2015 Nissan Murano: Performance Tested
March 11, 2015
Each car in our long-term test fleet is driven gently until the engine is fully broken in. The owner's manual for the 2015 Nissan Murano recommended we wait until the odometer clicked past 1,200 miles before we could run it through our usual round of performance tests. We brought it to our test track shortly after clearing that threshold to see how the crossover handled the dragstrip, skidpad and slalom course.
Vehicle: 2015 Nissan Murano
Driver: Chris Walton and Mike Monticello
Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Continuously variable transmission
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,498 / 213
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 260 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 240 @ 4,400
Brake Type (front): One-piece ventilated disc with dual-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): One piece ventilated disc with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Twin-tube independent strut with coil springs and solid antiroll bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink with twin-tube shock absorbers and tubular antiroll bar.
Tire Size (front): 235/55R20 102H M+S
Tire Size (rear): 235/55R20 102H M+S
Tire Brand: Bridgestone
Tire Model: Dueler H/P Sport AS
Tire Type: All-season
As-Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,918
0-30 (sec): 3.3 (w/ TC on 3.6)
0-45 (sec): 5.2 (w/ TC on 5.5)
0-60 (sec): 7.5 (w/TC on 7.9)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.2 (w/TC on 7.5)
0-75 (sec): 10.5 (w/TC on 11.0)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.5 @ 92.5 (w/TC on 15.8 @ 91.8)
30-0 (ft): 29
60-0 (ft): 117
Slalom (mph): 61.0 (61.2 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.77 (0.78 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70 mph: 1,500
Acceleration comments: Kind of a strange vehicle to launch. Even with all traction control and stability control systems left on, the front-wheel-drive Murano got some wheelspin just a bit after leaving the line. That seemed to freak out the stability system so it cut power and caused a big hesitation. After turning the ESC system to off (which didn't seem to be fully off), it got a bit more wheelspin on the next run and therefore an even bigger freak-out moment from the ESC. So the second run was actually slower than the first. After another run dealing with the system bogging things down, I realized I would have to drive around the ESC system by doing more than just mashing the gas pedal off the line. Basically, I had to kind of ease off the line for a moment, and then go to full throttle, all in an effort to avoid any wheelspin and then skirt around the ESC system intervening and ruining the run. Kind of strange manners, really. Once through that mess, this V6 is pretty strong, if a bit loud at high rpm. The CVT simulates upshifts at around 6,300 rpm in an effort to act more like a traditional automatic transmission. Believe it or not, this CVT actually blips the throttle when you downshift in its manual mode by pulling the console-mounted shift lever toward you.
Braking comments: Brake pedal has a medium-firm feel. Stops are pretty well-controlled with a bit of nosedive and minor side-to-side squirm but nothing overly noteworthy. What was interesting was that the stops actually got shorter, unusual for an SUV of this type. Especially since the Murano's pedal got a bit softer toward the later runs. The first stop was the longest at 122 feet, while the seventh and final stop was the shortest at 117 feet.
Slalom: The Murano is not a sporty crossover and doesn't like to be chucked between slalom cones. It feels more like a minivan or tall SUV. Steering feels distant, body motions aren't well controlled, and the electronic stability control system (ESC) is rightfully tuned on the conservative side for safety. After the second transition from side-to-side, the rear of the Murano begins to feel like a heavy caboose and ESC clamps down abruptly to maintain composure.
Skid Pad: On the steady-state circle of the skid pad, the ESC senses the weight shift and just as the tires begin to howl, it reduces throttle to reduce the speed. If pushed through that threshold, it will additionally apply a brake to quickly bring the speed down. Here, the steering is lighter and feels even more distant and artificial.
Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 1,352 miles