosedived.

    Still, having the Infiniti system in the old Nissans said “nice car,” while the tiny little buttons for source and track selection surrounding the screen in the new models – just like a $25K Alimta – says “cheap car.”

  • avatar
    oldowl

    We bought a 2003 Murano new. It proved to be a good vehicle: no major mechanical problems, sufficient power, comfortable interior. It ran well for 11 years, and we sold to a guy who paid good cash for it (all in $20 bills. Hmm.) We might have replaced it with another one, but to us the new style was repulsive, especially the tailfin-like excrescence
    on the rear quarter. So we got an Audi Q5.

    • 0 avatar
      Aetius

      The Q5 is much smaller inside and out than the Murano. How did you end up deciding on that instead of the Murano? Wouldn’t the RX or X3 made more sense?

      • 0 avatar
        oldowl

        We looked over the X3, and it seemed OK, but we were not getting good vibes from the dealership about customer service at the sale and, therefore, were skeptical about the quality of service. In practical terms for us the Q5 was not significantly smaller inside. We are beyond hauling furniture around. The RX? Something is off-putting about Lexi. The baleen style grill? The obviousness of an obvious choice. Not rational, I suppose, but there it is.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    In 2005 I almost purchased a first generation Murano but got a Subaru Legacy GT Wagon instead. I loved the Legacy GT but the Murano would have been a good choice. It was sort of a unique package at the time. It was also pretty daring in its styling and it was somewhat sporty with a powerful engine and a firm ride. In the years since, Nissan added the Rogue and softened the Pathfinder leaving the Murano kind of stuck without a purpose. (Note they did the same thing with the Maxima as the Altima got larger and better.) The solution seems to have been turning it into a style statement so this car is all about the looks. The performance meanwhile has softened quite a bit. Until recently I drove a Mazda CX-9 which offered a much more engaging drive while being larger and more useful.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Too much money, with the base price being $30K. It’s amazing these things sell.

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