By KBB.com Editors
For those seeking the room and versatility of an SUV without the boxy styling or ponderous handling, Nissan builds the Murano. Based on a car platform, the crossover Murano SUV features unit-body construction that allows for a more sophisticated suspension setup as well as a more rigid structure. The trade-off is less towing capacity and a loss of true off-road ability, but the benefit is a much higher level of on-road ride and handling. The Murano also features a number of cutting-edge technologies, such as a standard CVT shiftless transmission and one of the best V6 engines in the industry. The Murano's space-age interior styling and lofty price tag may not be everyone's cup of tea, in which case more traditional crossovers, such as the Toyota Highlander, may be better choices.You'll Like This Car If...
If you like a trendy look that's outside the norm, but if you need room and versatility, the Murano might be a good fit.You May Not Like This Car If...
The Murano's sporty styling will not appeal to everyone. The large rear pillar creates a big blind spot, the all-wheel-drive system is not designed for rugged off-road adventuring and seating capacity is limited to five passengers.What's Significant About This Car?
No major changes for 2007.Driving It Driving Impressions
The Murano's Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is "stepless," meaning it is without individual gear ratios. Under acceleration the engine remains at a fairly constant speed, in or near its most efficient range, while vehicle speed changes are handled by the continuously changing "gearing" of the transmission. As a result, the driver will feel no gear shifts and gains the benefit of efficient and exceptionally smooth operation.
With its strong 3.5-liter V6 engine, the Murano does more than just perform well in a straight line. It handles corners and emergency maneuvers with balance and precision, and will give drivers a feeling of sure confidence. Further assistance is available with the optional Vehicle Dynamic Control, which includes the function of traction control.
The smooth CVT transmission, available with a "six-speed manual-shift mode," adds a touch of sporting flavor to the driving.
Rear Organizer Tray
The Murano's rear organizer tray helps keep small items from being tossed around the rear cargo area.
The Murano's interior can comfortably seat five passengers and still have room for their cargo. The trendy, slick interior includes an expansive instrument panel featuring two deep storage trays that are perfect for storing maps, travel guides, snacks and the like. Rear seats offer excellent head and shoulder room, and can be reclined for those road-trip naps.Exterior
The sporty Murano stands apart from its competitors with a slanted front grille and headlamp treatment, big 18-inch wheels and a beltline that sweeps sharply upward toward the rear. Some will like it, and some will not.Notable Standard Equipment
The Murano's standard equipment includes a 240-horsepower V6 engine, CVT automatic transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), dual-zone automatic air conditioning, illuminated keyless entry, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, front and rear head-curtain and front side-impact airbags, cruise control, a tire pressure monitor, leather-wrapped steering wheel with illuminated touch controls for the audio system, 18-inch six-spoke alloy wheels and a rear wiper/washer. The SE model adds a manual shift control to the CVT transmission, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, rearview monitor and 18-inch six-spoke sport alloy wheels.Notable Optional Equipment
Options include Vehicle Dynamic Control, traction control, power adjustable pedals, heated leather seats, memory function for the driver's seat and mirrors, a power glass sunroof, 225-watt Bose audio system, four-way power passenger's seat, rear-seat DVD entertainment system and navigation.Under the Hood
The Murano is equipped with a powerful V6 engine teamed to a CVT automatic that maximizes performance, smoothness and fuel efficiency.
240 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
244 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/25 (FWD automatic), 20/24 (AWD automatic)
The Murano is loaded with standard features, which more than justifies its Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $28,400. All-wheel drive adds another $2,600 to the price, to an even $30,000. A fully-loaded all-wheel-drive SE tops out around $42,000. To make your best deal, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which shows the typical transaction price paid for the Murano in your area. Also, be sure to click on the Incentives tab to see what additional savings Nissan may be offering. Over a five-year period, Kelley Blue Book expects the Murano to retain a good share of its value, with front-wheel-drive models falling a few percentage points behind their all-wheel-drive counterparts.