2015 Nissan Murano SL: Sleek, edgy CUV is stunning in side and out

Starting with the styling, the 2015 Murano has an incredibly sleek look with dramatic “floating” separated by the glass green house which uses a blacked out D-pillar to give the illusion the roof just hangs above the body. It’s a clever trick and gives the side profile and unique, swoopy look. The lower door sills have a chrome “spear” below them to give some dynamic thrust and tension to the body. Actually chrome trim is used to good effect with chrome exhaust tips, door handles and window trim. At the front the signature boomerang front and rear taillights are sleek, elaborate looking affairs that are in keeping with the rest of the vehicle. At front, a blacked out V shaped grill is offset with a broad chrome garnish. Big, nicely styled 18-inch alloys, and there optional 20-inch affairs as well.

The Murano format is a: front-engine, front-/all-wheel-drive combination, with a CVT transmission mated to a 3.5-litre, DOHC V6 producing 260 horsepower and 240 lb/ft of torque. The all-new 2015 Murano is offered in five models with starting prices at: S FWD, $29,998; SV FWD, $32,998; SV AWD, $34,998; SL AWD, $38,398 and Platinum AWD, $43,498.

The interior is as novel as the exterior with a large airy cabin. The light cashmere cream interior trim also added to the ambience. There are actually two interior colour trim options, a darker Graphite trim or Cashmere, complemented by interior ambient lighting. Of particular visual interest on our Orange Pacific Sunset tester was the light marble striated ‘Crystalline finish’ on the doors, dash and centre controls.

Nissan has certainly moved the Murano upwards in terms of equipment and luxury. The standard equipment list is big including: Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, BluetoothHands-free Phone System, NissanConnectwith Navigation and Mobile Apps, and eight-inch colour display with multi-touch control. A power liftgate is standard on Murano’s apart from the base model. Our tester featured a rich, luxurious, light cashmere cream finished leather interior. On the road, the Murano’s Overall, handling and steering are much improved with a revised suspension setup and a quicker steering ratio and a tighter turning radius. Fuel economy for the Murano is also good due to the lighter weight. The FWD version returns 11.0/8.2/9.8L/100 km city, highway/combined and for the AWD, 11.2/8.3/9.9L/100 km.

The Nissan is also high on safety, as well as the all-round camera, the Murano offers a full suite of safety technology including Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) and Forward Emergency Braking (FEB). Another great piece of technology is Nissan’s new Cross Traffic Alert (CTA) system which utilizes radar sensors to alert drivers to warn you of a moving vehicles or persons that are in blind spots With its unique, electrifying looks, excellent interior and specifications, the Nissan Murano is a superb entry –level luxury SUV.

2015 Nissan Murano SL Base Price as tested: ($39,098) Price as tested with destination and handling – $40,093

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