NEW FOR 2015:

– All-new model.

Entering its third generation for 2015, Nissan has given its midsize Murano crossover a complete redesign. Looking like it drove straight out of Nissan’s concept car studios with its floating roof and kicked-up window line, the Murano retains its status as a forward-looking opinion divider – the same thing it’s been since day one.

As before, the Murano rides on Nissan’s D-Platform that is shared with the Altima, Maxima, and Pathfinder. Power comes from a carryover 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6 and it’s paired to a CVT transmission – the same as every Murano sold here since launch. Power output stays even at 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque though the CVT benefits from new logic that improves acceleration feel under heavy throttle. One thing that’s considerably better is fuel economy: the new bodywork reduces drag from 0.37 to a car-like 0.31, while the drivetrain has been optimized to minimize energy losses. Front-wheel drive makes a return to the Murano spec list too; towards the end of the previous generation model, it was AWD-only.

A revamped cabin gains the NASA-inspired “zero gravity” seats from the Altima for first and second-row passengers, and a dashboard design that’s less cluttered. In general the quality of materials has been improved, giving the car an upmarket feel, especially when trimmed with the optional pearl-effect wood trim and Cashmere leather.

The Murano is available in S FWD, SV FWD, SV AWD, SL AWD, and Platinum AWD.

S includes 18-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, auto on/off headlights, LED tail lights, black roof rails, chrome door handles, power heated exterior mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, solar glass with rear privacy tint, 7.0-inch instrument cluster TFT display, 8.0-inch infotainment display with AM/FM/CD system, front USB and aux-in, navigation, SiriusXM Traffic, mobile apps, text-message assistant, Bluetooth, reverse camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, proximity key with push-button start, remote front operated windows, tilt and telescoping steering column, three 12-volt power outlets, stainless steel kick plates, dual-level console storage, six-way manual driver’ seat, four-way manual passenger’s seat, heated front seats, 60/40 split folding rear seats, reclining rear seatbacks with centre armrest, front seatback pockets, cloth upholstery, rear-seat USB port, satellite radio, tire pressure monitor with Easy-Fill Tire Alert, alarm, engine block heater, and hill-start assist.

SV adds fog lights, power panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, remote start, eight-way power driver’s seat, driver’s power lumbar support, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a heated steering wheel. All-wheel drive is available as an option.

The SL adds standard all-wheel drive, silver roof rails, Around View monitor, garage door opener, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, memory function for driver’s seat and mirrors, leather upholstery, four-way power passenger seat, adjustable ambient interior lighting, 11-speaker Bose sound system, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, moving object detection, and driver attention alert.

Platinum builds on the SL with 20-inch alloy wheels, full LED headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, power-return rear seatbacks, power tilt and telescoping steering column with memory, intelligent cruise control, forward collision alert and emergency braking.

Connect with Autos.ca