The Nissan Murano was one of the first mid-size crossovers to hit the streets, back in 2003. It's been a sales star--but so have the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Chevy Equinox. Can this new 2015 Nissan Murano make you forget all about those other excellent utes?
The first thing you’re going to notice about the new Murano is its flamboyant shape. It's no box on wheels: the Murano has a sharp grille, boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights, and expressive creases and curves. It's more like a concept car than a mainstream family appliance.
That's less true inside. The hooded gauges bring a sporty touch, and the control layout is easy to use--it has real hard buttons for all the main controls. You won’t find any woodgrain anywhere in the lineup, and there's some really pretty trim on the options list.
There’s plenty of space in front, and the driving position is just right, with plenty of headroom, even for tall drivers, even with the available moonroof. We're on the fence with these front seats, though. They are comfortable, but they could use better support and more length in the lower cushions. On the flip side, the back seats might be the most comfortable in any crossover, less so in the middle seat.
The back seats fold down and cargo space is more generous than it seems, despite the taper toward the roofline. With 39.6 cubic feet of storage behind the back seats, the Murano's on par with the Ford Edge and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.
Under the hood of the 2015 Nissan Murano you won’t find any surprises. The sole powertrain is Nissan’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 260 horsepower. It’s paired to a CVT, and sends power to either the front or all four wheels. No matter which model you choose you’re looking at EPA ratings of 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.
Piloting the new Murano isn’t a chore. The CVT is among the best on the market, thanks to pronounced ‘steps’ that mimic gears while you’re rapidly accelerating. The Murano is still very carlike: The steering has good on-center feel to it, and the suspension makes some sacrifices in handling in the name of comfort, but they are sacrifices that are worthwhile in this segment. One thing to keep in mind is the available 20-inch wheels do introduce a bit more road noise into the cabin. We prefer the 18s.
The new Murano hasn’t been crash-tested yet, but you’ll find the usual array of safety features including all the airbags you could want, stability control, and ABS. If you want features like blind spot monitors, surround-view cameras, or a forward collision warning system, you’ll have to pony up for the SL or Platinum models.
The 2015 Murano starts from about $30,000 and comes standard with a power driver seat, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth. Our Murano SV is priced at just over $35,000, and has remote start, NissanConnect with Navigation and mobile apps, LED daytime running lights, and fog lights. Load up a Platinum model and you’ll be staring at a bill of nearly $46,000.
So what’s the bottom line with the new 2015 Nissan Murano? It has impressive ride comfort, a quiet cabin, and uncommonly comfortable seating for those back. It’s a great pick for those who have traveling companions.