2010 Murano New Car Test Drive
An all-new Nissan Murano debuted for the 2009 model year and it carries into 2010 unchanged. This second-generation Murano is several steps more radically styled than the original. There are many more curves in the body sheetmetal, a much bigger, shinier grille with a less-busy air intake under it, very large, bold, seven-element headlamps, and a completely new rear-end design, more horizontal than vertical, with dual exhaust ports under the bumper.
Most Muranos come with 18-inch wheels, with 20-inch wheels standard on the top LE model. But once you get beyond the grille and the headlamps, the only chrome on the curvy body shell is the door handles. This design strategy lets the body and the paint do all the talking. The new body is almost two points better in aerodynamic performance than the previous version, improved from a Cd of 0.39 to 0.37. The more slippery design should mean better highway mileage and less wind noise.
Meanwhile, the flexible, stretchable platform underneath the Murano has been reinforced from front to rear, and fitted with several additional bumper beams and crossmembers, for the heavier duty cycles a crossover sport ute encounters. It's roughly 150 percent stiffer than the previous version. This is meaningful not only in terms of crash safety and survival, but also in terms of long-term durability and reliability for those buyers who aren't going to be back in the market for six or eight years. Things like doors and hoods and hinges will stay where they are put because the frame is strong to start with.
Changes for 2010 are relatively minor. The LE is now available with front-drive only as well as all-wheel-drive, and standard equipment has been added at all trim levels.
Murano is named after two different luxury items from two very different parts of the world, Murano art glass from Italy and Murano pearls from Japan, which is a good thing, considering it's sold in more than 130 countries.
The 2010 Nissan Murano lineup comes in three trim levels: S, SL, and LE. All three are now offered with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).
Murano S FWD ($28,050) and AWD ($29,650) come with fabric upholstery; six-way manually adjustable driver's seat; 60/40 split folding rear seat; dual-zone automatic climate control; cruise control; tilt-and-telescope steering wheel; the usual power windows, locks and mirrors; six-speaker audio with six-CD changer, MP3/WMA playback and auxiliary input; and three 12-volt power outlets. Added for 2010 are Intelligent Key and privacy glass. Factory options are limited to splash guards ($125), but dealers can install a rear bumper protector ($100), carpeted floor and cargo mats ($185), a retractable cargo cover ($230), and an aero body kit ($1,865).
Murano SL FWD ($29,600) and AWD ($31,200) add front fog lights, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio switches, eight-way power driver seat, a power return for the rear seatbacks and, new for 2010, roof rails and a security system. Options expand greatly for the SL. The Premium Package ($1,000) consists of an 11-speaker Bose audio with XM Satellite radio and auxiliary audio/video inputs, RearView Monitor, 7-inch QVGA color display, auto-dimming inside mirror with compass and HomeLink, cargo cover, and cargo organizer. The Technology Package ($1,500) combines Bluetooth with a power liftgate, automatic xenon headlights with manual leveling, rain-sensing wipers and heated outside mirrors. Also available are heated leather seats with power passenger seat ($1,600) and a dual-panel power glass sunroof ($1,200). But some packages can only be ordered with other packages, so see your dealer for details
Murano LE FWD ($36,580) and AWD ($38,180) make the contents of the Premium and Technology packages standard, plus the leather seats (with heat front and rear) and dual-panel sunroof; and add a power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel; memory function for the seats, mirrors and steering wheel; silver accents on the roof rails; and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Both SL and LE can be ordered with Navigation ($1,850), a dual-screen DVD system with screens mounted in the front-seat headrests ($1,510), an integrated DVD system with a single nine-inch overhead screen ($1,600), roof rail cross bars ($100), and illuminated door sills ($280), plus all the accessories offered on the basic S.
Standard safety features include dual-stage frontal air bags, seat-mounted side-impact air bags (for torso protection), roof-mounted curtain air bags (for head protection), active head restraints in the front row (for whiplash protection), antilock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), traction control, and electronic stability control. Murano also comes with seatbelts; be sure to use them, because seatbelts are your first line of defense in a crash.
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