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Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Nissan Murano - Review

PRICE : For 2015 Nissan Murano $29560

We've been impressed with the Nissan Murano ever since its debut way back in 2003. One of the first crossover SUVs, it stood out for its combination of stylish looks, roomy five-passenger seating, and power and handling characteristics that were more sport sedan than sport-utility. Since then, dozens of crossovers have followed from almost all automakers. That larger crowd makes it harder for the 2015 Nissan Murano to stand out, but this is still one crossover you'll want to check out.

Just as it did with the original, Nissan is taking some risks with the new Murano's styling. Bold and futuristic, the 2015 Murano's sporty and swoopy lines are highlighted by a "floating" roof that creates the illusion that the rear roof section is supported only by glass. Along with prominent chrome accents and distinctive winged headlights, the Murano brings a welcome dose of style to a class of vehicle that is still at its core about practicality.

There is still plenty of practicality in the new Murano, though. It's a little bigger than last year's model, and the added space provides more room for passengers and their cargo. Nissan's "Zero Gravity" seats also make their debut on the 2015 Murano. They provide great support for reduced fatigue on long drives, and in the Murano you get them not just for front occupants, but rear (outboard) passengers as well. All occupants are surrounded by quality materials and the latest in technology and safety features. Nissan's three-row Pathfinder might offer more room for a similar price, but the Murano is certainly nicer.

Nissan has softened the Murano's suspension tuning this year, biasing this crossover more for comfort than has been the case in the past. While the new Murano isn't as much fun to drive as before, the ride quality is certainly smooth and quiet. Largely unchanged are the Murano's 260-horsepower V6 engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT), but fuel economy is better this year.

That sole V6 might still be a small drawback if you want other options under the hood. Notably, the redesigned 2015 Ford Edge, which is the Murano's closest competitor, offers a range of engines that are either more fuel-efficient or more powerful. If you want some added off-road or towing ability, the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee would be a better choice. Or, if you're willing to spend more money, you might also want to look at the 2015 Lexus RX 350 or 2015 Volkswagen Touareg. Overall, though, we like the newest Murano and its mix of style, practicality and luxury.


The previous-generation Murano wasn’t exactly a beauty-contest winner, so the fact that Nissan put a more down-to-earth styling into the 2015 model is more than welcomed. The new SUV is obviously inspired by the Resonance concept ], sporting similar V-Motion front grille and boomerang-shaped headlamps and taillights.

On the other hand, the apron is taller now and the hood slopes toward the grille at a smaller angle, making the vehicle bulkier than the concept. The same can be noticed around the back, where the diffuser-like section seen on the concept vehicle has been skipped, although the distinct, deep-sculpted lines are still in place.

Overall, the new design is not overly spectacular, but the 2015 Murano is a massive improvement over the model it replaces.


The seats might not be the first thing you notice when you hop in the Murano, but they will leave a lasting impression. Nissan calls them "Zero Gravity" seats because they are designed to contour to the position the body assumes in zero gravity. Here on 1-G Earth, we think they are among the finest seats on the market. They are especially supportive of the lower and mid back, and you'll find them both up front as well as for the two outboard rear seating positions.

The rest of the interior is also impressive. While we're not really sold on the woodlike trim, almost all of the other materials are soft to the touch and high in quality. The overall effect is certainly upscale, and the new Murano's larger size gives it an airy feeling. The Murano also gets Nissan's latest touchscreen interface. It is called Nissan Connect and it houses the available navigation system and offers smartphone app integration via owners' smartphones. We initially found the system had integration for just one app (Google search) but other Nissan models offer access to several apps, so improved functionality is sure to follow.

When it's time to haul stuff, the 2015 Murano is up to the task, with 39.6 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 69.9 cubic feet available with the rear seats folded flat. Those cargo room figures are competitive with rivals like the Ford Edge and Jeep Grand Cherokee.


