- Nissan Murano, 2012
Nissan Murano, the premium crossover, is more luxurious than ever. Updates to the interior, revisions to the tail-lights, a new design of alloy wheel and changes to the instrumentation enhance even further the already high levels of comfort and style found in Nissan's flagship model.
The majority of the changes take place inside the well-appointed cabin. More sophisticated white lighting (replacing the orange used previously) and revised lettering feature on the instrument dials. At the same time, the centre stack surround is now better integrated into the cabin by being finished in the same colour as the rest of the dashboard.
Perhaps the most obvious change, though, is to the leather seat facing and the leather on the door panels which now use pleated stitching rather than the ruched effect seen previously. In the rear compartment, the optional DVD screen previously mounted in the roof has been replaced by two individual screens integrated into the rear of the front seats headrest.
External changes include new tail-lights which have a strong visual link to the lamps found on Qashqai and which feature a clear arrowhead lens outside the red lens section. Two new metallic body colours - Pearl White and Graphite Blue - contrast with a new five V-spoke design of 18-inch alloy. The stylish five twin-spoke design on the 20-inch wheel remains unchanged.
Models destined for the Russian market gain the latest infotainment system, which has already been adopted in Europe, while high-grade models also benefit from a heated steering wheel. So popular is Nissan Murano in Russia that the country has three model grades on offer, while the majority of Western Europe countries concentrate on the most luxurious version only.
Nissan Murano is the third string to Nissan's Crossover bow, providing a range-topping model above Juke and Qashqai. Popular in a number of European markets - and especially in Russia - sales were boosted by the arrival in 2010 of a diesel version for the first time. Coinciding with a subtle facelift that boosted its premium feel, the diesel opened the model to many more buyers.
The 2.5-litre dCi engine, which was specifically engineered for Europe with significant input from engineers at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE), has won praise for its power and refinement. Coupled to a six-speed automatic gearbox with Adaptive Shift Control, the four-cylinder unit offers the perfect balance of performance and efficiency, with 190PS and 450Nm at just 2,000 rpm on offer. CO2 emissions are 210g/km while combined cycle fuel economy is an impressive 10.6 l/100kms.
The diesel version accounts for about 90 per cent of Nissan Murano sales in Western Europe, with the remainder taken by the smooth and powerful 3.5-litre V6 engine, with 256PS and 334Nm.
Refined and comfortable, Nissan Murano is noted for its high levels of equipment. For the vast majority of markets this means 20-inch alloy wheels, power tailgate and colour rear and kerbside cameras all fitted as standard. Murano also features Nissan Connect Premium satellite navigation system with 7-inch touch screen, HDD 9.3 Gb music server, iPod, Bluetooth and aux connectivity combined with premium 11 speaker BOSE system and the option of a rear seat DVD entertainment system.
The list also includes Scratch Shield paint, rear privacy glass, bi-xenon headlamps, cruise control and Nissan Murano's signature electrically folding rear seats, which can be raised or lowered easily and conveniently from the luggage area.
And naturally, Murano benefits from Nissan's All-Mode 4x4-i intelligent four-wheel-drive system promising surefooted handling and grip under even the trickiest of conditions.