Nissan's first crossover vehicle, the Murano, is named after Venetian art glass, which seems appropriate. This is not an off-roader but a tall wagon that's more art house than roadhouse. That's not to say the Murano doesn't strike us as a useful addition to the market or a smart piece of engineering. Based on the FF-L (front-engine, front-wheel-drive, large) platform underpinning the current Altima and the next Maxima, the Murano goes on sale in November. Competitors include vehicles such as the Toyota Highlander and the Buick Rendezvous. The Murano uses Nissan's corporate 3.5-liter V-6 to make its 240 horsepower. This engine will be mated to a continuously variable transmission, with an available "seven-speed" manual-shift mode. Other options include skid control, adjustable pedals, and, of course, all-wheel drive.
Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand pricesubscribe