2012 Nissan Murano Review

A couple of weeks ago, my friends at Nissan hooked me up with a 2012 Nissan Murano. I must admit that when I first found out about the vehicle, I wasn’t very excited to drive it. However, when the day arrived, I was impressed by the SUV’s youthful looks. To me, the Murano always felt like a “soccer mom’s SUV.” After driving it for a week, I have to say, not anymore!

Performance:
The 2012 Nissan Murano is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces 260 horsepower @ 6,000rpm and 240 lb-ft torque @ 4,000rpm. Don’t be fooled by it’s looks, as the Murano has more than enough power to compete with the likes of the Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX and the Mazda CX-7. The 260 horsepower is more than adequate, as I had no problem passing someone when I needed to. This engine is mated to a CVT and a choice of the standard front-wheel drive or an available all-wheel-drive system. The Murano’s fuel economy is rated at 11.7/city and 8.5/highway. Its not as big of a gas guzzler as the G37, but it still drinks a lot of fuel. A perk is that unlike a lot of other vehicle’s in the Nissan / Infiniti family, this cross-over doesn’t need premium fuel.

Exterior:
The Murano’s look has changed ever-so-slightly over the past couple of years. The addition of LED tail lights to the 2012 model gives the vehicle an sophisticated look while also giving it better visibility on the roads. The xenon headlamps are some of the brightest I’ve seen. The LE Platinum edition we drove also came equipped with 20″ tires and some of the nicest stock rims I’ve seen in quite some time. The Murano has similiar lines to the Rogue, but is obviously much larger and thus in a different class.

Interior:
The Murano’s interior is very similar to the rest of the Nissan family. It has a very clean look and is easy to navigate. The bolstered leather seats are 8-way adjustable and very comfortable. There would be no complaints on a long road trip. One of the nicest features – in my opinion – is the dual-panel moonroof. The LE Platinum Edition also came with dual-climate control, front and rear heated seats, DVD navigation system, 9-speaker premium Bose audio system, heated steering wheel and 1-touch up/down windows. The navigation system was easy to use and was fairly up-to-date. The rear view camera system is also a great feature, especially for an SUV that has poor rear visibility. The leather-wrapped heated steering-wheel is fantastic on a cold winter morning! I found myself using the feature quite frequently throughout the week.

Technology:

As mentioned above, the Murano LE Platinum Edition is loaded with features. Being a music buff, I’m a big fan of the premium Bose audio system. The steering-wheel controls allow you to keep your eyes on the road. The vehicle also came equipped with Sirius-XM Satellite Radio, which is usually included of the first 6-months of your lease or finance. The 9.3GB hard drive is one of my favourite features as it allows you to do away with CD’s as all your music is stored in the hard drive. You can also stream music wiressly off your iPod or iPhone. The bluetooth technology is top-notch, as it allows you to load your phone book into the hard drive system and make calls through a voice-activated system.

Critiques:

As I mentioned briefly, the rear visability on the Murano is poor. The rearview camera does help. However, it’s natural to look around at your surroundings before making a move. The drive is smooth, yet rather tame. Despite that minor issues, I enjoyed the Murano and would recommend it to families and driving enthusiasts alike!