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2018 Nissan Murano

$31,000 - $44,030
Price Range (MSRP)
Nissan Murano

2018 Nissan Murano Review

by Roger Biermann

The Nissan Murano fills an unusual spot within the midsize SUV segment in that it borders between affordable and luxury. It tries to offer the same level of performance and utility of cheaper SUVs while not skimping on quality-of-life add-ons that are often only found in more expensive cars. For the most part, the Murano succeeds in this pursuit, with a powerful 260 horsepower V6 engine and a stylish, spacious, and well-appointed interior. It offers all this for the relatively competitive starting price of $31,000. This is on par with close rivals like the Ford Edge, but some smaller competitors like the Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V offer comparative performance and features for less. However, with a bold design, a long list of standard features, and optional opulence that is hard to match for the same price, the Murano is definitely worth a look.

2018 Nissan Murano Changes: What’s the difference vs 2017 Murano?

The Murano sees a number of changes for 2018, with many features across the range being shuffled around between the trim levels. An eight-inch NissanConnect multi-touch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is now standard on every model, along with automatic emergency braking and forward collision alert. The SV now offers a Premium Package, which includes many features previously exclusive to the upper trim levels. The center console has been redesigned and a Midnight Edition Package is available on the SL trim, along with a Moonroof Package, which installs the panoramic moonroof that is now standard on the Platinum.

Pros and Cons

  • A bold design that many will love
  • High-quality and spacious interior
  • Comfortable and wide seating appointments
  • Punchy V6 that performs quite well
  • Excellent ride quality
  • A bold design that many will hate
  • Limited visibility
  • Subpar cargo capacity for the segment
  • Can't tow as much as some rivals

Murano Exterior

Despite its relative size, the Nissan Murano sports a bold exterior design with sleek lines that make it appear smaller and slimmer than it actually is. The trademark Nissan grille with metal-frame is bordered by angular halogen lights on all but the Platinum trim, which sports LED headlights. Fog lights are equipped as standard from the SV trim up, while a moonroof is installed on the Platinum. The S, SV and SL trims get 18-inch alloy wheels, while the Platinum rides on slightly larger 20-inch alloys. All models get LED taillights and daytime running lights; the SV sports black roof rails, while the SL and Platinum get silver roof rails.

2018 Nissan Murano Front View
2018 Nissan Murano Front Angle View
2018 Nissan Murano Side View
See All 2018 Nissan Murano Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Nissan Murano has pretty standard dimensions for a crossover SUV, being 192.8 inches long, 75.4 inches wide, and 67.8 inches tall. Its wheelbase is slightly longer than the segment average at 111.2 inches. This SUV has an average curb weight, which - for the base model - is 3,769 lbs, while the top-end Platinum is a bit beefier at 3,872 lbs. This makes it lighter than rivals like the Ford Edge, but heavier than the smaller Honda CR-V, which maxes out at around 3,500 lbs. All-wheel-drive adds about 100 lbs to each model's weight.

Exterior Colors

Seven exterior colors are available across the Murano range, with Gun Metallic, Magnetic Black, Cayenne Red, Brilliant Silver, Java Metallic, and Arctic Blue Metallic being standard options. For a nominal charge, you can opt for the Pearl White premium paint. However, color choice is limited to certain exterior/interior combinations.

  • Magnetic Black Metallic
  • Java Metallic
  • Pacific Sunset Metallic, Build Out:11/30/2017
  • Cayenne Red Metallic
  • Arctic Blue Metallic
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Gun Metallic
  • Pearl White

Murano Performance

Although the S in SUV stands for sports, this segment is not really known for its athleticism on the road. Despite this, the Murano manages to deliver a surprising amount of pep. The vocal V6 engine throws out an impressive 260 lb-ft of torque that gives this bulky, near-luxury vehicle quite competitive acceleration. Capable of reaching 60 mph in 7.3 seconds in its all-wheel-drive configuration, this mid-size compact is more than a full second faster than the similarly sized Nissan Rogue, and on par with rivals like the Kia Sorento; but it is significantly slower than the Ford Edge Sport and Honda CR-V.

Despite the decent torque and 260 horsepower, this SUV can barely manage to tow 1,500 lbs, which is the same as much-lower-powered vehicles like the CR-V. Front-wheel-drive is standard through all four trim levels on the Murano, but all-wheel-drive is available on each model.

