2013 Nissan Murano Review

Consumer Reviews
1 Review
2018
The Car Connection
See the nominees and vote »
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
June 21, 2013

The 2013 Nissan Murano trades away some utility and space-efficiency in the name of style and refinement.

The Nissan Murano is a stylish alternative to a sea of rounded family wagons and crossovers, and it doesn't rely on falsely rugged details or blunt, bluff, sheetmetal to distinguish itself smartly.

The Murano remains a good-looking vehicle, even today as it approaches the end of the current model's life cycle. When it made its debut, and still today, the Murano is a clean break away from the crossover-vehicle mainstream. The current version, we've thought, carries itself more assertively as a crisply detailed, high-shouldered tall wagon and less than the single-piece designer-footwear look of the first-generation Murano. The toothy chrome grille is a bit of a distraction to the rest of the design, but moving inside to the cabin it all meshes together in a convincing way, even though inside the Murano comes close to overdoing it on the rounded and bulbous shapes.

The 2013 Murano remains powered by Nissan's VQ V-6--a 3.5-liter making 260 horsepower, and mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Even though we're not enthusiastic about CVTs, this one is an exception and seems quite well matched to the engine, allowing smooth, brisk acceleration without an excess of engine noise. There are no pre-programmed manual 'gears' with this unit, though--a slight to driving enthusiasts--yet the Murano steers and handles with more verve and directness than you'd expect from such a vehicle.

The Murano is sold mostly in front-wheel-drive form, but there's also an all-wheel-drive model, and AWD is included with the top-of-the-line LE. Most models are front-drive, but all-wheel drive is available, and comes standard on the most expensive Murano LE. It's worth noting that gas mileage is 18/24 mpg at best--at a time when some crossovers about this size achieve much better on the highway especially.

You'll find the front seats in the Murano to be comfortable and adjustable for a wide range of sizes, although the sunroof does cut into headroom. The rear bench feels a bit too low for adults, yet oddly, some adults might find headroom tight back there. That shortage of seating space, and the surprising lack of cargo space behind the second row, are both results of the curvaceous exterior. The second-row seatback folds forward to expand cargo space, but it's hardly a box-like area and the cargo floor is quite high.

Review continues below

For 2013, the Murano gets newly optional active-safety systems: Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, and Lane Departure Warning systems. All are included with the Platinum Edition or SL Navigation Package, and should help the visibility issues that the curvier body design introduces.

S, SV, SL, and LE versions of the Murano span a wide range of pricing and equipment, with the latter trims feeling like premium or luxury models--and priced that way. Power windows, locks and mirrors; climate control; and an AM/FM/CD player are included in all Murano models, while options include a heated steering wheel; Bose audio; leather upholstery; a navigation system; Bluetooth; and a rearview camera. Newly offered on SV models is an SV Value Package that includes Bose audio, a power liftgate, and a navigation system.

The peculiar Murano CrossCabriolet, a heavy two-door convertible version of the Murano continues for another year unchanged.

9

2013 Nissan Murano

Styling

The Nissan Murano has a upscale-looking tall-wagon style that feels cohesive, inside and out.

As either a clean break away from the crossover-vehicle mainstream, or as a particularly cohesively styled family device, the Murano remains a good-looking vehicle. It's a station wagon when you get down to it, but it's one that's much more voluptuous.

The current version, we've thought, carries itself more assertively as a crisply detailed, high-shouldered tall wagon and less than the single-piece designer-footwear look of the first-generation Murano. The toothy chrome grille is a bit of a distraction to the rest of the design, but moving inside to the cabin it all meshes together in a convincing way, even though inside the Murano comes close to overdoing it on the rounded and bulbous shapes.

We think there's only one issue with the otherwise sleek exterior: The toothy, chromey grille remains a distraction from the rest of the buff, smoothly integrated design. Ever since it was redesigned in 2009, that's remained the sore point of an otherwise sophisticated look. A couple of years ago Nissan has made some attempts to tone down the look with new running lamps flanking the grille, but the difference itself is subtle.

Inside, the Murano has a two-tiered instrument-panel design that can look either smooth and curvaceous, or a little bulbous. As a whole, the Interior looks coordinated as a budget-level Infiniti as much as with the Maxima sedan.

A hooded gauge cluster fits the upscale impression, while the center-stack arrangement is both stylish and logically arranged, with the nav-system or trip-computer screen up top and audio and climate controls just below.

7

2013 Nissan Murano

Performance

Driving enthusiasts won't find much pulse-raising about the 2013 Murano, but strong, smooth acceleration and able handling should meet family expectations.

The 2013 Murano remains powered by Nissan's VQ V-6--a 3.5-liter making 260 horsepower, and mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). In short, the engine powertrain is gutsy and very refined, but it won't satisfy any performance cravings.

Even though we're not enthusiastic about CVTs, this one is an exception and seems quite well matched to the engine, allowing smooth, brisk acceleration without an excess of engine noise. There are no pre-programmed manual 'gears' with this unit, though--a slight to driving enthusiasts--yet the Murano steers and handles with more verve and directness than you'd expect from such a vehicle. Steering is responsive, with an absorbent, slightly firm ride.

