2015 Nissan Murano: Family Hauler for the Holidays
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on December 30, 2015
Over Christmas break, I schlepped my wife and two small children to visit my in-laws for a week-long vacation. I'd originally hoped to secure the Honda Pilot or Kia Sedona in our fleet since I hadn't yet driven either, and I figured the extra space and seating could be useful. Alas, neither was available, but my fallback vehicle, the 2015 Nissan Murano, was, so I signed it out for my 800-mile family road trip.
As my two young children are a little older now (ages four and eight), they thankfully don't require nearly as much travel-oriented accessorizing as they once did. Still, with presents, baked goods and the typical vacation luggage, we packed the Murano's 39.6-cubic feet luggage area pretty full.
That capacity is similar to what you get from popular compact crossovers like the Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V. The Murano does provide more rear seat space and some extra width compared to those vehicles, but I still needed to pack some overflow items on the second-row middle seat, between the kids, and in the foot well areas. With everything loaded up, the Murano was near capacity, but not to the point of anyone being uncomfortable.
Indeed, comfort is one of the Murano's better qualities. It rode smoothly and remained quiet on the highway. Front seat comfort was excellent (further helped out by the thickly-padded armrests) and my children had plenty of legroom. As Editor Mike Monticello observed recently, the lack of a front bin meant my wife and I had to fight over the front cupholders for both water bottles and personal items. But the big center armrest bin proved useful for holding items like snacks. For smartphone charging, we used both of the Murano's USB ports.
I also grew to like our Murano's V6/CVT combo even more. Acceleration for highway passing and the like was respectable (we previously timed 0-60 mph acceleration at 7.5 seconds) and the powertrain's overall smoothness was much appreciated. Especially on hills or long mountain grades, the CVT dialed in just the right rpm to hold a steady and confident speed.
Fuel economy for the trip tallied up at 24.2 mpg. There was some city driving mixed in with the trip, and California holiday highway traffic tends to move along briskly, so achieving what is essentially the EPA combined rating (24 mpg), despite a high percentage of highway miles, seems reasonable to me.
Overall, the Murano was a solid road-tripping companion.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 21,045 miles