2018 Nissan Murano Front Angle View
2018 Nissan Murano Rear Angle View
2018 Nissan Murano Engine

Engine and Transmission

The Murano range comes equipped with a single engine option. This 24-valve naturally aspirated V6 displaces 3.5 liters to deliver 260 hp and 240 lb-ft to the front wheels, although an all-wheel drivetrain is available. An Xtronic CVT does its best to pick the correct gearing for the situation, but it can cause a displeasing amount of whine at higher speeds.

The powertrain delivers relatively standard output figures for the segment, which is to say that the Murano doesn't really stand out versus the competition. It delivers acceleration that is on par with other mid-size SUVs like the Kia Sorento while falling short against smaller, more athletic models like the Honda CR-V. Still, the Murano manages to be quite punchy around town, and it really shines when it gets up to cruising speed on long stretches of highway.

  • Engine
    3.5-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Murano is by no means a sporty SUV. It has the power, but it lacks the interactive handling dynamics that go with a more engaging driving experience. But while you shouldn't expect any thrills from this near-luxury vehicle, you can rely on its drivability. The engine offers enough low-end torque for easy stop-and-go driving around town, while the CVT promises a smoother, quieter ride at higher speeds.

The steering is nothing to write home about; it is light and responsive at low speeds, making this bulky SUV surprisingly maneuverable, and offers at least a little resistance at higher speeds. Still, don't expect to be able to tell much about what the wheels are doing by feel. Luckily, there are enough driver aids and safety features in place to supplement this lack of confidence. The brakes are more talkative, thankfully, and they don't lack in power, stopping the vehicle in just 123 ft from 60 mph.

Where the Murano shines is in its ride comfort. The suspension isn't as stiff as in some competitors, so the cabin absorbs bumps in the road quite well. However, this does adversely affect body roll, so any high-speed daredevil antics in this lumbering cruiser should be avoided.

Murano Gas Mileage

The Nissan Murano doesn't astound when it comes to fuel economy, achieving modest city/highway/combined EPA estimates of 21/28/24 mpg on both front-wheel and all-wheel drivetrains, matching the Ford Edge but trailing behind the smaller Honda CR-V. With a moderately sized fuel tank storing 19 gallons of regular unleaded gas, the Murano can achieve an average of 456 miles to a tank.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 21/28 mpg
* 2018 Nissan Murano S FWD

Murano Interior

Sitting on the fence between luxury and affordability, the Murano boasts an interior that is both spacious and stylish. Head and legroom are ample throughout the cabin, and the comfortable seats can easily accommodate four adults, with room for five if three kids are seated in the back. Dual-zone climate control is standard, while the upper trims improve comfort with power-adjustable seats, and heated leather front and rear seats. The infotainment system is a bit dated, but the display is easy to navigate and looks good. The 11-speaker Bose audio system on the upper trim levels feels quite opulent, and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto helps the Murano seem relatively modern despite its age.

2018 Nissan Murano Dashboard
2018 Nissan Murano Front Seats
2018 Nissan Murano Dashboard
See All 2018 Nissan Murano Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Nissan Murano can seat four full-sized adults, or two adults and three children, in its spacious interior. With 39.9 inches of headroom up front and 39.8 inches in the rear, six-foot-tall passengers will still be comfortable. Legroom is equally generous, with 40.5 inches available to those in the front, and 39.7 inches for those in the back. Both rows of seats offer great comfort, which improves as you go up the trim levels. While the driver's seat offers up to ten-way power-adjustability, visibility is somewhat hampered by the vehicle's structural design, but the rearview and surround-view cameras help with this. On the plus side, the doors open at almost right angles, and the SUV isn't overly tall, so ingress and egress are as simple as could be.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The Murano's S and SV trims come equipped with cloth-upholstered seats. The S only offers Graphite-colored fabric, while the SV allows for the choice of Cashmere with the Java Metallic and Pearl White exteriors. The SL and Platinum trims upgrade the interior to leather-appointments, with Graphite leather available combined to all color schemes. Cashmere is offered for Cayenne Red, Arctic Blue Metallic, Magnetic Black, and Pearl White body colors while Mocha leather is reserved for the Java Metallic and Magnetic Black body options.

The cabin is well-built, with plenty of soft-touch plastic around the dash and console, which sports a stylish silver metal trim that flows over onto the doors.

Murano Trunk and Cargo Space

Despite its laudably spacious interior, the Murano falls short when it comes to trunk space. Offering only, 32.1 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up, the Murano is on par with the lower-spec Nissan Rogue. Rivals like the Ford Edge and even the smaller Honda CR-V offer an extra seven cubic feet. Luckily, the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split to more than double this limited space to a maximum of 67 cubic feet, provided you don't have the sunroof which cuts back to 65 cubic feet. Still, space is sufficient for the daily school run or grocery shopping for a mid-sized family.

