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#3

in 2011 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $16,556 - $24,270
Original MSRP: $29,290 - $39,900
MPG: 18 City / 23 Hwy
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2011 Nissan Murano Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Nissan Murano features a powertrain that reviewers love, and sporty handling that they say the competition just can’t match.

  • "Murano's based on the redesigned Altima sedan...and that's a nifty foundation. Delivers good handling and a confident ride, among other advantages." -- USA Today
  • "No doubt the combination of these chassis upgrades and a new predictive (not reactive) all-wheel-drive system (first introduced by the Nissan Rogue) contribute to the Murano's genuine agility and overall feel of predictability." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

Almost every reviewer praises the Nissan Murano's 3.5-liter 260-horsepower V6 engine. Most also like its Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), saying that it's smooth and responsive.

According to the EPA, both AWD and FWD models should achieve 18/23 mpg city/highway. This makes the Murano one of the more fuel-efficient vehicles in its class. 

  • "One of the quicker 6-cylinder midsize SUVs, Murano has few peers for smooth throttle response around town and in hilly terrain." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The car steps off the line smartly enough, recording a 0-to-60-mph time of 7.2 seconds, which is above average for its class and 0.3 second quicker than the previous model." -- Car and Driver
  • "Nissan's 3.5-liter V-6 is a champ. Though tuned for smoothness in the Murano, rather than the squealing delight it provokes in some other models, it slings and zings the two-ton SUV as your right foot requests." -- USA Today
  • "Plant your right foot, and this crossover scoots off the line. Though the motor's torque peak has only risen by a few lb-ft. to 248, the Murano seems to have much more punch down low." -- Popular Mechanics

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say that the traditional model of the 2011 Nissan Murano is one of the best-handling SUVs in the class. But, if you want an even sportier driving experience and more cash in your pocket, check out the  Mazda CX-7.

However, reviewers say that the Murano CrossCabriolet has handling that's simply horrendous. They mention unresponsive steering, poor road grip, and has more than its fair share of body lean thanks to a high center of gravity.

  • "The ride is well controlled and is abrupt only on sharp potholes and badly broken pavement. Murano is reassuringly stable in highway-speed cruising. There is little discernible difference in ride quality among models." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Throttle response is noticeably quicker than in the previous crossover, and even though Nissan has successfully made the ride more comfortable, little of its handling prowess was sacrificed in the process. For those who like their crossovers sporty, this one's still a blast on a canyon road." -- Motor Trend
  • "The ride is supple, handling is reasonably crisp, but the steering lacks feel. Brakes are excellent..." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "With its frightful lack of grip, pronounced body lean, and uncommunicative steering—the latter a problem shared with the five-door version—the CrossCabriolet’s twisty-road fun factor ranks somewhere between a moving van and an Amphicar." -- Car and Driver

Next Steps: 2011 Nissan Murano

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