2012 Nissan Murano LE FWD SUV/Crossover (915)


This week we’re looking at the 2012 Nissan Murano LE FWD SUV/ Crossover.

The Murano is Nissan’s midsize crossover that received its first redesign as an early 2009 model after skipping the 2008 model year. First introduced as a 2003 model, Murano is named after the elegant sculpted glass art that comes from the islands near Venice, as a tribute to the dramatic exterior and interior styling. It combines the desirable attributes of a truck-based SUV, such as cargo capacity, ride height and available all-wheel drive, with the refinement, handling, and ride comfort of a sedan.

Crash-test results are impressive, but you’ll notice a limited rear visibility which is a notable drawback.

General Info:

Parts – US/Canadian – n/a

Assembly – Japan

Class  – SUV / Crossover

Cars – Altima, Altima Hybrid, Armada, Cube, Frontier, GT-R, JUKE, LEAF, Maxima, Murano Cross Cabriolet, NV Cargo, Pathfinder, Quest, Rogue, Sentra, Titan, Versa & Xterra.

Handling & Performance:

The 3.5-liter 260 horsepower V6 engine is powerful and delivers a respectable 19 mpg overall. The CVT (Continuous Variable) Transmission is recognized as one of the best on the market. Handling remains responsive and gave me a secure feeling.


The interior is stylish, functional and roomy with comfortable rear seats and easy access are pluses.

Fit and Finish:

Very good and typical for Nissan and Japanese cars generally.


Ok, so it is a bit pricey at first blush, but the ‘quality’ is in there and Nissan is perhaps the oldest Japanese made US import that has enjoyed a great REPutation for quality and carefree operation. Further, the higher price is in part due to the very complete list of standard features.

Conveniences and comfort:

This model includes nearly everything that is offered by any luxury automobile, most of which are not needed – that is if you’d rather save about $10,000 by opting for one of the competitors listed.

Consumer Recommendation:

There is a broad array of players in this segment of the market because of the long running love affair the world has with SUV’s. Lot’s to choose from is good news except that it will be a daunting task for you in select the best for your need. I’m sorry to say although I have test driven all, I’m rather indifferent with the exception that I would urge you to include the lower priced in the list here.

Why, because the lower priced brands noted here are new kids on the block, as with the Korean brands (Hyundai and Kia), or American brands hungry for a larger share of the market. Those lower priced brands are, in my opinion, the best bang for the buck in an uncertain economic world.                                                                                                                                                                                      Recognized Competition:

Nissan Murano $39,000, Acura RDX $33,000, Audi Q5 $36,000, Buick Enclave $35,000, Cadillac SRX $42,000, Chevrolet Equinox $25,000, Chevrolet Traverse $30,000, Dodge Durango $38,000, Dodge Journey $26,000, Ford Edge $28,000, Ford Explorer $29,000, GMC Acadia $33,000, GMC Terrain $26,000, Honda Crosstour $28,000, Honda Pilot$39,000, Hyundai Santa Fe $25,000, Hyundai Veracruz $28,000, Infiniti EX $37,000, Jeep Grand Cherokee $27,000, Kia Sedona $25,000, Kia Sorento $28,000, Lexus RX 350 $39,000, Lincoln MKX $40,000, Mazda CX-7 $34,000, Mazda CX-9 $34,000, Mercedes Benz GLK $36,000, Mitsubishi Endeavor $32,000, Nissan Cross Cabriolet $45,000, Subaru Tribeca $36,000, Toyota Highlander $29,000, Toyota Venza $29,000, Volkswagen Tiguan $32,000, Volvo XC60 $33,000.

Good News:

Powerful, smoothly quiet, roomy interior, nice fit and finish, easy entry / exit access and fair fuel economy given the power level. If price is not important to you, this car comes ‘loaded’ with conveniences.

Bad News:

Poor Rear visibility and with increased fuel prices many will reject it on that basis alone.

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter 260 hp V6 engine, CVT auto trans, front wheel drive, 20” aluminum alloy wheels, front side and side curtain airbags, LATCH child system, 4-wheel anti-lock power brake system, dynamic control, traction control, brake force distribution, tire pressure monitor, security system with engine immobilizer, 8-way power driver seat, 4-way power front passenger seat, heated front and rear seats, 60/40 fold flat split  seatback, leather, wood tone trim, leather wrapped heated steering wheel, cruise control, power tilt and telescopic leather wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise control switches, driver memory settings, 7” color display with rearview monitor, Bose audio system with CD and 9-speakers, auxiliary audio and video inputs, XM satellite radio, USB with iPod interface, Bluetooth, rain sensing wipers, climate control, intelligent key with push button ignition, keyless entry, power one touch windows and locks, dual panel moon roof, 3-power outlets, Xenon headlights, fog lights, heated power mirrors, power tailgate and roof rails.

Gas Stats:

$4.25/ Gal avg. March 23, 2012


for more information.

18 City and 24 Highway MPG


MSRP $38,300

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2012 – An Automotive Love Affair

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