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2009 Nissan Murano Review
Perennial favorite among drivers.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2009 Nissan Murano has become one of Nissan's most popular models since making its debut in 2004. It is a midsize crossover SUV, well-known for its stylish profile, sporty good looks, and excellent handling ability. It can comfortably seat five passengers and comes in three different trim levels: S, SL, and LE. Buyers can purchase it as either a front or all-wheel drive vehicle. All of the models contain a large 3.5-liter V-6 engine capable of 265 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque, and all models come with continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Competition within this vehicle class is fierce, offering an enormous range of options for car buyers. Many models offer more seats or more cargo space than the Murano; however, they cannot compete with the Murano’s appearance and its reputation as an extremely nice car to drive.
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: Nissan Murano S, Nissan Murano SL, Nissan Murano LE
In 2009, the Nissan Murano received a complete makeover, which presented no easy task given the popularity of the vehicle. However, its admirers should be pleased with the new refinements, which include an upgraded cabin and some mechanical tweaking. In the past, the interior received criticism for its mediocre appearance, but now it looks much nicer and uses higher quality materials, reminiscent of upscale Infiniti models.
The new model includes the option of a hard-drive-based navigation system, as well as an iPod interface. On the outside, it has a more aggressive appearance, but this doesn’t please everyone as at first glance it looks little strange. The front grille incorporates newly shaped headlights that make it look like it has a squint, while the back has horizontal taillights.
The Nissan Murano gains recognition for its good looks. The entry-level S model comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, as does the SL model. The higher trim level LE model comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, heated side mirrors, roof rails, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic xenon headlights. Many of these luxury features can be added as optional extras in the SL trim. Other optional extras include a dual-panel sunroof.
The interior of the Murano offers some luxury. The entry-level S model has dual-zone automatic climate control, split/folding rear seats, and a six-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack. The next model up, the SL, comes with a power driver’s seat and a very useful power return feature for the back seats. The back seats return to the upright position with just the press of a button. The SL also has a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The top of the range model, the LE, comes with leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a power passenger seat, and a Bose audio system with iPod integration. The LE also features keyless ignition/entry, satellite radio, a rear-view camera, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Additional options include a rear-seat entertainment system.
Nissan has faced pressure in the past to add a third row of seats to this particular model, especially as many of its competitors already have this feature. Not surprisingly, Nissan resists. It argues that an extra row of seats would take up valuable cargo space. Besides, the Murano offers something different from its competitors: a far more refined and comfortable interior.
Performance & Handling
The Murano is surefooted and easy to drive. It offers good visibility, although visibility is a little limited out of the rear window. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine has plenty of power on the highways and the steering system is ultra-responsive. It's a comfortable car to drive, even for long journeys, and the introduction of a slightly better CVT gives it better fuel economy. Consequentially, Nissan no longer offers a manual shift mode with this particular CVT.
Standard features include anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with stability control and brake assist, active front head restraints, and side and side curtain airbags.
EPA Fuel Economy
Nissan Murano SL: 18/23 mpg city/highway
Nissan Murano LE: 18/23 mpg city/highway
- Responsive ride
- Sporty good looks
- Luxurious cabin
You Won't Like
- Cargo space doesn’t stand up to its rivals
Perennial favorite among drivers.
If You Like This Vehicle
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