The Murano is sold mostly in front-wheel-drive form, but there's also an all-wheel-drive model, and AWD is included with the top-of-the-line LE. Most models are front-drive, but all-wheel drive is available, and comes standard on the most expensive Murano LE. It's worth noting that gas mileage is 18/24 mpg at best--at a time when some crossovers about this size achieve much better on the highway especially. Properly equipped, the Murano can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is as much as most minivans.

8

2013 Nissan Murano

Comfort & Quality

The curvaceous exterior of the 2013 Nissan Murano does get in the way of utility, but the interior is otherwise smooth and luxurious.

The 2013 Murano has a comfortable interior that feels more 'premium' than many other mid-size crossovers; but its interior space is limited by its more curvaceous design.

You'll find the front seats in the Murano to be comfortable and adjustable for a wide range of sizes, although the sunroof does cut into headroom, and you need to think of the Murano as primarily a four-person vehicle. The rear bench feels a bit too low for adults, yet oddly, some adults might find headroom tight back there.

That shortage of seating space, and the surprising lack of cargo space behind the second row, are both results of the curvaceous exterior. Compare the seating (and especially the cargo space) in the Murano with that of boxy, upright vehicles like the Honda Pilot or the (outgoing) Ford Escape, then take a step back, and it's obvious that curves come at a price. The second-row seatback folds forward to expand cargo space, but it's hardly a box-like area and the cargo floor is quite high.

In keeping with the more premium feel of this model, the seatback is even power-operated on top models, and you can opt for a power liftgate; but unless you're having trouble reaching that high, it really isn't necessary here.

Interior appointments are very good overall—on par with the Maxima sedan and in some respects as good as a luxury-brand model. Trims and materials have a good look and feel, as does the switchgear, and riad abd wind noise are well isolated.

7

2013 Nissan Murano

Safety

Safety features are respectable, even though the Murano's safety ratings haven't been class-leading.

Safety ratings aren't quite top-notch for the Murano, although it does include an impressive list of standard safety features.

For 2013, the Murano gets newly optional active-safety systems: Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, and Lane Departure Warning systems. All are included with the Platinum Edition or SL Navigation Package, and should help the visibility issues that the curvier body design introduces.

Otherwise the Murano has earned a mix of four- and five-star ratings in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing, and mostly 'good' ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), except for a 'marginal' rating in the roof-strength category--related to the likelihood of rollover injury.

All the other safety equipment you'd expect in this class is standard, including anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, front side airbags, and side-curtain bags, plus active front head restraints.

When changing lanes or backing up, outward visibility can be a bit obscured by the sloping roofline and thick rear pillar.

8

2013 Nissan Murano

Features

The 2013 Nissan Murano doesn't quite have the feature list of a premium vehicle, but it does have the charm of one.

The 2013 Nissan Murano doesn't skimp on features; whether in base S or top-of-the-line LE trims, the Murano comes better-equipped than many models in this class.

S, SV, SL, and LE versions of the Murano span a wide range of pricing and equipment, with the latter trims feeling like premium or luxury models--and priced that way. Power windows, locks and mirrors; climate control; and an AM/FM/CD player are included in all Murano models. The SV model has a dual-panel moonroof, seven-inch color monitor and backup camera, power driver's seat, automatic headlamps, Bluetooth, and USB and iPod connectivity, along with satellite radio. SV models also get a universal garage-door opener and an auto-dimming rearview mirror for 2013. SL models still add a reclining rear seatback with power return, plus leather trim and steering-wheel audio controls, as well as fog lamps and a heated steering wheel.

Options include a heated steering wheel; Bose audio; leather upholstery; a navigation system; Bluetooth; and a rearview camera. Newly offered on SV models is an SV Value Package that includes Bose audio, a power liftgate, and a navigation system. DVD entertainment is also available.

The luxurious Murano LE gets flashy 20-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, xenon headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, a power liftgate, keyless start, wood trim, and a garage door opener. Nine-speaker Bose audio, XM Satellite Radio, and dual subwoofers, are all also included, plus a Bluetooth hands-free interface, which is optional on a Technology Package in other models. But keep in mind that it stickers at up to $45k--and for that you could get an Infiniti EX crossover.

6

2013 Nissan Murano

Fuel Economy

Gas mileage numbers for the 2013 Murano are about par for this class.

With EPA fuel economy ratings of 18 mpg city, 23 highway (or 18/24 with front-wheel drive), the Nissan Murano is pretty much mid-pack. You'll have no problem finding better gas mileage in four-cylinder or hybrid models, although for a V-6 model the Murano isn't bad.

On the other hand, versus some other V-6 SUVs, the Murano's numbers look quite good, and we've noted impressive real-world numbers thanks to the CVT.

Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

1 Review
5 star
4 star
100%
3 star
2 star
1 star
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
April 28, 2015
For 2013 Nissan Murano

Our Platinum model is excellent

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Great comfort on the highway and a gas mileage that is better than most. We average 23 mpg on the highway over 7 days on the road driving to California
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
USED PRICE RANGE
$10,585 - $26,444
Browse Used Listings
in your area
7.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 9.0
Performance 7.0
Comfort & Quality 8.0
Safety 7.0
Features 8.0
Fuel Economy 6.0
Compare the 2013 Nissan Murano against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Nissan Murano?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used