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2015 Nissan Murano Windy City Review By Larry Nutson

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2015 Nissan Murano

2015 Nissan Murano

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

The all-new 2015 Nissan Murano is the halo vehicle for Nissan's expanding range of bold crossovers and SUVs. With Murano’s global introduction in Spring 2014 at the New York International Auto Show, it previewed a new Nissan design language for future Nissan production vehicles that we have now also seen in the new Maxima sedan.

Along with its innovative styling, the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano features a spacious, premium interior and advanced, purposeful safety and connective technology. The all-new Murano is quite gorgeous as SUVs go and very distinctive with up-scale looks and features.

The new third-generation of Nissan’s popular flagship crossover symbolizes Nissan’s design-led product and brand renaissance. The 2015 Murano features a bold, modern and futuristic exterior and inviting and upscale social lounge interior, carrying forward Nissan’s new design direction with V-Motion front end, boomerang-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights, floating roof treatment and efficient aerodynamics.

New vehicle buyers in the U.S. are hot on light trucks which includes SUVs. Month-over-month, light trucks have outsold cars. Many buyers have realized that for the same money as a mid-size car you can buy an equally satisfying and yet more versatile, very stylish and comfortable 5-passenger crossover SUV.

The 2015 Murano comes in four trims: S, SV, SL and Platinum.(Compare Sided-by-side). All are powered by a V6 engine mated to a CVT automatic transmission, with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Prices start at $29,560 and go up to $40,600. The cost step-up for AWD is $1600.

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My media-loan vehicle was a Platinum AWD model priced at $40,600 and equipped with the optional $2,260 Technology Package. Destination charge is $885.

The 2015 Murano’s standard engine is a 3.5-liter DOHC V6 rated at 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Also standard is an Xtronic CVT automatic transmission. This engine/transmission combination worked together very well on my test Murano. I never felt the need for more power or different behavior from the transmission. As a driver’s choice, Murano provides a manual D-step logic mode to let you take over the shifting.

EPA test fuel economy ratings for both FWD and AWD models are the same. That is, 24 mpg combined or 4.2 gallons per 100 miles, with 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Remember these are laboratory test ratings and your on-the-road mileage may differ. In my mixed-use driving I got in the range of 26 to 27mpg.

Overall I found the Murano to be very quiet. There is not much powertrain, tire or wind noise. The 0.31 aerodynamic coefficient of drag is very car-like which helps with the quietness as well as fuel consumption. Interior conversation is quite easy.

Around Chicagoland the Murano did a nice job of soaking up the bumps and road jolts. Ride and handling are very comfortable with smooth ride quality while yet providing a confident feeling of control. The Murano is a bit less sporty in its handling than past generations, but that may be just fine considering how it’s driven in daily usage.

At a touch under 193 inches of outside length the Murano’s size still makes for comfortable around-town driving and parking. The Around View Monitor, a camera system that shows completely around the outside of the vehicle on a display screen, is wonderful for parking and backing maneuvers.

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I found the A-pillars a bit thick and along with the high mounted outside mirrors they created a blind spot that I had to adjust to. I think an owner would adjust to this quickly and it would not be an issue over time.

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>On the inside the Murano is quite comfortable with easy ingress and egress and good outward sight lines. Nissan's advanced NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats are standard for front and rear outboard occupants. The seats are designed to better conform to your body position and add support to the middle and lower back. The rear seats are a three-cushion design, a first for a Nissan vehicle. Climate-controlled seats with heating and cooling are available in front, along with available Quick Comfort heated rear seats.

There’s a 60-40 split fold-flat rear seat with standard remote folding and available power return to bring them back up. The rear cargo area is 39.6 cubic feet and opens up to 69.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

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Like most all extensively redesigned new vehicles there is lots of available technology in the new Murano including Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Predictive Forward Collision Warning and Forward Emergency Braking. The new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system utilizes radar to detect a moving vehicle behind the Murano approaching from either side of a parking space.

More detailed information and specs on the complete 2015 Nissan Murano model line is only a mouse click away at If you want to compare the Nissan Murano to other midsize SUVs you can do that right here on

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The Murano has received a number of awards including being named an IIHS “Top Safety Pick Plus" and "Best Crossover" in the Parents magazine and annual listing of the "10 Best Family Cars."

Most recently in the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Automotive, Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which judges the most appealing vehicles to own and drive in their segments, the totally redesigned 2015 Nissan Murano crossover was the top finisher in the Midsize SUV category.

Built in American, the new Murano is assembled in Nissan's Canton, Mississippi plant. It’s been in sale since last December.

© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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