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2010 Nissan Murano SL Review & Test Drive

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Lately Nissan has been a front-runner for exciting vehicles that hit the U.S. shores from Japan. That excitement factor is carried over through most of the Nissan and Infiniti line of cars. It is even somewhat found in the new 2010 Nissan Murano. Ever since the Nissan Murano’s introduction in 2003, it has helped set the standard for what a true crossover utility vehicle should represent.  Not just in terms of performance and excitement, but as a functional unit body SUV built off of a car platform.

The Nissan Murano still shares many of its counterparts with the Nissan Altima just as it did over 8 years ago. Both the Altima and Murano have grown up receiving its latest major redesign in 2008 as a 2009 model (there never was a 2008 Nissan Murano). Some of the notable changes from an exterior viewing perspective would be the front fascia and headlights along with a new tail sporting LED brake lamps and amber turn signals. The outgoing 2007 Murano blended the rear LED lamps into one (solid color) cluster for braking and signals.

Outside of the 2010 Nissan Murano you will find smooth lines in the sheet metal running from the roof line down to a high riding chassis rolling on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/65R18 all-season tires. 20-inch wheels with 233.55R20 all-season tires are optional for the upper-scale LE model. Some may confuse the new Murano for its smaller cousin, the Nissan Rogue. But make no mistake, the Murano is much more spacious and does a good job fulfilling its place as one of the best selling mid-sized SUVs (crossover) on the market.

Nissan has its ducks in a row when it comes to making a car “better” than its predecessor. Although many of the improvements in the 2010 Murano vs. the older styled 1st generation are small, they are very important to the consumer. For instance, the 2010 Murano can be optioned out with many of the luxury amenities that were once only found on Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti. Now for 2010 you can option your Murano with a technology package that integrates rain sensing front wipers, power lift gate, and not to mention something that is almost a given in new midsized vehicles, a Bluetooth hands free system. Nissan’s Navigation package is also packed full of goodies including a Bose audio system with a 9.3 GB (hard drive) music box and integrated compact flash card slot. The navigation unit is displayed through a clear 7-inch LCD screen that also displays the backup camera and live traffic updates via XM NavTraffic service.

The interior of the 2010 Murano is well laid out leaving hardly any guesswork as to how things operate. Everything is in its place from the steering wheel mounted controls to the touch-LCD-screen. Just like in many of the Infiniti vehicles, the Nissan Murano has several redundant controls where one function can be accessed up to three different ways. This does come in handy after you figure out that you do not have to reach way across to the touch-screen just to store a specific location into the Nav. You can simply toggle the steering wheel control. Nice touch Nissan!

The perforated leather appointed seats are very comfortable even on long trips. Although some extra bolstering could come in handy for those spirited driving days.

Speaking of spirited driving, every Nissan Murano is equipped with the famous VQ series V6 engine. Still in the 3.5-liter form, the Murano’s V6 is rated at 265hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. The power is directed through a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) to the front wheels or all 4 wheels as an option. This combination is good for a dash from 0 to 60mph just shy of 7 seconds flat. The CVT does a great job in managing engine RPMs keeping you in the sweet spot when you need it and performing a torque lockup under 2000 RPM in certain situations for better gas mileage. Unfortunately the 2010 Murano gets slightly worse gas mileage than the 1st generation. Our test car was rated at 18mpg city and 23mpg highway, which is on average 2mpg less than its predecessor.

It is good to know that many new cars offer hidden features to enhance performance such as in the 2010 Murano. One of these silent features is the ability to deactivate the A/C compressor under heavy acceleration. Sure this is something that goes unnoticed now days but when you are towing up to 3500lbs (max towing capacity) in a new Murano, the little things like this matter.

The price point of a new Nissan Murano ranges from the base S model at $28,340 and our SL test vehicle starts at $30,460 but optioned out with technology package, navigation package and even the premium package, the price of our test vehicle comes in at $36,535. If you are in the market for a crossover with proven technology, a little excitement and enough room for the kids, then the 2010 Nissan Murano is one vehicle you do not want to overlook.

Copyright: 2010


Price: Base SL $29,600 As-Tested $36,535
Type: Midsize SUV
Where Built: Japan
EPA Class: Sport Utility Vehicles


Length: 188.5 in.
Width: 74.1 in.
Height: 68.1 in.
Wheel Base: 111.2 in.
Ground Clearance: 7.4 in.
Curb Weight: 3982 lbs.

Front Head Room: 40.1 in.
Front Hip Room: 54.8 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 59.6 in.
Rear Head Room: 39.4 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 58.7 in.
Rear Hip Room: 55.4 in.
Front Leg Room: 43.6 in.
Rear Leg Room: 36.3 in.
Luggage Capacity: 31.6 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 64 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Performance Data

Braking Distance (60-0 mph): 126 ft.
Number of Cylinders: 6
Engine Size: 3.5 liters
Engine Type: V6
Horsepower: 265 hp
Max Horsepower: 6000 rpm
Torque: 248 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4400 rpm
Maximum Towing Capacity: 3500 lbs.
Drive Type: FWD Turning Circle: 38.1 ft.
0-60 mph: 7.3 sec.

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.7 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 18 mpg / 23 mpg / 20 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 390.6 mi. / 499.1 mi. / 434 mi.


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