KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/14/2013
As it did when introduced over a decade ago, the 2014 Nissan Murano SUV offers trend-setting looks and features that others are just beginning to implement. The Murano continues to buck the blocky-SUV style in favor of a rounded, organic shape. As it has from the start, this 5-passenger carryall uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT), a setup that tends to deliver better fuel economy than traditional automatics. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the Nissan Murano has a strong V6 engine and a driver-oriented suspension that help set it apart from competitors such as the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Chevrolet Equinox. Another Murano distinction is the CrossCabriolet, a 4-passenger convertible that's unique in this class.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a crossover SUV that has sports-car styling, nimble handling, and room for people and cargo, the 2014 Nissan Murano is a tempting choice. If you're tempted by the CrossCabriolet version, well, let's just say that you'll stand out.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If miserly mpg, a conventional automatic transmission or 3rd-row seats are among your SUV priorities, the 2014 Murano may not be for you. Vehicles like the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Kia Sorento have higher mpg ratings and lower starting prices, while others – the Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander – offer 3-row seating.
What's New for 2014
Aside from a CrossCabriolet price reduction, the Murano is basically unchanged for 2014. Muranos with a tinted bronze exterior finish offer a new black interior option, and the CrossCabriolet adds new colors and a new 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheel.
We are impressed overall with the Nissan Murano's road manners. The SUV's stout V6 easily tackles hills, and its CVT automatic transmission holds torque at peak levels until you let off the throttle. The Murano's handling is on par with the best in its class. Steering and brake response are excellent, and a stiff suspension minimizes body roll in cornering and quick transitions. On the flip side, that stiff suspension can translate to a rougher ride on patchy pavement. Rear passengers may find it difficult to get comfortable, though the reclining seats help. The foregoing applies to the conventional Murano. The CrossCabriolet is heavier and not nearly as nimble as the conventional hardtop versions.
POWER-RETURN REAR SEATS
In addition to folding with the pull of a lever, in SL and LE trims the Murano's 60/40 split rear seats have a power-return feature that automatically brings them back up. Instead of arm wrestling with upholstery and seatbacks, all you have to do is press a button.
Vehicles in this class are all about utility, and this optional feature adds to the Murano's usefulness. Increasingly common in SUVs, the power rear hatch makes loading and unloading easier, and also keeps hands clean – no need to put both hands on dirty sheet metal to close the gate.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…