Powerful, neat, tidy, fun. But make sure CVT is for you
Nothing whilst it was ours.
We rented this beast for a week whilst on holiday in New Jersey. The choice was between a Dodge Nitro and this; and since I have had lots of Japanese cars before, I went with the familiarity factor.
It's not small by anyone's standards. Plus, the US version rides on higher suspension than the European model, probably because everyone else on US roads has such an enormous car! The size made it feel safe, powerful, assured. I'm falling into the SUV trap, clearly.
The interior feels tasteful and focused. I especially liked the instrument displays, which were big and easy to read. Everything was set out logically and I was even able to plug in my MP3 player without having to consult the instruction manual.
On the road, it was fantastic. Powerful and revvy, thanks to the Continually Variable Transmission (CVT). It felt a little too revvy at first, but I soon learnt not to rapidly put my foot down. The ride is taught and communicative, not wallowy and floaty like some American cars can be. I didn't have it long enough to test the 4WD. But if you're doing serious off roading, you won't be buying a new Murano.
I had never driven in the States before, but after just minutes in the car, I felt confident enough to drive 150 miles to the beach. I guess in terms of driver confidence the car has achieved its goal. There was plenty of room for passengers, although the boot isn't as big as I thought it would be, considering how big the car looks on the outside.
As for bad points, the main bad point is the quite horrific situation when it comes to blind spots. If a car is slightly behind you on the highway, you won't see it until you've started to move over and the other guy beeps you. You'll need to change your driving style or take out life insurance.
Due to the aforementioned lack of visibility, parking is difficult. I hadn't a clue how close to the curb I was.
Also, the fancy Intelligent Key starter button system got annoying quickly. Can't I just turn the key in the ignition to start a car any more?
As a minor annoyance, you have to press the unlock button twice to open all the doors. Grrr.
The car wasn't very fuel efficient, averaging about 19 MPG on a highway cruise. The trip computer gives you an instant MPG readout, though curiously, it goes up to 60 MPG. Perhaps Nissan wants us to think that 'other' owners are getting more mpg's than we are.
All in all - great car for the US market, and it should just about work in Europe too.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st July, 2008