Price:$ 29000
Horsepower @ RPM:260
Torque @ RPM:240
Displacement:3.5 L
0-60 time:7 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:120 mph (Est.)



In an era when vehicle displays and controls deliver more confusion than contentment, the new Murano SUV's 7-inch customizable display flanked by massive, round tachometer and speedometer readouts and the available 8-inch multi-touch control display is a welcome departure.


With four onboard cameras, three radar systems and a computerized brain, the available Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection combined with Predictive Forward Collision Warning and Cross Traffic Alert creates a parking system in which the driver is the weakest link.


Flamboyant exterior designs, such as those for the 2015 Nissan Murano, can cut into interior space and usability; but that’s not the case here. Although this is a very eye-catching, different crossover on the outside, the automaker clearly used some restraint inside, as the cabin offers a lot of passenger space, reasonably good cargo versatility, and a quiet, refined ambiance all ‘round.

The driving position is just right, and the rather low-set dash should allow even shorter drivers to feel comfortable in this model, while there’s plenty of headroom above, even for tall drivers with the available moonroof.

We’re conflicted about the seats, for which Nissan uses the term Zero Gravity. Inspired by a NASA-measured ‘neutral posture,’ they’re aimed at reducing fatigue from long drives, by providing a more articulated level of support from the pelvs to the chest, through the lumbar area especially. While we agree that the backrests are very comfortable, they’re missing better support for the lower cushions, at the thighs. This admittedly long-legged 6’-6” driver felt like the lower seat cushions were shorter than in some competing models (like the Edge and Grand Cherokee, for instance). By the way, we actually prefer the suede-like cloth seats in S and SV models to the perforated leather, although if you want heated seats you have to go with leather.

In back, the same philosophy has been applied for the outboard seats, and we’re happy to report that they’re among the most comfortable, adult-size back seats in any vehicle—especially one without an all-out luxury badge. Nissan says that they’re its only vehicle with three-piece cushioning in back. These seats also aren’t at such a low height, as you’ll find in some rival models, so you’re at essentially the same height as those in the front seat and conversation is easy. Entry and exit is easy, too.

The center console has dual elbow rests, making it look at a brief glance like the console might have a dual-lidded design, like some luxury vehicles, yet it’s one large lid and console compartment. However, Nissan does redeem the space with some very useful lower storage bins down below, next to the footwells. Altogether, with the wide center console and the attention paid to comfort in the outboard rear seats, Nissan has termed the open middle ‘aisle’ of the Murano “conversation alley.”

One thing to note is that the middle position in back isn’t nearly as comfortable or contoured as the outboard positions; the Murano is best left as a four-seater, unless the middle position is to be occupied occasionally by children.

Entry and exit to the front and rear seats is easy, and at an optimal height. The back seat really does fold flat, and cargo space is more usable than you might think; while the rear of the vehicle looks like it tapers up top, it’s more of a visual trick brought on by the sculpted-outward rear wheelwell area.

One piece of important advice: While Murano models with the 20-inch wheels enjoy a slight advantage in the crispness with which they turn into corners, they also transmit more road imperfections into the cabin, without any ultimate increase in cornering capability or body control. Unless you live in a region with very smooth road surfaces or absolutely must have the 20-inchers for the way they look in the wheel wells (a bit better, admittedly), go with the 18s.


The 2015 Nissan Murano likely isn’t one of the stronger performers in its class, if you go purely by performance numbers. And there’s nothing all that leading edge in what’s under the hood. But the Murano has plenty of what matters to its target buyer: strong, confident, refined performance, all without sacrificing too much comfort along the way.

What powers the Murano is a version of what’s powered mid-size Nissan cars and crossovers for years—the 3.5-liter double-overhead-cam V-6, making 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired to the latest iteration of the automaker’s ‘high-torque’ continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), here omitting things like a tow mode or a low range.

