2021 Nissan Murano

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
December 16, 2020

Buying tip

Now that active safety gear is standard across the line, the Murano S strikes us as the best balance between value and equipment.

features & specs

AWD Platinum
AWD S
AWD SL
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
MSRP
$45,910
MSRP
$34,360
MSRP
$41,860

The 2021 Nissan Murano’s windswept shape still looks good and safety is strong, but it’s showing its age.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Nissan Murano? What does it compare to?

The Nissan Murano is a five-seat crossover SUV. It was one of the first of its breed, and it’s worth shopping against the Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Honda Passport.

Is the 2021 Nissan Murano a good car/SUV?

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The Murano is a good choice overall with a comfortable, well-equipped interior and lots of safety gear for the money. We give it a TCC Rating of 6.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Nissan Murano?

Subtle tweaks to the Murano lineup this year include more standard safety gear and a few trim level revisions. All Muranos share stylish lines inside and out, with a distinctive side profile and large available wheel choices. To boot, the Murano lineup has a broad range of colors available for shoppers willing to venture beyond grays and silvers.

Underhood, look for a strong but thirsty 3.5-liter V-6 that puts 260 horsepower to the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission. The Murano isn’t much of an off-roader, but as an in-town vehicle it has a comfortable, composed ride. At just 23 mpg combined, however, it’ll slurp down its share of fuel. 

At least it’ll do so in comfort. The cabin features all-day comfort from the plush front seats, and rear-seat riders have decent stretch-out space. Cargo room is just so-so given the Murano’s footprint, though materials are good all around.

Great crash-test scores and tons of newly standard collision-avoidance and driver-fatigue tech make the Murano a safe choice. 

How much does the 2021 Nissan Murano cost?

The Murano range starts at about $33,000 and can climb to around $47,000 with every option selected.

We think the best value is in the entry-level version. A Murano S wants for little and costs just about $35,000 with all-wheel drive. Synthetic leather and a big sunroof are optional extras that may make the SV appealing, though at that point we’d step up to the Murano SL at around $42,500. 

Where is the 2021 Nissan Murano made?

In Canton, Mississippi.

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2021 Nissan Murano

Styling

The 2021 Nissan Murano is stylish outside but its interior doesn’t match up.

Is the 2021 Nissan Murano a good-looking car?

The 2021 Nissan Murano got a light update last year with new lights, and it remains a sleekly-styled crossover SUV. Compared to more conservative rivals such as the Ford Edge, the Murano looks like a passing fad—but it’s interesting enough to score 6 out of 10 on our scale.

All versions have basically the same detailing aside from wheels, which get larger the more you spend. 

Inside, the Murano isn’t as fun. The dash is thoughtfully arranged with big controls up high, but it feels bland against rivals—and even fresher designs in Nissan’s own Altima sedan.

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2021 Nissan Murano

Performance

The 2021 Nissan Murano doesn’t try to be sporty, and that’s OK with us.

 

Is the Nissan Murano 4WD?

Nissan charges $2,000 to swap base front-wheel drive for all-wheel drive on all trim levels. Just don’t expect to go off-road. 

How fast is the Nissan Murano?

With 260 horsepower from a 3.5-liter V-6 tasked with muscling 4,000 pounds of SUV, the Murano is peppy but not especially quick. 

We award its point above average—for 6 out of 10 overall—to its comfortable ride.

The V-6 is smooth and quiet thanks to plenty of sound deadening, though we’re not enamored with the CVT, which can feel rubbery and disconnected at times. Passing power is just so-so, but the Murano has no problem around town or maintaining highway speeds.

The softly-sprung suspension lacks the air springs and adaptive dampers becoming more common on mid-priced SUVs, but it still rides comfortably enough to allow even the biggest wheel options to swallow larger bumps. 

The Murano is rated to lug 1,500 pounds, or a small utility trailer to a big box hardware store. 

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2021 Nissan Murano

Comfort & Quality

The 2021 Murano is comfortable inside with decent luggage space, but it’s not as roomy as it looks.

Front-seat riders are treated to some of the most supportive seats at any price point, and the two-box profile gives the Murano decent—but not great—luggage-carrying capacity. We rate the Murano at 7 out of 10 for its comfort and quality.

Those front thrones can be covered in cloth, a synthetic leather-ish material, or two grades of real leather. Try all before spending, since the synthetic trim newly available on the Murano SV will be the easiest to clean up. 

Rear-seat riders have an impressive 39 inches of leg room, though the optional panoramic sunroof robs them of two inches of head room. The Murano’s not quite wide enough to carry three across, however.

Cargo-wise, the Murano can swallow 31 cubic feet with the second row up right, which is smaller than many rivals, but it’s still quite useful.

The Muranos we’ve driven have had a quality feel inside, but the materials are more serviceable than plush even on costly Platinum versions.

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2021 Nissan Murano

Safety

The Nissan Murano comes standard with lots of collision-avoidance gear.

How safe is the Nissan Murano?

The 2021 Nissan Murano is among the safest crossover SUVs. Good NHTSA and IIHS scores all around elevate it to a 7 out of 10 on our scale.

This year, Nissan has made more crash-avoidance tech standard across the line. Look for automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and other features no matter how much you spend. The blind-spot tech helps compensate for so-so rearward vision due to the hefty roof pillars that give this SUV such sharp lines. 

One note: The IIHS hasn’t tested the Murano’s latest headlights, so we’re still waiting to see if they pass muster and help it score a Top Safety Pick award.

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2021 Nissan Murano

Features

A broad lineup ensures a Murano for every budget, but we hesitate from straying too far above $40,0000.

The 2021 Nissan Murano lineup comes in four grades with a few options. Even with that wide range, we keep the Murano to 7 out of 10 with points for standard fare and a big touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. 

Which Nissan Murano should I buy?

The base Murano S should be enough SUV for most buyers with its cloth seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, and newly standard safety gear. For about $33,600 with front-wheel drive (plus $2,000 more for all-wheel drive), it’s a good value among SUVs. 

The Murano SV adds rear parking sensors and power front seats, plus the option to add synthetic leather and a sunroof, but its $36,700 price tag is hefty for what’s included. Skip that version and jump to the Murano SL at around $41,100 if you want a more lavish ride.  

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Nissan Murano?

A Murano Platinum tosses in softer leather trim, navigation, a surround-view camera system, and 11 Bose speakers, but at around $47,000 with all-wheel drive, it’s priced closer to luxury SUVs with more cachet. 

The Murano’s 3-year/36,000-mile warranty is average in its class.

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2021 Nissan Murano

Fuel Economy

The Nissan Murano could use an eco-friendly engine option.

 

Is the 2021 Nissan Murano good on gas?

Not particularly. All Muranos are rated at a middling 20 mpg city, 28 highway, 23 combined. Those figures are about average for like-size SUVs, though the Hyundai Santa Fe checks in at 26 mpg combined and the reborn Toyota Venza’s hybrid powertrain nets it an impressive 39 mpg combined.

The Murano uses regular unleaded.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$32,810
MSRP based on FWD S
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6.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 7
Features 7
Fuel Economy 4
Compare the 2021 Nissan Murano against the competition
  • 2021 Ford Edge

    6.7
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  • 2021 Honda Passport

    6.2
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  • 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

    7.2
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  • 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

    6.7
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  • 2021 Toyota Venza

    7.0
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2021 Nissan Murano Pricing Insights

  • 2021 Murano includes safety features standard
  • Lease: From $289 per month for 36 months
  • Rebates: Up to $2,500 in offers
  • Finance: From 0% APR for 60 months + up to $2,500
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