The story behind the third-generation 2015 Nissan Murano starts with the unique and bold exterior design and goes straight to the luxurious and spacious interior. This is one crossover that is focused on its demographic of 45+ empty nesters.
Check out that kink behind the c-pillar and the so-called “floating roof” effect in the back. The overall design was inspired by the jet-age of the 1950s. Everything about the 2015 Murano is meant to attract attention and opinion. The front and rear are adorned in stretched LED lights in a shape that Nissan calls “boomerang”. The Murano design stands on its own, yet it’s unmistakable as a Nissan. This is difficult to do, but they pulled it off.
The design goal for the interior was to create a lounge experience for four adults (five in a pinch). The comfortable “Zero Gravity” seats are in all four outboard positions. The center console is nice and wide. The rear passengers can even take over the entertainment by plugging in their device into the USB charger and playing their favorite music.
The interior materials are of high quality and the seats are comfortable. There is unique jasper pearlescent trim throughout the cabin which adds to the upscale environment. Could it be that this Nissan in encroaching on Infiniti territory? Well, Nissan targeted the Lexus RX on overall comfort. Perhaps, this Nissan is meant to punch above its weight class.
The cabin is exceptionally quiet. Engineers and designers spent the extra time on insulation, acoustic glass, and overall aerodynamics to bring down the noise level and to allow for comfortable conversation in the lounge within.
The 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque from the 3.5L V6 engine is enough to move the Murano along. It does not seem to strain, and the CVT emulates the gear shifts of a regular automatic transmission under hard acceleration. All the little improvements add up to an estimated 28 MPG on the highway. This is impressive, considering this relatively large crossover is not a hybrid or a diesel. There is no penalty for getting the AWD in terms of efficiency. It’s still 21 MPG city, 28 MPG highway, and 24 MPG combined.
Murano’s suspension is setup for comfort, but it will let you take the curvy back roads of Napa Valley with a good amount of speed. The steering has an artificial feeling to it. It’s not to say that it has lack of feeling and feedback. You can still get a decent feeling of the road and make slow maneuvers with ease. However, it feels like there is a computer interpreting the road for you (which there is). This is not meant to be a sporty crossover, so most customers should be pleased with the ride and handling characteristics. Nissan did their homework here.
It’s available in eight exterior and three interior color choices. The base Murano starts at $29,500 before destination. While the Platinum grade starts at $39,000 and will reach above $40,000 after you add all the options. You can get the large panoramic sunroof, birds-eye view surround camera, heated and cooled front seats, adaptive cruise control, cross traffic alert, and more.
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, software engineer, writer, and reporter. He has been writing and reporting at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or scouring the internet and other media for various automotive, mechanical, and computer related information.