Nissan Murano facelifted for 2012 – on sale now

November 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Love it or hate it the Nissan Murano has become a permanent fixture in the medium-sized SUV market and has just been facelifted for the 2012 model year. Nissan has upgraded the Murano with new front styling, new design alloy wheels, and improvements in specification.

On sale now, the 2012 Murano features a new grille, front bumper and headlamp design. New, multi spoke 18 inch alloy wheels are introduced and new design rear taillights, new silver roof rail design and the addition of rear privacy glass. A large, electrically-operated dual-panel glass sunroof is now added, covering almost two-thirds of the roof panel.

Inside, there’s been revisions to the instrument panel and central display screen improving functionality and ease of use. The leather seats are now heated for driver and front passenger and electric adjustment for the steering column has been added.

The BOSE audio system in Murano is now offered with a 2GB music server and USB and iPod input via the Murano’s central display screen controls.

Carried over is the electrically operated tailgate, which can be opened and closed via dash button or the key. There’s also power flip-up rear seats which are lowered by a handle but they now return to their upright position at the push of a button, located in the luggage area or on the dashboard. Continue reading “Nissan Murano facelifted for 2012 – on sale now” »

2011 Nissan Murano gets new look and diesel engine

July 16th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Earlier this year, Nissan announced plans to introduce a new diesel engine option for the very first time on its European market Murano crossover. This created a need for additional cooling airflow to the diesel engine and radiators meaning that Nissan had to redesign the front end of the Murano. So the distinctive looking crossover will enters the 2011 model year with a reworked front end sporting a new grille and a reshaped bumper with larger air intakes and different fog lamps.

The Murano diesel will use a smoothed-out version of Nissan’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine which produces 190-horsepower and a healthy 450Nm / 331.9 lb-ft of peak torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5 dCi engine returns a 8.0lt/100km economy combined and 210g/km CO2 emissions.

Euro market cars will come equipped with 20-inch alloy wheels, power tailgate, rear and kerbside cameras and a navigation system with 7″ touch screen, HDD 9.3 Gb music server, ipod, Bluetooth and aux connectivity combined with a premium 11 speaker BOSE system all fitted as standard.

Nissan expects the diesel model to prove very popular in Europe and will account for over 90% of Murano sales. Check back as we bring you details of when the 2011 Nissan Murano will be arriving in NZ.

Nissan Murano Commercial – So Far Ahead

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Introducing the future of the crossover. Here. Now.


Nissan Murano Commercial – Shift

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

A Nissan Murano drives slowly in a busy street


Nissan Crossover Commercial

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

An extra-ordinary commercial from Nissan. Murano vs Qashqai


Nissan Commercial – A Shift Has Been Made

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

When you think of adventure, think Nissan – A shift has been made. Featuring the Nissan Murano, Armada, Xterra and Pathfinder


Nissan Murano 2009 Review

September 25th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

nissan-murano-2009-fq2

“It’s got a face only a mother would love” a friend said to me while we gazed over Nissan’s second generation Murano. At first I thought he had a good point, but after spending a week with the SUV I realised he was mistaken. There’s more for a mother to love than just the Murano’s face.

When the first generation Murano was released in 2002, it was the styling that received much of the initial attention. It was not just aesthetically daring but also shunned the boxy ruggedness long associated with SUVs. For the new 2009 model the same design principals are maintained making it a clear evolution of its ancestor.

The Murano’s face is its most striking feature with a bold silver front grille highlighting angular lines that push back across the bonnet.  Gently rounded wheel arches host large 18-inch alloys and chrome trim around the lower edge of the doors match their handles. The window line swoops upwards at the rear to create a thick triangular D-pillar and give the Murano an advanced stance. Out back, vertical tail lamps have been dropped in favour of horizontal jeweled efforts and dual stainless exhaust tips blend function into the flamboyant form.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the Murano’s looks it has other attributes of note, including what’s living beneath the dipping bonnet. The Murano is motivated by a reworked version of Nissan’s acclaimed VQ-series petrol engine. It’s a 3.5-litre V6 powerplant that pumps out a healthy 191kW of power and 336Nm of torque. It’s a capable unit if worked hard and can offer decent acceleration from stationary considering the Murano’s bulky 1832kg frame. While the engine’s power is impressively usable its smooth, quiet nature is an even greater asset.

