This was the first Nissan I have reviewed for Behind the Wheel, and the first Nissan I had driven for a number of years so it was exciting jumping into a new Murano.
The Murano is Nissan’s mid-sized SUV with a seating capacity of five.
At this stage there’s just the one engine and transmission option available, a 3.5 litre V6 and six speed CVT transmission.
There’s not much choice either in the model range, there’s the more basic ST and the premium Ti.
Personally I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Murano. The big V6 engine delivers plenty of get up and go (191kW and 336Nm) and the transmission is a good one, nice and smooth and always in the right gear.
Being a sizeable vehicle the fuel economy returned by the V6 isn’t great, you can expect to use around 9 litres on the highway and up to about 13 in the city (officially the combined figure is 10.9).
The steering is a touch on the light side but very precise and with just the right amount of feedback from the wheels.
The Murano’s suspension is about what you would expect on a premium SUV, a little bit soft and floaty but this means the ride is comfortable and enjoyable.
The external styling does have the reputation of dividing opinion, I actually think it’s pretty good and most importantly its 100% better to look at than the previous model Murano which was awful!
When you get up close to the Nissan you can see that it’s well put together, this is especially evident in the cabin.
The Murano interior has a real premium feel about it with only a minimal amount of hard plastic around the centre stereo and climate control switches and dials.
The leather seats are very comfortable, warmers are provided in the front seats.
You also get a very impressive Bose sound system, an extremely functional centre display screen, and lots of interior storage areas.
Nissan have done a great job keeping outside noise out, which again boosts the premium feel of the car.
The Murano is the first vehicle I have come across to have electric steering wheel position adjustment, essentially you control the height and reach of the steering wheel via a small remote control on the steering column.
The dashboard boasts nice clear gauges and generally the main controls are all in the right places.
One criticism however would be that the stereo and climate control buttons and knobs are a touch on the complicated side.
The climate control panel is also a little too low for my liking and combined with on-screen setting confirmations you find yourself looking in two areas rather than on the road.
The boot space is massive in the Murano and the electric tailgate is a nice feature.
One thing that did surprise was that when you press the remote to unlock or lock the doors the blinkers don’t flash, what’s wrong with that I hear you ask. Well it just means you find yourself pressing the button unnecessarily trying to work out if the car’s locked or unlocked.
The sunroof, which otherwise works well and looks great, does bring the roof height down a little and that means if you are a touch on the taller side you will have to keep your seat adjustment lower.
But overall I was really impressed with this car.
It’s well built, great to drive, comfortable, practical and the main emphasis is on quality.
It’s a shame there isn’t a turbo-diesel engine option in the Murano range if there was I think it would find many more buyers.
The Murano starts at $47,990 for the ST, the Ti will set you back $58,390. More car reviews and podcasts at www.behindthewheel.com.au