Overview

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Overview (Final Score: B-)

The 2017 Nissan Murano is largely unchanged from its redesign of two years ago, but some of this year's updates boost its scoring with us - namely in technology. The Murano is one of the most refined and upscale offerings in the non-luxury midsize crossover segment with a decidedly eye-catching appeal that still remains value oriented.

The minimal changes for the 2017 model year are mainly to technology. A new appearance package has been added: the Midnight Edition for the Platinum trim. The Murano otherwise continues with its four smart trim levels, strong V6, and front-wheel or all-wheel drive options.

The Murano is a 5-seat (2-row) crossover in the midsize segment. It is generally more premium than most other offerings and stands separate from Nissan's Pathfinder 3-row crossover as a more upscale option. The 2017 Murano offers a great package of options for most budgets and needs. All with a style and presence that far outclasses its price tag.

What We Love About the 2017 Nissan Murano:


  • Excellent exterior design that stands out from the competition with eye-grabbing looks

  • Interior experience is premium level with high amounts of posh comfort

  • Smooth drivetrain delivers excellent MPG returns without feeling weak


 

What We Don't Love About the 2017 Nissan Murano:


  • No third row option is available

  • Can be hesitant to accelerate when pressed, especially at lower speeds

  • Not as family ergonomic as some options in this category


 

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Exterior View (10/10)

The 2017 Nissan Murano remains one of the most eye-catching vehicles in the non-luxury segments. The signature floating roof design, rounded hood lines and pinched greenhouse create a very sinuous appeal. A sporty roofline and well-shaped rear hatch finish the style, which is only accented with various wheel options and color choices.

The Nissan Murano's design elements may look busy when considered individually, but they come together into a very beautiful look on the whole. The Murano is highly showroom friendly for that and commands a lot of curb presence when out and about.

Options and trim points change the 2017 Murano's look somewhat. For example, the SV trim adds integrated roof rails as standard, and 20-inch wheel upgrades can be had at most trims (standard on the Platinum). These two upgrades coincide with the chrome accents already present on the Murano, for a smart amount of bling.

Interior Comfort, Quality, Ergonomics (10/10)

The interior of the 2017 Nissan Murano is as excellent as is its exterior. An uplifted dashboard, high-grade materials and good accenting create a very upscale feel. This is accented by the Murano's generous use of soft-touch materials and quiet ride.

Seating throughout the 2017 Murano is very good with Nissan's Zero Gravity seating in the driver, front passenger and both outboard rear seats. This NASA-inspired design creates a posture and feel that is similar to the seats used by astronauts on launch pads.

The Murano's size means that seating in all five positions is good for roominess as well. The center of the rear seat is mostly for kids, but the struggle to get three booster seats across is not nearly as tough as it is in competing midsize crossovers. The Murano also houses a good-sized cargo space at just over 32 cubic feet with the seats up. That expands to 67 cubes with the second row folded flat (which they do in a 60/40 split). This is usable cargo area with a lot of floor space and a wide hatch opening.

In all, the 2017 Nissan Murano's interior is rivaled only by luxury makes.

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Technology (9/10)

Things have greatly improved on the technology front for the 2017 Murano, causing us to bump its score up from last year's middling assessment. The Murano comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen that offers basic infotainment options and Bluetooth connectivity. Upgrading to the navigation option brings an 8-inch touchscreen with a similarly crisp output and fast-responding interface.

The upgrade to Connect brings the Nissan Connect app and its connectivity for smartphone integration. This was part of the upgrade last year, but we noted then that there weren't many options to make this useful. Now there are, with Nissan Connect allowing climate settings, a concierge service, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the ability to control navigation settings via a phone, among other things. It's becoming quite robust.

Fuel Economy (9/10)

The 2017 Murano is unique in that fuel economy estimates from the EPA are the same whether looking at the front-wheel or all-wheel drive option. This speaks to the efficiency of the continuously variable transmission (CVT) when properly designed and tuned.

The 2017 Murano is EPA-rated at 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. After a 600-mile road trip and around-town driving in the 2017 Nissan Murano Platinum with AWD resulted in excellent fuel economy returns, averaging 24 mpg - the exact expectation of the EPA. Our results last year were similar, so we feel that the EPA's numbers are realistic.

Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (9/10)

This generation of the Nissan Murano has done well with quality ratings and expectations. We have downgraded it by a point this year because the 2017 Murano's rating dipped a little with the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study to "Better Than Most" and the safety recall for braking issued last year has been reissued for the 2017 model year as well, indicating the problem has not been resolved.

