2019 Nissan Murano Brings Upscale to the Everyday

The 2019 Nissan Murano is a two-row midsized crossover that holds an everyday price tag but manages to be a little more premium than that window sticker might suggest.

In the world of midsized crossover-SUVs, there are a lot of options to choose from. Families can go with a three-row that seats seven or even eight people or a two-row that seats five. If this was Texas, where bigger is always better, the choice is obvious. The rest of us, though, put a little more thought into it.

The Murano was restyled this year with an updated look and LED headlamps added as standard. The Murano stands out from the competitive crossover crowd for its unique design, quality interior, and spacious second row of seating. It’s a premium-feel crossover without the price tag associated with that.

The appeal of the Murano comes with its beautiful exterior. This is an SUV that looks like a showroom car thanks to its arched front shoulders, fast-lane roof slope, and floating rear pillar. These elements give the 2019 Murano a lot of class and the curvaceous “Coke bottle” of its bodywork suggests capability and upper-class treatment.

There are some downsides to the Murano’s design, however, and we’d be remiss to ignore them. The rear pillar, which is blackened and pinches to create the “floating” look from the outside, impedes rear visibility inside due to its elongated design. This also requires the rear hatch opening to pinch inward at the top over the rear haunch, which impedes loading some bulky items into the cargo area.

Those downers are livable for most people, though, and the large side mirrors and available 360-degree parking camera system go a long way toward mitigating the visibility issue. Daily items like bicycles, groceries, and warehouse store purchases will usually fit into the Murano’s good-sized cargo space with ease.

The Murano’s interior brings the upscale, high-end look of the exterior into the cabin. Front seating in this Nissan is very comfortable with plenty of adjustment options. Whether the drive is short or long, those seats are wonderful. Getting into and out of the Murano is also easy up front and in the rear thanks to wide-opening, near-90-degree doors and low sills for stepping in. The roofline at the rear drops down a little, but most of that drop is visual rather than physical, so entry headroom is not affected much.

Seating in the rear of the 2019 Murano is spacious and accommodating. Parents will find that getting child safety seats into and out of the Murano is fairly easy, though we note that the LATCH anchors are deep set into the upholstery and require some hard shoving to get a connection. The rear seats are split-fold by design and, as with most larger vehicles, attaching an overhead tether is easier if the seat is tilted forward so it can be anchored first.

Upscale and well-chosen materials, a quiet quality to the cabin, and well-placed controls are all hallmarks of the 2019 Nissan Murano’s build quality and premium appeal.

Living with the 2019 Murano every day is a tribute to the kind of ergonomic thought that automotive designers are capable of putting into a vehicle today. Little things tend to add up in a vehicle like this. Especially with kids, multiple trips short and long, and all of the stuff that happens to keep a family-sized household running.

The Murano is comfortable to be in and is confident in its drive. Parking is fairly easy if the aforementioned 360-degree cameras are opted for and the Murano’s everyday versatility is a boon.

The 2019 Murano is powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produces 260 horsepower at peak. Those are good numbers and they translate to 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway (per the EPA). In our week with the AWD model, which the EPA rates slightly lower, we still managed a 23 mpg overall average and easily achieved 27 mpg on the highway most of the time.

There are some caveats with the Murano. There is not much in the way of towing as an option with that smaller-displacement engine. The rear seats don’t fold completely flat, so when maximum cargo space is required, it’s not a flat floor for loading. That makes bulky items, like furniture or large boxes, a bit difficult to load.

The Murano is also not a race car. It’s a smooth-driving crossover with enough power to feel competent, but it won’t hurry any more than others in this class might. Finally, drivers will feel that the Murano is smaller than it is thanks to its great maneuverability.

The 2019 Nissan Murano is an excellent choice in the two-row crossover-SUV segment. It’s roomy, the right size for a growing family, and very upscale for its price tag. The Murano starts at $31,270, but we’d recommend looking to the mid-level SV trim (about $5,000 more) as a better starting point for daily use. That trim comes with all the advanced safety features (emergency braking, blind-spot management, etc.) and Nissan’s better infotainment system.


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