By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 8.3
Although the 2017 Nissan Murano SUV can faithfully carry out its duties as a family-hauling crossover SUV, its art-house exterior styling makes it different than anything else in the segment. Given the Murano’s roomy and comfortable interior, Nissan’s description of its midsize SUV as a “social lounge” seems apt. The Murano offers passenger space on par with the Ford Edge and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, yet its styling and features would seem more at home in a Lexus showroom. The Murano is refined on the road, handles surprisingly well for its size and offers up the latest in driver-assist and in-car entertainment systems. And while the Murano doesn’t offer a 3rd-row seat, we think given its size such a feature would be nearly useless.
If your car’s look is as important to you as your home, your wardrobe and yourself, Nissan’s 2017 Murano crossover SUV will definitely impress. A proven V6 engine and CVT transmission deliver excellent performance and fuel economy.
If you need room for kids, cargo, outdoor gear or the family pooch, you’d be better off with a larger 3-row SUV like the Pathfinder, Chevy Traverse or Honda Pilot. The Murano isn’t intended for off-road use, and its eccentric styling creates a rather large rear quarter-panel blind spot.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2017, Nissan gives the Murano SUV Apple CarPlay and expands the availability of its Driver Attention Alert system.
Nissan’s Murano crossover SUV for 2017 may initially stun with its exotic exterior styling, but it’s the way this midsize SUV rides and handles that sealed the deal with our...
... editors. From its precise steering to its assured brakes to the ease in which it would get up and go at just the slightest throttle input, the Murano fulfills the promise made by its seductive outer skin. The 3.5-liter V6 pumps out a healthy 260 horsepower, which can be directed to all four wheels if so desired. Handling the route between engine and wheels is Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission with D-Step Logic, a technology that mimics the shift points of a traditional stepped automatic while delivering the efficiency only a CVT can attain. While the Murano is not set up for off-road adventuring, its AWD system and nearly seven inches of ground clearance make it ideal for tackling deep snow.
The 2017 Nissan Murano’s interior is equally matched to its dramatic exterior, offering rich textures, soft yet supportive seating and a number of really cool features such as the 7-inch customizable display and available 8-inch touch-screen display.
PARKING WITHOUT PEER
With its tall ride height and narrow side glass, parking the Murano can be a daunting task. Thankfully the Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection employs four onboard cameras providing a full 360-degree exterior view, while three radar systems help avoid forward collisions and rear cross-traffic predicaments.
This is where Nissan put a lot of time and effort. There isn’t a straight line in sight, with big, sweeping curves, and even the surfaces that you know are hard appear to be soft. Evidence the Murano is intended for adults is found in the accommodating “zero gravity” seats at the four outboard seating positions. Choose the optional (and expansive) panoramic sunroof, and the interior is washed in natural light as if it were a back-porch sunroom. Behind the rear seat is over 30 cubic feet of space, and flipping the rear seat flat offers over 65 cubic feet.
You won’t miss the 2017 Murano in the strip-mall parking lot. Up top is a “floating roof,” leading the way is the “V-Motion” front end, at both front and rear are “boomerang” lights that wrap into the fenders, along the sides are curves so pronounced they presented engineering challenges in forming the stamping tools that make them. Aerodynamic details include a lower shutter grille, front and rear spoilers, rear-tire air deflectors, rear-suspension fairings and even a fuel-tank shape optimized for efficient airflow. There isn’t one square inch that isn’t artfully folded and molded.
Standard equipment for the 2017 Murano base S trim level includes Advanced Drive-Assist Display with a 7-inch screen, Bluetooth, RearView Monitor, Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, tilt/telescoping steering column, three 12-volt outlets, cloth seating surfaces, reclining rear seatbacks with center armrest, AM/FM/CD audio with MP3/WMZ CD capability and six speakers, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, speed-sensitive volume control, steering-wheel audio and cruise controls, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS), 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, a full complement of occupant-protection features and NissanConnect with Mobile Apps.
The Murano SV adds navigation, 8-way driver and 4-way front-passenger power seats, 8-inch color monitor with multi-touch control, remote start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lights and roof rails. Our recommendation, the SL, adds leather-appointed seating, 11-speaker Bose audio, Blind Spot Warning, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors and driver’s-seat memory. The Platinum level adds 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, climate-controlled front seats, heated rear seats, power-folding 2nd-row seats and a heated steering wheel with power tilt, telescoping and memory. Stand-alone option packages include Technology, Premium, Driver Assistance and Navigation.
A 3.5-liter V6 with 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque powers the Murano. The transmission is Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable automatic, with D-Step Logic. The result is a smoothness common to CVTs, but with the feel of a traditional stepped automatic. In operation, the 2017 Murano is smooth, quiet and silky and has plenty of ready response and power for any reasonable driving situation. The Murano is also available with either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) for those who must occasionally deal with bad weather and slick roads. Fuel consumption is remarkably thrifty, with both the FWD and AWD Murano models EPA-rated at 21-mpg city and 28-mpg highway.
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
240 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The 2017 Nissan Murano S model has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of roughly $30,600; depending upon options, a fully loaded Platinum version could be above $42,000. We think the SL trim, at around $38,000, would be a good recommendation and would include most of the equipment preferred by most potential buyers. Those prices place the Murano below such rivals as the Lexus RX and BMW X5, and somewhat more in line with certain trim levels of the Ford Edge and Chevrolet Traverse, but few -- if any -- are as outright stylish, both inside and out, as the Murano. Before heading to the dealership to buy your Murano, be sure and check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to find out what others are paying. As for residual value, we expect the Murano to maintain Nissan’s record of being higher than the average when compared to its likely market competitors.