Acceleration itself isn’t especially quick, within the Murano’s class, but it’s all that most buyers will expect—with reasonably strong pickup off the line and quite strong passing power. The Murano also doesn’t have the issue that affects a lot of its other CVT-equipped vehicles—sluggishness at lower speeds when you need a quick burst of power. Thanks to plentiful low-rev torque from this engine, it gathers speed quickly as the CVT lowers the ratio.

The CVT shifts with even more pronounced ‘steps’ that mimic gears when you’re accelerating rapidly but at more gentle acceleration it merely keeps revs in the very low rev range; on the other hand, full acceleration pegs it in the upper reaches of the engine’s rev band. And the engine is remarkably smooth, civil, and pleasant-sounding no matter what.

The Murano’s underpinnings are, as previous versions, very carlike—with a front strut layout and multi-link rear suspension design and a front subframe that helps damp out some of the worst road shocks while keeping a more ‘connected’ feeling with the road. And four-wheel vented disc brakes feel confident and well modulated.

Overall, the electrohydraulic rack-and-pinion steering has a good, relaxed feel on center, and it loads up nicely. The suspension makes some definite sacrifices in ultimate handling ability, in the name of comfort, but these are sacrifices that the vast majority of shoppers will happily make. There’s quite a lot of body lean in tight corners, but the Murano always feels buttoned-down and quite composed, with few if any secondary motions as the road turns rougher.

One thing to keep in mind is that models with the 18-inch wheels handle just as well as those with the 20-inch wheels—except for a slight bit more precision in quick transitions. With the larger wheels, you do introduce more road harshness as well.


The only engine is the familiar 3.5-liter V6 engine that offers 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. It has received a re-tuning for the new model, and even more changes were made to the Xtronic continuously variable transmission that now has new "D-Step Logic." A happy result of aerodynamics, weight reduction and drivetrain tweaking is 20-percent-better fuel economy than in the previous Murano at 21 city/28 highway/24 combined for both front-drive and all-wheel-drive SUV models.

3.5-liter V6
260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
240 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (FWD), 21/28 mpg (AWD)


The 2015 Nissan Murano comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, hill-start assist, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, active front head restraints and a rearview camera.

In testing, a 2015 Murano Platinum with front-wheel drive required 117 feet to stop from 60 mph, a shorter than average distance for vehicles in its class.

The SL and Platinum models add blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, as well as a 360-degree parking camera system that includes a moving-object detection feature that lights up quadrants of the around-view monitor and sounds a beep if people or objects are moving near the vehicle. Optional for these models is adaptive cruise control combined with a frontal-collision warning and mitigation system that can automatically apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate the severity of a frontal crash.


The 2015 Nissan Murano isn’t offered in hybrid or diesel guises, but against rival standard gasoline crossovers, especially rival V-6 models, the Murano is relatively fuel-efficient—a significant 20-percent better than the outgoing model, according to Nissan.

Thanks to a wide-ranging weight-loss strategy from the body structure on out, the Murano has lost nearly 150 pounds since last year’s version. The Murano has also had its aerodynamics finessed, and they’re significantly better thanks in part to its slightly lower, wider, and longer proportions. Its coefficient of drag of 0.31 (versus 0.37 before) goes a long way toward bringing those improved highway numbers.

Elements that help with that are rocker panels that are lower (actually helping in ruggedness and underbody protection), an active grille shutter system, fender lip moldings, and details in back that include bumper surfacing, tire deflectors, and an integrated rear spoiler.

Although the all-wheel drive system does introduce a bit more driveline drag, the difference versus the front-wheel drive version is less than 1 mpg (a rounding difference that leaves them with the same EPA rating). No matter which model in the lineup you choose, it gets official ratings of 21 mpg city, 28 highway.

And we saw plenty of evidence that real-world driving will return numbers in that range. In a 120-mile loop with a Murano SV AWD, with two different drivers piloting, we averaged nearly 24 mpg in a widely varied mix of road types and driving conditions.


By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal

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