Test Drive: 2015 Nissan Murano
With a striking new look and decidedly revamped interior, Nissan hopes the newest iteration of their Murano SUV will hit the right note for buyers looking for something fresh and functional.
The new Murano looks like a brand new vehicle for Nissan—and that’s a good thing. It’s almost unrecognizable, proven by the fact that I had more passersby stop and stare during my test week with the vehicle than nearly any car I’ve test driven in quite some time.
What I liked
The new design is spot on. Nissan did itself a favour by not leaning to the conservative end when it came to styling the 2015 Murano—and not relying on past designs to dictate the new generation. The lines in the front grille add movement and excitement. That’s a tough feat to pull off in one fowl swoop.
That same movement and excitement extends to the rest of the exterior, with strong shoulders and elegant lines taking shape from front to back.
Inside, everything is calm and peaceful. There were buttons where there needed to be buttons (volume, tune, HVAC) and touch-screen controls where appropriate (navigation screen). It is the perfect balance that more automakers need to aim for.
I drove the SL trim, which sits just below the top-tier Platinum trim, starting at $39,398. So, this model had a few extra bells and whistles to enjoy including leather seats and Nissan’s Around View Monitor, which gives you a full view of what’s around the Murano. Again, it’s a nice use of technology that adds safety and peace of mind for the driver.
What I Didn’t Like
There wasn’t anything about the Murano that stuck odd or out of place. The 3.5L engine capable of 260HP was adequate but didn’t strike me as particularly exciting to match its design. Perhaps this could have been increased just a bit. But, honestly, is more power a great necessity when looking at SUVs that are primarily meant for families? That’s up to the individual buyer, but it’s hard to fault Nissan for sticking to this tried and true setup.
The price, however, does feel a tad higher than it should be when you enter the top trim levels—especially for a mid-size SUV that isn’t an Infiniti. The starting figure of $29,998 feels a bit more in line with this vehicle.
The 2015 Nissan Murano is a gorgeous SUV. It’s expertly designed, inside and out, and provides a level of comfort and safety that won’t make you second guess giving it a chance. Stick to the bottom two trims (S and SV), though, as they both offer more than enough.