2017 Murano New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Murano is a front-wheel-drive crossover that fits between the Pathfinder and Armada, size-wise. Its radically swoopy styling stirs love-it-or-hate-it emotions, among automotive journalists as well as normal people. Some think it's expressive and head-turning, a charming outlier of design. Others think it's like a ship lost in space, a design lost in translation.
Competitors include the Lexus RX and Acura MDX, both of them spirited. But the Murano is intended to be more comfortable than sporty. The ride is gentle and the cabin quiet. The car doesn't engage much with the driver, it's just there.
The racing-inspired 3.5-liter V6 engine makes 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, mated to a CVT that doesn't feel as soul-sucking as it does in the Pathfinder, but it does suck away some of the engine's sweet performance.
Naturally it's available with all-wheel drive, which delivers the same fuel mileage of 21/28/24 miles per gallon City/Highway/Combined.
The IIHS gave it a Top Safety Pick+ in 2016, probably because of optional safety equipment. An optional safety package uses four cameras and three radar sensors see the various threats outside your car, and warn you with alarms. Especially backing up, with park assist and cross-traffic alert. It's pretty much impossible to ever back up without both alerts going off. There's always something behind you or beside you when you back up.
The Murano remains essentially unchanged for 2017, except for Apple CarPlay availability.
The 2017 Murano comes in four models: Murano S ($29,770) with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive ($31,370); Murano SV with all-wheel drive ($34,570), Murano SL AWD ($38,900), Murano Platinum AWD (about $42,000).
The SL and Platinum models have blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert; a package for those models includes forward-collision warning. Platinum has heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and power-folding rear seats.