The Nissan Murano was an early entrant into what is now a sprawling universe of midsize crossovers, first appearing as a 2003 model. Against a rising tide of fellow two-row midsizers such as the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorrento, and Subaru Outback, the Murano has attempted to retreat to more luxurious ground. The vehicle's most recent full redesign in 2015 saw it adopt a much more stylized exterior and more upscale interior. And now, four years on, the 2019 Murano gets a mild update. From the outside, the Murano gets restyled LED headlamps and taillights, new LED fog lights, a black-painted front bumper section that visually heightens the grille, and redesigned 18- and 20-inch wheels. Inside, the top-spec Platinum model gets fancier with diamond-stitch patterned, semi-aniline leather, and all models up the airbag count with side airbags for the rear seat and knee airbags for the front passenger. Additionally, Nissan's rear door alert is now standard (if a rear door is opened before a trip but not reopened afterward, the system honks the horn to remind the driver to check the rear seat). The available navigation system features enhanced graphics including satellite imagery and adds traffic-sign recognition and online POI search capability. Prices increase by $660 to $1,620 depending on trim level, and now range from $32,315 for a front-wheel-drive Murano S to $46,175 for a Platinum AWD. That quasi-premium positioning makes the Murano, in some ways, the crossover counterpart to the Maxima. But whereas the Maxima bases its high-falutin' self-image on performance, the Murano does so based on comfort and style. The two models share Nissan's 3.5-liter V6, but the Maxima is good for 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque, while in the Murano it's detuned to 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet. The Murano's use of a naturally aspirated V6 is increasingly a rarity in the segment, where competitors have moved to turbocharged fours. Compared to the 2.0-liter turbo fours in the Ford Edge and the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Murano has more horsepower (260 versus 250 for the Edge and 235 for the Santa Fe), but less torque (its 240 pound-feet trailing the Ford's 280 and the Hyundai's 260). As has always been the case with the Murano, the V6 is mated to a continuously variable transmission, which gives this crossover a slightly syrupy throttle response. Nissan's V6 isn't the most sonorous engine, but acceleration is plenty peppy. The Murano comes with either front- or all-wheel drive, with AWD available on all four Murano trim levels for a $1,600 upcharge. All-wheel drive Muranos get the same 20 mpg city, 28 highway, and 23 combined as their front-drive brethren. Those all-wheel-drive numbers just about match the Ford Edge's 21 city and 28 highway and handily beat the Hyundai Santa Fe's 19/24 mpg ratings with its turbo four. There are no drive modes to vary powertrain action or steering effort, and the helm is more heavily boosted than we'd like. The driver looks out over a fairly …
Hide Full Review
Smart Buy Price
|MPG||20 City / 28 Hwy|
|Transmission||Xtronic 2-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||260 @ 6000 rpm|
Savings without having to haggle for it.
Switch to State Farm and save an average of $536* on your car insurance.