Midsize crossovers aren't known for their beauty, unless of course you're talking about the Murano. With daring looks and a fashionable interior, it ranks among the most style-conscious family vehicles on the market.

Pricing and Equipment

The Murano is available in four trim levels, differing mainly in comfort and safety features:

  • The $29,660 S comes standard with a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and integrated smartphone apps. The available Navigation package ($860) adds a navigation system and HD radio.
  • Priced from $32,750, the SV gets the Navigation package as standard and upgraded interior trim. A panoramic sunroof and a nine-speaker Bose sound system are available in the $2,200 Premium package.
  • Stepping up to the SL at $37,050 gets you extra interior conveniences and leather upholstery. Safety gets a boost from a surround-view camera system, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The Bose system and a power liftgate are also standard. The available Technology package ($2,260) tops off the SL with a panoramic sunroof and additional accident-avoidance technology.
  • The $40,700 Platinum adds exclusive touches like ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel, and 20-inch wheels. The Technology package continues as an option.

Performance Pros

Nissan Murano

Every Murano is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 260 horsepower, matched to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All models can be equipped with all-wheel drive ($1,600) in place of the standard front-drive setup.

Performance Highlight include:

  • Efficiency: Despite the Murano's size and V6 engine, it achieves a laudable 24 mpg in combined driving.
  • Steering/Handling: The Murano handles very much like a midsize passenger car, confident and reasonably nimble.
  • Ride Quality: The comfort-tuned suspension provides and uncommonly smooth ride without any jitters on imperfect roads.

Performance Cons

  • Don't expect many thrills behind the wheel of the Murano. This is a comfy cruiser, not a crossover with sporty ambitions.
  • The Platinum's 20-inch wheels look great, but result in a harsher ride and do little to affect handling. We strongly prefer the 18s found on lesser models.

Interior Pros

Nissan Murano
  • Overall interior design and quality are a healthy notch above key competitors in this price class. In fact, the standard cloth upholstery seems out of place in such a posh environment.
  • The Murano's "Zero Gravity" seats remain comfortable even after hours of travel.

Interior Cons

  • All models get the same metallic trim for the dash and console. Some wood or aluminum inserts would be appreciated in the upper trims.
  • There's no third-row option, so you're limited to carrying five passengers.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Murano's futuristic styling doesn't come at the expense of interior room. You get a hefty 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and nearly 70 cubic feet with it folded.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

A fully loaded Murano is priced dangerously close to more powerful and refined luxury crossovers.

The Bottom Line

The Murano delivers exceptional polish and visual excitement for its class.