Nis­san’s eco­nom­i­cal SUV

The lux­u­ri­ous Mu­rano is well worth a look if you don’t mind play­ing hard ball with the price, PETER BARN­WELL writes

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE -

WE TURN the spot­light on the car world’s new­est and bright­est stars as we ask the ques­tions to which you want the an­swers. But there’s only one ques­tion that re­ally needs an­swer­ing: would you buy one?

This is Nis­san’s luxo SUV that’s been around for years. Mu­rano is a more stylish four­bie than, say, the Pa­trol or pre­vi­ous pathfinder but can be used mod­er­ately off road due to the driv­e­train.

Gains some much-needed driver as­sist tech­nol­ogy this time around, in­clud­ing blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, lane de­par­ture warn­ing and ob­ject de­tec­tion in re­verse.

We drove the top-of-therange Ti Mu­rano.

The Ti goes for $60,240 but we reckon you’d have rocks in your head to pay that. It was on “spe­cial” ear­lier in the year for about $5000 less than this.

Toy­ota Kluger, Subaru Out­back, Nis­san Pathfinder, Mazda CX9, Jeep Grand Chero­kee.

Gets an old plug­ger 3.5-litre petrol V6 hooked up to a pretty handy CVT auto that masks the age of the en­gine and helps per­for­mance and fuel econ­omy.

Ac­tu­ally pretty well, con­sid­er­ing. Get-up off the line is im­pres­sive and it cruises on the free­way with ease while us­ing com­par­a­tively lit­tle fuel.

Not par­tic­u­larly, rated at 10.9 litres/100km, but that’s not easy to achieve un­less you have an egg un­der your right foot … and it’s pre­mium.

Scores 3.5 stars on the Green Ve­hi­cle rat­ing.

Not rated.

Yes, the large in­te­rior has seats for five, leather, ex­cel­lent Bose au­dio, trip com­puter, heated seats, elec­tric front seats, but­ton start, mul­ti­ple wheel con­trols, 9.3 gig mu­sic reg­is­ter, re­verse cam­era, Blue­tooth au­dio and phone (easy to sync), high-def­i­ni­tion sat­nav with traf­fic warn­ings, dual zone cli­mate con­trol, power tail­gate, xenons.

De­spite not lik­ing the looks of it or the old-school en­gine tech­nol­ogy, the drive feel is good. It’s a big luxury SUV with an airy in­te­rior, well laid out dash, heaps of kit. It goes smoothly and qui­etly and cruises eas­ily at speed.

The turn­ing cir­cle is big but the ride is well con­trolled. It has a sporty flavour.

At sub-$60,000, yes. Play hard ball. No. Don’t like the styling, de­spite ad­di­tional chrome and 20-inch al­loys.

Fuel use can be an is­sue.

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