By KBB.com Editors
Fresh from its complete makeover last year, the 2010 Nissan Murano joins the crossover utility vehicle market with a sharp new design, an improved powertrain and new standard and optional technological features. Similar in size and standard equipment to the Mazda CX-7 and Ford Edge, the Murano has much to offer with its revised, more powerful engine and a lower price. Although the new Murano is still roughly the same size as the first generation and still lacks a third row seat, it does offer a level of interior sophistication bordering on Infiniti-grade luxury, something many of its competitors can't claim.You'll Like This Car If... You May Not Like This Car If...
The 3.5-liter V6 has plenty of power, but the Murano still lacks the sporty feel that can be found in the turbocharged Mazda CX-7. Also, the CVT transmission lacks the manual-shift mode of the previous generation.What's New for 2010
For 2010, Nissan's Intelligent Key keyless entry and start is made standard, while the SL trim gains roof rails and a security system. Murano LE models now features a standard dual panel sunroof and can be ordered for the first time with front-wheel drive.Driving It Driving Impressions
On the road, the 2010 Nissan Murano felt comfortable and lavish with its leather-clad seats, so much so that it was hard to remember that we were in a Nissan rather than an Infiniti. The V6's torque made driving uphill seem nearly effortless, and the CVT transmission kept it at the correct RPM for the incline. Using the iPod adapter, the interface was easy to use for scrolling through the menus and songs, but proved difficult when looking for specific artists that are alphabetically on the bottom of the list. For the rear-seat passengers the ride seemed less comfortable, as the bounciness of the suspension could be felt more. There is ample head and leg room, more so than in the Mazda CX-7, and the reclining rear seatbacks make for more comfortable seating positions.Favorite Features
Power Return Rear Seats
No need to wrestle with the rear seats in order to get them back into the upright position; the available power-return rear seatbacks go up with the push of a button.
Auxiliary input jacks are decent for listening to iPods, but the Nissan Murano also has an adapter that makes controlling your iPod through the factory radio easy, enabling you to keep your eyes on the road more when skipping between artists or songs.
Interior features on the 2010 Nissan Murano include a wide center console, an elegant instrument panel design clad in wood or real aluminum accents, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button ignition, available power-return rear seatbacks and fold-away cargo divider. Keen eyes will notice the new steering wheel design, traditional shifter pattern, available leather-fitted dashboard and gathered-leather seats and door panels.Exterior
The 2010 Nissan Murano retains the same overall shape as the previous generation, but with the addition of some sharpened styling cues. The exterior features include wide projector headlights, horizontal LED taillights, a distinctive grille, revised front and rear fascias, larger fender openings to house the standard 18- or 20-inch wheels and dual chrome exhaust tips. The rising belt line sweeping into an upturned rear quarter window may look cool, but it forms a wide D-pillar that creates a big blind spot.
The 2010 Nissan Murano comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with traction control, Brake Assist, front and rear stabilizer bars, speed-sensitive power steering, push button ignition, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 18- inch wheels and an AM/FM six-disc sound system with six speakers and auxiliary input jack. The SL trim adds power-return rear seatbacks, an eight-way power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lights and illuminated steering wheel audio controls. The LE brings a dual-panel power moonroof, 20-inch wheels, dual heated outside mirrors, power liftgate, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power driver's seat lumbar support, four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, leather seating surfaces and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with dual subwoofers.Notable Optional Equipment
Some options to consider for the 2010 Nissan Murano are leather seats, a power liftgate, Bose audio system, a hard drive-based navigation system, dual-panel moonroof, iPod adapter and a rear DVD system with a big nine-inch screen and wireless headphones. Order the Premium Package and you get a seven-inch color monitor, rearview camera and Bose audio, while the Technology Package brings bi-xenon headlamps, rain sensing wipers, a power liftgate and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.
The Murano offers only one engine: a 3.5-liter V6 with Continuous Valve Timing Control and Nissan Variable Induction Control. This strong performer is linked to Nissan's newest Xtronic CVT transmission, which provides even power distribution whenever it's needed and contributes to the Murano's impressive 3,500-pound tow rating.
265 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/23
The 2010 Nissan Murano S has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price starting around $29,000; $30,500 with all-wheel drive. The LE starts closer to $37,000 and tops out around $43,500 fully loaded. Real world transaction prices may vary greatly, so be sure to check out the Fair Purchase Price before heading to the dealership. As for resale, we expect the Murano to hold excellent five-year residual values, better than the Mazda CX-7, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Edge and right in the same range as the Toyota Highlander.