Safety features galore. The largest change for the 2020 Nissan Murano is the addition of more safety features as standard. Nissan now offers every Murano with its Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety features. The automaker has also bolstered safety features on higher trims.
All Muranos now come with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a driver monitoring system, and a rear-seat reminder system. Higher trims can be fitted with adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, rear automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera system, and traffic sign recognition. That's an excellent roster for a mid-size crossover.
The Murano also carries a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, something that can give families even more peace of mind.
Down on space, yet comfortable. For a five-seat crossover, the Murano may be down on cargo and interior space than a lot of competitors, but it still has a comfortable cabin. The seats provide the same amount of comfort as some luxury crossovers, and the rear seats still have enough room for three adults.
High-end trims come with nice touches like semi-aniline leather, climate-controlled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats, which all help make the Murano’s cabin a nice place to be.
While the Murano’s interior is a nice place to be, it's down on cargo space. Behind the rear seats, the crossover has 32.1 cubic feet of cargo space. In total, it offers 67 cubic feet of space. These figures lag behind for the segment.
Sporty, handsome styling. The Murano puts styling first with dramatic lines and a large grille. Sweeping lines are found throughout the body, mimicking a sports car. Angular design elements, like the headlights and taillights, help break up the soft, curvy lines. Visually, the Murano is one of the more striking crossovers on the market.
Nissan may have slightly updated the Murano’s exterior styling last year, but the interior hasn’t changed since the current-generation model came out in 2015. This results in a stylish, yet dated, look. Material quality and design don’t look as modern as those you’ll find in competitors, either.
Still, the Murano’s exterior design, especially when outfitted in a bright color, makes the old interior easy to overlook.
Performance doesn’t live up to the design. Unlike a lot of other mid-size crossovers, the Murano comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine as standard. Power is rated at 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque.
The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with power going to either the front wheels or an all-wheel-drive system. Fuel economy for the Murano is EPA rated at 23 miles per gallon combined, which is subpar for the segment.
Despite having a large V6 engine, performance for the Murano isn’t blistering. It’s more of a smooth operator and a capable highway cruiser. Our issues with the powertrain are with the CVT, which can be slow to imitate shifts and bucks at low speeds.
Handling for the Murano errs more to the soft side, as it soaks up imperfections on the road without a hint of athleticism. The heavy steering, quiet cabin, and soft suspension all help the Murano's case for being a great vehicle for long commutes or frequent road trippers.
Final thoughts. Unlike other mid-size crossovers, the 2020 Nissan Murano isn't a family vehicle – it’s more of a style-first vehicle for consumers that want something that looks a lot more expensive than it really is. It’s packed with safety features, has a comfortable cabin, and comes with a smooth V6 engine.
Nissan’s gone all in on CVTs, which is a shame because it’s one of the Murano’s few weak points, but it’s hard to overlook. Fixing that would mend one of our largest issues with the crossover. We’d also love to see Nissan redesign the Murano’s interior with a design that matches the exterior.
If you’re looking for three rows of seating, there are many other options, including the Kia Telluride, Mazda CX-9, and Volkswagen Atlas. Other two-row utility vehicles include the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Honda Passport. The former offers much more off-roading capability, a 707-hp track-focused variant, and much more towing capacity. The Passport has a more spacious cargo area, a more rugged design, and a more powerful V6.
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