Nissan is best known for delivering two traits across its vehicle lineup: quality and reliability. But it may soon become synonymous with two other equally important distinctions: comfort and class. Generally, these monikers are reserved for more costly luxury vehicles. However, with the latest iteration of the Nissan Murano, a mid-size crossover SUV that offers a fusion of space and efficiency to consumers that want it all, Nissan may be on the road to an altogether different class of automobile manufacturing. While the Murano can’t possibly hope to offer everything for everyone, it certainly comes close thanks to thoughtful styling, exceptional utility, superior handling, and a laundry list of standard tech and available extras, all for a very reasonable price.
The thing you need to know about the Murano going in is that it’s not a particularly sporty vehicle, and it doesn’t try to be something it’s not. Mid-size crossovers have become a popular choice for families for a few reasons. They’re more accommodating than sedans in terms of size, and they tend to handle better than the soccer-mom standby minivan. Also, they look a lot cooler. The Murano is no slouch when it comes to both performance and looks, but it’s not a sports car and it never will be.
Instead, what drivers get is a truly pleasant driving experience. Whereas minivans can be frustratingly sedate and sedans can be cramped for the average family, the Murano offers comfort and convenience, thanks to abundant head and leg room, a spacious rear cargo area, and minimal road noise. When paired with a continuously variable transmission and a 3.5L V6, drivers can expect a ride that is comparable to a luxury sedan, but a lot less stodgy. From kindergarten carpools to long-haul road trips, this car outclasses many of its competitors in terms of pure ease of driving.
But there’s more to love about this crossover model. Driver conveniences include thoughtful details like large side mirrors, a user-friendly touchscreen nav, a surround view camera, and an improved interface for voice commands. And the styling is likely to appeal to many buyers looking for something other than a cookie-cutter SUV. With a sloping hood that fades almost seamlessly into the windshield, sweeping side panels, prominent wheel wells, and a mild, graceful curve from front to rear, the Nissan Murano is like the automotive version of a high-end running shoe. And the warm, rustic tones that dominate both interior and exterior options are unusual, yet inviting.
The interior styling is also sleek and cohesive. Whereas many car manufacturers these days seem intent on turning their car interiors into something straight from the set of a sci-fi space drama, Nissan has adopted an altogether more simple and classic design that will make car buyers feel right at home in the Murano, and far less intimidated by the console. All in all, the Nissan Murano is something that most car buyers don’t actually know they’re looking for – a vehicle that blends comfort, class, quality, and reliability into a single, Zen-like, driving experience. And with a starting price just shy of $30,000 (anticipate slightly over $40K with all the bells and whistles), the Murano seriously trumps its closest competitors and even goes head-to-head with costlier luxury brands.