2018 Nissan Murano

2018 Nissan Murano Review

The stylish Nissan Murano crossover offers luxury features without luxury prices.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Nissan's 2018 Murano could be for you if typical crossover SUVs seem too boring and dull. For starters, dramatic curves and a sleek roofline give the Murano a distinctive look. Inside, the interior is noticeably upscale thanks to high-quality materials, a fetching ergonomic design, impressively comfortable front seats and a generous list of standard comfort and convenience features. We're also fond of the Murano's combination of a standard V6 engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that work together for smooth power and respectable fuel economy.

The Murano does fall short of some competitors in overall cargo space, and its modest towing limits make it less than ideal for those who need an SUV that can tow trailers and toys. But if weekend watersports aren't in your plans, the Murano is a solid choice for an upscale, comfortable five-passenger crossover that delivers a bit more style than the norm.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Nissan Murano as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize SUVs for this year.



what's new

For 2018, the Nissan Murano now includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and navigation on every model. Options have been distilled into two packages, with options from previous model years (i.e., adaptive cruise control, heated rear seats) now spread throughout the lineup as standard features.

we recommend

The base Murano S comes nicely equipped with keyless entry, an 8-inch touchscreen display, satellite radio, smartphone integration and a navigation system, among other features. It's an excellent value for a stylish crossover with more than the basics. But the S doesn't offer any options. Since the main appeal of the Murano is getting an upscale SUV without luxury-brand pricing, we say move up to get the SV trim with the optional Premium package. This way you'll get almost all of the Murano's luxury essentials while keeping the price reasonable.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Nissan Murano crossover is offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum. All have a 3.5-liter V6 engine (260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque) and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard; all-wheel drive is optional.

The base S comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. Standard technology includes a navigation system, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary audio jacks, and smartphone app integration (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto). There's even a USB port for rear passengers to connect a music device to the audio system.

All 2018 Muranos also have forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking as standard.

Moving up to the SV adds roof rails, foglights, remote engine start, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The SV's optional Premium package adds unique 18-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats and mirrors, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, and driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera system, and a drowsy driver warning system.

The SL model comes standard with the SV's options (including the driver aids and Bose audio), as well as a hands-free liftgate, heated side mirrors, driver-seat memory settings, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and ambient interior lighting. A panoramic sunroof is optional.

The top-line Murano Platinum is loaded with the SL's features plus 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a power-adjustable steering wheel with memory setting, heated and ventilated front seats, power-folding rear seats, and NissanConnect telematics, including automatic collision notification to emergency services and customizable alerts (to keep tabs on teen drivers or valets, for example).

A Midnight Edition optional styling package for SL trims adds special 20-inch wheels and a blacked-out finish on roof rails, mirror caps, grille, lower bumper accents, sill plates, side moldings.



trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Nissan Murano Platinum (3.5L V6  | CVT automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Nissan Murano has received some minor equipment revisions. Our findings are broadly applicable to this year's model, however.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

3.0 / 5.0

Acceleration3.0 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling3.0 / 5.0
Drivability3.5 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort5.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5.0
Climate control3.5 / 5.0

Interior

4.5 / 5.0

Ease of use3.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5.0
Driving position3.5 / 5.0
Roominess4.5 / 5.0
Visibility2.5 / 5.0
Quality4.0 / 5.0

Utility

3.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage2.0 / 5.0
Cargo space3.0 / 5.0

Technology

3.5 / 5.0

Audio & navigation3.5 / 5.0
Smartphone integration3.0 / 5.0
Driver aids3.5 / 5.0
Voice control3.0 / 5.0

Driving

edmunds rating
The Murano accelerates like most other V6-powered crossovers in the class. It's not quick, but it easily merges into highway traffic. Its continuously variable automatic transmission balances performance and efficiency; the suspension leans toward comfort. A solid all-around performer but not sporty.

Acceleration

edmunds rating
The 260-hp engine is more than adequate to propel this midsize SUV. The V6's pairing with a CVT automatic is easy driving, quiet and responsive. We clocked a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds, about average for the class. Noise suppression and refinement levels under hard acceleration are about average.

Braking

edmunds rating
Braking in this vehicle is intuitive and easy. Its pedal is just the way we like it, responsive and easy to modulate. Panic stops from 60 mph require 123 feet, which equals the result of the Murano's most direct competitor, the Ford Edge.

Steering

edmunds rating
The very lightweight feel at parking lot speeds makes the Murano easy to maneuver. As speeds increase, it adds some heft, but there's never much road feel. It's a pretty typical setup for this kind of vehicle.

Handling

edmunds rating
The Murano's handling is adequate for the class. It's not sporty, but it's not so soft that it ever feels out of control. It handles big dips in the road without jostling passengers, but sharp corners do bring about some noticeable body roll.

Drivability

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Nissan's pairing of a powerful V6 with a continuously variable automatic transmission gives the Murano all the quickness and responsiveness it needs. Press the gas pedal even a little bit and you get an immediate response from under the hood.

