There are two engines to choose from, and the petrol one is a detuned version of the 3.5-litre V6 from the 350Z sports car. Unfortunately, this is linked to a CVT automatic gearbox that's reluctant to let the engine rev. Factor in the Murano's considerable weight, and performance is disappointing. The diesel engine is a good one and naturally gives better economy, but its performance is best described as sedate.
Nissan Murano 4x4 ride & handling
The Murano uses the four-wheel-drive system from the latest X-Trail, but it's not a car designed for serious off-roading. Instead, it's most at home on smooth, straight roads. You'll be far less impressed when the road turns twisty, because there's a lot of body lean, and the soft suspension isn't as forgiving as you might expect over bumps. The numb steering also disappoints, although the car at least grips well.
Nissan Murano 4x4 refinement
Aside from a touch of wind noise at motorway speeds, the Murano is impressively refined. The only sounds from the petrol engine are the sort you'll want to hear when you put your foot down, and road noise is shut out effectively.