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2012 Nissan Murano LE AWD Platinum Edition Review

2012 Nissan Murano LE AWD Platinum Edition Review

The stylish big brother By ,

For the better part of a decade now, members of my family have been Nissan owners. As we entered the new millennium, my father decided to ditch our boat of a Plymouth Acclaim and invest in a brand new car: a 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE. At the time, I was still a student and had just gotten my driver's license. My vehicular obsession had begun and I was none too pleased when my parents came home with the beige (inside and out, to match the house so my mother claimed), automatic Sentra.

2012 Nissan Murano LE AWD Platinum rear 3/4 view
It's not that the Murano isn't a good vehicle, just that it's rather pricey for not that much more. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/

I would come to own said Sentra within a year's time (for more on that story, make sure you check out my 2012 Nissan Sentra SL review), at which point my parents got another automatic Sentra GXE (charcoal grey this time, sans spoiler with a beige interior, again). A few years after sharing a vehicle with my mother, my father ran to the dealer to get himself an '05 Nissan Altima 2.5. And when my mother's Sentra lease was up in '07 she upgraded to a bright blue Nissan Rogue SL AWD. Most recently, my parents once again exchanged their old Rogue for a brand new, pearly white, 2011 Nissan Rogue AWD.

While I left the Nissan brand behind for Subaru after a few years of driving the Sentra, my parents are quite attached to the brand. And I can see why.

After being exposed to the Nissan brand so blatantly over the past decade, sometimes I lose perspective on the new models. However, lately I've tried my best to be objective about it all, especially when it came to the 2012 Nissan Murano LE AWD.

Quite the looker
If there's one thing I can commend Nissan on, it's a willingness to try new things. From the cube to the Juke to the Quest, Nissan isn't afraid to make a statement on the road. While I do wish they'd hurry up and make a statement with the Sentra and Altima, at least they're taking chances elsewhere in their lineup.

While the exterior design of the Murano isn't exactly daring, it is eye-catching. There haven't been any major styling changes to the 2012 model, just a few tweaks here and there to make it stand out as the new edition, and enough to turn heads on the road. While some may not take to the over-the-headlights grille front fascia, I quite like it and it's grown on me over the past few years.

I also like the Murano's almond body shape. While the Rogue follows similar lines, the Murano is clearly the older, more sophisticated brother and has classier lines and edges than the Rogue does.

My particular Nissan Murano tester was the LE model complete with a Platinum package which meant my ride was sitting atop 20” seven-spoke chromed wheels, with matching silver-accented roof rails. Inside, wood-trim accents, telescopic steering wheel, DVD player and Nissan's navigation system make onboard journeys rather plush and technologically packed. You also get a fancy, exclusive “Platinum” badge on the back – ooh, la la.

2012 Nissan Murano LE AWD Platinum front view
While some may not take to the over-the-headlights grille front fascia, I quite like it and it's grown on me over the past few years. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/