Nissan Murano Estate 2005 - 2008

Nissan Murano Estate 2005 - 2008

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Soft and comfortable
  • Superb handling characteristics
  • Stylish design
  • Exceptional reliability

Cons:

  • Lack of visibility due to the body shape
  • Terrible fuel economy

Overview

The Nissan Murano was first tested in the USA before being offered in the European market. In 2004 when it reached Europe the car was considered revolutionary. Before that there was chaos in the off-roader line-up of Nissan with the Terrano and Patrol, two significantly outdated models that didn’t excite customers in the slightest. The Murano, named in honour of an Italian town that is famous for the unconventional glass design, was a fresh breath in the old-fashioned Nissan’s model range. It was their first crossover vehicle – a mix of an off-roader and a city hatchback.

Exterior and Interior

The Murano has a very original design with a beak-like front end and original silhouette. Its appearance gives away the fact that it was designed with an American customer in mind. The car doesn’t stand out too much on American roads. In Europe it looks different and is a real head-turner. Overall, it is a successful design. Even if your not a fan of ultra modern shapes, the car looks up to date and there’s no shame to be driving one. Nissan’s crossover comes with a good level of equipment. The standard kit includes many luxury items: it’s fully electric, has a nice big LED screen, it’s equipped with safety systems, traction control, brake assist four air bags and stability program. Also included are satellite navigation, climate control and even tasteful leather upholstery. The interior is spacious and excitingly designed. The dashboard has got very clean lines and smooth surfaces. The silver plastic inlays don’t look as cheap as in some other cars. It slightly reminds you of the last Hummer interiors.

Performance and Economy

This is where the Nissan have let the Murano down. If you look at crossovers offered by other Japanese and European companies, there are always engines that are feasible for driving in a city, because that’s what the majority of the crossovers do. They’re not required to tackle difficult off-road situations or perform any other extreme tasks. That’s why the 3.5-litre V6 engine seems slightly out of turn. It is coupled with the only available transmission option which is a CVT – continuous variable transmission – a construction that provides an endless number of "gears". Normally, the CVTs are used in small cars to offer easy driving in urban environments. The Murano is easily the biggest car to be equipped with a CVT. Although it’s not a bad system, it reduces any chance of a decent fuel economy. The car returns just 18mpg. Although the performance of the large V6 engine is great, being aimed at family market, the car won’t appeal to most of the buyers. Make a choice between a front wheel drive and all-wheel drive Murano. The latter has some basic off-roading capabilities. It can handle snow and mud but it’s not advisable to push it to its limits. After all, crossovers are not designed to take part in off-roading competitions.

Like to Drive

Driving a Murano is a good experience. Its suspension is rather soft – made to appeal to the American market. It is pleasant to drive in a city and the powerful engine means that even with the weird transmission you’ll get to 60mph in around 9 seconds. It’s very easy to exceed speed limits in a Murano, this is partly due to the lack of distinguished gear changes, so it takes time before you learn to feel the actual speed of the car without peering into the speedometer constantly.

Faults and Repairs

It’s a reliable car and even its CVT is surprisingly fault-free. The only thing to remember is that the car possesses very sophisticated electronics. That’s the bit that often goes wrong.