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2012 Nissan Murano

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2012 Nissan Murano Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

As it was when introduced in 2003, the 2012 Nissan Murano SUV remains a step ahead of the competition. Where many manufacturers are just now trumpeting the efficiency of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Murano has always been equipped with the technology. And, where other small SUVs are moving away from the boxy and bland design, the Murano has always been a sleek and stylish trendsetter. The Murano crossover is packed with all manner of modern amenities. Nissan's response to the rapidly changing world of design, however, has left the automotive community bewildered on behalf of the 2012 Murano CrossCabriolet, an eccentric convertible version that appears to answer a question the market has yet to ask. While competitors such as the Ford Edge, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-7 and Toyota Highlander can all match the 2012 Murano for features and interior space, the Murano's driver-oriented suspension, slick styling and high-end luxury interior keep it one step ahead of the SUV still trying to keep up.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a crossover vehicle with plenty of space for people and cargo but that doesn't look like a rolling bread box, the 2012 Nissan Murano SUV is the logical choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If a low base price or fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine is on your wish list, the Kia Sorrento, Hyundai Santa Fe, or Mazda CX-7 is more likely to please. Those seeking a third-row seat won't find one in the 2012 Nissan Murano SUV.

What's New for 2012

For 2012, Nissan adds a new Platinum Package that brings 20-inch wheels and standard navigation. The Murano S models gain a new 7-inch monochrome screen.

Driving the Murano

Driving Impressions We spent a few days with the 2012 Nissan Murano and came away feeling really good about this crossover's abilities. Steep hills were no problem for the Murano's torque-happy V6...

engine, and the CVT transmission holds that torque at peak levels until you let off the throttle. The 2012 Nissan Murano's handling is among the best in this class, with excellent steering and brake response and a stiff suspension that keeps body roll and lean to a minimum. Unfortunately, that same stiff suspension seemed to cause our back-seat passengers to complain of a stiff ride that sometimes made it difficult to get comfortable. All agreed, however, that the Murano provided ample head and legroom for 6-footers, and the reclining rear seatbacks did somewhat help them relax. We were also very impressed not only by the quality of the Murano's interior, but by its available features that included a heated steering wheel, voice-activated navigation, a huge dual-panel moonroof and awe-inspiring Bose audio system. 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.

POWER RETURN REAR SEATS
No need to wrestle with the rear seats to get them back into the upright position; the 2012 Murano's available power-return rear seatbacks go up with the push of a button.

IPOD INTEGRATION
Auxiliary input jacks are decent for listening to iPods, but the 2012 Nissan Murano crossover 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.

2012 Nissan Murano Details
Interior

Where the 2012 Murano SUV really shines is its interior, not just for the quality of the materials, but in the execution of its design. Seating both front and rear is firm and supportive, and the texture of the leather coverings is as good as in any Infiniti luxury car. With the exception of the oddly placed controls for the traction control, heated steering wheel and power liftgate down by the driver's knee, the 2012 Murano's instrument panel is logically arranged and easy to connect with. Unlike in some SUVs, Nissan designers wisely avoided the temptation to litter the dash with multiple buttons and knobs. Handsome wood inlays grace the door armrest and center console on the LE trim, while all others receive tasteful aluminum trim that looks particularly fashionable when contrasted against a black interior. Placing redundant controls for the audio, cruise and Bluetooth activation on the steering wheel helps the driver keep control of the vehicle, as does the available voice-activated navigation system. Rear-seat passengers enjoy generous head and legroom, and can be pampered with such luxuries as heated seat cushions and a DVD entertainment system complete with headrest-mounted LCD screens.

