2009 Nissan Murano
I've been a touch remiss in my updates. Bad, bad Bruce.
Last week I drove a 2009 Nissan Murano. According to Nissan, the '09 Murano is a "super evolution" of the vehicle introduced in '03 as a '04. Nissan says everything has been changed - exterior, interior, chassis, etc. I'm betting they didn't want to mess too much with a good thing because it looks almost the same, just improved.
The Murano is one of the best looking crossovers; in '03 it looked futuristic and the freshening keeps it that way.
I enjoyed my time in the Murano but overall it is a bit large for my tastes. With AWD it weighs in at just over 2 tons; with 2WD it's a hundred or so pounds under that weight.
Nissan produces one of the sweetest engines around in their V6 - in the Murano it is 3.5-liters with 265 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque that is delivered through a Continuously Variable Transmission. The Murano is rated at 18-city and 23-highway.
Pricewise the Murano is competitive but too rich for my blood at this time. The base S 2WD starts at $27,680 and the top of the line LE AWD starts at $37,260. If you're in the market for a nice crossover, something that looks elegant but is reliable and easy to maintain, I'd consider the Murano.