In science fiction, experiments with mixing and matching DNA tend to go horribly wrong. So it was with some trepidation that we first approached the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, a vehicle that looks like the result of some mix-up from the SUV and convertible assembly lines. But somehow, this genetically modified crossover SUV actually works out pretty well.
Granted, the combination of the CrossCabriolet's high seating position, plus-size dimensions and slightly funky styling takes some getting used to. Its steep sticker price may also give some folks pause. But if you can get by those potential deal-breakers, you'll discover the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet surprisingly makes sense for anyone looking for a convertible with real practicality.
Current Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
As its name suggests (sort of), the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is the convertible version of the midsize Murano crossover SUV. It's about the same size as the regular Murano, but it has just two doors, and instead of the regular hardtop there is a power-operated soft top. Under the hood is the expected 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and all-wheel drive are standard.
A single well-equipped trim level is offered, and it includes pretty much every available Murano feature, such as 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a Bose sound system. A navigation system with Bluetooth streaming audio is optional.
In reviews, our editors have noted that the CrossCabriolet's cabin is attractively designed with high-quality materials, just like the Murano. It also retains much of the Murano's interior room, meaning there's comfortable seating all around, including legitimate space for two adults in back -- something a scant few convertibles can boast. The trunk offers 12.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the top up or down, a number that is also quite good for a convertible.
In our performance testing, the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet was just a tick slower than the four-door hardtop version. Braking performance is quite good as well, at least by midsize SUV standards. On the move, the CrossCabriolet delivers a reasonably comfortable ride, but its lofty ride height and sheer size makes for rather ponderous handling. The body structure also isn't quite as rigid as those of other new convertibles, and consequently the CrossCabriolet shakes a bit more when driving on rough roads.
Used Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Models
The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet debuted for the 2011 model year. For that first year, the navigation system was standard equipment, but it's been an option ever since. There have been no other notable changes.