Realizing that most Suv-owners never venture any further off-pavement than that pothole-riddled side road, car manufacturers are now focused on crossover SUVs, which, as you probably know, emphasize a carlike ride, leaving off-road functionality but a vestige. Nissan’s crossover is the stylish Murano and it’s marketed as an "urban SUV.Murano gets its name from glass art made on islands near Venice.
In 2007 the crossover sport utility vehicle from Nissan continues to offer an unmatched combination of innovative design, SUV utility, sport sedan-style ride and performance and a standard, advanced Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).Nissan Murano received top honors in the Midsize Multi-Activity Vehicle segment of J.D. Power and Associates’ 2006 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) study.Murano is powered by a 240-horsepower 3.5–liter DOHC V6 mated to the fuel-efficient Xtronic CVT. As Nissan’s most advanced transmission technology, Xtronic CVT is sport-tuned for smooth, quiet acceleration and enhanced fuel efficiency .
For 2007, Murano receives only minor enhancements from the 2006 model, adding a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and driver and passenger seat belt warning lamps to Murano’s safety notification system.
"Murano combines the dynamic performance of its standard 3.5-liter V6 and Xtronic CVT with the utility of an SUV for around-town or weekend adventures," said Bill Bosley, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. "The fact that J.D. Power’s survey of over 63,000 new car owners named Murano the best-in-segment confirms that this is just the combination that customers are looking for."
Developed, designed and engineered specifically for the North American market, and now sold in a growing number of countries around the world, Murano was conceived as an exciting alternative to the growing number of look-alike crossover SUVs in the market.
The Murano boasts a sleek exterior that features wraparound surface construction, a prominent stylized front grille and an upswept greenhouse that helps the ’ute live up to Nissan’s stated aim of creating a "sculpture in motion." Vertically stacked headlights with HID bulbs are offered to shed light on the road ahead; in back, a lightweight cargo door made from an advanced steel-reinforced plastic makes for easier opening and closing. Spoilers front and rear spoiler add aerodynamic sportiness to the ’ute’s lines, with the whole kit-and-caboodle riding on large 18-inch wheels and tires.
The 2007 Murano’s unique, modern design is made possible, in part, by the use of Nissan’s advanced FF-L (front engine, front-drive) platform, which shares platform elements with the popular Maxima and Quest. The FF-L platform pushes the wheels out to the corners, allowing a long wheelbase and wide stance within a manageable overall length. Along with the platform’s inherent handling and performance advantages, it allows greater packaging and styling flexibility.
The Murano exterior, guided by a "sculpture in motion" theme, offers a wraparound surface construction, an architectural front grille and sporty, upswept-shaped D-pillars that blend with the rounded rear cargo door to project a three-dimensional feel. Exterior accents include brushed aluminum rear bumper protector and roof rails (SE), fog lamp rings (SL, SE), chrome accent side sills (SL and SE) and lower front bumper and LED rear combination lamps.
Murano is offered in a choice of eight exterior colors: Sunset Red, Brilliant Silver, Merlot, Chardonnay, Platinum, Glacier Pearl, Super Black and Midnight Blue.
The Murano’s spacious, cleanly styled interior provides seating for five. Targeting Nissan buyers with active lifestyles, the Murano’s highly integrated roomy interior allows first-class seating for two couples (but can comfortably fit five passengers). Interior enhancements for 2007 include standard 4-way power drivers seat (10-way power on SE and SL), available Leather Package, RearView Monitor (standard on SL and SE), 7-inch LCD color display (standard on all models), Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) and illuminated steering wheel controls.
Murano’s standard split fold-down rear seat includes a reclining feature and a remote flip-down function, so the seats can be released from the rear cargo area.
Other interior amenities include standard dual zone climate controls and rear air conditioning vents located on the B-pillars and power windows with auto reverse feature.
Murano also features an extensive use of real aluminum, which is incorporated into the door trim, center console, shift area and instrument panel. In addition, an available 225-watt Bose® audio system with 7 speakers and a standard 7-inch LCD color display monitor, with HVAC, audio, trip and navigation system (optional) controls are integrated into a one-piece "floating" pod design. A DVD mobile entertainment system and satellite radio (XM® or Sirius™) is also available. The Murano interior is offered in a selection of two colors: Charcoal and Café Latte.
Murano’s long wheelbase, wide stance and compact rear multi-link suspension design helps create a rear cargo area that offers exceptional room and utility. Murano also offers a highly functional double-fold, two-tiered lockable center console storage bin. Additional storage areas include a tray and two bins under the cargo floor.
