Murano

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2007 Nissan Murano Test Drive Review

Picture of 2007 Nissan Murano

The Murano brings spacious comfort and sporty handling to the midsize SUV segment.

8 /10
Overall Score

The Murano represents the ideal crossover, combining the versatile cabin and commanding seating position of an SUV with the refinement and driving mannerisms of a car. The Murano also benefits from a wide track and standard V6 power, making it a compelling vehicle to drive. Nissan first introduced the Murano for the 2003 model year, slotting into a unique market position. The Toyota Highlander is larger, but the Honda CR-V is smaller, putting the Murano in a sweet spot that focuses on two spacious rows of seating and some added cargo space when needed.

Look and Feel

9/ 10

The Murano has sharp, futuristic styling, inside and out. The upbeat headlights frame up a unique grille that will ensure the Murano won’t blend in when you’re in a large parking lot. The up-kick design in the rear side windows leads into the rear hatch area, and the taillights look like they could be at home on a luxury sedan.

That luxury experience continues in the cabin, which has a clean, modern design. The shifter is flanked by bright retractable panels for the cup holders and coin tray. When closed, this area looks like it could have come from a Range Rover. Meanwhile, the instrument panel takes inspiration from the Nissan 350Z sports car.

Trims for the Murano are S, SL, and SE. Standard equipment on the S includes 16-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch LCD screen, dual-zone climate control, and a CD player that can be operated via steering-wheel-mounted climate controls. The SL adds a 10-way power driver’s seat, a retractable cover for the rear cargo area, and a reversing camera. Options include navigation, a sunroof, and leather upholstery.

Performance

8/ 10

Nissan foregoes engine options on the Murano, instead going with one solid choice. The 3.5-liter V6 comes from Nissan’s VQ family of engines that power everything from their sports cars like the 350Z to flagship sedans like the Maxima.

In the Murano, this engine makes 245 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque, sent through a continuously variable transmission. Also called a CVT, this transmission doesn’t have traditional gears, but still operates like an automatic. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is the standard setup, while all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional on the S and SL trims but comes standard on the SE.

The V6 makes fantastic power, even with the Murano's 4,000-pound curb weight and some of the inefficiencies associated with CVT transmissions. Pickup is strong at low speeds and when passing on the highway, and it can be made stronger by shifting from “D” to “S” (or Sport) mode.

Thanks to its wide stance, the Murano boasts impressive handling. It has precise steering and feels planted around corners. Anyone making the jump from a sedan to a crossover would do well to drive the Murano… and drive it hard.

Form and Function

7/ 10

The Murano provides 32.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the backseat. When the 60/40 split-fold backseat is folded flat, this figure grows to a generous 81.6 cubic feet, rivaling that of some larger SUVs. If you require more cargo space, look to the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, which provide 87.6 and 95.4 cubes, respectively.

But those Honda and Toyota rivals are designed for 3-row family-hauling. The Murano is all about maximizing the comfort of 2 rows, and it does this well. The cabin is spacious, and the wide track means passengers are seldom rubbing elbows. Most importantly, the Murano packs second-row legroom that you simply can’t find in those 3-row rivals. Even with the front seats slid far back, there is enough legroom and headroom so full-size adults can sit comfortably.

Tech Level

9/ 10

The Murano impresses with a standard 7-inch touchscreen, used to operate the radio and as a display for the climate controls and many other functions, including the available DVD-based navigation system. The base Murano also comes standard with remote keyless entry as well.

The standard stereo includes an in-dash CD player and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Uprated trims are available with a Bose premium sound system that provides a 6-disc CD changer. SiriusXM satellite radio is also available and requires a subscription.

Safety

8/ 10

Standard safety features include front-impact airbags, front-seat-mounted side airbags, and upper side curtain airbags. Other standard safety features include four-wheel antilock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, and active head restraints.

SE and SL trims of the Murano come with a reversing camera, viewed through the aforementioned 7-inch touchscreen. These two trims are also available with Vehicle Dynamic Control, a form of stability control.

Cost-Effectiveness

7/ 10

The AWD version of the Nissan Murano returns fuel economy of 17 mpg city, 23 highway, 19 combined. The FWD version does better, but not by a lot, returning 18 mpg city, 23 highway, 20 combined.

The 2007 Nissan Murano has a base MSRP of $27,750, and an AWD version starts at $29,350. A range-topping AWD SL trim starts at $31,850. Entry-level pricing is several thousand more than the more spacious and versatile Toyota Highlander, however, the Murano forges its own path putting the general comfort of its occupants ahead of maximizing utility.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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Nissan Murano Questions

25

Is There Any Solution To The Brake Squeak, Which Is Usuaully When Reversing...

From day one we've had the sqeaking break(pretty loud) problem. The dealer initially told us it will go away, its new. Now with 3000 miles its worst, they looked at it last week and the service mana...

Hesitation And Engine Light On

jerking and hesitating especially when going uphill. engine light is on.

30

Key Will Not Turn In Ignition

My 2007 Nissan Murrano when inserting the key will not turn. I have tried depressing the break and hard turning the steering wheel. This only locked my steering wheel, now I am not able to turn the ...

Fuel Pump O Ring New One Will Not Go On Too Tight

9 ring new wont go on 2007murano