It's been 16 years since Nissan helped launch the Crossover Utility Vehicle segment with the introduction of its stylish Murano. Now in its third generation, the five-passenger Murano gets a mid-cycle refresh for 2019 that brings revisions to exterior and interior designs, as well as an improved slate of safety, security, and driver assistance technologies.
"We redesigned the exterior of the new Murano to have a big impact on its looks, especially with the more sublime front fascia and grille, and the rear quad-tip ports that illuminate its enhanced performance," pointed out Moira Hill, Nissan's lead color and trim designer for the updated compact utility vehicle. "Also of note are the improved lights with a new lighting signature and the lively, casual and chic interior."
The midsize crossover utility vehicle freshened exterior brings a bold fascia highlighting its V-Motion front end, and Nissan's signature boomerang-style LED headlamps and taillamps. Prominent glass areas join with a jet-inspired roof and D-pillars that appear disconnected from the floating roof to help visually lighten the cabin. Its stylish, sculpted bodysides and strongly curved rear fender stampings created an engineering challenge, but paid off with a stunning visual design.
Other critical details, such as the active grille shutter, fender lip moldings, rear bumper surfacing, rear tire deflectors, and integrated rear spoiler help achieve a 0.31 coefficient of drag that's on par with many sports cars, and help contribute to appealing fuel economy figures of 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined for both front-wheel and all-wheel drive models.
The 2019 Murano comes in four trims starting at $31,270 and climbing to $43,530. Each is equipped with a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC V-6 engine connected to an advanced Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and is available in front-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive ($1,600).
Our 200-mile-long drive along a stretch of picturesque northern California coast gave us ample opportunity to test out the plentiful power of Murano's V-6 and the continuously variable transmission that provides gearing. Although I am not a fan of CVTs, Nissan's engineers have done a good job of making it feel more like a traditional geared transmission. Also of note is its quiet cabin, linear steering and ride quality, which is butter-smooth as a result of its supple suspension.
The Murano's refined interior is an upscale "social lounge," that offers an inviting and comfortable atmosphere replete with premium materials and Nissan's three-cushion Zero-Gravity seats, standard dual-zone temperature control, and a "communication alley" that's created by the wide, low center console. The instrument panel features a 7.0-inch high-resolution Advanced Drive-Assist color display.
An innovative addition is Nissan's Rear Door Alert that reminds the driver to check for packages or passengers in the rear seat, while Intelligent Driver Alertness analyzes driver steering behavior to provide an alarm if signs of drowsiness or inattention are detected.
Murano features NissanConnect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an 8.0-inch color display, with multi-touch control that's centered between the outer wings of the dash.
Safety, security and driver assistance technologies have also been revised with the offering of Nissan Safety Shield 360. This suite of six advanced active safety and driver-assist systems incorporates up to four cameras and three radar sensors to provide input to a range of available technologies, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking.
Copyright © 2019 Motor Matters
|Base price||$39,230 (as tested: $42,789)|
|Curb weight||3,837 lbs.|
|Engine type||24-valve V-6|
|Epa mileage rating||20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway|
|Fuel capacity||19 gal.|
|Horsepower (net)||260 at 6000 rpm|
|Overall length||192.8 in.|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||240 at 4400 rpm|
|Vehicle type||5-passenger FWD midsize CUV|
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