By KBB.com Editors
Nissan's Murano crossover SUV has always been a step ahead of the competition. It was the first such vehicle to offer a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which is a more efficient transmission that maximizes both power and fuel economy. The Murano also remains ahead of many rivals in the area of high-tech electronics, and increasingly important factor in many consumer's final purchasing decision. Of course, newer competitors like the Ford Edge, Mazda CX-7 and Kia Sorento now offer many of the same features, but the Murano's edgy styling, performance oriented suspension and Infiniti-like luxury interior place it in a league of its own.You'll Like This Car If... You May Not Like This Car If...
If you need three-row seating, the Murano shouldn't be on your shopping list. Those looking for a low entry price or a four-cylinder engine would be better off looking at the Kia Sorento or Mazda CX-7.What's New for 2011
For 2011, the Murano gains a new trim, the SV, along with revised front and rear fascias, new tail lamps, new 18-inch wheels and an upgraded 11-speaker Bose audio system (up from eight speakers).Driving It Driving Impressions
On the road, the 2011 Nissan Murano's torque-laden V6 engine made driving uphill seem nearly effortless, and the CVT transmission kept the vehicle at the correct RPM for the incline's duration. Rear seat passengers complained that, compared to their time up front, the ride seemed less comfortable. It was later agreed by all that the chief culprit responsible for their discomfort was the Murano's stiff suspension. There is ample head and leg room, more so than in the Mazda CX-7, and the reclining rear seatbacks make for a more comfortable seating position. Our staff reported the Murano's interior felt downright lavish with its leather-clad seats, heated steering wheel and awesome Bose audio, so much so that it was hard to remember that we were in a Nissan rather than an Infiniti. The available iPod adapter interface proved easy to use when scrolling through the menus and songs, but less helpful when looking for specific artists that appear alphabetically on the bottom of the list.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.