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2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Review and Road Test

2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet(select to view enlarged photo)
2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

FYI: 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Specs, Prices, Comparisons - Nissan Buyers Guide

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Model: 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6
Horsepower/Torque: 265 hp @ 6,000 rpm/248 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission: Xtronic CVT with Adaptive Shift Control
Wheelbase: 111.2 in.
Length/Width/Height: 190.1 x 74.5 x 66.2 in.
Tires: P235/55R20
Cargo volume: 12.3 cu. ft. (top up)
Fuel economy: 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway/18.8 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 21.7 gal.
Curb weight: 4,438 lbs.
Sticker: (Base) $46,390 plus $500 for camel interior, $125 for splash guards, $185 for floor mats, carpeted cargo net

The Bottom Line: If you want to get noticed, then the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet may be what you're looking for. It carries four in comfort, has classic good looks that are a cross between the modern Murano and a classic, and it has very good road manners.

I'll admit I was taken aback by the response to the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. I knew the vehicle had ground-breaking design that's a cross between the crossover Murano and a convertible, with all-wheel drive thrown in for good measure. I didn't know that the one that appeared in my driveway would have this incredible almost-pink "Sunset Bronze" paint that attracted comments (all good) like sugar water attracts hummingbirds.

People had read about the car, had heard about it, and were in general anxious to look at it and kick the tires. My granddaughters loved it, because on the way home from nursery school with the top down, they could shout "good-bye" to all their friends and get noticed. They can't do that in Mommy's minivan.

We got reactions from nursery school parents, a woman at a gas station, parking lot attendants and other drivers who pulled up next to us at stop lights.

The CrossCabriolet is a neat car to drive and be seen in. It's fun on the highway and in the city.

Converting the Murano into the CrossCabriolet involves more than just cutting off the hard top and adding a rag top. Everything aft of the A-pillar has been reinforced. In converting the Murano from a four-door to a two-door, the doors were lengthened (7.9 inches longer than in the CUV) and the cargo capacity compromised.

The longer doors weren't a problem. It just involved being careful when you open them so you don't ding a neighboring car's doors. The cargo capacity (31.8 to 64.5 cubic feet vs. 12.3) wasn't either. For a family of four, the top must stay up. For a family of two, it can go down. A decent amount of cargo will fit under the top holder in the trunk and, of course, there's always the back seat, even if it does detract from the convertible experience a bit.

With the top up, there are two windows in the rear (one in the traditional place, the other at the rear section of the top) to cut down on the claustrophobic feel the rear passengers might feel. Still, with the top up, rearward vision is compromised, especially with the rear headrests in place.

Power is very good with the 3.5-liter DOHC V6. It's listed at 265 horsepower, and working through a CVT transmission, is smooth and pleasant. You can shift the tranny if you want (that's the "Adaptive Shift Control" part), but why?

The front and rear seats offer some side support, but it isn't great. Still, they're comfortable. The rear seats have decent leg room, with a fixed console between them that holds a pair of cupholders, for example. It's easy to put child seats in the rear, especially with the top down. For safety, there are roll bars that pop up behind the rear seat headrests if the vehicle senses an impending roll-over.

As with many Nissans these days, the CrossCabriolet has a pushbutton start. There's a "key holder" insert underneath the pushbutton that also is smart. For example, when you pull the key fob out of the holder, the radio shuts off, even if you're still in the car.

The CrossCabriolet has all the standard Murano features, including a unique two-tiered glove box that is large enough to hold the owner's manual and something more than just gloves.

Overall, the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is a knockout. It's fun to drive and be seen in. It's comfortable for four and is a neat tourer.

2011 The Auto Page