Since its introduction in the 2003 model year, Nissan’s Murano has stood apart from the competition with its sculptured exterior, elegant interior, and peppy AWD drive powertrain.
For the 2021 model year, Nissan Shield 360 with class-exclusive Rear Automatic Braking becomes standard on all vehicles. Three new exterior colors were also added.
Outside, the Murano has a distinctive appearance with three company signature expressions: V-Motion grille, signature C-Shaped lights, and floating roof line. The roof and the D-pillar appear disconnected, flowing side windows into the rear windshield to lighten the cabin with the extra glass surface. The result is a floating appearance that can be recognized from far away.
Standard signature LED lights and taillights complete the “Look,” and are instantly recognized at night. 20-inch unique Dark Hyper Silver aluminum alloy wheels round off the ensemble.
My favorite feature was the low center stack. It has a standard 8.0-inch multi-touch color display and HVAC controls enclosed in a V-shaped trim piece, like that of the V-Motion grille.
Inside the instrument cluster, the driver keeps track of various stats of the Murano with the 7.0-inch hi-res color Advanced Drive-Assist Display.
My Murano was loaded with technology, including standard Nissan Connect featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An advanced Bose audio system with 11 speakers (including dual woofers) is tasked with sound playback. SiriusXM services support is also standard, although subscriptions would be required to access its radio, Traffic, and Travel Link.
Other features include standard Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control, Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, along with leather-appointed seating, and heated steering wheel with position memory.
Outside mirror memory and Remote Engine Start are also included. The backseat has superb seating with quality head and feet roominess. There is an ample amount of cargo space with all seats up. It easily accommodates four large suitcases while the rear seats fold flat for greater cargo convenience.
Another standard feature is the advanced Xtronic CVT transmission with D-Step Logic, which adds the feel of a traditional stepped automatic. Murano is powered by an advanced 3.5-liter V6 engine capable of producing up to 260 horsepower and 240 lb.-ft. of torque.
Fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for a combined average of 23 mpg. My week of driving netted me 26 mpg.
The MSRP for the 2021 Murano starts at $32,510 for the base S FWD model. The Platinum AWD trim of this review carries a starting price of $45,610. Nissan added options such as 20-inch satin alloy wheels that brought the price for the test vehicle (plus destination charges) up to $49,380.
A new Special Edition Packages replaces the previous SV Premium Package, and it includes Dual Panel Moonroof, Intelligent Around View Monitor, Prima-Tex-appointed seats, heated front seats, and 20-inch Dark Charcoal aluminum alloy wheels.
Standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 driving assist package includes Automatic Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, and Rear Automatic Braking. My favorite safety feature was Intelligent Driver Alertness (I-DA) which helps to alert the driver when drowsy driving is detected.
36 months/36,000 miles Basic Coverage
60 months/60,000 miles Powertrain Coverage
60 months/unlimited miles Corrosion Perforation Coverage
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or email@example.com.