2009 Nissan Murano Review

2009 Nissan Murano - Simply irresistible.


Nissan's commitment to doing their homework pays off again with the all-new second generation Nissan Murano. Still one of the most unique looking five-passenger SUVs out there, the Murano's new aggressive styling and sweeping lines will attract more attention.

Because Nissan did their homework and hit their mark, ever since it debuted in 2003 (for the 2004 model year) the Nissan Murano has been one of the most popular crossover SUVs.

Those that like Murano, including me, appreciate its sporty, athletic styling, comfortable cabin, and impressive ride characteristics. So, when it was time to redesign Murano for the 2009 model year, Nissan once again studied hard.

The task of bettering a popular vehicle is not easy. One of the questions facing Nissan was whether to add a third-row seat to the second-generation Murano. Nissan elected to forego a third-row seat and keep Murano as a five-passenger vehicle.

Folks with greater people-hauling needs will have to look elsewhere. But for those who liked the old Murano, and those that don't need a third-row seat, the new second-generation Murano offers plenty of reasons to smile.

One of the most striking aspects of the 2009 Murano is its new body. The familiar Murano shape is still there, but the new front end features a distinctively more aggressive grille.

A new hood sweeps into the sculpted, dynamic bodylines, with pronounced wheel arches and 18-inch or 20-inch wheels providing an athletic stance.

Murano's redesigned rear end features large LED taillights and dual exhaust outlets with chrome tips. New available exterior features for 2009 include rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power liftgate, enhanced RearView Monitor with rear view camera and a large, dual panel power sliding glass moonroof and second-row skylight - a new feature that provides an open-air experience for Murano passengers without compromising head room.

Slip inside the new Murano and you'll be greeted by a luxurious and spacious interior. There's plenty of head and leg room in both rows for tall individuals.

Murano's new front seats have been designed for enhanced support. The 60/40 fold-flat rear seat is now available with a convenient power return feature that returns the seat to the upright position with the touch of a button.

Heated seats are available in the front and rear. Also available are new double-stitched leather-appointed seating surfaces for an inviting, luxurious feeling.

Another new, innovative Murano feature is an available foldaway cargo organizer. Standard interior features include push button ignition, dual-zone climate controls, and an AM/FM/CD6/six-speaker audio system with AUX-in jack, VTR jack and MP3/WMA capability.

The XM satellite radio and an awesome Bose audio system are available as upgrades. However, an iPod connector is only offered in the top-of-the-line LE model.

All 2009 Muranos feature Nissan's award-winning 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Power is transferred to a new, advanced Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with Adaptive Shift Control (ACS) that provides a sporty driving experience and the smoothness that only a shift-less transmission can offer.

All 2009 Muranos are available in front-wheel drive or with an advanced all-wheel-drive system that adjusts to road conditions. AWD models provide sure-footed traction on slippery pavement.

Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with a Traction Control System (TCS) for all-weather confidence in front-wheel or all-wheel-drive configurations is standard on all Murano models.

The ride is exceptionally smooth and quiet. About the only complaint I have is that when changing lanes you'll need to rely totally on your side mirrors as the small rear quarter windows restrict visibility. Fuel economy is a bit low, too. My 2009 Murano SL AWD tester was rated at 18/23 mpg.

Still, with a price range of about $27,000 to $37,000, the Murano is very likable. It's a vehicle that looks better in person. And it's a vehicle that once you drive it, you'll be hooked.

2009 Nissan Murano SL AWD

3.5-liter (265 hp) V-6

Transmission: CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic

Drive type: AWD

Fuel economy: 18 city/23 highway

Base price: $29,480

As tested: $32,825 (includes $745 for destination)

Web site: www.nissanusa.com