2020 Nissan Murano

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Brian León Brian León Contributing Writer
July 20, 2020

Buying tip

Now that the Murano SV model includes more active safety technology, start and stop your shopping with that model.

features & specs

AWD Platinum
20 city / 28 hwy
20 city / 28 hwy
20 city / 28 hwy

The 2020 Nissan Murano is stylish and sophisticated, but its powertrain and practicality leave something to be desired.

The 2020 Nissan Murano is a stylish, comfortable mid-size crossover SUV that makes some compromises in the name of coolness. We give it 6.3 out of 10 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2020, the Murano gains more standard safety equipment. Features such as blind-spot monitors now are standard on the SV trim and above. That leaves the base Murano S light, but it’s a step in the right direction.

A slight refresh last year updated the Murano’s looks, but make no mistake, this is one of the most distinctive mid-size crossovers. Angular LED running lights, a V-shaped grille, a floating roof design, and curves in all the right places give the 2020 Murano a contemporary look, at least from the outside. The interior hasn’t received as much attention through the years, and though it features a big and colorful touchscreen, its materials and design feel dated.

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All Muranos come with a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 260 horsepower, and is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional across the range, but the Murano is neither sporty nor rugged, instead choosing to be about as comfortable as possible for a mass-market SUV. Absorbent ride quality and cushy seats make for a smooth ride, and though fuel economy is subpar at 23 mpg combined, the Murano is an excellent highway cruiser.

The interior fits up to five adults comfortably and has 31 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, but no third row is available.

Automatic emergency braking comes standard on every model, and the SV trim and above get a full suite of active safety tech for 2020, including active lane control, rear automatic braking, lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and more. Coupled with great crash test scores, the 2020 Murano is one of the safest SUVs on the road, though the IIHS still hasn’t rated its new headlights.


2020 Nissan Murano


Stylish outside but dated inside, the 2020 Nissan Murano turns heads like very few crossover SUVs can.

The 2020 Nissan Murano has sweeping lines and lots of bright details. It’s a stylish crossover SUV, at least from the outside. We give it 6 out of 10 here. 

Last year, the Murano got a modest update including new headlights and taillights, as well as slightly revised front and rear bumpers, so the 2020 model is visually unchanged. That’s OK in our book though, as the Murano wears its sleek look confidently, and features clever details like the angled LED running lights and floating roof design on the rear pillar.

The interior hasn’t been touched minus a new infotainment screen, however, resulting in a dated design with materials that feel as well as look last generation. If you prefer a head-turning look to a hyper-modern interior, though, Nissan's Murano is a good pick.

Higher-trim models add bigger wheel designs and glitzier details inside and out, but every version of the Murano looks upscale and interesting, especially in a strong color like orange or blue.

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2020 Nissan Murano


The 2020 Nissan Murano is not sporty in the least but provides comfort with aplomb.

Racy curves and an angular front end would suggest some sportiness, but the 2020 Nissan Murano is all comfort, all the time. We give it 6 out of 10 for performance.

Regardless of the model you choose or how much you pay, every Murano gets a 3.5-liter V-6 with 260 hp and a CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard while all-wheel drive is optional. The tried-and-true engine is a smooth operator under most circumstances, its rubbery transmission responses and lack of additional power are noticeable drawbacks.

Whatever semblance of sportiness that lives in the powertrain is cancelled out by a soft and supple suspension, but for long commuters and frequent highway drivers, that’s a good thing. The Murano’s steering, sound deadening, and suspension damping are all top-notch, though the V-6 grumbles on cold mornings more than others.

Towing capacity stands at only 1,500 pounds, however, so look for more capable SUVs if that’s a priority.

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2020 Nissan Murano

Comfort & Quality

The 2020 Nissan Murano is spacious and comfortable for four adults, but other crossover SUVs offer more practicality.

Besides its comfortable suspension, the 2020 Nissan Murano offers supportive seats and plenty of comfort, provided you don’t try to cram too much into it. We give it 7 out of 10 here.

As far as five-seat SUVs go, the Murano is among the most comfortable non-luxury offerings. It has room for adults and supportive front seats regardless of trim, and decent cargo space.

Cloth upholstery is standard and feels durable and soft, while optional leather (semi-aniline on the top-tier Platinum model) graces the most expensive versions. Both front and rear seats are superbly comfortable, and rear seat passengers get 39 inches of leg room and 38 inches of head room (40 inches without the panoramic roof).

While 31 cubic feet of cargo space is available behind the second row, the Murano is not as versatile as other SUVs that offer three rows or more cargo space, so consider other options if you intend this to be a family-oriented vehicle. The Honda Passport manages 10 additional cubic feet despite being smaller, and even the much older Jeep Grand Cherokee has more cargo space than the Murano.

Material quality is generally good, and near Infiniti-grade on the Platinum trim, but the Murano’s interior looks dated compared to rivals such as the Hyundai Santa Fe.

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2020 Nissan Murano


The 2020 Nissan Murano gets great crash test scores and offers more active safety tech than ever.

The Nissan Murano performs well in crash tests and has more active safety tech on most models for 2020. We give it 8 out of 10 here.

The NHTSA gave the 2020 Murano five stars in every crash test category minus rollover (four stars), and the IIHS awarded “Good” ratings in every category it tests for, as well as a “Superior” rating for its standard automatic braking. The IIHS tests headlights, too, but hasn’t re-tested the Murano’s new headlights.

Automatic emergency braking is standard across the range, but other active safety features cost extra on the base Murano S. The good news is that those features now come standard on the SV as well as the SL and Platinum, making blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, active lane control, a surround-view camera system, and rear automatic emergency braking available to more buyers.

One caveat is the Murano’s view to the rear from the driver’s seat. It’s hampered by thick rear pillars and a sloping roofline; we’d buy the surround-view camera system to shore up sightlines.


2020 Nissan Murano


The 2020 Nissan Murano ranges from well-equipped to lavish, but the best value lies towards the bottom of the range with the SV trim.

While the 2020 Nissan Murano is relatively well-equipped, it doesn't offer as many features as competitors. It's a 7 for base equipment, including a good touchscreen.

The Murano range includes four trim levels, including S, SV, SL, and Platinum. The base S model includes 18-inch alloys, cloth upholstery, two front and two rear USB charging points, and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth compatibility for $32,625 including destination charge.

The SV model is our pick, especially as it includes heated mirrors, power front seats, adaptive cruise control, and rear parking assist for $36,255.

Murano SL models provide a bit more luxury, including leather upholstery, Bose audio with 11 speakers, heated front seats, ambient lighting, and 20-inch wheels for a total cost of $40,775. The Platinum trim occupies the top of the range at $44,825 and comes with a panoramic moonroof, unique wheels, cooled front seats, a power adjustable steering wheel, and all the safety features available. It also adds sublime diamond-quilted semi-aniline leather seats which might as well have been pulled straight from an Infiniti.

All-wheel drive is available for $1,600 across the range, as are a number of shuffled packages for 2020, pushing the price of a fully loaded 2020 Murano Platinum AWD to nearly $49,000.

Nissan’s warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles is average.

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2020 Nissan Murano

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Nissan Murano is not particularly efficient at 23 mpg combined.

The 2020 Nissan Murano leaves something to be desired in terms of fuel economy. We give it 4 out of 10 here. 

The Murano’s CVT and V-6 just don’t generate high EPA numbers. Front-wheel-drive Muranos get only 20 mpg city, 28 highway, 23 combined. According to the EPA there’s no penalty in any area for choosing all-wheel drive.

A slightly smaller Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, by comparison, soars to more than 40 mpg on the EPA highway cycle.

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