Shopping for a new Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet? MSRP: $41,995
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|AWD 2dr Convertible||Premium Unleaded V-6, 3.5||All Wheel Drive||$ 38,669||$ 41,995|
The 2014 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is one of the few vehicles these days that can make onlookers gape. Mind you, they're not the envious looks that Bentleys or exotic supercars produce. They're more a puzzled, "What the heck was that?" kind of jaw-dropping confusion. Which is appropriate for what we think is the first-ever all-wheel-drive convertible crossover sold in the U.S. It really is that odd--some might say downright weird.
The ragtop version of the successful and well-known Nissan Murano not only has two (long doors) to replace the four found on the conventional crossover, it has a fully automatic, folding cloth top that even contains its own glass moonroof--and bundles neatly into a stack behind the rear seat when put down. The car is visually arresting, and looks quite different with the top down versus fully erected. The front end is familiar, but everything from the windshield back is different from the five-door crossover utility version that represents the vast bulk of Murano sales. The CrossCabrio sits higher, on large 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and the lengthy side doors and long convertible top make it closer to the old Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible than any new vehicle on the road today.
Inside, however, it's far more luxurious than the standard Murano--the CrossCabrio tilting toward less crossover and a lot more cabriolet. Upholstery in quilted leather and real wooden trim boost the luxe quotient considerably, though buyers will have to decide whether it's enough to justify a starting price just below $42,000 (and that's after a price reduction of more than $2,500 compared to the 2013 model).
It's only a four-seater, though, and the unusual packaging hurts its practicality. Rear-seat riders have to climb up and into their seats through the long side doors, which otherwise give easy access to the interior (as long as you have enough room to swing them open in tight parking lots). Rear shoulder space is tight, and with the top down, trunk space falls to just 7.6 cubic feet--enough for two roll-aboard bags or a set of golf clubs, barely--protected by a rigid barrier so the self-folding top doesn't crush your luggage. Raise the top, however, and you can double the trunk space. For safety, pop-up rollover bars are fitted in case of emergecy.
Like regular Muranos, the CrossCabrio is powered by a 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired to NIssan's Xtronic continuously-variable transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is standard, and the combination of engine, CVT, and four powered wheels give the tall convertible smooth, strong performance. The EPA rates the CrossCabriolet's fuel economy at 19 mpg combined, 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
The handling is hardly competition for sports cars, but the CrossCabrio cruises comfortably and effortlessly. There's not a lot of road feel, though, and the high seating position and heavily damped body motions make driving it feel more like piloting a cabin cruiser--quite remote from the machinery that actually does the work.
The Murano CrossCabriolet fits all the luxury features from the top-of-the-line conventional Murano, then adds some additional features on top of those. All CrossCabrios come as standard with heated seats and steering wheel, high-intensity-discharge bi-xenon headlamps, and Bluetooth connectivity as well as a USB port. As you might expect, satellite radio is built into the Bose premium audio system, and given its height and minimal rear visibility, a rearview camera is a welcome piece of standard equipment. A hard-drive navigation system with real-time weather and traffic information is a standalone option, one of very few offered; it includes streaming audio, voice recognition, and a 7-inch touchscreen display. Premium double-stitched leather upholstery is another optional feature. For 2014, two new colors--Gun Metallic and Midnight Garnet--have been added to the previous choices of black and white.
See our review of the 2013 Nissan Murano for something related, yet much more practical.
- You'll get attention...
- High seating position
- Quality of interior
- Engine smoothness
- Ready for parade queen!
- ...whether or not you want it
- Top-heavy on the road
- Minimal trunk space when top down
- Doors are long and heavy
- Costly even after price cut