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Nissan Murano
2009 Nissan Murano S -- 11-24-2009
Manufacturer Nissan
Production 2002–present
Assembly Kyushu, Japan
Tehran, Iran (Pars Khodro)[1]
Class Mid-size crossover SUV
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Wheelbase 2825 mm (111.2 in)

The Nissan Murano is a mid-size crossover SUV first introduced by Nissan in December 2002 and sold as a 2003 model. Nissan ventilated the Murano as its first crossover SUV for the United States and Canada. Initially designed at Nissan America in La Jolla, California, the first generation Murano was based on the Nissan FF-L platform first used by the third generation Altima.[2] The European version of the Murano began sales in 2004 and is available only in one version.[3]

The Murano was Nissan's only crossover SUV in the U.S. until September 2007 when the new 2008 Nissan Rogue went on sale. In Canada the X-Trail had been on sale as Nissan's second car-based SUV since 2004 as a 2005 model; it was replaced by the new 2008 Nissan Rogue in late 2007. The Murano is sized between the Xterra and the Pathfinder, but is priced slightly higher than the Nissan Pathfinder.

The Murano was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award for 2003. It was also named the best premium mid-size SUV by AutoPacific.

The name Murano comes from a region of Venice, Italy which is known for the hand blown glass produced there.


First generation Z50 (2002–2007)Edit

First generation
1st Nissan Murano SE
Production 2002–2007
2004-present (Iran)
Body style(s) 4-door SUV
Platform Nissan FF-L platform
Engine(s) 3.5L VQ35DE V6, 245 hp (183 kW)
Transmission(s) CVT
Length 4770 mm (187.6 in)
Width 1880 mm (74.0 in)
Height 2003–2005: 1705 mm (66.5 in)
2006–2007: 1709 mm (67.3 in)
Related Nissan Altima
Nissan Maxima
Nissan Quest
Nissan Teana

The first generation Nissan Murano was powered by a 3.5 litre 245 bhp V6 engine, also used in several other Nissan models like the Altima, Maxima, and Nissan 350Z, but specifically tuned for use in the Murano. Available with standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) and optional all-wheel-drive (AWD), the Nissan Murano is one of the largest vehicles utilising a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy was rated at 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway (same mpg FWD and AWD on the new EPA specifications).[4]

An independent suspension on all four wheels was used for class-leading ride and handling.[5]

2005-2008 Nissan Murano (Z50) Ti wagon 01

2005–2008 Nissan Murano (Z50) Ti (Australia)

A full set of airbags, steel reinforced cabin, and head restraints were safety features designed to protect the interior while VDC, ABS, EBD and brake assist were mechanical safety features. VDC includes a form of traction control embedded into the car's onboard computer and is designed to provide 'joy' to drive.

The Murano received a crash test rating of 5-stars in all categories but vehicle rollover (4-stars) from the NHTSA.[6]

For the 2006 model year, the Murano received some updates in the form of LED tailamps and turn signals, standard color information screen, available back-up camera (standard in Canada for all models), GPS and a restyled front end with some minor trim updates.


Second generation (2009–present)Edit

Second generation (Z51)
09 Nissan Murano
Also called Nissan Murano Z51
Production 2007–
Body style(s) 4-door SUV
2-door convertible
Platform Nissan D platform
Engine(s)

3.5L VQ35DE V6, 265 hp (198 kW)

2.5L YD25DDTi(High Power) I4, 190 hp (140 kW)
Transmission(s) CVT
Wheelbase 111.2 in (2824 mm)
Length 2009-2010: 188.5 in (4788 mm)
2011-: 189.9 in (4823 mm)
Convertible: 190.1 in (4829 mm)
Width 74.1 in (1882 mm)
Convertible: 74.5 in (1892 mm)
Height 2009-2010: 66.9 in (1699 mm)
2011-: 68.0 in (1727 mm)
Convertible: 66.2 in (1681 mm)
Related Nissan Altima (L32)
Nissan Maxima (A35)
Nissan Teana (J32)

Nissan skipped the 2008 model year with the introduction of the next generation Murano – as a 2009 model. The 2009 Murano made its public debut at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show in November and sales began in early January 2008.

The revised exterior styling bears an increased family resemblance to the Nissan Rogue, while still maintaining distinctly Murano cues with its aggressive front fascia and rear quarter windows. The interior has also been completely redesigned, with the use of a more traditional instrument cluster and notably higher-quality materials.[7]

2009-2010 Nissan Murano (Z51) Ti 01

Nissan Murano (Z51) Ti (Australia)

2011 Nissan Murano S -- NHTSA

2011 Nissan Murano S (US)

The 2009 Murano is offered in three trim levels: the base S, the mid-grade SL, and the top of the line LE.[8] The performance-oriented SE model is no longer available. The S and SL are offered with standard FWD, with optional iAWD (Intelligent All Wheel Drive) available. The LE trim is iAWD only.

New features, some of them optional or available only on the LE grade, include rain-sensing wipers, double-stitched leather seats,[9] power rear lift gate, power fold-up rear seats, iPod integration, and a hard-drive based, touchscreen navigation system.[10] The S and SL feature aluminum interior accents, while the LE sports wood-tone trim. Like the first-generation model, there is no third-row seat.

The Murano is now based on the Nissan D platform shared with the fourth generation Nissan Altima and the new 2009 Nissan Maxima. Nissan has given the 2009 Murano a revised version of the award-winning 3.5L VQ engine rated at 265 horsepower (198 kW), an increase of 20 over the previous model. Torque is rated at 248 ft·lbf (336 N·m). The engine is mated to a revised Continuously Variable Transmission with Adaptive Shift Control. EPA fuel economy is rated at 18 city / 23 highway.[11]

Standard safety features on all trims include 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, brake-assist, and EBD; electronic stability control; and front, side-, and side-curtain airbags. The NHTSA awarded the second generation Murano 4 stars on the frontal crash test and 5 stars for side impacts, worse than the first generation.[12]

On September 29, 2008, Nissan released the next generation Murano in Japan. It is targeted mainly at men in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and is priced between 3,150,000 yen and 4,042,500 yen, about 200,000 to 300,000 yen more expensive than the first generation model. Nissan plans to sell the vehicle in 170 countries.[13]

In July 2010, Nissan launched a facelifted version in Europe only, with an updated 2.5L YD25DDTi 4-cylinder diesel engine producing 190 hp and 330 lb-ft (450 Nm).[14]

For the 2011 model year, the Murano was refreshed to include new front and rear fascias, new headlights and LED taillights, and new 18-inch wheels on the outside. New interior changes include a new white meter color (as opposed to red/orange), new center stack colors and added equipment to various trim levels. The refresh also added a new exterior color, "Graphite Blue".[15] A convertible version, called CrossCabriolet was added for the first time, and the 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet premiered at the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • 2003 Nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award.
  • 2007 "Motorist Choice" best premium mid-size SUV by AutoPacific.
  • 2010 Murano received the highest ratings in the front-, side-, and rear-impact evaluations performed by the IIHS.
  • 2010 Murano Received NHTSA's Highest Government Side-Impact Safety Rating(five stars).

ReferencesEdit

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