Drive – Nissan Murano Ti Review

18 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Drive – Nissan Murano Ti Review
Nissan Murano

Jez Spinks

Make NISSAN Model MURANO Price From $55,890 Series 3.5 TI XTRONIC CVT Series Year 2009 Body Group 4WD Fuel Tank Size 10.9L/100km (premium unleaded) Power 191kW Safety Equipment Front, side and curtain airbags; stability control; ABS, EBD, BA Torque 336Nm Transmission/Driven Wheels Continuously variable transmission/four-wheel drive

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This is the second generation version of a Nissan four-wheel-drive focused more on aesthetics than ascents.

Sandwiched between Nissan#8217;s compact and heavy-duty off-roaders, the Murano is pitched as a premium sporty 4WD crossover.

The original, released four years ago, sported a bold design to lure style-conscious buyers. The new model#8217;s looks are evolutionary, despite replacing every body panel.

Price and equipment

The newMurano starts $4000 lower than before at $45,990 for the base model ST. Standard fare includes xenon headlights, LED tail-lights, dual-zone climate control airconditioning, cruise control, electronically adjustable (eight-way) driver#8217;s and (four-way) front passenger#8217;s leather seats. The rangetopping Ti, tested here, starts at

$55,890 and includes rain-sensing wipers, electronic tailgate, foglights, heated front seats, Bose six-CD/ 11-speaker audio, reverse-parking camera (but no parking sensors), Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry and engine start, electronically adjustable steering column and powered, flip-up rear seats.

Under the bonnet

Perhaps surprisingly, the new Murano sticks with the trusty 3.5-litre V6 from the 350Z sports car rather than adopting the more powerful 3.7-litre version of the

impending 370Z. There#8217;s an increase in power and torque, however, to 191kW (up 19kW) and 336Nm (up 18Nm) respectively.

The bad news is the engine remains linked to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The six-cylinder is unrecognisable from the muscled engine that propels the

350Z, dulled both in response and sound by the stepless auto. Palming

the gear lever into the tipshift mode forces the CVT to act like a conventional auto with six ratios and improves engine response slightly, though acceleration remains no more than acceptable.

The Murano#8217;s official fuel consumption has been reduced from 12.3L/100km to 10.9L/100km though the trip computer readout never fell below 15.3L/100km during testing on an assortment of roads.

How it drives

Murano II debuts a new Nissan platform, though in effect it uses a revised version of the previous model#8217;s independent front and rear suspension. It retains the #8216;4×4-i#8217; all-

wheel-drive system, which mostly sends drive to the front wheels (up to 80km/h) unless it predicts or detects wheel slip (above 80km/h).

A 4WD Lock mode divides torque equally between front and rear axle for improved traction.

Head into a succession of bend and the Murano is competent if uninspiring. There#8217;s less body lean than you#8217;d expect from a tall vehicle weighing 1832 kilograms and the steering is slow and lacks feedback. Its nose will push wide as cornering speeds rise.

The Murano#8217;s biggest flaw is its firm suspension that can find bumps on what can appear visibly be the smoothest of surfaces, while rough roads lead to a near-constant assault on occupant comfort. The ride is generally choppy and noisy.

Comfort and practicality

Leather for the seats, steering wheel and gear lever are accompanied by plenty of soft-touch materials but also some hard plastics. A stylish dash features tactile dials and buttons and the triple-dial instrument panel can be brightened with orange illumination. The seating position is high, although short in the cushion base.

A deep glovebox and large centre console bin compensate for small door pockets. Unlike Mazda#8217;s CX-9 and Subaru#8217;s Tribeca, theMurano again snubs the practicality of seven seats. Second-row passengers, however, are spoilt with ample room for legs, knees, feet and heads. The rear doors#8217; pockets are almost useless, though there#8217;s a

Nissan Murano

centre armrest with two cupholders, seatback pockets and a large storage bin that slides out the back of the centre console. Cargo space is limited. The crossover offers only 402 litres with all seats in place, though capacity more than doubles to 838 litres with the split-fold rear seats folded down. At least manipulating the rear

seating is easy. Pull the lever on either side of the rear cargo section to drop down the 60/40 seats; press and hold a button under the levers to electronically retract the seats into place. The Ti#8217;s tailgate also opens and closes electronically, though the process is slowand accompanied by the kind of repetitive beeping associated with reversing vans.

Safety

The second-generation Murano has yet to be crash-tested in Europe, though in North America#8212;where the car was launched last year#8212;it has earned a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

There#8217;s no shortage of active and passive safety features. Whether you choose the ST or Ti versions, there are a range of driver aids that include stability control and brake assist. Six airbags (front, side and curtain) and active front head restraints are also standard.

It also gets a full-sized spare wheel.

Competitors

Mazda CX-7 Luxury

ENGINE 2.3-litre turbo fourcylinder; 175kW/350Nm; 6-speed auto; 11.5L/100km and 273g CO2/km; AWD. SAFETY Five-star ANCAP rating, six airbags, stability control, ABS, reversing camera. WHAT ITHAS Power glass sunroof, leather seats, Bose audio, climate control, electronically adjustable driver’s seat. FOR Segment-leading dynamics, strong engine performance, generous equipment list, classy cabin.

AGAINST Thirsty for its size and prefers premium unleaded, lack of rear storage, turbo delivers power in a dollop. OUR SCORE Four stars. Price $46,990.

Subaru Tribeca 3.6R 5-Seater

Toyota Kluger KX-SAWD

ENGINE 3.5-litre V6; 201kW/337Nm; 5-speed auto; 11.0L/100km; 259g CO2/km; AWD. SAFETY Five-star ANCAP rating, six airbags, stability control, ABS. WHAT IT HAS Dual-zone climate control, cruise control, six-CD audio, leather trim, third-row seat, remote central locking, roof rails.

FOR User-friendly cabin, strong and efficient V6, refined road manners. AGAINST The price, mushy handling. OUR SCORE Three and a half stars. Price From $56,490.

Overall verdict

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

upgrade, fuel economy improvements, sharp pricing and generous equipment list, the driving experience is let down by a mismatched engine and transmission and suspension that lacks thought with the calibration.

Nissan Murano
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