The 2007 Murano comes with many standard safety features, including Advanced Air Bag System (AABS), roof-mounted curtain supplemental side-impact/rollover air bags for front-and rear-seat occupant head protection and enhanced driver instrumentation, including the addition of standard Tire Pressure Monitor System and driver/passenger seat belt warning lamps. Zone Body Construction with front and rear crumple zones help dissipate the crash energy away from the passenger compartment. Also standard are front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchors and tether system with front seat active head restraints.
Performance, Economy, Handling
The Murano shares its platform with the Altima and Maxima sedans and, as such, boasts a four-wheel independent suspension.
The 2007 Nissan Murano comes in a choice of AWD for enhanced all-weather performance or front-wheel drive. All models come equipped with a standard 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine, derived from the award-winning engine used in the 2007 Altima and Maxima sedans. The engine is rated at 240 horsepower and 244 lb-ft of torque.
The Nissan Murano also features Nissan’s advanced Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). Unlike conventional stepped gear automatics, the Xtronic CVT operates as essentially "one gear" through use of a belt and two pulleys that continuously change diameter to maintain optimal torque ratios and prevent the excess engine RPM right before shifting that wastes fuel.
By varying the working diameters of the two pulleys reciprocally, the transmission eliminates the "steps" between gears, resulting in a smoother, more efficient operation by keeping the engine in its optimum power range under a variety of driving and load conditions. In addition to aiding Murano’s sedan-equivalent fuel economy and performance, this benefit is especially apparent in long uphill drives where the traditional hunting for the proper gear is virtually eliminated. A manual shift mode is standard on SE models.
Other available performance features include Traction Control System (TCS) and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), which helps improve vehicle stability by controlling brake pressure and engine torque automatically in understeer, oversteer or slippery road surface conditions.
Responsive handling and a comfortable ride are provided by the Nissan Murano’s standard 4-wheel independent suspension, which includes an advanced multi-link rear suspension, cradle-type front subframe and high-stiffness stabilizer bars. The braking system includes 4-wheel vented disc brakes with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD).
Functional, Sporty Options to Satisfy Demands
The 2007 Nissan Murano is available in five well-equipped models – 2WD S, SL and AWD S, SL and SE – along with several equipment packages. Every Murano comes fully equipped with the 240-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, Xtronic CVT, 4-wheel disc bakes with ABS, EBD and BA, 4-wheel independent suspension, power rack-and-pinion steering and a standard 21.7 gallon fuel tank for an exceptional driving range between refueling.
Handling characteristics are excellent, particularly for a utility vehicle. The Murano’s sharp reflexes are complemented by Nissan’s award-winning 3.5-liter V6, this time paired with a continuously variable transmissions (CVT). While the CVT has noticeable benefits on fuel economy, its sluggish response in traffic detracts from an otherwise enjoyable driving experience. Even so, the Murano has a lot to recommend it for anyone seeking a spacious and stylish transport through the urban maze.
Also standard are 18-inch alloy wheels, reclining rear seat backs, dual zone automatic temperature control, AM/FM/CD audio system with available mp3 capability, 7-inch LCD color display, power windows with auto up/down feature on front windows, keyless remote entry system, illuminated steering wheel controls and much more.
The Murano SE model includes a sport-tuned suspension with firmer front/rear springs and struts and shock absorbers, manual shift mode, unique sporty alloy wheels, dark silver lower front bumper and High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with manual headlamp levelizer.
Optional equipment packages include a Convenience Package (S model only) with 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar and seat back pockets, adjustable pedals, roof rails, cargo net and cover. The Premium Package (SE and SL models) offers a Bose audio system, adjustable pedals, roof rails, cargo net and cover.
The Sunroof Package (SL and SE) includes the contents from the Premium Package plus sunroof; the SL and SE Leather Package offers the contents of the Sunroof Package plus leather-appointed seats, 4-way adjustable power passenger’s seat and dark silver-colored lower bumper (SL model only).
The SL and SE Touring Package include the contents from the Leather Package plus Intelligent Key, driver’s seat memory system (seat, adjustable pedals and outside mirrors), heated front seats and outside mirrors, HID xenon headlights (SL model only) and available satellite radio.
The Dynamic Control Package, which includes Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control System, is available with the Touring Package, as is a DVD-based navigation system.