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#7

in Affordable Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $28,530 - $41,995
Invoice: $26,585 - $39,108
MPG: 18 City / 24 Hwy
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Nissan Murano Performance

Reviewers think that the 2014 Nissan Murano is a sporty and engaging two-row midsize SUV with athletic handling and a strong engine. They say the Murano CrossCabriolet is more of a cruiser, and that it doesn’t feel as athletic around curves as the standard Murano.

  • "Drive it at a sedate pace and you'll be fine; start to push it too hard and the CrossCab will lumber like a sailboat in heavy seas." -- Car and Driver
  • "If you're simply looking for a roomy convertible for leisurely boulevard cruising, though, the 2014 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet should fill the bill just fine." -- Edmunds
  • "It provides a good mix of ride comfort and handling poise, and the standard 3.5-liter V-6 has plenty of power." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "The 2013 Nissan Murano is a well-rounded midsize crossover that offers an engaging driving experience and overall sophistication." -- Edmunds (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The Murano is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 260 horsepower (265 in the Murano CrossCabriolet). Power is routed through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Murano achieves up to an EPA-estimated 18/24 mpg city/highway, which is on par for the class. The CrossCabriolet is rated at 17/22 mpg.

Reviewers report that the V6 engine delivers plenty of power in both models, saying that it’s easy to get up to speed. Most test drivers think the CVT is smooth and does a nice job of keeping the engine in its power band as needed. One reviewer appreciates that the CVT is not too noisy. One critic says the Murano's throttle response could be quicker, but he also writes that the slow throttle response is easy to adjust to.

  • "The Murano's V6/CVT combination offers powerful and responsive performance, whether from a standstill or at speed. Acceleration is strong, and the Murano's overall power is smoothly and evenly delivered throughout the rev band, thanks to the CVT." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 3.5-liter V6 engine in the 2014 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet provides both energetic performance and a refined feel. The transmission does a good job of keeping the powerful V6 in its sweet spot while sparing the CrossCabriolet's occupants from the droning noises often associated with CVT-equipped vehicles." -- Edmunds
  • "The Murano was an early adopter of the continuously variable automatic transmission, and its pairing with Nissan's V-6 has arguably been the best CVT execution on the market. Even so, time has passed, and this time around we noticed some hesitation in accelerator response, especially from a standing start. It was consistent and predictable, which makes it a bit less troubling, and there's no shortage of conventional automatics that exhibit the same behavior, and often exhibit worse. Just be sure to pay attention to it if you go for a test drive." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "The V6 does a decent job of moving the car around, and has no trouble getting the car up to speed." -- AutoWeek (2013)

Handling and Braking

The base Murano comes standard with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is standard on the Murano CrossCabriolet and optional on all other trims. Reviewers say the Murano has a good balance of ride comfort and sportiness, and is well-suited for both freeway cruising and daily commutes. Some complain that the steering is slow and light, and a bit out of place in comparison with the Murano’s otherwise sporty handling. Reviewers say the brakes have good pedal feel and plenty of bite. Critics think the Murano CrossCabriolet isn’t as refined or as nimble through turns as the regular Murano.

  • "At the same time, the Murano's ride is comfortable and composed. Regardless of its sporting personality, it delivers an on-road feel that is relaxed enough for daily commuting as well as for carting the family around town. Nissan seems to have it down in finding that just-right balance between ride and handling." -- AutoTrader
  • "Handling is less impressive, as the CrossCab's combination of increased weight and reduced structural rigidity makes it less athletic around turns than the regular Murano, as well as most other convertibles." -- Edmunds
  • "Testers are divided on steering feel; some cite accurate response and others find it too light in any situation. Overall balance is just OK, as Murano feels wallowy and ponderous in even light-duty cornering; the convertible even more so. The brakes offer sure stopping control with good pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Coupled with a nice blend of suspension comfort and sportiness, the Murano makes a really nice freeway companion and a better-than-average commuter. My only gripe with the driving dynamics is a slow power steering rack that seems tuned for a softer vehicle -- the Murano could handle being flung about faster, but the steering won't let you." -- AutoWeek (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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