No Third Row for Nissan Murano



Crossovers are all the rage, but while the recent rash of new crossovers — from GM’s Outlook/Acadia/Enclave trio to Toyota ’s Highlander — have gone for three-row seating, one crossover is avoiding the stretch to accommodate seven and eight passengers.


Nissan’s Murano won’t be joining the three-row crowd when it makes its debut this fall at the Los Angeles auto show and goes on sale around the beginning of the year. That, despite the fact that Nissan doesn’t currently have a three-row crossover, and its Quest minivan is expected to sag below 40,000 sales this year.


But for Nissan product planners, going long with the Murano would be a mistake. The Murano shopper’s a very specific demographic — more youthful and more urbane — and a three-row version would compromise that appeal. Instead, the Murano will stay about the same size, but will be reshaped and refined, following the same philosophy as the company’s recently redone Altima sedan. For three-row seating, Nissan’s traditional sport-utes will fill the bill for the short term.


Meanwhile, Nissan confirms it will drop the Infiniti Q45 for the 2008 model year as it tries to figure out what — if anything — should replace the full-size luxury sedan. This fall, Nissan will launch its new GT-R sportscar, and next month, its new compact crossover, the Rogue goes on sale.


Stay tuned next week for our full review of the Rogue — and keep an eye on our Tokyo coverage for everything on the GT-R.

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