A new Nissan Murano? This one looks exactly the old one!
That's because it is. We don't have photos of the new Murano yet, but CAR Online was among the first to see the replacement in the metal today at a special sneak preview at the company's Project Imagination Factory design centre outside Tokyo. The new model will be unveiled in Japan at the end of 2007, but won't go on sale in Europe until the first quarter of 2009. This is an all-new model, riding on the latest platform from the Nissan Altima saloon; expect full-time four-wheel drive and a choice of engines, believed to include a diesel for the first time. Today's Murano is a good-looking car and the newcomer keeps many of the same design elements, including the kicked-up C-pillar and cartoon-emphasis wheelarches. Sadly, the new headlamps are way fussier than today's cool, swept-back items; they're now L-shaped, forming an arrow shape that pinches towards the Nissan grille. It's like the pointy front end from the latest Honda Civic, but not as nice. Woops.
That's a shame - I always liked the look of the old Murano
So do we. It's been a bit of a dark horse in the UK, selling just 600-800 a year but appealing with its sleek looks, sky-high specification and high-value promise of a 3.5-litre V6 and CVT auto all for £30k. We'd have one over a BMW X3, any day. The new Murano is bigger in every dimension and feels just as roomy as the old one, with cavernous rear legroom and a vast boot with those clever, drop-down rear seats that collapse at the tug of a lever in the boot. We'll have the full photos and more official details at CAR Online later in the year.