In an attempt to better compete on the continent, Nissan has just launched a diesel engine for the European-market Murano crossover. Unlike Nissan's upmarket Infiniti division, which just recently launched several models powered by a new Nissan-Renault 3.0-liter V6 diesel, the Murano uses a 2.5-liter inline-four. The engine is an updated version of Nissan's existing four-cylinder diesel with 187 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.
The common rail injection system has been upgraded from a 1,800 BAR system to 2,000 BAR. The variable vane turbocharger now uses an electric actuation system for the vanes in place of the hydraulic setup. All that torque is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Nissan will announce the fuel consumption and emissions closer to the September on sale date. American Murano buyers will have to settle for the very nice, but no doubt much thirstier, 3.5-liter gas V6.
MURANO: NOW AVAILABLE IN DIESEL
* 2.5-litre engine
* 190PS and 450Nm
* Combined with a six-speed auto transmission
* Deliveries begin in September
* Diesel Murano further reinforces Nissan's Crossover leadership
Since its European introduction in autumn 2008, the second generation Murano has occupied a unique place in the premium Crossover market - combining cutting edge design, a premium on-board ambiance and easy, enjoyable performance.
And Murano's appeal to customers will be significantly enhanced in September with the addition of a diesel engine to the line-up, further reinforcing Nissan's Crossover leadership. The introduction of the diesel version comes just as Nissan will introduce the fourth member of its Crossover line-up, the Juke and soon after the introduction of the revised Qashqai.
An enhanced version of Nissan's 2.5 dCi four cylinder engine has been fitted to the Murano, giving a combination of effortless torque, refinement and reduced consumption and emissions, in line with the European market trend. This YD25 engine from Nissan's range has recently benefitted from comprehensive upgrades in advance of its fitment in Murano.
When fitted to the Murano, the engine produces 190PS and 450Nm of torque, with a torque and power curve which means that the performance is smooth and serene thanks to the torquey nature of the engine, perfectly complementing the Murano's character.
The changes made to the engine include a new direct injection system which operates at 2000 bar, up from 1800 bar. This increase in pressure means the fuel spray is atomised to an even finer degree resulting in more complete combustion. A new cylinder head with parallel ports increases the swirl efficiency of the combustion process, smoothing the intake and exhaust flow, while a new variable nozzle turbo (VNT) with electric control rather than the previous hydraulic system for quicker responses has also been adopted.
The engine is equipped with a diesel particle filter (DPF), helping Murano to achieve EURO5 emission standards.
The engine is offered as a single powertrain with a six-speed automatic gearbox, providing smooth, discreet gear-shifts to guarantee seamless, effortless progress. With a high-degree of lock-up, engine responsiveness is keen and its shift logic has been programmed to make the most of the high-torque engine characteristics, but also to optimise the fuel economy.
Furthermore, the gearbox is equipped with ASC (Adaptive Shift Control), which will modify shift patterns according to the prevailing driving style, tailoring the gearbox to hold on to a lower gear during a descent for added engine braking, for example.
Power is transmitted to the road via Nissan's advanced ALL MODE 4x4-i technology, which sends power to the rear-wheels when a loss of stability or traction is detected.
Cutting Edge Design
One of the key factors in the Murano's appeal is its design - combining SUV attributes, with more dynamic qualities of a sporty sedan. The lower half of the exterior gives an SUV-like air of solidity and robustness, with pronounced wheelarches and a rippled effect at the bottom of the doors, giving a muscular appearance.
The upper half is more dynamic, thanks to its steeply raked windscreen and rising window line at the rear, which is Nissan's signature Crossover styling feature.
Scratch Shield Paint
Murano is also equipped with Nissan's innovative Scratch Shield paint. It is a clearcoat that is more scratch resistant compared with conventional clearcoats, helping a vehicle maintain its new look for a longer period of time. The paint also repairs fine scratches, restoring a vehicle's surface close to its original state. It works thanks to a special, highly elastic resin that has been combined with a conventional clearcoat to increase the paint's flexibility. This has also increased its strength by raising the resin density. When the paint is scratched, over a period of several days the resin will return to its original form, thereby 'healing' itself and restoring the appearance of the paint to its original condition.
Inside, a genuinely luxurious interior delivers a 'Business Class' experience. The instruments, seats, subtle ambient mood lighting and high quality materials - including double stitched leather trim and real aluminium touches - lift the interior from sporting SUV to luxury saloon standard.
In keeping with its enhanced sophistication, Murano is laden with features designed to make life on the move even more comfortable.
Among the standard features are the leather interior with aluminium accents in the cabin, satellite navigation with full colour 7 inch screen, Intelligent Key with Stop/Start button and full climate control with mild flow dissipation. The front seats are power operated - the driver's seat has eight way control including power lumbar support. The front seats are heated, while rear heated seats are also available.
Additionally, the tailgate can be opened and closed by remote control, while folding the rear seat back rests is a one-touch operation. The back rests can be raised remotely, too, via switches in the trunk area and on the dashboard.
Side and rear parking cameras
But perhaps the cleverest of all the new Murano's features are the parking cameras. In addition to the now expected rear view camera, new Murano has another camera mounted within the passenger door mirror. The image transmitted to the dashboard screen will show the driver any obstacle otherwise hidden in a blind spot during parking manoeuvres.
The higher grade version also comes with brushed chrome roof rail inserts, heated rear seats, powered steering wheel adjustment (rake and reach), memory function on Intelligent Key which governs the position of the driver's seat, steering wheel and door mirrors.
The leather-trimmed steering wheel has a heated rim and incorporates switches for the audio system, telephone and cruise control. Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity is also standard meaning there are no phone compatibility problems as the technology is incorporated into virtually all recent handsets: there is no requirement for a phone to be inserted into a special dock before it can be used hands-free.
Murano's standard audio is a Bose® sound system that has been especially designed and customised for the acoustics of the cabin.
The result is a premium 11-speaker system with a 10-channel amplifier that helps recreate sound closer to a live performance.
The system is powered by a Bose® amplifier that includes custom equalization and proprietary digital signal processing. A pair of Bose RichbassTM woofers, mounted in the spare wheel well, allow listeners to enjoy music with depth and presence, but without sacrificing space in the passenger cabin.
Nearly all of the system's 11-speakers use neodymium iron boron magnets in place of the more conventional ferrite magnets found in most speakers. These magnets are smaller and lighter than ferrite magnets but just as powerful. As a result, they help the system deliver a full rich sound while adding less weight to the vehicle. In addition, an innovative design approach, custom equalization and digital signal processing help reproduce music with clarity, spaciousness and realism. The audio system itself incorporates an in-dash six-disc CD player with AM/FM.
The only other options are metallic paint and a DVD-based entertainment system for the rear passengers, with screen incorporated into the roof and a factory fitted alarm system.
"The introduction of the diesel to our Murano comes at a time when Nissan is reinforcing its leadership as the pioneering Crossover brand in the automotive industry. Murano was, of course, the first Crossover in our range and now that this second generation model has a diesel engine option, its appeal will be even wider on the European market," said Simon Thomas, Nissan's European Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing.
He added: "Additionally, deliveries of the newly revised Qashqai have just started and we're hopeful we can build on its already huge European success - every year since its launch, Qashqai has surpassed our expectations and the factory in Sunderland, UK where it is built will soon go to a third shift to meet demand."
"And Nissan's Crossover line up will be complete in the autumn when the Juke, our new small Crossover, will go on sale. It will offer something new and more dynamic than the predictable options in the B-segment."