2015 Nissan Murano SL: Sleek, edgy styling sets popular CUV apart from the crowd

2015 Nissan Murano SLStarting with the styling, the 2015 Murano has an incredibly sleek look a 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. The result is a thrusting dynamic SUV. 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 Of particular visual interest on our Orange Pacific Sunset tester was the light marble striated ‘Crystalline finish’ on the doors, dash and centre controls.

It certainly is different and daring. Comfortable seats, a redesigned dash and high quality trim permeate the cabin. The Murano’s cabin is roomy in the both front and rear with comfortable Zero G seats inspired by NASA Technology. Cargo area is a useful 1,979 litres (69.6 cu ft) with the rear seats down, and 1,121 litres (39.6 cu ft) with the rear seats up.

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. Options include: Around View Monitor, eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), iPod interface, and 11-speaker Bose premium audio system. 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.

The exterior on our SL tester (base priced at $39,098) featured 18 inch – 5 spoke a dual panel sunroof with power retractable sunshades, rear privacy glass. LED tailights, power liftgate, dual chrome exhaust finishers. The interior featured a 7.0 inch Vehicle center QVGA screen, HOMELINK, Nissan Intelligent Key with push button ignition, heated two settings front seats, heated steering wheel, 8-way power drivers seat, reclining rear seatbacks, Bose 9 speaker audio system Sirius XM RADIO, 9 Airbags and aluminum accents. On the road, the Murano’s 3.5-litre DOHC V6 is a a willing. Powerful unit, that acclerates quickly. Its a quite smooth unit the Xtronic ‘s continuously variable transmission. The Xtronic technology is now much better than previous incarnations and this version includes an updated D-step Logic Control which makes the transmission feel more like a conventional auto transmission. 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