Nissan’s popular Murano was one of the first CUVs on the market when it made its debut back in 2003, presenting buyers who were used to chunky SUVs with something better. It had all the space and utility of a typical SUV, but since it featured unibody construction--it was lighter, more comfortable and more fuel-efficient. The all-new 2015 Murano takes that formula and runs with it.
With its extensive chrome-plating grille treatment, trademark Nissan boomerang-shaped headlamps and intriguing floating D-pillars, the new Murano makes a bold design statement. Just look at it. The Murano loses its bulbous rear haunches for a pleasing mix of defined curves, with prominent bulging wheel arches both front and rear. The overall design statement is forward-thinking and interesting to behold from every angle, and should set the Nissan apart from the other many fine offerings in the segment.
Nissan has paid particular attention to interior quality in designing the new Murano, as the old car’s dated interior was outclassed by the less-expensive Rogue. Now you’ll find Zero Gravity seats a’la the new Altima, with heated and cooled available leather up front and heated seating in the rear, as well. A larger panoramic moonroof presents an air of quality, and both total seating space and cargo capacity are up compared with last year.
Nissan’s excellent Around View camera system makes an appearance, presenting a 360-degree bird’s eye view around the vehicle using an array of cameras and sensors.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it is the mantra that Nissan took with the Murano's engine choice. The Murano’s VQ-series 3.5-liter V6 and CVT transmission carry over from the previous generation. That means 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft. of torque in this application, and while fuel efficiency figures are unreleased, Nissan promises a 20% improvement over last year’s model thanks to weight savings, better aerodynamics and a more efficient powertrain. That would put fuel efficiency for the front-wheel drive model in the neighborhood of 22 city and 29 highway mpg, competitive figures in this segment. All-wheel drive will once again be available as an option.
Pricing and Release Date
The 2015 Murano will arrive in Nissan dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2014, and will move production to the brand’s Canton, Mississippi plant. Pricing should start at around $29k, but expect that figure to climb once popular options are added. As for the rather bizarre (we're being nice -Ed) Murano CrossCabriolet convertible CUV, the car’s fate is unclear as it never sold well and will most likely not make the transition to the standard Murano’s new platform. Chalk it up to a good-intentioned experiment that never really took hold with buyers.