Nissan Murano among midsize style leaders

The stylish 2017 Nissan Murano Platinum edition. (Bud Wells photos)

From its small center grille all the way back to its floating roof at the rear, the 2017 Nissan Murano is one of the most pleasant in appearance of all midsize SUV/crossovers in the country.

The impressive treatment at the rear pillars, introduced for the ’16 model year, helped the Murano establish a personal best in sales last year.

Yet, even with that spur and the continued styling flair, the Murano falls far down the list in sales of competitive makes. It trails, among others, the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Highlander and 4Runner, Ford Edge, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Pilot and Kia Sorento.

On its introduction in 2003, the Murano surprised the industry with two innovations – futuristic styling and use of a continuously variable transmission in a vehicle of that size.

With a 260-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a much improved CVT tranny, the Murano is a smooth operator. The Explorer and Grand Cherokee with their 6-speed and 8-speed automatic transmissions, respectively, perform better.

The Murano was introduced to the Nissan lineup in 2003.

Nissan has designed one of the finest interiors of all midsize crossovers for the Murano. The soft, upscale look is nice and bright.

The Murano averaged 23.5 miles per gallon; its EPA estimate is 21/28. It rides on Bridgestone Dueler 235/55R20 tires.

The Platinum all-wheel-drive review model carried a hefty price tag of $44,165, including a technology package of power panoramic moonroof, intelligent cruise control, forward collision warning and forward emergency braking.

Here are the specifications for the 2017 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD:

  • Capacity 5-passenger crossover SUV
  • Wheelbase 111.2 inches
  • Length 192.4 inches
  • Width 75.4 inches
  • Height 66.6 inches
  • Curb Weight 4,017 pounds
  • Track 64.6 inches front, rear
  • Ground Clearance 6.9 inches
  • Turn Circle 38.7 feet
  • Drivetrain All-wheel-drive
  • Engine 3.5-liter V-6
  • Horsepower/Torque 260/240
  • Transmission continuously variable
  • Steering rack-and-pinion power
  • Suspension strut front, multilink rear
  • Fuel mileage estimate 21/28
  • Fuel mileage average 23.5
  • Fuel Tank 19 gallons, regular
  • Wheels 20-inch
  • Tires Bridgestone Dueler 235/55R20
  • Cargo Volume 32.1 cubic feet

Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles basic, 5/60,000 powertrain

Competitors Jeep Grand Chereokee, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot

Assembly Plant Canton, Miss.

Parts Content N.A.

Base Price of Lowest Model $31,160; Base Price of Review Model $40,780; Destination Charge $900; Sticker Price $44,165.