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2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD Long-Term Arrival

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/24/2015 Jessica Walker, William Walker
2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD Long-Term Arrival

When assistant road test editor Nate Martinez first drove the 2015 Nissan Murano, he observed: “Just as in 2002, the form prompts immediate curiosity. ‘What is that?’ people will surely ask.” As it turns out, Nate was right. In the month I’ve spent behind the wheel of our new long-term Pacific Sunset orange Murano SL AWD, I’ve had half a dozen or so people come over to ask questions or give me compliments on my SUV. People are intrigued.

At a base price of $39,435, our SL AWD comes pretty loaded. Nissan put a lot of effort into simplifying the new Murano’s interior, reducing the amount of buttons and making the cabin feel luxurious. The NASA-inspired, zero-gravity seats, standard for the SL range, are incredibly comfortable. The centrally located 8-inch multitouch screen is bright, fast, and easy to use. Bluetooth, SiriusXM, AM/FM/CD/MP3—no matter the source, it’s routed through the 11-speaker Bose audio system, including dual subwoofers.

2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD 2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD The exterior features LED taillamps and running lights, heated mirrors (perfect for those icy Southern California days), silver roof rails, a power liftgate, and remote start, which I refer to as remote air-conditioning. We opted for the $2,260 Technology package, which includes a large power panoramic moonroof and a host of active safety equipment, including intelligent cruise control, predictive forward collision warning, and forward emergency braking. We also reached deep and popped for the $210 floormats and cargo area protector. All told my new ride empties the piggy bank to the tune of $41,905.

All that scratch gets you a pretty nice SUV. After living with the Murano for a month, I can comfortably say, well, that it’s comfortable. It’s no slouch of a couch, either. The carryover VQ35DE 3.5-liter V-6 produces 260 hp and 240 lb-ft and propels the Murano smoothly through its Xtronic CVT. It’s not blisteringly quick, but it’s decent enough for zipping through Los Angeles traffic and avoiding the texting masses. And if for whatever reason you need to text your bro or broette from behind the wheel, the Murano has hands-free text messaging, although I don’t think I’ll ever use it. The ride is good, as well, which is important to me as a photographer, as I spend almost as much time hanging out of the back hatch with my camera (on closed roads) as I do behind the wheel. And although the ride is quite compliant, the Murano is still sporty enough to take curves at the speeds I need when photographing something sporty.

2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD It also has plenty of room for all of my gear. The rear NASA-inspired, zero-gravity seat (I like saying that) splits 60/40 to easily swallow all of my photo and lighting equipment and still leave enough room for assistants. The rear seat room is good, as well, and more than comfortable even for a Bigfoot-looking guy like me. The standard rear tinted privacy glass also keeps prying eyes off of my beloved cameras and the sun off of my dog when I’m not using the Murano for official business.

We haven’t put our long-termer through our Real MPG testing yet, but the EPA rates the Murano at 21/28/24 mpg on their city/highway/combined cycles, and combined with a 19-gallon fuel tank and comfy ride quality, that means that my new Nissan should be a great long-distance road-trip vehicle. Hopefully in the next few months I can confirm this fact and rack up a few thousand miles on an adventure. Until then, I will keep enjoying it for my daily commute, as my mobile office, and as my weekend canine transportation vehicle.


2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD
BASE PRICE$39,435
PRICE AS TESTED$41,905
VEHICLE LAYOUTFront-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE3.5L/260-hp/240-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSIONCont. variable auto
WHEELBASE111.2 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT192.8 x 75.4 x 66.6 in
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON21/28/24 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY160/120 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB0.82 lb/mile

2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Nissan Murano SL AWD
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