2012 Nissan Murano Review
Critics say the 2012 Nissan Murano is a top pick for its high-quality interior and nimble handling, but still can’t quite figure out how they feel about its convertible version, the Murano CrossCabriolet.
For 2012, the Nissan Murano continues with its successful formula of fun driving dynamics, good fuel economy, a powerful engine and a near-luxury-level interior. Even base models impress test drivers.
But test drivers can’t stop talking about the convertible trim, the Murano CrossCabriolet, which was introduced in 2011. The only other convertible SUV on the market is the Jeep Wrangler, but the Wrangler and the Murano CrossCabriolet have very little in common. Rather than trying to be an open-roofed, back-to-nature off-roading champ like the Jeep, Nissan markets the Murano CrossCabriolet as an open-roofed fair-weather cruiser. However, reviewers can’t decide if it has met that goal or not.
On the one hand, it’s the first vehicle to combine crossover driving dynamics with a convertible roof, and some journalists are intrigued by the idea. Jowever, most writers say the CrossCabriolet looks bloated and is too heavy to be sporty. Plus, it’s plagued with many of the issues that usually affect convertibles, like a body that shakes when it goes over bumps, since it doesn’t have a solid roof to help provide rigidity.
Overall, reviewers agree that the hardtop Murano is a great SUV, though it’s a bit on the expensive side. They say that for sporty driving, you’ll be better off with a real roadster, but the Murano CrossCabriolet still wins nods for its luxury-level interior and top-down cruising potential.
Other SUVs to Consider
The midsize crossover market is fiercely competitive, and though the Murano is a good pick, there are other commendable choices out there. The five-seat Jeep Grand Cherokee ranks highly for its combination of on-road handling and its interior comfort. Its fuel economy ratings aren’t nearly as good as the Murano’s, but it offers a powerful V8 engine and trail-rated off-road performance as well. It also is less expensive than the Murano.
If you like the Murano, but are looking for a seven-seat SUV, consider the Kia Sorento. It has the same compact proportions as the Murano, but offers an optional third row. It starts significantly less than the Murano as well, so you can either save your money or spend it on extra features. Testers say the Kia Sorento is a good combination of comfort, capability and value.
Details: Nissan Murano
The 2012 Nissan Murano comes in five trims: the base S, SV, SL, LE and the convertible CrossCabriolet. The LE is the most expensive hardtop model, while the CrossCabriolet is the most expensive overall. Minor trim changes for 2012 include a few new options packages and exterior colors.
See the full list of 2012 Nissan Murano specifications.
- "Murano is a likable SUV that offers secure handling, a comfortable interior, versatile cargo utility, and a strong, refined powertrain. Loaded versions can get a bit pricey, but the SV trim level attempts to mitigate that by having most features buyers could want.” -- Consumer Guide
- "The Murano also remains ahead of many rivals in the area of high-tech electronics, and increasingly important factor in many consumer's final purchasing decision. Of course, newer competitors like the Ford Edge, Mazda CX-7 and Kia Sorento now offer many of the same features, but the Murano's edgy styling, performance oriented suspension and Infiniti-like luxury interior place it in a league of its own.” -- Kelley Blue Book
- “It's a little bizarre and certainly pricey, but the 2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet makes surprising sense for anyone looking for a convertible with some real practicality.” -- Edmunds
- "If innovation were the end goal, well, there are no other car-based all-wheel-drive convertible crossovers on the market. And there are no cars with seven wheels and an additional engine mounted to the roof. But is the CrossCabriolet a 'great product,' to use Ghosn’s words? As likable as it may be in some settings, it’s too compromised to be called great." -- Car and Driver