2017 Murano New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Murano midsize crossover is comfortable and stylish. Murano is larger than Rogue and Pathfinder, smaller than Armada, and uses a front-wheel-drive platform. All-wheel drive is available.
While Rogue is for small families, Pathfinder for medium families, Armada for large families, Murano is flamboyant and head-turning, a charming outlier of design. Others think it's like a ship lost in space, a design lost in translation.
Comfort, not performance, is its intent. It has an expressive exterior. Underway, it delivers a gentle ride and quiet cabin, not engagement and emotion behind the wheel. Murano competitors include Lexus RX and Acura MDX, the latter the most spirited.
Nissan's 3.5-liter V6 engine powers racecars, but it's also sweet for the street, in its civilized state of tune. It makes 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, paired in the Murano to a CVT that doesn't feel as soul-sucking as it does in the Pathfinder.
Whether front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive, the Murano gets EPA fuel mileage of 21/28/24 miles per gallon City/Highway/Combined.
Murano gets four stars overall in its crash-test ratings from the NHTSA (the Pathfinder gets five stars). From the IIHS, it gets a Top Safety Pick+ , which is better than the Pathfinder, probably because of more 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 2016 Murano comes in four models: Murano S ($29,660) with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive ($31,260), Murano SV with all-wheel drive ($34,320), Murano SL AWD ($38,650), Murano Platinum AWD ($40,700).
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.