Comfort

edmunds rating
Though it leans toward comfort over performance, the Murano isn't the most supple SUV we've driven. Most of our impressions are of a Platinum model with 20-inch wheels and tires, so lesser trims are likely more comfortable over rough roads. The quiet cabin and excellent seats help offset any flaws.

Seat comfort

edmunds rating
Outstanding seats front and rear. Among the most comfortable in the business. They are soft enough to never create hot spots but not so soft that you sink in. Lateral support is minimal, but because this vehicle isn't likely to do much fast cornering, it's an insignificant shortcoming.

Ride comfort

edmunds rating
A middle-of-the-road performer in this category. Not overly soft but not uncomfortably stiff either. It feels hunkered to the road, so it gives the driver a feeling of confidence. Hit a bump and you'll feel it, but it's not so jarring that you'll find the ride objectionable.

Noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Probably the biggest perk to pairing a torquey engine with a CVT automatic is the elimination of extended high-rpm operation, which reduces noise. The Murano's engine is no louder than those of competitors with conventional automatic transmissions.

Climate control

edmunds rating
Upper-end models come with dual-zone automatic climate control. It's a simple system with knobs for the temperature control and buttons for manual fan speed adjustments. There are extra vents for the rear seats and available ventilated and heated seats. It's a solid setup with no notable issues.

Interior

edmunds rating
Big effort was spent to increase the interior quality in this Murano. Top trims offer interior materials similar to what you'll find in Infiniti models. Leather adorns most surfaces, and built-in lighting is striking. Some unconventional design choices, but none results in loss of functionality.

Ease of use

edmunds rating
Most controls are logically arranged and easily accessible. One issue is the placement of the Murano's start button low on the center stack, but it's not a deal-breaker. There's good placement of most secondary controls such as temperature and volume and a very good infotainment interface.

Getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
The Murano's front doors open to almost 90 degrees, and the vehicle doesn't stand very high, so getting in and out is relatively easy up front. The rear doors don't open up quite as wide, and the opening is slightly narrower.

Driving position

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Multiadjustable seats and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column (power adjustable on upper trims) mean no problem finding a comfortable position for most drivers. Sun glare from interior surfaces and the contoured hood is an occasional problem, depending on your seating position.

Roominess

edmunds rating
The Murano is big inside, but it doesn't always feel like it. It has ample front and rear headroom, even for occupants over 6 feet tall. The wide interior provides plenty of shoulder and hiproom. You'll find plenty of lateral space and toe room under the front seats.

Visibility

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The tall hood hurts forward visibility, as do long, sweeping front windshield pillars. Rear-quarter visibility is just OK due to a small rear window between the rearmost pillars. Blind-spot monitoring plus rearview and surround-view cameras improve safety.

Quality

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The Murano's cabin quality punches above its weight, between the leather surfaces, soft touch points where elbows, arms and fingers interact, classy contrast double stitching and phenomenal seats. This is a luxury, Infiniti-like experience.

Utility

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Not the largest cargo area in the class, but not the smallest either. The Murano is similar to its main rivals with a wide, flat opening at the rear that's able to swallow a solid chunk of luggage without infringing on the second row. A lack of small-item storage space up front is a big drawback.

Small-item storage

edmunds rating
The lack of storage compartments up front hurts the Murano in this category. Other than the center console, there are few places to put personal items. The small opening just ahead of the console is barely big enough for one phone or a set of keys, and there's no space in front of the shifter.

Cargo space

edmunds rating
Overall space is similar to that of the Ford Edge and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The split rear seats fold completely flat, and the quick-release and power-folding mechanism is convenient to have. You'll have no problem loading bikes or a 10-foot surfboard front to back.

Child safety seat accommodation

edmunds rating
There's plenty of room to install a rear-facing child seat in either of the outboard rear-seat positions and still have adequate space for the driver or front passenger. LATCH attachment points are easy to find.

Towing

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At 1,500 pounds, the Murano's towing capacity isn't as high as competitors with similar power, most of which tow at least 2,000 pounds or more.

Technology

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Those willing to pay for the pricier trim levels will get everything from advanced safety technologies to a full-featured navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen.

Audio & navigation

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Turn-by-turn nav directions in the gauge cluster are a thoughtful touch, reducing constant reliance on the larger center stack display. The standard audio system should satisfy most, but the optional Bose upgrade (SV and above) is worth it for music lovers.

Smartphone integration

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Bluetooth and Apple-Android device integration are standard on all models. Painless pairing process. Optional NissanConnect with Mobile Apps (unavailable on our test model) includes Facebook, iHeartRadio and Pandora functionality.

Driver aids

edmunds rating
Front collision warning is standard this year. The Around View camera is invaluable for moving in tight spaces. But the Murano doesn't offer lane departure warning or lane keeping assist.

Voice control

edmunds rating
Phonebook, audio and navigation offer voice control. Selecting music by voice works fine but requires jumping through more confirmation hoops than Ford's Sync, for example. Recognition capability is very competent.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.