What Is It?
2015 Nissan Murano
What's New About This Model?
The 2015 Nissan Murano represents a complete redesign of the popular midsize crossover SUV. Although the overall concept remains the same (five passengers, V6 engine, front- or all-wheel drive, on-road-only driving), the styling has undergone a complete reimagination inside and out.
When Does It Go on Sale?
The 2015 Nissan Murano will be built in Canton, Mississippi, and will begin arriving in dealerships this winter.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been released yet, but expect slightly higher prices than the current model, which starts at $28,440 and can top out at around $44,000.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The bizarre Murano CrossCabriolet convertible is unlikely to survive, so the Murano will once again be available only as a four-door, five-passenger SUV. There will be S, SV, SL and Platinum trim levels as before. Each will be available with front- or all-wheel drive.
Does It Still Look Like a Murano?
Like past Muranos, the new 2015 model puts an emphasis on avant-garde design that differs sharply from other, more utilitarian SUVs. However, whereas the last Murano redesign was slightly more evolutionary, this time around, there is a much greater visual change from one generation to the next. The overall face of the car, particularly the grille and headlights, is much bolder, while the voluptuous body resembles that of a fanciful concept car. If you're looking for something that looks distinctly different from the neighbor's conservative family hauler, the Murano will not disappoint.
Besides aesthetics, the new exterior design is more aerodynamic, which, in conjunction with active grille shutters and a 130-pound weight reduction, results in a 20 percent fuel economy improvement.
What's the Interior Like?
The interior has been equally reimagined, with an emphasis on organic shapes, creatively applied wood trim and a new electronics interface that removes 15 buttons from the dash. It establishes a new cabin concept for the entire Nissan brand.
Comfort has also been upgraded with more backseat legroom and the first rear application of Nissan's NASA-inspired "Zero Gravity" seats (they're up front, too). The cargo area has also been reconfigured to hold more of your stuff when the backseats are raised.
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
The Murano gets the NASA-inspired "Zero Gravity" seats found in the Altima, which we found deliver on their promise of comfort. For the first time, however, these same seat design principles have been applied to the rear outboard seats. In theory, the 2015 Murano should become one of the most comfortable SUVs for rear passengers. That should be especially true if you opt for the so-called "Quick Comfort" heated rear seats that get your butt from chilly to toasty in seconds. There's even a USB port in back for your passengers to recharge their phones, or even feed music to the sound system. You can also opt for an available panoramic sunroof that opens 29 percent wider than the previous model's sunroof.
What Kind of Standard and Optional Safety Equipment Is Offered?
Besides a typical selection of airbags, including one for the driver's knees, the 2015 Nissan Murano is available with a wide variety of high-tech accident alert and avoidance technologies. These include blind-spot warning, front collision warning, forward emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert. The latter pairs with four outboard cameras and three radar systems that should make parking easier, safer and less prone to bumper and wheel scraping. The new Moving Object Detection system also helps the driver detect things such as shopping carts or baby strollers when reversing.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
- 3.5-liter V6: 260 horsepower, 240 pound-feet of torque
- A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard. Each trim level is available with either front- or all-wheel drive.
- Nissan estimates the 2015 Murano will achieve 20 percent better fuel economy than its predecessor. That would equate to 24 mpg combined.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Acura RDX: The Murano's higher trim levels can be considered alternatives to less expensive compact luxury SUVs like the Acura RDX. Despite the luxury badge, it offers a similar amount of luxury features and ambience.
Ford Edge: The closest in terms of size and concept. It, too, provides pleasant on-road manners, an abundance of features and a family-friendly cabin with room for five. However, it's getting old and its design looks comparatively ancient next to this flamboyant new Murano. The Edge is also set to be redesigned for the 2015 model year.
Jeep Grand Cherokee: It's similar in size, price and equipment availability, but whereas the Murano is strictly for on-road use, the Grand Cherokee can go far off the beaten path. It's also offered with diesel and V8 power plants for greater performance and towing capacity.
Should You Wait for It?
From a strictly practical viewpoint, the new 2015 Nissan Murano does not represent a massive improvement over the current model. It's evolution, not revolution. The current model offers many of the same features as well as nearly the same interior space and powertrain. If you need a new car today, you likely won't be kicking yourself in a few months' time. If you can wait, however, the new Murano is certainly the better vehicle and its bold new styling is bound to get you noticed in a way that few other SUVs will — including the current Murano.