2012 Nissan Murano SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Nissan Murano SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan Murano Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 260 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Nissan Murano

  • The 2012 Nissan Murano stands out among other midsize crossovers thanks to its unique styling, engaging driving experience and overall sophistication.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    High-quality cabin; spacious backseat; responsive powertrain; precise steering and confident handling; smooth ride; user-friendly controls.

  • Cons

    Less cargo space than many rivals; compromised rear visibility.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Nissan Murano sees only minor changes, including a new Platinum Edition option package for top-of-the-line LE models and a new 7-inch monochrome screen on the entry-level S trim level.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Very safe

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Murano

In was hit on the driver's side by a drunk driver. Thanks to God, my seat belt, and the design of the car, I only received minor injuries. My Murano was declared a total lost. Keep up the good work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2011 nissan murano sl

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Murano

I had a 2009 murano SL and I just loved it excellent handling.Now that I have the new 2011 SL model I couldn't be happier.

Just love it

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Murano

just bought 2011 murano S, for 20k, can't be happier, it won over edge, ecape, and chav hands down. feel like I am driving a Lexus, only paid 20K, what a deal. quiet ride, very fine and up scale internal, sexy shape, just can't beat it in anyway only thing I can think of to improve is gas mileage, I got around 17-18 combine so far,

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

What a surprise!!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Murano

I had my head set on the Ford Edge, being a Ford customer for nearly 20 years. We drove the Lincoln equivalent, finding it disappointingly noisy. We were introduced to the Nissan LE and it was love before we even got out of the parking lot. Test drive just sealed the deal. We bought used, so color availability was a compromise, but I'm getting used to it and love the tan interier and all of the "toys". Can't wait to use the Music box - fortunately last owner must have been in our age group as her downloaded music suits us fine and gives us some enjoyment while learning all about our new vehicle.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Good choice

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Murano

After testing several SUVs I found the Murano and Ford Edge at the top of the list. The Edge shows a nice screen with tons of options but after a test drive the Murano won over the Edge. More power, quiet transmission, more leg room on rear seats, very good radio. I use the Music Box to store my favorite songs. Rear visibility is not good, the rear view camera helps. At the end I bought the SL trim.

8 of 27 people found this review helpful

Super smooth crossover

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Murano

Very happy with my decision to get the Murano. It came down to the Nissan or the Ford Edge. The Edge had a few more "gee whiz" features that were cool, but when it came to the most important thing, how does the car drive, the Murano won hands down. Super smooth transmission, plenty of power, and decent gas mileage for and SUV. TONS of leg room space for rear passengers. Gripes are few, rear visibility is a little difficult (the back up camera helps a lot). I'm also not a huge fan of the radio controls but it's not that big of a deal. If you are looking for an SUV in the 30-35K range make sure Murano is on your list!

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Nissan Murano Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Nissan Murano sees only minor changes, including a new Platinum Edition option package for top-of-the-line LE models and a new 7-inch monochrome screen on the entry-level S trim level.


In a segment where many of the choices are little more than uninspired boxes on wheels, the Nissan Murano has long stood out from the crowd. And while familiarity has made its rounded design seem somewhat less radical than when it was introduced nearly a decade ago, the Murano's look is still distinctive enough to turn heads.

Thankfully, there's more to the 2012 Nissan Murano's appeal than just its sheet metal. The combination of the strong 3.5-liter V6 and continuously variable automatic transmission -- one of the best CVTs in the business -- with a sport-tuned suspension results in a crossover SUV that's more enjoyable to drive than the norm. The Murano's five-passenger interior also earns points for its attractive styling, high-quality materials and many standard features.

The Murano does have a couple minor drawbacks, however, including compromised rear visibility and a maximum cargo capacity that's a bit smaller than its rivals. You might want to comparison shop the Murano's main competitors, the equally stylish Ford Edge, the more wagonlike Toyota Venza or the more off-road-capable Jeep Grand Cherokee. But overall the Nissan Murano still stands out thanks to its blend of keen styling, upscale design and lively performance.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Nissan Murano is a midsize five-passenger crossover SUV available in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and LE.

The entry-level S comes well-equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, variable intermittent wipers, deep-tinted rear privacy glass, keyless entry/ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a reclining 60/40-split rear seat, a 7-inch monochrome screen, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio input jack.

The SV adds automatic headlights, foglights, a panoramic sunroof, roof rack side rails, power front seats (eight-way driver and four-way passenger), a 7-inch color display, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth and an upgraded audio system with satellite radio and iPod integration.

Stepping up to the SL trim gets you rain-sensing wipers, heated outside mirrors, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, driver seat memory, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with digital music storage. The LE trim adds 20-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, heated rear seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column and wood interior trim.

Optional on SL and LE models is a navigation system that includes voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather, Bluetooth streaming audio and increased digital music storage. Those two trim levels can also be had with a twin-screen headrest-mounted rear DVD entertainment system. New for 2012 is a Platinum Edition option for LE models that bundles exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels, a special Sapphire Black paint color and the navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Nissan Murano is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated to a CVT and a choice of standard front-wheel drive or an available all-wheel-drive system. EPA estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 18/23/20 with all-wheel drive.


All 2012 Nissan Murano models feature standard antilock brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front-seat side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, an all-wheel-drive Murano with 18-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet -- a good performance for this class.

In government crash testing, the Murano received an overall rating of four stars (out of a possible five), with four stars for overall front impact protection and five stars for side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Murano its highest rating of "Good" in both the frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the 2012 Nissan Murano's cabin you'll find an attractively styled space that rivals that of its upscale Infiniti FX cousin for quality of materials and assembly. The Murano also gets high marks for the intuitive operation of technology features including the navigation system, rear seat video entertainment setup and iPod interface.

There's also seating for five passengers, including a backseat with abundant head- and legroom and seatbacks that recline for greater comfort. Behind those rear seats is 31.6 cubic feet of cargo room, a number that's on par with the Murano's competitors. Folding those rear seatbacks down creates a nice flat load floor with 64 cubic feet of room, which falls a tad short of the space available in other midsize five-passenger SUVs.

Driving Impressions

While the 2012 Nissan Murano has its share of imitators, none can quite measure up to it in terms of the driving experience. For example, the nicely tuned suspension gives it nimble handling while still managing to deliver a comfy ride (at least on models without the available 20-inch wheels). Precise steering feel adds to the enjoyment.

The marriage of the eager V6 engine and CVT also works well. While other CVTs tend to respond sluggishly or keep the engine revving at a nearly constant drone, this unit performs as well as any traditional automatic.

Talk About The 2012 Murano

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