The revamped Murano is part of Nissan’s bid to conquer the crossover market – it wants to create a family of vehicles with the Murano, Qashqai and Qashqai+2.
At the rear the family resemblance is noticeable. It has the same upswept door windows and vertically positioned tail-lights as the Qashqai, while at the front it has the original Murano’s
aggressive grille design.
It’s not just style that Nissan has worked on – fuel ecomony has been improved by 12% and CO2 emissions reduced by 11%. It’s still available only with a thirsty 3.5-litre, 256bhp V6 petrol engine though, which means claimed combined fuel economy of 25.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 261g/km.
Customers can benefit from scratch shield paint technology, which means the paint can be repaired under the influence of heat – simply pour hot water over a scratch and it disappears – a move which could help cut smart repair costs come defleeting time.
Inside, new features (some optional) include a nearside curb camera to aid parking, an upgraded audio system, and a fully-fitted DVD system for rear passengers. The technological wizardry doesn’t end there. The intelligent key can remember the seating, steering wheel and mirror positions, the rear seats can be folded or raised electronically, and the tailgate can be operated by remote control.
The Murano falls into the luxury end of the market and Nissan is predicting UK sales of around 800 a year.
Behind the wheel
The Murano claims to have an instant feel when you push the throttle. While it wasn’t slow off the mark, the automatic gearchanges weren’t as responsive as I would have liked.
But if you’re looking for a quiet and smooth ride then this has it – the sound deadening material Nissan has added, along with the renewed suspension, certainly seem to have paid off.
The car does have a luxury feel with its ruched leather seats and it’s hard not to be impressed by the gadgets, particularly the side view camera.
All this makes for a pleasant, if uninspiring, drive. The main problem is the high-revving petrol engine allied to a CVT gearbox.
Nissan is on a roll when it comes to crossovers and the Murano offers the luxury features which its stablemates lack.
However, despite the improvements in efficiency and the extra equipment, it remains something of an oddity in a market so heavily driven by diesel.