2019 Nissan Murano

2019 Nissan Murano

Do you really need a luxury nameplate to get a luxury vehicle? It appears not …

From its 2003-model-year beginnings, the five-passenger Nissan Murano has appealed as much to buyers’ hearts as it has to their heads. Both intangible qualities continued with the tall wagon’s last major overall for 2015 and, four years later, have been amplified to a slightly greater degree.

Fortunately for Murano followers, Nissan didn’t mess too much with the basic design. The automaker’s trademark V-Motion grille is more pronounced, as are the boomerang headlights. The pods for the optional fog light have been redesigned and new 18- and 20-inch wheels (depending on the trim level) have been installed. The revised look adds a greater degree of separation from the more conservatively shaped seven-passenger Nissan Pathfinder and the smaller five-passenger Rogue.

Left unaltered is the Murano’s crisply formed sheetmetal that extends along the door panels. The fin-like hitch above the rear fenders also remains. It’s a design cue that other automakers have since begun to copy. For proof, check out the GMC Terrain and the Lexus RX.

Likewise, the roomy passenger compartment is mostly untouched, but the materials and trim pieces are upgraded for a richer appearance and feel. Those aboard are treated to accommodations that qualify as sumptuous, especially when the Murano is optioned with leather seat coverings (climate-controlled in front) and the Bose audio system.

The clean, clutter-free dashboard remains user friendly, and the standard 20-centimetre touchscreen is integrated within the control panel instead of being perched on top as it is with other utility vehicles.

Many of those competitors have also traded their six-cylinder engines for turbocharged four-cylinders, but not the Murano, at least not yet. Returning for 2019 is a non-turbo 3.5-litre V-6 rated at 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant delivers a healthy kick from at launch and the low rumble emanating from the exhaust is a reminder that there’s plenty of punch to propel the 1,820-kilogram Murano.

On the down side, the tow rating maxes out at 680 kilograms, which is far less than many competing utility vehicles.

Bolted to the 3.5 is a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Murano was an early adopter of the technology and the current version with built-in steps mimics the characteristics of an actual multi-gear automatic. It’s only when pushed hard that you’ll notice the rubber-band-acceleration sensation of the CVT. Why even bother with a CVT, then? They’re claimed to improve fuel economy. There are no steering-column-mounted paddles, but the floor shifter can be used to manually control the faux ratios.

Fuel economy is rated at 11.7 l/100 km in city and 8.3 on the highway.

The Murano’s all-wheel-drive system — standard on all but the base S trim — is certainly effective in slippery conditions. It also reduces the natural tendency of the vehicle to continue in a straight line when turning (called understeer).

At a starting price of $34,100 (including destination charges), the price-leader Murano S comes with the usual assortment of basic content plus dual-zone climate control, emergency braking and heated front seats. A drowsy-driver alert is standard as is a rear-door alert that warns if traffic is approaching from behind when the rear passengers are attempting to exit.

At the top of the trim spectrum, the $47,800 Platinum is loaded with diamond-quilted leather seats (heated in front), dual glass roof panels and a 360-degree around-view monitor. It’s also fitted with virtually every active-safety technology that Nissan offers, including traffic-sign recognition, lane-departure warning and intervention, and a system that automatically applies the brakes if a person, vehicle or object is in your way when backing up.

Ultimately, though, it’s the stylish appearance and exemplary comfort and road manners that have been the key selling points from the Murano’s earliest beginnings.

What you should know: 2019 Nissan Murano

Type: Four-door, front- /all-wheel-drive midsize utility vehicle

Engine: (h.p.): 3.5-litre DOHC V-6 (260)

Transmission: Continuously variable (CVT)

Market position: Luxury brands are going down market with their utility offers, while companies such as Nissan appear to be going up. The Murano offers an entry-luxury experience without a matching sticker price.

Points: Mild makeover improves on an already first-rate design. • Interior appointments have also improved in style and content. • Standard V-6 performance is average in class, but it is relatively easy on gas. • Wide range of standard and available active-safety tech. • A solid performer in most weather conditions and over a range of road surfaces.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (opt.); active cruise control (opt.); emergency braking (std.); drowsy driver alert (opt.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 8.3/11.7; Base price (incl. destination) $34,100

BY COMPARISON

Chevrolet Blazer

Base price: $37,100

New 2019 vehicle revives a name from the past in a modern package.

Jeep Grand Cherokee AWD

Base price: $40,500

Popular utility available with a gasoline or turbo-diesel V-6, even a 707-h.p. V-8.

Honda Passport AWD

Base price: $44,000

Newly revived brand is based on the larger Pilot. Both use the same V-6.

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The continuously variable transmission (CVT) has a number of steps to simulate the driving characteristics of a conventional automatic transmission with separate gear ratios. Although a CVT doesn’t need shifting, per se, the Murano has a manual mode that works via the shifter. PHOTO: NISSAN

The continuously variable transmission (CVT) has a number of steps to simulate the driving characteristics of a conventional automatic transmission with separate gear ratios. Although a CVT doesn’t need shifting, per se, the Murano has a manual mode that works via the shifter. PHOTO: NISSAN

The Platinum trim level is highlighted by the quilted-leather seat covers. Not seen here is the dual-panel moonroof and the crash-preventing/mitigating active-safety technology standard with this model. PHOTO: NISSAN

The Platinum trim level is highlighted by the quilted-leather seat covers. Not seen here is the dual-panel moonroof and the crash-preventing/mitigating active-safety technology standard with this model. PHOTO: NISSAN

Regardless of trim level, the inside of the Murano is a pretty cushy place. Standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control and a 20-centimetre display. PHOTO: NISSAN

Regardless of trim level, the inside of the Murano is a pretty cushy place. Standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control and a 20-centimetre display. PHOTO: NISSAN

Just Posted

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Photo submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Crofton

Residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a “substantial seizure” according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
OPINION: School police liaison programs help keep kids and community safe

School liaison programs help build trust between youth and police, Duck Paterson writes

After many years of hard work, the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary completed its expansion and earned a VIREB commercial building award in the process. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith Thrift Store wins VIREB commercial building award for best renovation

The renovated space was unveiled on November 14, 2020

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Black bear tranquillized, being relocated by conservation officers

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read