By James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2009 Nissan Murano SL AWD

Day 1:

2009 Nissan Murano SL AWD
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The Murano’s look has always been a rather bold design. When first introduced in 2003, it was fairly radical and still looks somewhat futuristic. New for 2009 is an even bolder Murano, more sculpted and more sporty-looking, with cleaned-up lines for a more cohesive and appealing design — especially at the rear of the vehicle.

Admittedly, this is the first time I have driven a Murano or really even looked at the specifications. Starting at $37,648 for the S model, my tester is the next model up — an SL model — starting at $39,348. When launched in 2003 the Murano was only available in all-wheel drive, but in 2004, lower-priced front wheel drive models were added. But for 2009, only AWD is available.

2009 Nissan Murano SL AWD
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Despite that, the S AWD model now starts at a price $1,450 lower than where the entry-level Murano SL FWD began in the 2007 model year. On top of that, the starting price of the 2009 SL AWD model is actually $1,750 lower than that of the 2007 SL AWD model and includes almost $2,000 worth of new features not available on the previous-generation Murano.

The list of standard features in the base S model is really impressive and the additional features in the SL are a good value as well. Standard features include: dual-zone, automatic air conditioning, push-button ignition, 60/40 split fold-flat rear seat, in-dash, six-disc CD changer with six speakers, 18-inch alloy wheels, Traction Control System (TCS) with Vehicle Dynamic Control System (VDC), front side seat airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags.

The SL model adds: front fog lights, steering wheel mounted audio controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way power driver’s seat, power flip-up rear seats, an 11-speaker Bose audio system with XM satellite radio, seven-inch LCD colour display screen with rearview camera and heated front cloth seats.

My tester includes another $3,125 worth of features with a moonroof ($1500), Metallic/Pearl paint ($125) and the luxury package ($1,500). Oddly enough, the “L” in SL does not stand for leather and neither does the luxury package add it. What you do get in the luxury package is bi-xenon HID headlights, bluetooth hands free, power liftgate and the intelligent key system.

2009 Nissan Murano SL AWD
MSRP as tested (including destination): $43,873

For more information on Nissan and the Murano visit Nissan Canada

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