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2009 Nissan Murano - Heels on Wheels Review

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MORE: Nissan Specs, Reviews and Comparisons-Nissan Buyers Guide



By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

The Murano deserves the lavish attention both consumers and media have bestowed. The 2009 Murano is stylish, safe and every bit a luxury SUV/crossover – but thousands below the price. It really does deserve Nissan's slogan of being "the future of the crossover."

I drove a 4-door 2009 Nissan Murano SL with a 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and all-wheel drive. Standard standouts include: 8-way power seating with lumbar support for driver (5-way for passenger), leather wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, speed sensing auto door lock, push button ignition, and 6-CD player. Additional features include the dual panel moonroof ($1,170), the premium package with a Bose audio system and 9-speaker system, a rearview monitor, roof rails ($1,000), and the leather package ($1,600). Total vehicle price came to $33,995.

The Murano is loaded with safety goodies: 4-wheel anti-locking brake system (ABS); electronic brake force (ESB); vehicle dynamic control (VDC); a traction control system (TCS); and a tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) for starters. For children, it has lower anchors and tethers (LATCH); child safety rear locking doors; and seatbelts with height-adjustable upper anchors.


Stylish But Comfortable Results: The shape represents a welcomed downsize from your traditional-looking SUVs. Also, despite the fact the auto market is currently over-saturated with this look, the Murano is able to stand out. You'll certainly notice you're in a mid-size SUV pushing the limits on large-size – you'll think twice about pulling into smaller parking spaces. But you'll feel snug in the driver's seat. Second row seats are easy to pull back.

Reliability & Safety Factor: All cars should come standards with halogen headlights like the Murano, as they cast a clear white light on your front and side surroundings. Because of its narrow rear-end shape, back window is small and reverse visibility can become an issue.

Cost Issues: For $33,995, you get a luxurious interior feel and great all-wheel drive – the Murano is priced well. The base price is $29,480; maybe you could shed a few thousand from going without the standard stereo and moonroof, but the leather seats (additional $1,600) are a must to retrain that upscale feel.

Activity & Performance Ability: The Murano has a perfect V6 engine. And crash test results on pervious models are some of the best. Contained body roll makes this car feel massively safe and balanced. Transmission is smooth and soundless.

The Green Concern: With 18-mpg city and 23-mpg gallon highway, you'll net typical SUV gas efficiency (or lack thereof) at about 19-mgp gallon overall. This does beat a many competitors by two to three gallons, those with similar V6 (and V8) engines. Also, premium fuel is recommended.

FINAL PARTING WORDS The Murano's sleekiness and style – the shape, the interior, and what's going on under the hood – makes this mid-size crossover competitor just as desirable when standing next to more luxurious brands because. And it offers a more affordable price.

MORE: Nissan Specs, Reviews and Comparisons-Nissan Buyers Guide

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2009 Katrina Ramser