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2012 Nissan Murano Platinum Edition Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Featured, Nissan, SUV, Test Drives

‘Superb Performance, Luxury and Infotainment’

Midsize crossover sport utility vehicles continue their strong demand by consumers looking for a vehicle that they can use for many purposes-comfortably transporting up to five adults, cargo carrying flexibility, and towing capabilities for their boat, atv’s, jet skis, etc, up to 3,500 pounds.

With its distinctive styling, high levels of performance, luxury, comfort infotainment inside and advanced technology inside, the new Platinum Edition is like no other crossover sport utility on the road.  This new addition to the Murano nameplate is distinguished by adding standard 20 inch aluminum alloy wheels, DVD players behind the front head restraints, and Nissan’s latest Navigation system.

All 2012 Murano’s feature a powerful yet fuel-efficient 260hp VQ-Series 3.5 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC V6 engine that incorporates a Twin Nissan Variable Induction Control system, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces.  Diamond Like Carbon coated valve lifters, resin intake manifold, forged crankshaft, digital knock control system, high capacity mufflers round out this truly high-tech engine.  It is mated to a smooth and quiet advanced Xtronic CVT transmission that is one of the best that I have ever tested.  It also comes with Nissan’s Adaptive Shift Control that provides you with a sporty driving experience and the smoothness that only a CVT offers.

Murano is available in standard front-wheel drive or the optional Intuitive All-Wheel Drive system, and all Murano’s come with standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control to help you maintain control of the vehicle when driving on the edge of adhesion in sharp turns.

Murano’s sculpted exterior features a wide front end with a dynamic front fascia design and wide grille.  Murano is again available with quad-cylinder style HID, bi-functional Xenon projector headlights and standard foglamps to lighten the darkness up ahead and increase your safety.  The wide hood sweeps into the sculpted dynamic bodylines, with pronounced wheel arches that the Platinum’s 20X8 inch tires and wheels fill up giving it a more aggressive stance.  Large chrome door handles and optional roof rails add both functionality and visual accents.  Murano’s equally distinctive rear end features a unique rear glass shape that flares out, integrated rear roof spoiler and large rear LED taillights that accents the body side character lines.  Dual exhaust outlets with chrome tips give the rear another aggressive look.  My loaded Platinum model came with rain-sensing wipers, a power liftgate, and a large dual panel power glass moonroof with 2nd row skylight that provided an open-air experience for the rear seat passengers.

Nissan’s advanced ‘D’ platform provides a solid foundation for family adventure-style crossover duties and fun.  This platform, which is similar to that used in the 2011 Altima, has been optimized for Murano using aluminum and high-strength lightweight steel.

Taking advantage of the premium rigid and torsional structure is the standard four-wheel independent suspension also with an extensive use of lightweight aluminum for a reduction in unsprung weight.  The suspension design features cradle-type front subframe and multi-link rear design with improved geometry and large front and rear stabilizer bar, provides increase stiffness with no noise, vibration or harshness.  The suspension in combination with high performance dual flow path gas-charged shocks helps provide sure footing and increased ride comfort on rough surfaces.

Helping to guide you around slow moving city traffic, at high speeds on the freeways and when busting trails if you order the AWD model, is the twin-orifice speed-sensitive power rack & pinion steering system that provides the proper levels of boost with excellent feel for the road, quick reaction to your inputs and a great on-center feel.  It was a pleasure guiding this exceptional CUV around town and on the freeways.

Quickly and safely slowing the Murano Platinum down from speed are great, 4-wheel disc brake with vented discs at all four wheels, very unique.  Up front are 12.6 inch rotors clamped with dual-piston calipers and 12.1 inch discs in the rear clamped with single-piston calipers.  Keep your in control during severe braking time and when braking on slick or wet pavement are standard ABS, EBD and BA.

Open the doors of the new Platinum and view a sumptuous, well designed interior cabin with the latest technology, safety and infotainment features.

The 8-way power bucket driver and 4-way passenger seats are double-stitched, very comfortable and very supportive with a memory system for two drivers.  The beefy leather wrapped steering wheel features power tilt-telescoping for the optimal angle and reach.  The advanced ‘mobile suite’ interior, embodying warmth and modern style starts from its sweeping instrument panel, easy-to-see instrument cluster, it its wide console, all with ambient lighting.  The center console features rich wood trim, dual cupholders and two-tiered storage box under the padded armrest.  The 60/40 fold-flat rear seat is available with a convenient power return feature, with the touch of a button on either side, while heated seats are standard front and back.  The back also features a pull-down center armrest with dual cupholders.

Standard equipment in the new Platinum Edition Murano not mentioned above includes wood tone trim on the door switch plates, console, cruise-control with steering wheel controls, rear view TV camera, 7 inch QVGA color display, Bose audio system AM-FM-CD with 9-speakers and dual subwoofers, XM satellite radio, USB with interface system for iPod, Bluetooth hands free phone with steering wheel buttons, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control with front/rear vents, Nissan Intelligent key with keyless entry, push button start/stop, power front windows with express up-down, power door locks, dual pane sunroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-remote/heated sideview mirrors, Homelink Universal garage door opener, grab handles above each door, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors, aluminum door kick plates, dual head-restraints mounted monitors,  voice recognition, floor mats with carpeted cargo area with under floor storage, and three 12-volt DC power outlets.

Standard safety features include driver/front passenger front/side and curtain airbags, active head restraints, LATCH system for child seats, rear side curtain airbags, 3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, front/rear crush zones and side impact steel beams.

The new 2012 Nissan Platinum Edition puts the proven Murano up to a higher level competing against the best luxury crossover vehicles from Germany and Japan.

Copyright: 2012 Harvey Schwartz

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Murano S MSRP $29,960 As-Tested $42,840.00 including destination charges
  • Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6 260 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm 240 lb.ft. torque @ 4,400 rpm
  • Turning circle: 38.1ft.
  • Wheelbase: 111.2 inches
  • Total length: 189.9 inches
  • Total height: 67 inches with roof rails
  • Total width: 74.1 inches
  • Track: f/r-63.4/63.4 inches
  • Minimum ground clearance: 7.4 inches
  • Breakover angle: 15.8
  • Approach angle: 28.8
  • Departure angle: 25.7
  • Headroom: f/r-40.1/39.4 inches with moonroof
  • Legroom: f/r-43.6/36.3 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,025lbs.
  • Fuel tank: 21.7 gallons
  • Passenger volume: 140.4cu.ft.
  • Cargo volume: 31.8 cu.ft. with 2nd row upright
  • Cargo volume: 64.5 cu.ft. with 2nd row folded flat
  • EPA fuel economy: 18mpg/city 24mpg/highway

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