This change has made a huge difference.
Compared to newer models like the Rogue, Sentra, and Versa, the Nissan Murano is starting to look dated. The current-generation model has been around since 2014, so a redesign is overdue. While the 2021 model was left largely unchanged, Nissan's Safety Shield 360 suite is now offered as standard across all four trims.
As a result, the 2021 Nissan Murano has joined the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ club. Thanks to its improved headlights and pedestrian crash avoidance tech, the 2021 Nissan Murano achieved the safety organization's highest award. In vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests, the Murano's standard front crash prevention system earned "superior" ratings, while the SUV's standard LED headlights earned a "good" rating. This now means the 2021 Nissan Murano, Rogue, Maxima and Altima have all been awarded a Top Safety Pick+.
To qualify for a Top Safety Pick+, the IIHS requires a car to earn "good" ratings in all six crash tests. These include a driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. Front crash prevention systems also need to earn "advanced" or "superior" ratings and headlights need to be awarded either "good" or "acceptable" ratings across all trim levels and packages.
These stricter headlight requirements have made it more difficult to achieve the highest Top Safety Pick+ award in crash tests. In response, automakers have worked to improve headlight technology, resulting in 49 2021 model-year cars earning the highest Top Safety Pick+ award, which is more than double than last year.
The only downside is that making the Nissan Safety Shield 360 a standard feature has increased the 2021 Nissan Murano's MSRP. For 2021, the Murano starts at $32,510, a $980 increase compared to the 2020 model, while the range-topping Platinum trim will set you back $44,060. Three new colors are also available for the 2021 model: Magnetic Black Pearl, Boulder Gray Pearl, and Scarlet Ember Tintcoat.
Regardless of the trim, the Murano is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, which can be sent to either the front or all four wheels through an Xtronic continuously variable transmission.