2012 Nissan Murano

The 2012 Nissan Murano competes well in the arena Crossovers.

It has good looks, good quality interiors, powerful engine and good handling. The Murano is definitely a better choice for those who want an affordable midsize SUV.

The new Murano definitely gives great value for your money.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Crossover Base Price: $29,960.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 22 gallons (83L) MPG: 18 city / 24 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 189.9 in. (482.3 cm) Wheel Base: 111.2 in. (282.4 cm)
Height: 67 in. (170.1 cm) Width: 74.1 in. (188.2 cm)
Curb Weight: 3841 lbs (1742 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.4 in. (18.7 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 31.6 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 24 Valve V6 DOHC Displacement: 3.5 Liter
Horsepower: 260 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 240 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm Transmission: Xtronic CVT
0-60 mph: 7.1 seconds Max Towing Capacity: 3500 lbs (1587 kgs)
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Murano SV MSRP: $33,530; MPG: 18 city / 24 hwy
Option:Murano SL MSRP: $37,230; MPG: 18 city / 24 hwy
Option:Murano LE MSRP: $38,960; MPG: 18 city / 24 hwy
Option:Murano CrossCabriolet MSRP: $44,540; MPG: 17 city / 22 hwy

Engine

The 2012 Murano has a 3.5 liter V6 engine that delivers 260 horsepower and 240 lbs/ft of torque. Its convertible variant, the Nissan Cross Cabriolet adds 5 more horsepower and 8 more lbs/ft of torque. The engine is paired with a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT).

When you shift gears, the CVT matches the engine speed to the new gear, drawing optimum power. We love this clever feature because it does not just deliver power; it also makes the engine more fuel efficient.

Performance

With its powerful engine paired with a clever transmission system, the new Murano performs well in highway. With its handling, you will not have problems driving around the city either. You can even pass through back alleys where the turns are sharper - we give good credit to Nissan for making the SUV nimble enough for different road conditions.

According to the EPA, the front wheel drive Murano has a fuel economy rating of 24 mpg for highway and 18 mpg for city driving. This statistics is average in its class. The all-wheel drive model has the same consumption rate for city driving but it reduces the efficiency for highway driving by one (23 mpg).

The Murano is consistent during turns, it does not lose composure. And while other SUVs lean too much, the Murano does not, making it one of the best-handling in its class.

Exterior

The new Murano has a sharp and sporty look. We give good scores to Nissan for making the Murano unique. There are fewer lines and the curves are not as pronounced as with a Hyundai, but it exudes a different appeal that prospective owners will surely love.

Interior

A high quality interior is hard to find in affordable SUVs but Nissan seems to be so deep in the competition for them to go this far. In summary, the interior for the Murano is a perfect introduction to the luxury level.

The hardtop Murano can seat five persons and the Cross Cabriolet can seat four. Leather seats are standard in both models. There is adequate room for adult passengers and the seats are definitely comfortable.

The Murano is generous in providing head and legroom, one trait that is missing in some of its competitors. If you are a growing family or if you need to frequently carry adults for passengers, you will not have problems with the Murano.

Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2012 Murano 4 out of 5 stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Murano a "good" score in rear crash protection, side impact and frontal offset tests. It received a "marginal" score for the roof strength test.

The new Murano has plenty of safety features. These are the active head restraints in the front seat, dual-stage airbags, door-mounted side airbags and side air-bags for the front seats to name a few.

Reliability

The Murano comes with the standard 3-year limited warranty and a 5-year warranty for the powertrain.

Pros

The Nissan Murano has few flaws. It has good style, adequate engine, high quality cabin and excellent handling.

Cons

The Murano has less rear visibility and less cargo space.

Competition

The Ford Edge (MSRP $27,770; 19 city / 27 hwy), Honda Pilot (MSRP $28,620; 18 city / 25 hwy), and the Toyota Highlander (MSRP $29,395; 18 city / 24 hwy) are mid SUVs that are worth looking at as well.

Overall Rating
75 out of 100

What others say:

“It's stylish and refined, but the 2012 Nissan Murano isn't the most space-efficient crossover.”Car Connection

“Testers are divided on steering feel; some cite accurate response and others find it too light in any situation. Overall balance is just OK, as Murano feels wallowy and ponderous in even light-duty cornering; the convertible even more so. The brakes offer sure stopping control with good pedal feel.”Consumer Guide

“The pleasant and well-rounded Murano has a nice interior and a comfortable ride.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“If you're looking for a crossover vehicle with plenty of space for people and cargo but that doesn't look like a rolling bread box, the 2012 Nissan Murano CUV is the logical choice.”KBB

“High-quality cabin; spacious backseat; responsive powertrain; precise steering and confident handling; smooth ride; user-friendly controls. Less cargo space than many rivals; compromised rear visibility.”Edmunds