It boxes all the ticks

The Mu­rano is for those who want to look good in town

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Car - GRA­HAM SMITH gra­ham.smith@cars­guide.com.au

NEW

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.

NOW

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.

SMITHY SAYS

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

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