There’s always been a certain appeal about the Nissan Murano, a popular SUV for the Japanese brand that continues to serve the company well.
Last year, the third generation of the Murano received a midlife makeover that included a revised V-motion grille, redesigned LED headlights and taillights, LED fog lights, new wheel designs and additional exterior colours.
For the 2020 model year, not much else has changed.
Offered in five trims – S, SV, SL, Platinum and Limited Edition – the five-seat Murano starts at $32,898. The Platinum version we tested, with an additional $135 for the Cayenne red paint, totalled $48,475 with fees included.
It includes features like a power panoramic moonroof, remote starter, around view monitor with moving object detection, rear intelligent emergency braking, heated and cooled front seats and more.
There’s only one engine available for the Murano and it’s a pretty good one.
A 3.5-litre V6 under the hood delivers 260 horsepower and 240 ft-lb of torque, which is just enough to get the Murano moving with little fuss.
And the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission – often a weak spot of Nissan products – pleasantly surprised this driver with how well it handled the power.
However, it still failed to miss the mark in terms of fuel efficiency.
While the Murano’s combined average is estimated to be 10.3 litres per 100 kilometres, we could do no better than 12.8 L/100 km.
As mentioned above, the Murano has always had a base of fans, and that is likely because unlike some of its boxier rivals, the Murano features lots of curves and sharp accent creases.
Factor in the further enhanced front grille and sexy 20-inch Dark Hyper Silver wheels on our tester, and there’s no surprise that it continues to be popular with a certain segment of the marketplace.
Inside, the Murano is one of the nicest interiors around in the segment after the refresh it received.
It starts with the comfortable leather seats, featuring a stitched diamond pattern, which are heated and cooled in our Platinum tester. Some dark wood inserts break up the blackness of the dashboard, and the centre stack is modern and easy to use.
Rear-seat passengers also have comfy seating, with a rear bench that actually reclines. Cargo space is generous given the Murano’s size.
The Murano comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen featuring the automaker’s NissanConnect infotainment system. It is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and in the Platinum trim is enhanced with a Bose audio system. A navigation system, satellite radio and lots of USB ports round out the offering.
The Murano is built for comfort and it offers just that on long drives with lots of highway cruising. There’s little noise in the cabin when on the open road.
In city driving or stop and go traffic, there’s a bit more noise because of the engine/CVT combination. While the CVT does a better job in the Murano than on other Nissan models, it does still tend to get a bit noisy, especially when the driver floors the accelerator.
Steering and handling on the Murano are both acceptable, but don’t expect to be wowed by either. What it offers is a solid, competent drive, and that is all most buyers are after.
2020 Nissan Murano
Price as tested: $48,475.00
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.5-litre V6/ Xtronic CVT
Power/torque: 260 horsepower/ 240 ft-lb of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (72 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 10.3 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 12.8 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Ford Edge, Mazda CX-9, Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee