2015 Nissan Murano Preview

Jeff Youngs | Apr 17, 2014
FAST FACTS
  • Redesigned inside and out
  • Simplified primary controls
  • Expanded optional panoramic roof
  • Available heated rear seats
  • V-6 powertrain carried over from previous Murano
  • 20% gain in fuel economy
  • Increased rear knee room and cargo space
  • Additional safety features
  • Production moves from Japan to Mississippi
  • Goes on sale in late 2014

Introduction

Over the past decade, the boxy exterior and unrefined ride was dropped on several SUV models, and these vehicles were transformed and reintroduced as more comfortable and efficient crossover (CUV) models (Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder, for example). Automakers are adopting a formula that has made the Nissan Murano successful since its debut in 2003. For 2015, this versatile 5-passenger people mover gets a makeover consisting of bolder styling, improved aerodynamics offering greater fuel efficiency, enhanced safety, and a combination of materials and accommodations that bump the Murano deeper into premium territory.

Exterior Features

If the 2015 Nissan Murano looks familiar, that could be attributed to its evolutionary exterior design, or perhaps you've seen the Resonance concept car on which this crossover is based. Compared to its predecessor, the new Murano sits lower and is both longer and wider, but the overall look is unmistakable, despite the heavily sculpted fenders and quarter panels, so-called boomerang headlights and taillights, LED daytime running lights, pronounced rocker panels, and the grafting of Nissan's new corporate grille onto the front end. Black rear pillars and a body-color roof have been designed to give the latter a floating appearance. Buyers have a choice of 18- or 20-in. alloy wheels.

Interior Features

As this preview is written, Nissan has not announced many specifics about the 2015 Murano lineup, though the company has said S, SV, SL, and Platinum trim levels will be available. Common to each of those variants will be a redesigned interior featuring a less cluttered dash that has seen its button count drop from 25 to 10, "NASA-inspired zero gravity" seats used for all passengers, 7 air bags, extra rear knee room courtesy of reshaped front buckets, and an enlarged cargo area.

Other amenities that may be dependent on trim level include dual-zone climate control, new power-folding rear seats, push-button and remote start systems, leather upholstery, 7-in. gauge display, and memory settings for the driver.

Optional Features

In keeping with its premium persona, the 2015 Murano will be available with a number of desirable upgrades, such as an 11-speaker Bose audio system with satellite and HD Radio services, new LED headlights, 8-in. touch-screen infotainment system, heated rear seats as well as heated and cooled front seats, smartphone-linked navigation unit, and a panoramic power tilt/slide moonroof that provides a larger opening than the previous iteration.

These comfort and convenience add-ons are complemented by a generous suite of safety technologies, among which you'll find a blind-spot monitoring system, forward-collision warning, intelligent cruise control, cross-traffic alert, and a 360-degree exterior camera view with moving-object detection.

Under the Hood

While much has changed about the 2015 Nissan Murano, the engine and transmission are direct carryovers from the outgoing model. Drivers will be working with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 260 horsepower and 240 lb.-ft. of torque, and a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT) responsible for directing output to the ground via the front or all four wheels.

Interestingly, Nissan made a point of saying this will be the new Murano's powertrain "at launch." That leaves the door open for a possible hybrid variant in the not-too-distant future.

Fuel Economy

Fuel-economy figures are not yet available for the 2015 Nissan Murano, though the automaker claims this next-generation crossover will deliver a significant 20% improvement compared with the outgoing model. Based on 2014 EPA estimates, that figures out to about 21 mpg in the city, up to 29 mpg on the highway (28 mpg with AWD), and 24 mpg combined.
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