The 2006 Nissan Murano is a likable crossover SUV that blends unique styling with a spacious, comfortable interior and a fun-to-drive character. If it wasn't for the power-sapping CVT transmission, it would get our top recommendation.
by KAY C on Jun 16, 2009 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Murano SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
I absolutely love this car. Very comfortable as the driver; and get lots of compliments on how comfortable the back seat passengers are. Excellent "road trip" vehicle offering extreme comfort and dependability.
by ndee on Sep 16, 2008 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Murano SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
I love my car, and I tell everyone! I get asked how I like it by interested strangers and tell them about the 26 MPG highway (22 city - I drive less aggressively than most though) people seem surprised that is gets the same MPG as my maxima did. My friends called it the YAV - Yuppie Assault Vehicle until I took it camping. Don't let the leather seats fool you - the Murano handled the dirt roads, streams and beach as well as my mom's Jeep! I can't wait to get a tow-bar to pull the toys. This is my 2nd Murano I upgraded from a 2wdS to the 4wdSE and will drive it as long as it goes!
by ERSAN E. on Feb 1, 2008 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Murano SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
This is an impressive SUV for its value. I was planing to buy Benz or BMW but I am glad I kept my 20,000 bucks in my pocket and got more from my Murano than those vehicles offer. Excellent comfort, service and performance. It sticks to the ground on snowy and icy road conditions. Interior design is very attractive and CVT shift is the most interesting feature you can experience and only at Nissan vehicles. I am glad that I test drove this vehicle that day and bought it. Extremely recommended.
by Big Blue on Oct 16, 2007 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Murano SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
Great styling and general performance. Gas mileage is much less than similar cars of this size that I have owned. The car is solid, but any packages that I place in the car rattle like crazy. This is the only car where I have experienced this phenomenon. It detracts immensely from the overall driving experience. Is there that much difference in the ride of an SL versus my SE?
by Laccaro on Dec 2, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Murano SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
Had a 1999 jeep grand cherokee that gas mileage was 17 to 18 all the time. I am hard to please. I have a 2004 turbo Porsche with 444 hp. I looked at the suvs. that are out there. Took me 9 months. The Nissan Murano was just the best. Period. I have been around cars and have flagged races for years all over the country and have owned MGS to Delornes. Edmunds says the cvt trany saps power. I don't think he has driver the transmission. Quality is out standing. Everything fits and it all works as they say it should. If you want a good suv try one of these. A test drive will sell you as it did me.
by gag on Nov 23, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Murano SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl CVT)
It was my dream car, and it really has been a great experience. It's fun to drive. I got the SE model at the end (was planning on SL) and love it. Though more common nowadays, it still makes people gawk. Very spacious, and the power delivered when you push the pedal is amazing, with no transmission jerking.
Changes to the Murano for 2006 include revised exterior trim, a standard 7-inch LCD display, revised instrumentation and a standard rearview monitor for SL and SE models.
Realizing that most sport-utes never venture any further off-pavement than that pothole-riddled side road you take to drop the kids off at soccer practice, car manufacturers are now focused on crossover SUVs, which, as you probably know, emphasize a carlike ride, leaving off-road functionality but a vestige. Nissan's crossover entrant is the stylish Murano and it's marketed as an "urban SUV." Buyers seeking something more rugged have their choice of the five-passenger and seven-passenger Xterra.
The Nissan Murano, which gets its name from glass art made on islands near Venice, Italy, boasts a sleek exterior that features wraparound surface construction, a prominent stylized front grille and an upswept greenhouse that helps the Nissan SUV live up to it's stated aim of creating a "sculpture in motion." Vertically stacked headlights with HID bulbs are offered to shed light on the road ahead; in back, a lightweight cargo door made from an advanced steel-reinforced plastic makes for easier opening and closing. Spoilers front and rear spoiler add aerodynamic sportiness to the SUV's lines, with the whole kit-and-caboodle riding on large 18-inch wheels and tires.
The Murano's spacious, cleanly styled interior provides seating for five. Aluminum trim graces the instrument panel, which features a monitor with integrated climate and audio controls. The Nissan Murano shares its platform with the Altima and Maxima sedans and, as such, boasts a four-wheel independent suspension. Handling characteristics are excellent, particularly for a utility vehicle. The Murano's sharp reflexes are complemented by Nissan's award-winning 3.5-liter V6, this time paired with a continuously variable transmissions (CVT). While the CVT has noticeable benefits on fuel economy, its sluggish response in traffic detracts from an otherwise enjoyable driving experience. Even so, the 2006 Nissan Murano has a lot to recommend it for anyone seeking a spacious and stylish transport through the urban maze.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The five-passenger Nissan Murano comes in three trim levels: base S, luxury-oriented SL and sporty SE. The S trim includes 18-inch wheels, cloth seating, dual-zone climate control, a CD player and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. The SL adds a cargo cover and net, a rearview monitor and a 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar. The SE adds a sport-tuned suspension and HID headlamps. The optional Premium Package includes a roof rack, adjustable pedals, a Bose stereo system with a six-disc CD changer, while the Dynamic Control Package adds a tire-pressure monitoring system and stability control. Other stand-alone options include a sunroof and a DVD-based navigation system.
Powertrains and Performance
Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the Nissan Murano is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 similar to the one found in the Altima and Maxima. It makes 245 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque. The sole transmission choice is a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Benefits of the CVT include smoother operation and greater fuel-efficiency than a traditional automatic.
This Nissan SUV comes with a comprehensive list of standard safety features, including four-wheel antilock disc brakes (supplemented by BrakeAssist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), front seat-mounted side airbags, head-protecting side curtain airbags for all outboard occupants and active head restraints. A stability control system (dubbed Vehicle Dynamic Control) is optional on the SL and SE. In government crash tests, the 2006 Nissan Murano earned four stars (out of five) for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. In side-impact testing, it earned five stars for front-occupant protection and four stars for the rear. Testing conducted by the IIHS returned a top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset impacts.
Interior Design and Special Features
Immediately noticeable when you climb aboard is the distinctive "floating dash" design, complemented by the real aluminum trim liberally sprinkled around the cabin. The gauges glow orange and are easy to read. Split-folding rear seats are pretty standard these days, but in the Nissan Murano, they have a reclining feature and a remote flip-down function, allowing the seats to be easily released from the rear cargo area. For storage, there's a two-tiered lockable center console box roomy enough to hold a laptop computer, door pockets with a flip-out function, as well as assorted nooks and crannies for items such as cell phones, sunglasses and coins. With the rear seats down, the cargo bay offers a healthy 81.6 cubic feet of space.
Acceleration is lively for the most part, though the CVT can make for sluggish starts in traffic. Handling is sharp, even compared to other car-based crossover SUVS. Buyers can choose between the sport-tuned SE model or the more softly calibrated S and SL forms. Unless you're really into driving your SUV fast on a curvy road, we'd suggest the SL for day-to-day comfort.
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