The V6 engine is matched to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT transmission and although I’m not a massive fan of CVT technology Nissan has done well here. The transmission offers almost seamless shifts and channels through smooth, linear power delivery. One small gripe with the CVT is that it often looks for the most economic ratio regardless of driver input that may be asking for more from the strong motor. The flip side of the CVT’s mellow nature is improved fuel economy with a quoted figure of 10.9l/100km combined.

All four wheels are powered by Nissan’s 4×4-i all-wheel-drive system which sends most of the drive to the front wheels under normal driving but up to 50% can be routed to the rear if needed. There is also a handy ‘4×4 Lock’ mode that divides torque evenly between both axles for greatest traction.

Head into the bends and the Murano is a competent handler with bodyroll being noticeably minimal for a tallish vehicle. Push hard and oversteer will carry the nose wide but this shouldn’t be an issue for most Murano owners. Speed sensitive power steering functions well particularly when parking, but a bit more feedback at speed would help promote a feeling of driver involvement.

The strut front/multi-link rear suspension helps the Murano stay nimble during B-road duties but is guilty of being a touch firm for optimum passenger comfort. Too often bumps and dips in the road are channeled into the cabin disrupting the general serenity achieved from the powertrain and improved noise reduction.

The Murano’s engine, transmission and 4×4 system are all top notch but the vehicle’s interior provides its strongest sensory attractions. Broad front seats, trimmed in soft leather are very comfortable and offer power adjustment. A broad centre stack houses tactile climate and audio controls and a high-mounted multi-function dial with a colour display screen. Brushed aluminum accents lend a modern feel to the mix of quality soft and hard plastics.

The Murano’s standard equipment list is lengthy and includes; tilt and rake adjust steering column, Bose six stack CD stereo, rain sensing wipers, auto headlights, push button start, intelligent key entry and dual-zone air-conditioning. An important standard feature is a reversing camera that negates the poor rear visibility caused by the Murano’s wide D-pillars and small rear windscreen.

Overall interior space is generous for all occupants. Cargo space is practical with a flat-floored boot offering 402-litres with the seats up expanding to 838-litres with the seats pushed forward. The luggage area is conveniently accessed by a power rear tailgate.

In terms of safety the Murano offers six-airbags including curtains, and Vehicle Dynamic Control, ABS braking and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). A full size spare wheel is also standard fare.

Once you look past the Murano’s distinctive face and overall polarizing styling what lays underneath is a competent, practical and comfortable SUV. Limited rear visibility and a hard ride unfortunately occupy the other side of the ledger. Bottom line is that the Murano isn’t perfect but it’s modern, well built, distinctive and has an excellent powertrain. So, if you’re not already tented in either the ‘love it’ or ‘love to hate it’ camp, take a closer look, you might just be charmed.

Click through to the next page for a full list of specifications

Price: From $60,900

What we like:

  • Equipment level
  • Smooth engine
  • luxury interior

What we don’t like:

  • Rear visibility
  • Stiff ride

Words and Photos: Adam Mamo

Nissan Murano (2009) – Specifcations

Engine

All-aluminium, VQ-series, 3.5L DOHC, 24 valve V6 with continuously
variable timing control system (CVTCS)
Capacity cc 3498
Power kW @ rpm 191 @ 6000
Torque Nm @ rpm 336 @ 4400
Bore and Stroke mm 95.5 x 81.4
Compression Ratio 10.3:1
Induction – Sequential Multi Point Fuel Injection

Transmission

XTRONIC CVT Automatic Transmission with 6 Speed Manual Mode
CVT Range 2.371 — 0.439
CVT Reverse 1.766
CVT Final Drive 5.173
Intelligent ALL MODE 4×4-i with electronic 4WD lock mode.
Includes Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS) and Traction Control System

Dimensions

Overall Length (mm) 4835
Overall Width (mm) 1885
Overall Height (mm) 1730
Wheelbase (mm) 2825
Ground Clearance (mm) 185
Track – Front (mm) 1610
Track – Rear (mm) 1610

Nissan Murano Ti 2007 Review

December 13th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

Nissan Murano 2007 fq

A friend of mine is a physiotherapist. We were talking about causes of back and hip pain and he said a big one is people sitting in an unbalanced position while driving. If you put too much weight on one buttock while driving (which many of us apparently do), this can lead to trapped nerves, muscle tightness and a twisted spine, which is all potentially costly in terms of lifestyle and fixing the problems down the track.

