2015 Nissan Murano: Camping, Cargo, Clutter
May 6, 2015
Two adults, a toddler, an infant and their baggage piled into a 2015 Nissan Murano for a week of camping. It felt like a punchline should follow and in a sense, it did. This was our first legitimate get-out-of-town since our 10-month-old came on the scene, so we tried to keep things mellow. But kids tend to make life an adventure.
The itinerary: Four nights at Carpinteria State Beach, with bookend stay-overs at the in-laws. You could argue that this was fake camping and I would agree. But this trip was more about getting back out there, to a place where our elder rugrat could go nuts. The Murano played an important role, though it was not the only vehicle at our disposal.
In the spirit of kid stuff overkill, we also borrowed an RV. The forecast called for overnight temps in the 50s. A warm retreat for the girls and a tent for the guys felt like the right thing to do. Vehicle logistics dictated that the Murano carry our entire payload.
To its credit, the Nissan was spacious. The spec sheet claims 39.6 cubic feet in cargo area, but other specs actually make using that space more practical. When open at its lowest point, the hatch was 73 inches from the ground, lessening the chances of my 74-inch frame bonking its head.
The load floor sits a reasonable 31 inches high, limiting lower back strain for awkward items like strollers. Load floor dimensions are 43 inches wide at the wheel wells, increasing slightly in front of them, and 35 inches deep. As an unexpected bonus, rear headrests extend nearly to the roof. This meant I could pack softer items up top without fear of them falling into the passenger area.
Sometimes ride quality suffers as you approach a vehicle's weight limits. No such issue with the Murano. Despite adopting a noticeable squat, the densely-packed SUV handled the roads just fine.
Our propensity to travel with far too much child-related gear gave me an opportunity to see what the Murano could do. I think it did a great job for all that was asked of it. If we were to make this trip again, however, I'd take our long-term Toyota Highlander (if it weren't already sold to CarMax). The additional cargo space would make a big difference. Of course, more space means we'd probably come up with more clutter to fill it, but that's another story.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 4,782 miles