Murano was Nissan’s pitch to those looking for a premium ‘crossover’ vehicle – the all-wheel-drive, SUV-styled family wagon with pretensions to off road and sporting abilities.
It slotted in between old-fashioned but hard-core off-roader, Patrol, and their soft-roader X-Trail. Originally released in 2005, the second generation Z51 arrived early in 2009.
The new model’s striking looks were a clear evolution of the original model. Improvements continued under the skin with engine and suspension upgrades plus measures to make it smoother and quieter.
There were two specifications, the well equipped ST and the premium variant the Ti. The plethora of standard loot on the Ti included six airbags, antilock brakes brake assist, EBD, stability and traction control, leather trim, sunroof, navigation, climate control, Bose audio system, reversing camera, 18” alloys, power tailgate and steering column, heated power front seats, alarm and rain-sensing wipers.
Murano’s 3.5-litre V6, similar to the sporty 350Z, carries over from the earlier model with upgrades for enhanced performance and refinement. Performance isn’t bad, but over kg of SUV blunts even this sweet-revving six. The Xtronic CVT auto with six pre-set ratios for manual shifting is one of the better transmissions of this style. The Z51 is better than its predecessor but still likes a slurp of premium unleaded.
Murano uses Nissan’s All-Mode 4WD system that drives the front wheels and automatically shunts power to the rears also if slip is detected. It also has a lock mode for 50:50 torque split. There’s no low range. It’s really more of an all-road wagon than off-road warrior.
Road manners are above class average, but understeer prevails and the steering needs more road feel. The interior offers handy space but there’s no seven seat version. Thick ‘A’ pillars that obstruct vision and a foot operated park brake are annoyances. Towing, a popular chore for SUVs, is rated to 1500kg maximum.
We couldn’t dig any real dirt on Murano’s reliability. But check for careful scheduled servicing, especially engine oil and coolant to avoid expensive problems. Also check ‘below the waterline’ for damage due to overly adventurous excursions off-road.
Under the pump
Murano (Z51) will use between 8.6 litres and 14.9 litres of fuel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions.
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to CD's online car price guide or our Car review Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.
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