Review by Dan Heyman and Brendan McAleer. Photos by Dan Heyman and Brendan McAleer.
Webster’s online defines “Platinum” as a “precious grayish-white non-corroding ductile malleable heavy metallic element that fuses with difficulty and is used especially in chemical ware and apparatus, as a catalyst, and in dental and jewelry alloys.” “Titanium”, meanwhile, is a “silvery-gray light strong metallic element obtained from ilmenite and rutile and used especially in alloys and combined in refractory materials, pigments, and coatings.”
So, basically, one can be found in grandpa’s mouth or on grandma’s wrist, the other in the structure of the tennis racket Djokovic just used to defeat FedEx, or within the paint used on the trucks from the delivery company of the same name.
Either way, I’m not sure either element screams “mid-size crossover”, but here we are with two cars that have nevertheless been labelled as such: The 2015 Ford Edge Titanium, and the 2015 Nissan Murano Platinum. For the Nissan, precious metal signifies top trim (there aren’t even any available option packages), while Ford’s entrant falls to the Sport in the “King Edge” sweepstakes, if we’re talking price and price alone.
That is an important consideration, because it suggests that perhaps one of these is a better jack-of-all-trades than the other, and while being a JOAT when you’re a muscle car or sporty roadster may not be that important, it’s an important aspect to consider when we’re talking mid-size crossovers like this.
Indeed, that distinction may be what separates places one and two in this comparo.
Just the briefest of comments here, as presumably you own eyeballs and have already made up your own mind about which of these two look best. However, there’s still something here to be learned.
The Murano’s futuristic, cut-and-carved look seems cribbed from the BMW i8, and is far edgier than the Edge’s more conservative look. We’ve seen the former starting to spread through the Nissan lineup, first in the Maxima, and now in the facelift for the Altima. It’s something of an acquired taste, and will doubtless age rather quickly, but it’s quite a likable look overall. It’s significantly less berserker-aggressive than the current RX lineup, for instance, and the new Altima in particular looks pretty good.
The Edge favours a more lantern-jawed, American approach, and this too is pleasing. It’s also pretty much the only argument out there that there might be room for Lincoln to exist above top-level Ford products: it’s not added features, for the Titanium has pretty much every gee-whiz option you’d wish for, nor is it a badge-based premium (because Lincoln hasn’t had much for years). Rather, it might be some extra added style. For now, the Murano is the more daring of the two offerings.
Ride, Performance and Handling
If we were to use styling – and styling alone – to determine which of these was the better handler, the answer is pretty obvious: the Murano, with its flared surfaces, sliced-up bodywork, “floating” roof (the blacked-out d-pillar providing the mirage), aggressive fascia, two-tone rims and generally aggressive stance would be the car I’d pick. If the new Maxima is being labelled as a “four-door sports car”, then – again, based on styling alone – the Murano is the gentleman racer’s crossover.