There are luxury vehicles, and there are luxury brands, and occasionally the twain shall meet. Such is the case with the five-seat 2017 Nissan Murano crossover SUV. Though Nissan is not a luxury brand, the Murano is a decidedly upscale vehicle, with advanced visual design and upscale interior trim that would be right at home coming from Nissan's upscale Infiniti arm. Higher trim levels feature leather-lined cabins that further narrow the gap between the Murano and pricier luxury-branded SUVs. Yet when it comes to price, the space between the Murano and these luxury brands is immense.
We are of two minds when it comes to the Murano's exterior styling. It is funky and futuristic, which we can appreciate, but the price is paid with limited outward visibility, particularly to the rear. The interior is similarly unconventional though this design has little negative effect on functionality. And we like the way the accent lighting highlights the three-dimensional elements. We found the front seats to be extremely comfortable and the backseats offer plenty of room. Cargo space, however, is strictly middle of the road.
We think of the Murano as a forward-thinking vehicle, so it's disappointing that some of the more advanced safety and driver assistance features are only offered on upper trim levels. The new-for-2017 drowsy driver system isn't offered on the two lower models and forward collision, automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control are only available as options on the two priciest versions.
All Murano models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that develops 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Nissan pairs this engine with a CVT transmission, which provides smooth, shift-free acceleration. In Edmunds testing, the Murano accelerated to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, which is about average for the class. The EPA fuel economy estimate for the 2017 Nissan Murano is 24 mpg combined (21 city/28 highway) for both front-wheel- and all-wheel-drive versions. The Murano's ride is quiet and comfortable and it is clearly tuned for serenity over sportiness.
There are four versions of the Murano: S, SV, SL and Platinum. All are well equipped, with the S as the entry-level offering. SV steps it up a bit. The SL borders on the luxury class and the Platinum barges right in. Yet even with all the trimmings, the Murano's price barely approaches that of true luxury-branded five-seat SUVs. Which model is best? Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Nissan Murano for you.