The Nissan Murano is a sleek and stylish mid-size SUV for people who don’t see themselves in the popular Rogue but also don’t necessarily want a big family vehicle like the three-row Pathfinder. For the 2019 Murano, Nissan has stayed away from offering three rows, choosing instead to focus on space, luxury and style. And at this, it has done extremely well.
The Murano’s exterior styling is bold and very unique. There isn’t much else like it on the road and that’s a positive for a crossover looking to stand out. It’ll likely attract the eye of more mature buyers who have graduated from needing to haul their families and perhaps would like to treat themselves to something a little snazzier.
Now in its third generation, Murano receives a comprehensive refresh for the 2019 model year. The revisions to Murano's exterior add a more pronounced front V-motion grille, redesigned LED headlights and taillights, new LED fog lights, new 18-inch and 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheel designs and three fresh new exterior colours – Sunset Drift Chromaflair, Mocha Almond Pearl and Deep Blue Pearl.
The cabin interior of the Murano Platinum is an overall wondrous place that envelops its occupants in the lap of near-luxury. Enhancements to the inside this year are led by new semi-aniline leather-appointed seats with diamond-quilted stitching and contrasting micro-piping trim for the seats, door armrests and centre console lid for the Platinum version.
Kudos to Nissan for providing a standard gear selector instead of some electronic dial – I’ve yet to meet anyone who prefers that. Same goes for the climate controls and column knob - it’s a traditional design, but one that has been perfected. The elbow room is fantastic as is the overall layout of the cabin. The trunk meanwhile is cavernous and offers a ton of space (good thing because I had to bring my three boys to hockey practice and the bags fit perfectly). The power liftgate made the whole ordeal - I mean joyful experience - very easy.
Nissan’s infotainment system is similarly very easy to use though I could have done without the darn automatic weather updates. I couldn’t figure out how to turn them off and twice per trip a loud voice warned of an incoming storm. Nobody gets their weather from their car, Nissan. Conversely, a head-up display would be a welcome option.
Under the hood there is but one engine option here, which is the 3.5L V6 rated at 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Also standard is a continuously variable transmission that the company says has been tuned for quick response and smoothness. I do have to say that as far as boring CVTs go, the Murano’s was one of the better ones I’ve had the duty – I mean pleasure - of testing. It was smooth yet responsive and allowed the engine to power the crossover to highways speeds in no time with ease. I thought it was a sporty and fun drive all around, and try as I might I found little to complain about.
Safety features are plentiful on the Murano and there are a host of upgrades for 2019. Every Murano includes as standard the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and an occupant classification sensor, front-seat mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with a rollover sensor and a driver supplemental knee air bag. For 2019, a front passenger knee supplemental airbag and rear seat side-impact supplemental airbags have been added for a total of 10.
If you’re looking to get into a Murano there are four trims to choose from: S, SV, SL and Platinum. All of them have NissanConnect featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration on the 8.0-inch touchscreen. The S also includes Bluetooth, 18-inch wheels and four USB ports and starts at $32,248.
The $38,748 SV will add 10-way driver/4-way front passenger power seats, black roof rails, remote engine start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink Universal Transceiver, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
SL models add navigation leather seats, a Bose sound system, around-view monitor, heated front and rear seats, intelligent cruise, parking sensors, fog lights and 20-inch wheels for $42,948.
Finally, the Platinum model that you see here has all the bells and whistles including a panoramic moonroof, unique 20-inch Dark Hyper Silver machined aluminum-alloy wheels, heated and cooled front seats, auto high beams (which is my least favorite option) automatic emergency braking lane departure warning rear automatic braking and the interior upgrades mentioned above for $45,998.
Ample space inside
Good finishing in a sumptuous interior
A CVT that surpasses low expectations
We like less
If you need three rwos of seats, you'll have ot look elsewhere
No head-up display available
The prices can climb alarmingly as you move up the trim levels and add options