Unlike other mid-size SUVs, the 2023 Nissan Murano eschews a rugged outdoorsy veneer in favor of a hard-to-define look that’s a stylish mashup of a car and a crossover. Whatever you want to call it, it looks good. But that’s where the Murano’s appeal starts and ends, as its aging platform holds it back from competing against newer two-row rivals such as the
Honda Passport, the Hyundai Santa Fe, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Murano’s 3.6-liter V-6 puts out decent power but is hooked to a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT) that keeps the engine in drone mode when accelerating. While the ride is comfortable, the Murano doesn’t offer much in the way of driver satisfaction, which is a shame considering it shares a platform with the spicy Maxima sedan, which is far more enjoyable from behind the wheel. Nissan at least loads the Murano up with as much technology as it can. A suite of driver-assistance features comes standard and a touchscreen infotainment system with an appropriate level of connectivity is installed in every model. The Murano competes against more than two dozen mid-size SUVs, almost all of them are better at what they’re designed to do.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
The Murano hasn’t been significantly updated since this generation was introduced for the 2015 model year, and it rolls into 2023 with nary a change to its design, powertrain, or chassis. Needless to say, it’s past its expiration date, and we expect an all-new version to debut for the 2024 model year.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Since the 2023 Murano is one of the older options in this class—and it finished last in a comparison test—we'd avoid the more expensive models. That pushes us toward the Murano SV, which has a nice mix of style and substance at an appropriate price. Its standard highlights include adaptive cruise control, power-adjustable front seats with heat, and remote start.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Under the hood of all Muranos is a 3.5-liter V-6 making 260 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive can be added to any trim, and both setups utilize a CVT. The last Murano we tested had a decent performance on our test track and delivered peppy performance around town. Bury your foot in the throttle—an exercise few Murano buyers will do frequently—and the CVT spikes the engine revs and holds them there, resulting in a loud, droning growl from under the hood. The Murano is in its element on long-distance highway jaunts, where the powertrain fades into the background and delivers a peaceful journey. With a suspension tuned for comfort, the Murano makes easy work of road trips, and its suspension damps out even the roughest potholes to deliver a smooth ride. Encounter a twisty road and the Murano will safely deliver you to the next intersection, but it won't entertain you along the way. The steering delivers good highway stability but is dull and uncommunicative on meandering two-lanes. The Murano offers a low tow rating of 1500 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the Murano will earn 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The addition of all-wheel drive also doesn't diminish either rating. In our real-world testing, the Murano fell short of its highway fuel-economy estimate—27 mpg—but still managed to post one of the best results of the rivals we sampled. For more information about the Murano's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Murano's cabin is nice enough and fairly well-equipped, but the design is looking dated. Our Platinum test vehicle wore soft leather on the seats, door panels, and armrests, as well as a band of dark teak-wood trim. Both front-seat occupants should easily find a pleasant seating position in the heavily cushioned chairs. Rear-seat passengers are treated to a comfortable reclining bench seat with plentiful padding. Since the Murano's cargo bay is below average in size for this class, it comes as no surprise that, behind its rear seat, we managed to fit only nine of our carry-on suitcases while its rivals held more. However, with its rear seat stowed, we fit 26 cases inside the cabin. Most of the interior-storage cubby bins are merely adequately sized except for the Murano's glovebox, which is huge.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All Murano models feature an 8.0-inch color touchscreen display running Nissan's NissanConnect infotainment system; navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM with Travel Link weather and traffic updates also are now standard across the range. The Murano has both USB-A and USB-C ports, including a pair on the back of the center console so those in the rear seat can juice their smartphones.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Nissan offers a slew of standard driver-assistance technology on all models. For more information about the Murano's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Nothing about the Murano's standard warranty package is noteworthy. Rivals in this segment all offer longer roadside assistance plans, while the Santa Fe and the Kia Sorento beat the Nissan with a nontransferable 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain policy.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2019 NISSAN MURANO
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
DISPLACEMENT: 213 cu in, 3498 cc
POWER: 260 hp @ 6000 rpm
TORQUE: 240 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
TRANSMISSION: continuously variable automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 111.2 in
Length: 192.8 in
Width: 75.4 in
Height: 67.8 in
Passenger volume: 103–109 cu ft
Cargo volume: 31–32 cu ft
Curb weight (C/D est): 3850–4050 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
Zero to 60 mph: 7.3–7.5 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 18.8–19.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.7–16.0 sec
Top speed: 120 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 23/20/28 mpg