2014 Nissan Murano, sunroofs, dashboard. Click image to enlarge
Review and photos by Jacob Black
There is a new Nissan Murano coming in 2015, which is a good reason to take a look at this 2014 edition. See, now’s the time when dealers need to turf the old stock and make way for the new, so there are deals to be had. And it’s not like the 2014 edition was underdone. In fact it’s got a load of features, tons of practicality and a pretty handy little AWD powertrain.
It really is a surprising rig this Nissan Murano. Firstly there’s the styling – it’s actually a lot more interesting to look at than you first think. Then there’s the drivetrain. Yes, it’s a CVT (booo) but it’s also a 3.5L V6 with 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. So it gets up and goes quicker than you might expect. It even looks kind of sporty in profile and the bi-xenon headlights with LED accents and 18-inch alloys add an upscale appeal.
It’s also surprisingly clever. Some of the neat touches include power flip-up rear seats – they fold down via straps on the seats or a one-touch lever just inside the tailgate, but they also fold back up with buttons just inside the tailgate and just to the left of the steering wheel. This car is filled with little tricks like that: power liftgate that opens from the dashboard and from the tailgate itself, a hidden shopping holder in the cargo area, a sliding drawer in the console for rear-seat storage etc. There are 12v power outlets everywhere, though no 115v outlets. Even the mirrors and steering wheel are connected to the memory seating, so you don’t have to adjust a thing except the rear-view mirror switching between two drivers.
Then there are some not-so-clever tricks. Like the fact I couldn’t unlock the car with the proximity key system once during the time I had it, and couldn’t find the menu setting where it might be fixed either. For the first two days of driving, we didn’t even know it had Sirius, on account of the XM tuner was hidden under the “Aux” button. At least I was pleasantly surprised when I did find it. There was no Bluetooth audio streaming though, which is a fail.
The in-dash screen is tiny, and the buttons and wheel used to control it don’t make much sense. There was no navigation on this tester either – that’s not available til the $45,598 Platinum trim. I think the Murano HMI and infotainment system is due for an upgrade soon – hopefully the 2015’s system will be better.
The interior is a mix of leather and hard plastic, with some faux brushed aluminum thrown in for good measure. It works visually and the dual moonroof adds a bit of light in but the lack of quality materials dates this interior. Cargo space is cavernous, especially once the rear seats are folded flat. There is 895L available with the seats in place and 1,812 with them flat. The area is 753 mm deep (with the seats up) and 1,391 wide. It’s 826 mm high. The standard tonneau cover is a nice touch – I dislike exposed cargo areas.
The seats are reasonably bolstered and the driving position is easy to adjust and comfortable. It’s also quite commanding as this is a largish SUV. Long drives had no impact on my comfort levels and I was impressed by the lack of road and wind noise in the cabin.
2014 Nissan Murano front seats, rear seats, cargo area. Click image to enlarge