Exterior
2012 Nissan Murano photo

After nine years, the Murano's basic shape remains unaltered. Although it has had numerous face lifts and sheet-metal changes, the familiar profile, with its slowly rising beltline that swings sharply upward once past the rear door, remains a staple of the Murano design. The windshield A-pillars are set low and angled back to create a sports-car-like appearance that contradicts the Murano's 7.3 inches of ground clearance, a decidedly SUV-like attribute. Fancy 18- and 20-inch alloy wheels look sharp and set off the Murano's sportier side without compromising its available all-wheel-drive (AWD) ability or fuel economy. All but the S trim models include front foglights, while LE trims are equipped with HID headlights. An available dual-panel moonroof allows fresh air and sunlight to fill the cabin, but if sacrificing respectable looks for pure open-top freedom seems sounds like a reasonable proposition, the CrossCabriolet's double-lined retractable soft top is sure to raise the fun factor, and some eyebrows.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Nissan Murano S crossover features a 3.5-liter V6 engine, Xtronic CVT automatic transmission, dual-zone automatic climate control, 6-disc MP3 compatible CD changer, auxiliary audio input jack, Intelligent Key with push-button start, driver's-seat lumbar support and a 60/40 split folding rear seat with cargo area-accessible releases. To this the SV adds a dual-panel moonroof, power front seats, auto on/off headlights, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, USB port for iPod, and Bluetooth. The SL trim brings leather seating, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, memory for the driver's seat, a power liftgate, 11-speaker Bose audio and rain-sensing wipers. The LE adds HID headlights, 20-inch wheels, heated rear seats and power tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Standard safety features on all Muranos include Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), and six airbags (front, front-side and side-curtain.)

Optional Equipment

Most options on the 2012 Nissan Murano SUV are bundled according to trim, so if you want rain-sensing wipers, for example, you'll have to order the SL or LE trims. The Navigation Package, available only on SL and LE, brings Nissan's hard-drive navigation with 7-inch touch-screen monitor, XM NavTraffic and NavWeather, Bluetooth streaming audio and a 9.3 GB music box hard-drive storage system. Some stand-alone options include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, mudguards, retractable cargo cover, illuminated kick plates, rear-bumper protector and roof-rail cross bars.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Nissan Murano SUV 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.

3.5-liter V6
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
240 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/23 mpg (Front-wheel drive), 18/24 mpg (AWD), 17/22 mpg (CrossCabriolet)

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2012 Nissan Murano Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 228 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

This is a great vehicle

By on Sunday, June 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "very responsive"

Cons: "A little heavy on fuel but worth it."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This vehicle is rated for having one of the lowest maintenance costs. I've owned three of these cars because I put on many miles per year and I need and want dependability and comfort."

20 people out of 34 found this review helpful

My favorite car ever.

By on Friday, June 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable, quiet, reliable, fast, good in snow."

Cons: "gas mileage is around 20 mpg, would like better"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned Mercedes, Audis, Mazdas, Ford and VWs. This is the best car I have ever owned. It is as fast as my Mercedes kompressor but more comfortable. The heated steering wheel and seats made a huge difference in the winter. It is a great snow car. I live in New England and we just had 2 of the worst snow winters on record. It is extremely reliable and uses regular gas. The cab is amazingly quiet and luxurious. I collect antiques and am able to fit large pieces of furniture in the back. I added a hitch and big tray bike rack and go into the country for off road biking. I test drove other cars in the same class/price range and there was no comparison. It feels like a high end luxury car. Love it, love it, love it!!!!"

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Dependable,comfortable,low maintenance,preformer.

By on Thursday, May 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Power, comfort, size"

Cons: "Wind noise, limited visibility through rear"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Very unique transmission, comfortably sized with ample storage and rear seats designed to provide more space, six cylinder engine preforms well. Well engineered to ride and drive well in all types of conditions including snow/ice (with proper tires). Low maintenance, decent gas mileage. The only complaint I have is wind noise is noticeable at high way speed, had it back to dealer, we were told everything was in order, seems like a door seal though."

12 people out of 33 found this review helpful

Love the Murano model

By on Monday, May 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "comfort"

Cons: "requires premium gas (more expensive)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my second Murano. I leased my first one and when the lease was up, I went back & got my current one. I've driven long distances with four adults and their luggage. We were all extremely comfortable. I hate to drive anywhere but I make lots of trips to see godsons. If I didn't have this car, I don't think I could make the trip as often as I do. I REALLY LOVE THIS CAR."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Own two and both consistently exceed expectations

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "Nothing"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Overall build quality; particularly around drivetrain, interior comfort and materials, as well as seat height make this Murano iteration one of the best manufactured crossovers available for the price."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love this car. Hope they make this model again.

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great!"

Cons: "Trunk space when top is down"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Hope they make this model again. Love it and would buy another one!! The price was a little high for a new car, but it is a great vehicle and a lot of fun. We get MANY compliments and questions about it every where we go since there are not many around."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?