Sadly, small-item storage is a bit lacking for a vehicle that claims to be a lounge on wheels. There is a standard glove compartment, but the door pockets are cramped. There is no space within the dash to store items and only a small tray and cupholder below the infotainment area. The center console is the only space large enough to store anything bigger than a small phone.

2018 Nissan Murano Trunk Space
2018 Nissan Murano Rear Angle View
2018 Nissan Murano Front Angle View

Murano Infotainment and Features

Features

Considering that the Murano sits only a hair's breadth below true luxury-level, it is no wonder that it doesn't lack in terms of features. The standard fare includes dual-zone climate control with rear air conditioning, keyless entry and ignition, power accessories, illuminated steering-wheel controls, a seven-inch drive-assist display with navigation, cruise control, a rearview camera, three 12-volt power outlets, and cargo tie-down hooks and rings.

The SV trim further adds to this by upgrading to adaptive cruise control and remote start, with intelligent climate control. It also adds a ten-way power driver's seat with power lumbar adjustment, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SL adds the nifty surround-view camera, as well as adaptive cruise control, driver alertness detection, a motion-activated liftgate, and heated seats all-round.

The Platinum adds the final touches to the Murano by upgrading the front seats with climate control and adding power tilt-and-telescoping to the steering column. A power panoramic moonroof is installed, and the rear seatbacks gain power-return functionality.

Infotainment

While they may not be as modern as those found in newer vehicles, the Murano's infotainment features are plentiful. Standard equipment comprises AM/FM/CD audio, HD Radio, and SiriusXM, all channeled through a six-speaker sound system and controlled via an eight-inch NissanConnect multi-touch display that also supports navigation. An auxiliary audio jack is present, as are front and rear USB ports. Bluetooth calling and audio streaming are available, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported. The standard sound system is replaced by an 11-speaker Bose premium audio system on the SL and Platinum trims.

Murano Problems and Reliability

The Nissan Murano is rated 82 out of 100 for dependability by J.D. Power. Being a high-volume family SUV, it has received several minor complaints and was subject to minor recalls in 2016 and 2018 for leaking brake fluid pipes; a serious recall was issued in 2016 for faulty passenger airbags. Nissan offers a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty on the Murano.

Murano Safety

The NHTSA has given the Murano a four-star rating out of five for safety on the base front-wheel-drive models, while all-wheel-drive variants get a full five stars. Similarly, the IIHS gives the SUV an overall rating of Good, with lower scores only allocated for headlights and LATCH anchor ease of use.

Key Safety Features

The Murano comes equipped with seven airbags: dual front, front side, driver knee, and side curtain. Standard safety features comprise vehicle dynamic control with traction control, a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking with forward collision alert, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and three-point seat belts with pretensioners. Blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, and a surround-view camera are available on higher trim levels. Unfortunately, lane-keep assist is not offered.

Verdict: Is the 2018 Nissan Murano a good SUV?

While we believe the Nissan Murano is definitely a good car, we do feel it is slightly overpriced for what it offers. That is not to say that it lacks in features – it certainly doesn't – but these features are a bit dated compared to newer SUVs that are offering the same for less. Still, the bold, somewhat divisive exterior design of this mid-size SUV paired with its spacious and stylish cabin is enough to win many buyers over. And this is good since the Murano isn't turning any heads with its performance.

The V6 engine provides ample power to move this heavy car, but the Nissan's handling characteristics, coupled with its larger dimensions, make maneuvering this SUV at anything above average speeds a daring endeavor. Still, it handles very well around town and on long, highway journeys.

With ample tech and safety features, and superior comfort levels in the cabin, you will enjoy leisurely cruises or even short stints around town. At the end of the day, you won't regret buying the Murano, but you may be a little envious of other SUVs that manage to do what it does a little better, for the same price.

What's the Price of the 2018 Nissan Murano?

Considering the number of features that come standard on the Murano, it has a surprisingly low starting price of $31,000, while the SV-tag adds $3,300 to this. The upper-level SL will cost you $38,700, while the Platinum carries the premium sticker price of $42,430. Upgrading to all-wheel drive on any model will cost you an additional $1,600. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and Nissan's destination charge of $1,045.

2018 Nissan Murano Models

The Nissan Murano range comprises the S, SV, SL, and Platinum trims. Each model is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 260 hp and 240 lb-ft, mated to a CVT gearbox. Front-wheel-drive is standard, while all-wheel-drive is optional at every trim level.

