2015 Nissan Murano Platinum Review
Your crossover, supersized.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: June 26th, 2015
The Nissan Murano has undergone quite a transformation from the debut 2003 model. Originally released as a crossover, the Murano has done the opposite of what most SUVs have done recently; it's gotten bigger.
With the Murano, Nissan hopes to attract buyers looking for a luxury-level experience at a slightly-less-than-luxury price.
The Murano is based on the Nissan Altima platform (also shared by the Pathfinder), and its style has evolved in a way typical of current trends; it's built to look like it's much bigger than it is.
But Nissan has done more than mere puffing-up; the new Murano is actually a few inches longer and a few inches wider than the previous models. It's an unusually aggressive look for what is quite obviously a minivan in please-god-anything-but-a-minivan's clothing.
The Murano looks like a station wagon that's morphing into a crudely fashioned, fully robotic liger. The dominance of the massively large hood and unusually protuberant grilles is meant to evoke both toughness and regalness, and the fact that it succeeds either affirms its ground-breakingness, or confirms its pure wrongness, depending on your sense of decorum.
The mise-en-scene of the cabin is not so much conspicuous luxury as overabundant space; but the genius of the Murano is making you understand how essential roominess is to true luxury. That's not to say the material quality is poor; its plastics are price-range appropriate, but tastefully used.
Taste is a massively personal thing, of course; one man's Pei is another man's Gaudi. But as with the exterior, the inside of the Murano does an amazing job of defining space as it expands beyond its own definitions. The oddly faux-chrome receding dash level is curved in such a way that it becomes impossible not to imagine the design department having a great, self-satisfied laugh at the shockingly obvious visual references to a boat.
But a stouter vessel you'd need to hire Harland & Wolfe to build. The Murano promises a luxury-liner-like ambiance, and thus all pitches and yaws are fully absorbed, lest they cause you any discomfiture.
All outside noise is similarly re-routed to places unknown; anywhere but within vibrating range of your luxuriating ears. There's a good-for-its-class sound system, as well as those most vital of luxury appointments, the large full-color touchscreen and the panoramic sunroof.
On the Road
The Murano may look tough on the outside, but that's meant to intimidate other vehicles into ceding generous berth. As for the ride, one only refrains from describing it with references to feathers and clouds out of fear of clichÃ©, not for fear of inaccuracy.
There's no lack of power in this beast of a car; for all its visual heft it never feels leaden or hesitant. To the extent that it can even be tested in everyday conditions, the handling is impressively taut - this is an almost unbelievably effortless ship to pilot.
In all aspects, from headlight to headroom, the Murano exists to make those betrothed to lifelong domesticity feel like the royal family of Freedomland itself, and do it for a monetary pie-slice even working class families can afford.
The Murano should be lauded for its audacity, if not its subtlety or actual utility. It's beautiful in that way that pay-cable violence is; visually arresting, first and foremost, but very obviously the product of mankind's darker impulses.
The Murano is a purpose-built vehicle that succeeds in disguising its true purpose so well, it deserves a doff of the proverbial cap for the artfulness of its deception. It's not a luxury vehicle, but it feels like one. It's not an SUV, but it looks like one. It's not a minivan, but yeah, let's face it, it is. You might not be able to admit it to yourself, but that doesn't matter; the Murano makes damn sure you'll never be bothered to care.
Specs & Prices
Engine:Naturally aspirated V-6
Transmission: Continuously variable
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Power Output: 240 hp / 260 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 21 city / 28 highway
Base Price: $40,060
As Tested: $43,955 (incl. $895 destination)
Technology Package: Power panoramic moonroof, intelligent cruise control, predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking
Other options: Floor mats and cargo area protector
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2015 Nissan Murano, click here: 2015 Nissan Murano.