The 2015 Nissan Murano is all-new this year with sleek styling and a posh interior. It looks decidedly unlike other crossovers, eschewing rugged, angular lines for something sporty and upscale. The Murano isn’t aiming to be your off-road vehicle with city chops. It wants to be your sedan in crossover clothing.
Crossovers are the new mom-mobile. They are great for hauling kids, groceries, and all the random junk you find yourself lugging around town when you have kids. The Nissan Murano is different from the rest. First, it doesn’t have a third row option so there will be no driving around with a gaggle of kids in the back. It’s got the size, so there’s plenty of cargo room with 32.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats or 67.0 cubic feet with those seats flat, just not the third row for more people.
That might seem like a problem, but it’s perfect. Those in need of seating for seven can opt for the Nissan Pathfinder. The Murano isn’t coming for the mom crowd, or at least not those with smaller kids. It’s for the mom who is done with that stuff and it looks the part inside and out.
It is not a typical crossover. Lines are long and curved with a more aggressive grille design. There are front fog lights, black roof rails, and chrome accents that give it character. This looks more fun and less utilitarian.
The interior is beautiful and definitely not what you’d imagine when toting small kids. Small kids destroy car interiors. It’s their primary job. The Murano is too pretty for that set. Sure, you could put a couple of kids back there, but the whole thing will be lost on them so save this until they’re past the point of throwing sippy cups and Cheerios all over the place.
This is the crossover that you buy after suffering through whatever you had when the kids were small. There is an 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support and a 4-way power passenger seat. The steering wheel and shift knob are leather-wrapped. Pearlescent trim gives things a luxury vibe that grown-ups will notice the minute they open the door.
The Premium Package ($2,200) adds in a power panoramic moonroof that brightens the interior and a Bose 9-speaker audio system with dual subwoofers which fills the car with rich sound. NissanConnectSM with Navigation includes an 8″ color display, voice recognition for navigation and audio, SiriusXM/AM/FM/HD Radio, and a USB port for connecting streaming devices. It’s all intuitive and easy to use.
Power for the Nissan Murano comes from a 3.5-liter V6 with 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque paired to an Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). It is very smooth and, unlike many CVTs, very quiet. There is no whine during hard acceleration and although it’s not a car anyone is going to call fast, it has strong pickup with plenty of passing power.
The smooth, quiet engine is complemented by an equally smooth ride. It’s a very controlled crossover with sedan-like manners and confident, solid braking. The sole disappointment in driving the Murano is that its looks are deceptive. Its styling implies handling and response that are snappy and quick, but it’s a reserved ride. Comfort trumps performance with noticeable body lean in tight, fast corners.
Again, this is okay for most people to whom the Murano will appeal. This is not an off-road beast, nor is it a performance car. It is a beautiful and incredibly comfortable crossover designed with an upscale feel. Those looking for the functionality of a crossover with all the comfort and style of a sedan will find the Nissan Murano an ideal ride.
2015 Nissan Murano SV AWD
Base Price: $34,220
Price As Tested: $36,420 (not including destination charge)
- Unique Styling
- Great Interior
- Smooth Ride
- Power Liftgate Only on Top Trims
- Handling is Almost Too Soft