The Murano is equipped with a 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 engine. Nissan fans will know it well by now, as it has been in use for a while. In the current Murano, it produces 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. It's a bit down on performance against its main rivals, most of whom have gone the turbocharged route. The Ford Edge is a prime example. Its base 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-pot delivers 250 hp and, more importantly, 280 lb-ft of torque.
Take it for a test drive and you'll notice that the Nissan's V6 has loads of character and a pleasing soundtrack, but it doesn't provide that initial surge of power that you get from a turbocharged engine. The Nissan likes to build speed by providing a linear surge of power rather than dumping all of it to the wheels within a few short seconds.
The result is an independently tested 0 to 60 mph time of 7.3 seconds in all-wheel-drive guise. This isn't bad, but neither is it class-leading. If you have a lot of time and space and aren't worried about putting your driver's license in jeopardy, you can reach a top speed of around 120 mph. A front-wheel-drive model is available as well. Despite its engine size, the Murano only has a tow rating of 1,500 lbs. The Ford easily beats it in this category with its 3,500-pound tow rating.
The Nissan's 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 engine is partly the reason why it feels dated. It has been around for more than a decade, and even though Nissan keeps on refining it, it feels like they've now reached a point where they can do no more. It develops 260 hp and 240 lb-ft, a perfectly adequate number of horses to power a crossover, but it starts falling apart a bit when you compare it against more modern powertrains. For example, Ford can get 335 hp out of a much smaller turbocharged V6 engine which is on offer in its Edge crossover.
The power delivery in the Murano is smoother than the turbocharged unit found in the Ford, though. The Edge ST struggles to provide a linear power delivery and doesn't like to be revved. The naturally-aspirated V6 in the Murano doesn't mind being revved at all. It's silky smooth to the rev limit, with no discernable dips in the powerband.
The other reason why the Murano no longer feels as athletic as it once did is the Xtronic CVT transmission. Once again, it's a piece of engineering Nissan has been refining for several years, but it's still nowhere near perfect. It provides a nice burst of initial acceleration that's perfect for city driving, but after that, it falls flat. Asking it to accelerate to highway speeds results in that droning sound and the sensation of a slipping clutch.
|Nissan Murano Trims||Nissan Murano Engines||Nissan Murano Horsepower||Nissan Murano Transmissions||Nissan Murano Drivetrains||Nissan Murano MPG/MPGE|
|S||3.5L V6 Gas||260 hp @ 6000 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||AWD|
|SV||3.5L V6 Gas||260 hp @ 6000 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||AWD|
|SL||3.5L V6 Gas||260 hp @ 6000 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||AWD|
|Platinum||3.5L V6 Gas||260 hp @ 6000 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||AWD|
Both the FWD and AWD Muranos have the same EPA-estimated gas mileage figures. Rated at 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined, you can see the CVT transmission's benefits. The FWD Ford Edge with the 2.0-liter turbo has an EPA rating of 21/28/23 mpg, but the AWD 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost is rated at 19/25/21 mpg. While you can see the benefits of the CVT, which helps the larger-capacity Murano V6 match the consumption of the smaller turbocharged engine in the Edge, we can't help but wonder whether we'd be willing to sacrifice those few gallons for a more responsive engine/gearbox combination. With its 19-gallon gas tank, the Murano will manage a range of around 437 miles in mixed driving conditions.
|Nissan Murano Trims||S||SV||SL||Platinum|
|Nissan Murano Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||20/28||20/28||20/28||20/28|
|Nissan Murano Trims||S||SV||SL||Platinum|
|Nissan Murano Maximum Trailering Capacity||1,500 lbs.||1,500 lbs.||1,500 lbs.||1,500 lbs.|
|Engine||3.5L V6 Gas||3.5L V6 Gas||3.5L V6 Gas||3.5L V6 Gas|
|Transmission||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)|