The S comes equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, cloth seats, a rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, and an eight-inch infotainment display with a six-speaker sound system. Bluetooth, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto are all supported.

The SV gets a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat and four-way power passenger's seat. Remote ignition now includes intelligent climate control, and the steering wheel and shifter knob are wrapped in leather. Fog lights are added to the front fascia.

The SL improves safety significantly with the addition of blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The cruise control is upgraded, and driver alertness is added, designed to detect driver fatigue and encourage rest breaks. The driver's seat now includes a memory function, and all seats are upholstered in plush leather. An 11-speaker Bose audio system replaces the standard fare, and a motion-activated liftgate is equipped.

The top-of-the-range Platinum trim installs 20-inch alloy wheels and a panoramic moonroof. NissanConnect Services are included as standard, and the steering column gains power tilt-and-telescoping and memory functionality. The front seats are also upgraded with heating and ventilation.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
3.5-liter V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$31,000
SV
3.5-liter V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$34,300
SL
3.5-liter V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$38,700
Platinum
3.5-liter V6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$42,430
See All 2018 Nissan Murano Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Nissan only offers a small choice of packages to customize certain trim levels. The Premium Package is available on the SV trim and adds adaptive cruise control and driver alertness, a surround-view camera, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, heated front seats and exterior mirrors, and a panoramic moonroof.

The SL trim is compatible with a Moonroof Package, as well as the Midnight Edition Package. The latter adds 20-inch blacked-out wheels and black styling changes to the grille, mirror caps, the car sides, and the front bumper.

What Nissan Murano Model Should I Buy?

Even the base Murano S comes equipped with myriad features, both infotainment and safety, so it can be hard to decide if upgrading beyond the $31,000 is worth it. If you're looking for a mid-size SUV that performs well and offers most, if not all, of the features you expect in a modern-day vehicle, then you don't need to look any further. But if you are willing to spend the extra $10k for the leather-appointed SL, equipped with all the driver assistance and safety features the range has to offer, you can rest assured you are getting the best the Murano has to offer without coughing up more on the excess of the Platinum trim.

2018 Nissan Murano Comparisons

2018 Nissan Murano
2018 Nissan Murano

2018 Nissan Murano vs Nissan Rogue

Although the Murano sits one tier above the Rogue in terms of vehicle size, the two SUVs bear striking similarities, not surprising considering that they are both manufactured by Nissan. Still, each SUV is aimed to meet specific needs, and those needs will determine which is the clear winner. The Murano offers significantly more raw power than the Rogue's 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but it is also much thirstier, eating into your fuel budget. However, the Rogue handles better, partly thanks to its smaller dimensions. In terms of infotainment and safety features, the two SUVs are neck-and-neck, with the Murano only offering its best features on the higher trim levels. Naturally, the Murano is significantly more opulent inside, despite providing substantially less cargo space than the smaller Rogue. Lastly, the Murano costs around $6k more than the Rogue at entry-level, and a significant $10k more fully decked out. If you're looking for a safe, reliable, affordable SUV that offers everyday practicality, the Rogue will be your choice. But if you prize comfort over utility and don't mind shelling out a bit extra, the Murano trumps its little brother substantially.

See Nissan Rogue Review

2018 Nissan Murano vs Ford Edge

The Ford Edge is one of the best SUVs in the mid-size segment, and it's easy to see why. It offers a variety of engine options with the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivering more torque and hauling power than the Murano, while the top-tier 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 pumps out an impressive 315 hp and 350 lb-ft, allowing the Ford to tow up to 2,000 lbs more than the Nissan. While the CVT on the Murano garners much praise, the Edge's six-speed automatic does the job just as well. Ford's SUV also handles noticeably better than its Nissan rival, with driver input and smart assistance features working in tandem rather than fighting each other. Still, neither supply a particularly thrilling experience, and only the truly brave would attempt to drive them off-road. Inside, both vehicles ooze luxury and comfort, but the Edge is just that tiny bit more refined. The seats are supremely comfortable and benefit further from an incredibly smooth riding experience, thanks to a forgiving suspension system. Ford's SUV also offers quite a bit more cargo space than the Murano. In terms of tech and safety features, both cars are on par depending on the trim level you are willing to pay for, and with near-identical price tags, it really comes down to the previously mentioned areas to determine which is the better choice. Overall, the Ford Edge comes out in the lead, but not by that much.

See Ford Edge Review

Nissan Murano Popular Comparisons

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2018 Nissan Murano Video Review