Nissan has deployed the new Murano 4x4 to come good on the styling promises made by the Resonance SUV concept at the 2013 Detroit motor show. Based on the same platform as the Altima saloon, the Murano’s backswept ‘boomerang’ lights, outlandish body surfacing and sharp, low-set nose are all dead ringers for Nissan’s well-received design study.
Americans will be able to buy one of these eccentric lookers in late 2014, but right now Nissan is still mulling the possibility of European (yet alone UK-based) sales.
Why would I swap my BMW X5 for this new Nissan Murano?
First and foremost, the new Murano is, like its two previous generations, all about the styling. With its creased flanks, blacked-out C-pillars and kinked windowline, it’s a world apart from the unassuming X-Trail 4x4.
Despite being wieldier than the previous Murano, the new version has a 16% reduction in aerodynamic drag. It’s thanks to a slight drop in overall height, and Nissan paying close attention to the car’s bumper surfacing, underbody, and adding active grille shutters.
No sensible UK-spec diesel I suppose?
No – just a naturally aspirated, 3.5-litre V6 as used in the old Nissan 350Z. Well, it is an American-market car. The 258bhp, 240lb ft V6 can be mated to a front-drive or all-wheel drive chassis depending on the customer’s specification, and is mated to Nissan’s ‘Xtronic’ CVT automatic transmission as standard.
Bet that’ll be thirsty…
Nissan claims that fuel economy has improved by 20% versus the outgoing Murano, thanks in part to a 59kg weight reduction and those slipperier aerodynamics. Just think, a 30mpg Murano might no longer be a pipe dream!
What about inside?
Illuminated via one of the largest glass roofs in the class, according to Nissan, the Murano’s cabin looks much like an upsized Qashqai’s. A combination of a 7in instrument screen and 8in main infotainment display means Nissan has dropped the number of switches and buttons inside to 10 – down from 25 in the old Murano.
Typically generous Murano equipment grades include dual-zone climate control, power-folding rear seats, and a wealth of passive and active safety aids to pre-empt and prevent a collision, or simply protect occupants when an accident is unavoidable.
Will Nissan bring it to the UK?
That’s still undecided, but there is a precedent. The first-gen Murano (and its ungainly facelifted successor) were sold in the UK from 2005 until 2010. However, due to its combination of polarising looks and petrol-only power (plus the Nissan badge, no doubt), it only shifted a few hundred units per year.