What prompted this conversation is Nissan’s Murano Ti. It’s a car that has been on the market for a couple of years, but apart from a brief drive I hadn’t had the chance to do a full road test. The first thing I noticed when I got back in the car was the overwhelming sense that you are sitting on a throne, casting your kingly gaze across the landscape. The seat is very wide and comfortable, and (as a person who has had injury-related back/hip pain), I immediately noticed how straight I was sitting and how comfortable and relaxed I felt in the Murano’s power-adjustable leather heated seats. The cabin has a huge amount of room, especially for the passenger, and plenty of storage — a nice touch is the expandable door pockets. A dashboard the size of a snooker table is sprawled out in front of you — so large, in fact, that you cannot reach the windscreen without sitting on the edge of the seat, seatbelt off.

Two of the seven speakers reside in this vast open wilderness, reflecting sound off the windscreen to give a reasonably good stereo image (a phenomenon also noticeable on Mazda’s CX-7) — the seventh speaker is a subwoofer to enhance the bass.

The steering wheel contains controls for the Bose stereo — a six-disc CD player/radio — and cruise control.

Behind the wheel, three yellow-faced dials give you the essential speed- and fuel-related information. The dashboard also contains a large black LCD with yellow writing that displays other trip computer functions and various vehicle settings. This part of the dashboard juts out leaving an awkward space underneath it that contains a rubber-lined tray.

The gear shifter is perfectly positioned if you would like to use the sequential auto mode to bring out the best in the Murano’s sporty pretensions. The Murano is marketed as a sporty SUV, and endowed with Nissan’s all-aluminiun 3.5-litre 172kW engine and CVT gearbox (similar in power and spec to that of the Maxima Ti), it’s fairly sprightly for its 1800+kg, reaching 100kph in just over eight seconds. The power and torque (318Nm) is delivered in such a smooth and linear way with a muted V6 roar via the four-wheel drive that it is virtually seamless. There is no shortage of grip and I was left wondering how often the VDC (traction and stability control) would need to cut in given the wide tyres and four-wheel drive. ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist complete the driving aids.

The Murano received a 5-star NHTSA safety rating and as well as seat belt pretensioners and active headrests it has driver and passenger front and side airbags, and curtain airbags.

Moving to the outside, Nissan unfortunately supplied the worst colour possible for a press car. It looks so much better in black. Nestled between the high intensity discharge xenon bulb headlights, the Murano’s ‘architectural’ grille isn’t the prettiest; it looks much better from the back with its dual exhausts.

It is a large car with 225/65R18 tyres and 18-inch wheels attempting to fill the arches. The rear window line swoops up to meet the roof almost in a teardrop shape — perhaps a nod to the name Murano, which comes from the elegantly sculpted glass art from the islands near venice. This is a nice styling cue, but doesn’t help at all with reversing, and our car wasn’t fitted with optional reversing sensors.

Our test car, the Ti, gets heated, power-operated leather front seats, electric sunroof and roof rails over the lesser-specced ST.

Practically everything is right about the Murano — it has a huge boot, plenty of power, it’s comfortable to ride in, it looks OK (but not in the colour we got), and it comes with the safety packages we expect. And I found it good for my lower back — perhaps the Murano is more ‘hip’ than I first thought.

Price: from $59,950 (Ti, as tested),  $54,950 (ST)

What we like

  • Smooth power
  • Supremely comfortable
  • Large and flexible loading space

What we don’t like

  • Reversing (you’ll kick yourself if you don’t get the optional Rear Park Assist)
  • In-dash screen and controls feel a bit dated

Words and photos Darren Cottingham