The mid-sized crossover 2016 Nissan Murano with its mean mug and overall aggressive styling has been snatching stares since it was fully redesigned last year. Ever since the Murano shed its once anonymous looks and donned its new sheet metal, it can now stand wheel to wheel with a few of its more luxe rivals like the Lexus RX. Not only can the latest and greatest Murano snatch the attention of quite a number of consumers who drop dollars on premium rides but it will probably turn a few of its owner’s friends into bonafied hatahs.
The Murano is certainly dressed to impress from front to back, giving good drama coming or going. Bold styling cues are evident in its aerodynamic profile, lower height, striking sculptural lines, swollen fenders and overall butch stance. The Murano’s front V-motion grille, made up of spiked boomerang headlamps
surrounded by chrome, reasserts its familial face in a bold new way, while its blacked-out rear haunches accentuate a floating roof architecture.
Step inside the Murano and the sophistication factor immediately pops. The crossover’s interior upmarket build quality is present and accounted for with such refinements as a multitude of soft touch surfaces all around, nice fit/finish and plush seating. And speaking of seating, the vehicle is fitted with Nissan’s famed “Zero Gravity” seats that cush every tush (great thigh and back support) for hours upon hours of earthly driving time. The jury is still out though on the touches of bleach blond glossy faux wood trim on the dash, center console and shifter that looks good from afar, but is far from good, because it is plastic. The Murano’s dash is neatly laid out and comes with the standard NissanConnect 7-inch color infotainment screen accompanied by fumble-proof, clearly marked controls and mobile apps technology that supplies Bluetooth, a voice recognition system, hands-free text messaging and selected social media platforms. The step up 8-inch touchscreen has navigation and enhancements to the suite of mobile apps. MIA is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection technology but the 2017 models will reportedly have them in place.
Someone was thinking on their feet when they added a large and nicely bolstered center armrest in the five-passenger vehicle. The Murano also has ample space front and back for those vertically and horizontally challenged folks. Hoarders however, might feel a smidge gypped when it comes to the Murano’s rear cubes that come in at a compact-sized and stingy, 32.1 behind the second row, and 67.0 with the seats folded down.
Giving the Murano some gas is a premium-like feel all the way. Passing power is adequate. Braking feels secure. Gliding over road land mines is breezy. Overall, don’t expect snapback here as the Murano is composed, so driving it just feels comfy. Don’t get it twisted, even though the 3.5-liter V6, 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque Murano, offers a relaxed, hushed ride, it is agile and has more than enough punch to keep up with the road dawgs. The Murano also comes standard with front-wheel drive, and available all-wheel. At the pumps, the Murano is no lush. It returns 21 mpg/city and 28 mpg/highway which is better than most V6-powered competitors.
The 2016 Murano comes equipped with such standards as antilock brakes, traction and stability control, hill-start assist, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, active front head restraints and a rearview camera. The crossover earned a four-star overall safety rating from NHTSA. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Murano a top score of “Good” for its performance as far as frontal-offset impact side-impact, roof-strength and seat/head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.
The 2016 Murano is certainly wearing its newfound luxury status proudly and Nissan has clearly more than righted its past wrongs with the vehicle. However, the Murano will have you opening up your pockets and immo Louie V’s quite a bit wider. The Murano’s base S trim has a starting price of $29,660 and you can wind up quite a bit over $42,000 for the top-of-the-line Platinum Hybrid but even so, it is hands-down worth a go-see.
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