May
14
2019 Nissan Murano SL in Sunset Drift

2019 Nissan Murano SL in Sunset Drift

2015 Audi Q52019 Nissan Murano SL AWD

Class: Midsize Crossover

Miles Driven: 345

Fuel Used: 17.2 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortA-
Power and PerformanceB
Fit and FinishB-
Fuel EconomyB-
ValueB-
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyA
Tall GuyA-
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs260-hp 3.5L
Engine TypeV6
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive WheelsAll-wheel drive

Real-world fuel economy: 20.1 mpg

Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 20/28/23 (city/highway/combined)

Fuel type: Regular gasoline

Base price: $40,830 (not including $1045 destination charge)

Options on test car: Tech Package ($1970), floor mats ($245)

Price as tested: $44,090

 

Quick Hits

The great: Versatile, spacious cabin for passengers and cargo

The good: Responsive powertrain; good selection of safety and technology features

The not so good: Some interior-design elements not as up to date as recently redesigned class competitors

More Murano price and availability information

 

John Biel

After four years of (mostly) the same-old same-old for the Murano midsize crossover sport-utility, Nissan has decided the time has come to clean up its act. The 2019 version of the 5-passenger vehicle is freshened with modest styling alterations, a revised interior, and additional safety technologies.

2019 Nissan Murano SL AWD

The Murano SL comes standard with heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature (we appreciated the heated function during one of Chicagoland’s numerous spring snowfalls this year) and a hands-free power liftgate.

In the years since the current-generation Murano’s debut as a 2015 model, Nissan has updated its “V-Motion” design theme. The ’19 model reflects this change in its grille, headlights, taillights, and fog lights. Some new wheel designs and exterior colors are included too. However, in more fundamental ways, particularly room and power, the Murano stands its ground.

Murano still comes in four trim levels—S, SV, SL, and Platinum—each with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. For this test, Consumer Guide drove an AWD SL with a starting price of $41,875 including delivery. A significant option package and floor mats raised the total cost to $44,090.

More Nissan news and reviews

2019 Murano Cabin

The Murano’s cabin is spacious, if not as cutting-edge in design as some rivals’. The rear-seat area can accommodate average-sized adults in comfort, and the flat floor makes three-abreast seating feasible.

All 2019 Muranos get Nissan’s Rear Door Alert—it reminds drivers to check the rear seats when exiting the vehicle—and Intelligent Driver Alertness monitor. The SL builds off SV standard equipment that includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, 10-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, remote engine starting and climate-system activation, 8-inch touchscreen, voice control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. To this the SL adds 20-inch alloy wheels, heated external mirrors with reverse-tilt function, hands-free power liftgate, LED fog lights, silver roof rails, leather upholstery, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, memory driver’s seat and mirrors, LED interior lighting, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, Intelligent Around View Monitor, 11-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, and NissanConnect services telematics.

Test Drive: 2019 Ford Edge Titanium

2019 Murano Cargo Space

Muranos with the available panoramic sunroof (like our tester) have 31.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and 65 cubic feet with the rear seats folded; the sunroof’s housing steals a cubic inch or two of cargo volume.

The $1970 Tech Package that was added to the test vehicle includes the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, and rear automatic braking. Other components of the option group were Intelligent Lane Intervention, traffic-sign recognition, and a panoramic moonroof.

On a fundamental level, the 2019 Murano isn’t far removed from the ’15 model. The same 3.5-liter V6 engine and continuously variable transmission are beavering away under the hood. The engine, which produces maximums of 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, is helpfully responsive in street driving, and cruises easily and quietly on expressways. It’s not especially stingy with gas, however, and never really has been in CG’s experience. This driver saw an average of 18.3 mpg after driving 176 miles, 60 percent of that in city-type operation. That’s a bit shy of the EPA projections of 20 mpg in the city, 28 on the highway, and 23 combined. Meanwhile, a soft suspension and easy (if not overly communicative) steering make the Murano comfortable to ride in and fairly easy to handle.

First Spin: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer

2019 Murano Wheels

SL models come standard with 20-inch alloy wheels with metallic grey accents.

There’s good passenger room throughout—even second-row occupants enjoy plenty of legroom. Three-across seating is possible because a flat floor doesn’t obstruct the middle position. The degree of cabin quiet is commendable. Drivers have to see around somewhat thick windshield and door pillars, and the view to the rear corners is blotted out where the roof sinks to meet rising bodysides.

Well-distributed soft-surface materials made the cabin of the test truck feel fairly upscale. Controls are easy to read and use. The audio system can be directly programmed and operated with the assistance of external tuning and volume knobs. Climate controls rely on handy dials to set temperature and a few clearly marked buttons to manage other system functions.

Interior storage is generally quite good. While the glove box rests a little low in the dash it is large and deep. The padded-top console box will hold a lot. An adjustable tray rides above to hold small things for which it would be bothersome to fish around. Two exposed cup holders are set in the console. Device inputs can be found at the front of the console, tucked under the climate-control cluster. Small front door pockets incorporate bottle holders. The rear doors have smaller pockets. Second-row storage also includes pouches on the backs of the front seats, and a pull-down center armrest with two cup holders.

The rear cargo area has ample space on flat floor, and it conveniently loads at bumper height. Load capacity improves when the rear seats, which are divided 60/40, are retracted. They fold flat in an uninterrupted continuation of the cargo floor. Levers built into the rear sidewalls make it easy to drop the seatbacks remotely while at the back of the vehicle.

Like a few other manufacturers of midsize SUVs, Nissan feels the need to make a couple of them to meet slightly different needs. If you must have the capability to carry seven people or a bit more horsepower, there’s the Pathfinder. But if cargo capacity and the chance at a little better fuel economy matter more, the Murano is the preferred choice.

First Spin: 2019 Honda Passport

2019 Nissan Murano SL

The Murano was redesigned for 2015, and it receives a minor freshening for 2019. Nissan’s pioneering crossover SUV is starting to show its age against some class competitors (especially in terms of the instrument-panel layout and switchgear), but it still offers a compelling combination of style, versatility, and power.

Future Car: 2021 Nissan Xterra

2019 Nissan Murano SL

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