New from the crown to the root, the 2015 Nissan Murano returns with a much-improved vehicle. Nissan keeps finding new uses for its 3.5 VQ engine. This carryover power-plant makes 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Despite being an old design, and being hooked up to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the VQ V-6 is smooth and never runs out of breath, even at high altitude.
EPA estimates resound at 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. During testing in mixed driving, mostly at high altitude, the 2015 Nissan Murano averaged 25 mpg.
Speaking of the CVT: the 2015 Nissan Murano has one of the best CVTs out there. It works much more like a traditional automatic transmission while forgoing the noise and high engine revving normally associated with CVTs. It still clears it throat when you plant your right foot, but never sounds harsh.
Weighing in at about two tons, the 2015 Nissan Murano can’t hide its weight when pushed around corners. Its heart is willing, the steering weight is somewhat sporty and the grip is impressive; however, when pushed hard, the font end plows a bit. Still, that’s only an issue when you push past its limits. In a way, it feels like the current Toyota Highlander V6 – which is an adept on-road cruiser.
The brakes, traction-control and AWD system work beautifully on icy surfaces. It’s completely automatic with power being sent to the rear wheels when needed. Testing in winter conditions also revealed the 2015 Nissan Murano’s amazing third-eye or “Around View” feature to be a true asset. It uses cameras at four corners which can be used to simulate a bird’s-eye perspective above the vehicle. Combine that with an additional right-side-view camera, and it helps mitigate the blind spots to ease parking and positioning the vehicle, especially in tricky situations.
Nissan’s biggest triumph with the 2015 Nissan Murano is the versatile interior. The seats, molded on Nissan’s “Zero Gravity” kitsch, may sound silly, but they truly work. They coddled my sizable frame without having a tug on the sacral, back-side, hips, shoulders or solar plexus. Yep, it’s that comfortable. Lest you feel the backseat passengers have been forgotten by Nissan; for they haven’t. Back-seat legroom, headroom and overall comfort is excellent, possibly best-in-class.
Maximum cargo room is an impressive 69.9 cubic feet. Behind the second row, there’s 39.6 cu-ft of cargo space.
Interior fit and finish has improved as well. It’s a major step forward over the last generation Nissan Murano. The ride is very comfortable and the interior is very quiet. Hopefully, it’s a sign that Nissan is ultimately working to upgrade their interiors throughout their line.
Prices for the 2015 Nissan Murano start at $30,445. Adding $1,600 for AWD, our tester, a nearly-loaded AWD SL priced in at $39,435.
This model came with:
- Roof rails with silver accent
- Heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature
- Heated front seats
- Leather appointed seats
- Auto-dimming inside mirror
- Trim Level Key Content
- Driver seat and outside mirror position memory
- HomeLink® Universal Transceiver
- Ambient Lighting
- Bose® audio system with 9 speakers plus dual subwoofer
- Around View® Monitor
- Moving Object Detection (MOD)
- Blind Spot Warning (BSW)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
The final point that brings all seven chakras together is its body; its styling. Bold for some and bizarre for others, the 2015 Nissan Murano is difficult to ignore. It certainly looks like its prototype with over-exaggerated visuals throughout. The only issues with the design, one which which its predecessor succeeded, is its massive front overhang. It looks spiffy, but it robs the approach angle (just 13.8 degrees) and makes the 2015 Nissan Murano unable to handle anything substantial off road. It does help with aerodynamics, but it turns the new Murano into a large wagon rather than anything resembling an actual SUV.
Tarmac, highway, snow and ice are its domain now.
All in all, Nissan went bold and it worked. Sure, it would be more exciting if they beefed it up with gobs of horsepower, but it still drives nicely and rewards passengers with comfortable innards. All you need are a few crystals, new-age music (the Bose stereo system is impressive) and you will feel your inner chi become one with NASA-inspired seating.
Well done Nissan.
Check out this 2015 Nissan Murano video review!
… yes, I found places to sneak in all seven chakras.