2012 Nissan Murano Review

2012 Nissan Murano Review

User friendly controls; top notch interior; smooth ride; voluptuous rear seat; confident handling and precise steering; responsive powertrain.


Compromised rear visibility; less cargo capacity unlike competitors.


2012 Nissan Murano is a crossover vehicle, which incorporates function and high fashion and fuses sporty driving dynamics with sport utility cargo capacity. It stands out amongst other midsize crossovers with its overall sophistication, unique styling and engaging driving experience. For 2012, it sees only minor changes, including seven-inch monochrome display on S trim and Platinum Edition option package for range topping LE models. Murano leads with innovation and follows through with devotion to the smallest detail. An unmistakable exterior draws you in, while the available double stitched leather creates a very personal environment. The available Dual Panel Moonroof supplies panoramic views; on the other hand an intelligent CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), Intuitive All-Wheel Drive and the 265-horsepower engine offer refined, confident control. Real-time traffic updates from available navigation system ensure smooth sailing and five-star safety adds to your feeling of well-being.

The Nissan Murano is basically a midsize crossover sport utility vehicle developed and designed in December 2002 by Nissan and marketed as 2003 model. The company ventilated Murano as its first crossover sport utility vehicle for Canada and United States. Originally designed at Nissan America in La Jolla, California, the 1st generation model was based on Nissan FF-L platform formerly used by 3rd generation Altima. The European version of Murano started sales in 2004 and is offered only in one variant. It was the only crossover sport utility vehicle of Nissan in United States till September 2007 when new 2008 Nissan Rogue went on sale. In Canada, the X-Trail had been on sale as the company’s 2nd car based sport utility vehicle since 2004 as 2005 model; it was later replaced by 2008 Nissan Rogue in 2007. It is sized between the Pathfinder and the Xterra, but is priced slightly higher than the Pathfinder.

Nissan skipped 2008 model year with the launch of next-gen Murano as 2009 model, which was introduced at 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show in November and sales started in early January 2008. The redesigned exterior styling bears increased family resemblance to Nissan Rogue, while still attaining distinctly Murano cues with its rear quarter windows and aggressive front fascia. The cabin inside has been fully redesigned, with the use of notably higher-quality materials and more conventional instrument cluster. Standard safety features on all trim levels include electronic stability control; front, side, and side curtain airbags and 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake-assist, and EBD. The NHTSA awarded 2nd generation Murano four stars on the frontal crash test and five stars for side impacts, worse than the first generation.

2012 Nissan Murano Review

The 2012 Nissan Murano is a premium crossover and is more luxurious than ever. Upgrades to the interior, a new design of alloy wheel, changes to instrumentation and revisions to the taillights enhance even further the already high levels of style and comfort found in the company’s flagship model. Exterior enhancements include new taillights that now have strong visual link to the lamps found on Qashqai and feature clear arrowhead lens outside the red lens section. Two new metallic body colors – Graphite Blue and Pearl White contrast with new 5 V-spoke design of 18 inch alloy. The stylish 5 twin-spoke design on 20-inch wheel remains unchanged.

The 2012 Nissan Murano is the 3rd string to the company’s Crossover bow, offering a top of the line model above Qashqai and Juke. Famous in a number of European markets and particularly in Russia, sales were boosted by the arrival in 2010 of diesel version for the first time. The combination of continuously variable transmission, one of the best transmissions in the market and strong 3.5 liter V6 engine with sport tuned suspension results in a crossover sport utility vehicle, which is more enjoyable to drive. Its five-passenger cabin earns points for its plethora of standard features, attractive styling and high quality materials. However, it does have some drawbacks, including a maximum cargo capacity and compromised rear visibility, which is slightly smaller unlike its rivals. You might want to comparison shop its main rivals, the more wagonlike Toyota Venza, more off-road-capable Jeep Grand Cherokee or the equally stylish Ford Edge.

Variants, Body Types and Options

The 2012 Nissan Murano is a midsize crossover sport utility vehicle that offers comfortable seating capacity for five passengers and is offered in four trims: SV, S, LE and SL.

Standard on entry level S include variable intermittent wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, deep-tinted rear privacy glass, cloth upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a reclining 60/40-split rear seat, a height-adjustable driver seat, cruise control, a 7-inch monochrome screen, a six-speaker stereo with an auxiliary audio input jack and a six-CD changer and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel.

Opting for SV trim level will get you foglights, automatic headlights, roof rack side rails, a panoramic sunroof, a 7-inch color display, power front seats (eight-way driver and four-way passenger), a leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a rearview camera, an upgraded stereo system with iPod integration and satellite radio and Bluetooth.

Stepping up to SL trim level adds heated outside mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery, a power liftgate, driver seat memory, heated front seats and steering wheel, a nine-speaker Bose audio system with digital music storage and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The LE trim comes with bi-xenon headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, wood interior trim and heated rear seats.

Optional on LE and SL models is a navigation system which includes real-time traffic and weather, voice recognition, increased digital music storage and Bluetooth streaming audio. Both trim levels can be had with a headrest mounted twin-screen rear DVD entertainment system. For 2012 is the Platinum Edition option for LE models which combines a special Sapphire Black paint color, navigation system and exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels.

What’s Beneath the Hood of 2012 Nissan Murano?

Motivation for the 2012 Nissan Murano comes from a 3.5 liter V6 engine, which is good for pulsating 260 horsepower with 240 pound feet of torque. The engine is mated to continuously variable transmission with the choice of available four-wheel drive system or standard front wheel drive system. The rated fuel economy for Murano is 24 mpg highway, 18 mpg city and 20 mpg in combined driving.

Safety & Reliability

Standard safety features on 2012 Nissan Murano include traction and stability control, antilock brakes, front seat side impact airbags, full length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. In brake testing, the all-wheel-drive Murano with 18 inch wheels came to a stop in 126 feet from 60 miles per hour. In government testing, the Murano gained overall rating of 4 stars for front impact protection and 5 stars for side impact protection. While the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave Murano its highest rating of “Good” in both side crash and frontal offset tests.

Special Features and Cockpit Design

The cabin inside 2012 Nissan Murano offers attractively styled space, which rivals the upscale Infiniti FX cousin for quality of assembly and materials. When upscale surroundings fuse perfectly with versatile amenities, the result is like no other. Aesthetically refined yet remarkably adaptable, it is the complete package. With the available dual pane moonroof, there is plenty of connection with sun’s warmth. For grand entrance, the driver’s memory system slides the driver’s seat rearward when you enter. Once inside, the tilt and telescoping steering wheel, outside mirrors and seat, all glide into ideal position.

Comfortable and refined, the all new 2012 Nissan Murano is noted for its high levels of equipment. For vast majority of markets it means power tailgate, color rear and kerbside cameras and 20-inch alloy wheels are all fitted as standard. Murano also gets Nissan Connect Premium satellite navigation system with HDD 9.3GB music server, 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, aux connectivity and iPod fused with premium 11 speaker BOSE system and option of rearseat DVD entertainment system.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Nissan Murano’s engine has won praise for its refinement and power. Mated to a continuously variable transmission, it offers a perfect combination of efficiency and performance. Intelligent Continuously Variable Transmission means virtually gearless shifting from now on. Flawless, instant acceleration from the gearbox so advanced, it tailors the engine’s output to suit how you are driving right now.