Fancy a large, petrol-engined 4x4? No, not many people do – which is why Nissan’s Murano has been fighting a losing battle for the past five years.
Shame really, the Murano has always been a stylish, spacious, fine-driving 4x4, it has also been in desperate need of a good diesel engine. Now it’s got one – a 187bhp 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engine that immediately turns the Murano into a real contender in its class.
It’s not all good news, though, because the Murano’s figures – mainly the price – let it down. Whereas most rival 4x4s have 3.0-litre diesels, the Murano gets a 2.5, and while most rival 4x4s slip beneath the 200g/km CO2 mark, the Murano emits 210g/km.
Fuel consumption is improved from an average of 25.9mpg on the petrol model to 35.3mpg with the new diesel engine.
That all equates to a thirsty, but sedate vehicle, which is a shame because the Murano is a comfortable and refined cruiser with a nice interior and bags of space. It also comes loaded with enough kit to keep the gadget-hungry happy – the latest navigation, stereo and connectivity system with a 40GB hard drive, all the safety acronyms you could wish for, 20-inch alloys, twin sunroof and reversing camera. Let’s just say German rivals are stingy by comparison and they cost more.
So, with that being the case, why did we moan about the price? Up against some five-seat 4x4s, such as the Audi Q5 and the VW Toureg, the Nissan seems like good value. However, there’s one car that makes the Murano look expensive – the Mazda CX-7. Sure, it’s slightly smaller than the Nissan and has a 2.2-litre engine and doesn’t come with an auto gearbox, but it’s greener, more fuel efficient and, here’s the rub, over £10,000 cheaper. Halve that difference and the Nissan would be much more appealing. As it is, it’s merely a comfy, competent 4x4 that’s overpriced.
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