It boxes all the ticks
The Murano is for those who want to look good in town
The Murano was a revelation among the SUVs when it hit town in 2005 as a four-wheel drive wagon designed for people who preferred to look good driving around town than getting down and dirty. The model launched in 2009 built on the same theme but turned in a more luxurious direction.
It was an evolution of the first model yet every panel on the new one was new, the grille and headlights were new, so too was the interior.
It came in two versions, the ST starter car and the fully fruited Ti. The ST came with stability control, anti-lock brakes, with electronic brake distribution and emergency brake assistance, six airbags, aircon, cruise, power seats, sixspeaker CD sound, MP3, trip computer and full-size spare.
Had you stepped up to the Ti you would have added satnav, reversing camera, power folding rear seats and tailgate, driver’s seat memory, keyless entry, premium Bose sound with 11 speakers, Bluetooth, rain-sensing wipers, roof rails and fog lights.
Weighing nearly 1800kg and measuring 4.8m the Murano was still worth considering by anyone planning to use it in the city. It wasn’t particularly quick off the mark but once under way it went well, the 3.5-litre V6 always a joy to drive. In the Murano, it was tuned to 191kW/336Nm, enough to maintain a steady clip and return a claimed 10.9L/100km.
There was just the one transmission, a CVT, while the drive was through all four wheels as needed.
The CVT was rated an improvement over previous attempts at the quirky transmission, and there were six pre-set change points that made it feel more like a normal gearbox.
A high driving position and good vision in all directions aided navigation around town. Its size could be an encumbrance when you had to park it but the light steering made that relatively easy.
On the open road the Murano was benign rather than engaging, comfortable and poised rather than agile and responsive.
Generally the Murano is a solid and sound car that gives little trouble.
The V6 is a jewel and widely acclaimed for its smoothness and performance, and mechanics say it’s a reliable job that rarely causes any concern providing it has been serviced as recommended.
The downside is the fuel consumption, which is high around town, where the weight really comes into play.
Services are at 10,000km intervals— missing or delaying them is a recipe for an expensive disaster.
The CVT needs a thorough check to make sure all is well. CVTs have been around for a long time but they have come into wider use only in recent times.
The reason is simple: it took many years of development to get them to the point they could be released to the general public. But even then they can give trouble, so they need to be carefully assessed before any cash changes hands.
Drive the car in as many different situations as possible, at high, low and walking speed, taking off quickly and slowly, accelerating fast then steadily. All the time observe for any shuddering, jerkiness, reluctance to move, or any clunks or other noises that seem out of place.
Nissan recommends the CVT oil be changed every 100,000km so make sure this hasn’t been overlooked.
With the servicing so important it’s vital that a check is made of the service record of any car under consideration for purchase. A few minutes spent checking the service record of a car could save thousands of dollars down the track.
The Murano has a braked towing rating of only 1500kg, so it’s not a vehicle to consider if you want to tow anything heavy, such as a large caravan.
The trade gives the Murano a big tick of approval, saying little goes wrong as long as servicing is carried out according to the recommended schedule.
If you want a large, comfortable, stylish town wagon go no further.
Comfort settings: With smooth V6 and improved CVT, the Murano shows poise more than agility