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Safety (10/10)

The 2017 Nissan Murano continues the excellent safety ratings the vehicle has had since its new generation debuted. Full results from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have shown the Murano to be as safe as tests can predict.

The 2017 Murano has received a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS with top-most "Good" scores on all crash tests. The NHTSA similarly has given the Murano a 5-Star overall rating for crash test results.

The 2017 Murano has a set of advanced safety options available on some trim levels which, when tested, may add the coveted "+" to that IIHS rating. Results are pending as of this writing.

Performance (8/10)

There is only one engine and transmission option and two drivetrain options for the 2017 Murano. The engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that outputs an honest 260 horsepower and 240 foot pounds of torque. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is also standard equipment, acting as an automatic transmission but with greater efficiency than a traditional gearbox. Nissan has an excellent reputation for well-done CVTs and the Murano proves that reputation is accurate with its CVT's smooth operation and unobtrusive presence.

The V6 in the Murano is a good motivator with smooth energy delivery throughout the power band and in most situations on the road. At highway speeds, it's quiet and efficient and around town the engine and transmission combination is smart and reliable. Our only complaint is with the Murano's occasional hesitation to push up the RPM in order to quickly gain speed when pressed. This happens mainly at highway speeds during passing maneuvers. In town it does well with quick acceleration when requested.

Visibility out of the Murano is also very good, making it easy to maneuver in tight spaces. The AroundView 360-degree camera system helps this immensely.

Pricing and Value (9/10)

The 2017 Nissan Murano has an upscale appeal and feel without the premium price normally associated with that. In the middle trims (SV, SL), the value mark is high for the content included. Options can raise prices, but most will get into a nicely accoutered Murano for about $35,000. This will be comparable to higher-priced competitors or even premium-level brands.

Resale values for the Murano are average for the segment, but can be a bit higher in its upper trim points with AWD.

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Total Score and Competitive Comparison (64/80, 80%)

There is plenty to choose from in the midsize crossover segment. Most are great choices with plenty of strengths brought to the table. The Toyota Highlander, which has a third row, is likely the top choice in this segment, but it doesn't have the high refinement or suave presence of the Murano. The Ford Edge offers a sporty option that has a good look and smart appeal, but doesn't have the interior refinement or ergonomics of the Murano. The Hyundai Santa Fe is a great choice for its value and excellence and the Kia Sorento offers a similar proposition for a lot less money.

The Murano is chosen largely for its upscale appeal without the premium brand pricing. This year's Murano sees a score that gains from last year's by a point, boosting its overall rating. A few of the details we didn't like about the Murano last year have been remedied, specifically with the infotainment upgrade.

The 2017 Nissan Murano offers a lot for less than expected and brings a real premium appeal to a non-premium segment. Its family ergonomics, smooth daily drive dynamic and high curb appeal are its primary appeal points. Fuel economy and high tech offerings are also nice bonuses.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - AWD
S AWD S V6 AWD 31340
S 2017.5 AWD S V6 AWD 31370
SV AWD SV V6 AWD 34400
SV 2017.5 AWD SV V6 AWD 34570
SL AWD SL V6 AWD 38730
SL 2017.5 AWD SL V6 AWD 38900
Platinum AWD Platinum V6 AWD 40780
Platinum 2017.5 AWD Platinum V6 AWD 41210
SUV - FWD
S FWD S V6 FWD 29740
S 2017.5 FWD S V6 FWD 29770
SV FWD SV V6 FWD 32800
SV 2017.5 FWD SV V6 FWD 32970
SL FWD SL V6 FWD 37130
SL 2017.5 FWD SL V6 FWD 37300
Platinum FWD Platinum V6 FWD 39180
Platinum 2017.5 FWD Platinum V6 FWD 39610

Comparison of 2017 Nissan Murano with Similar Cars

2017 Nissan Murano MSRP Invoice
2017 Nissan Murano $29,740 $27,927
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee $30,395 $30,270 2017 Nissan Murano VS 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2017 Ford Edge $28,950 $27,938 2017 Nissan Murano VS 2017 Ford Edge
2017 Toyota Highlander $30,630 $27,965 2017 Nissan Murano VS 2017 Toyota Highlander
2017 GMC Acadia $29,070 $28,925 2017 Nissan Murano VS 2017 GMC Acadia
2017 Chevrolet Traverse $28,700 $28,557 2017 Nissan Murano VS 2017 Chevrolet Traverse

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2017 Nissan Murano ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2017 Nissan Murano rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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