First Drive: 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

The conference room at Santa Monica's Fairmont Miramar Hotel is filled with bewildered journalists. Nissan's marketers and product planners have brought us here to explain the Murano CrossCabriolet, but it's not working. They point to the screen and slowly repeat the words "no compromise" over and over, but it's like sitting through an advanced calculus class taught by Charlie Brown's teacher. Waw-WAW-waw-waw. Yes, ma'am, we're paying attention, but we just don't understand you.

Then, on the thirty-first slide of Nissan's interminable PowerPoint presentation, we're given a pop quiz. Oh, great. Next to each of the four questions is a grouping of photographs -- a happy family at the beach, couples enjoying their country club, two people skiing, and tall buildings doing whatever it is that buildings do. The bizarro Murano is nowhere to be seen, but the questions ask whether the world's first convertible crossover fits into each scenario. Clearly the teacher isn't paying attention, since the answer key is right on the screen (it says YES! in bright red letters). We run outside and jump into the CrossCabriolet anyway, lest we miss an opportunity to come up with our own answers to Nissan's questions...

QUESTION 1: When the beautiful weather beckons your attention, can the Murano CrossCabriolet offer the perfect response?

It's the middle of winter, but the sun is shining and it's eighteen glorious degrees above freezing in Los Angeles: consider the weather beautiful and beckoning vociferously. Nissan's three photos for this question were all taken at the beach, so we head out in search of sand, sun, and maybe some surfing.

Problem is, there's no roof rack, so bringing a surfboard is out of the question. Ditto a large beach umbrella. Still, the CrossCabriolet's trunk is almost big enough for a sizable cooler -- but almost doesn't count. The cooler instead goes into the back seat, which might be a problem for the happy family of four in the photo but isn't for us. Since it's 8 a.m. on a Friday, we're going to the beach alone.

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You know there is a retired quarterback somewhere that holds the record for the most interceptions in a game who has a bottle of champaign ready for that day that some other poor player breaks his records and takes his place as the butt of jokes on the pre-game shows. Well the designers of the Pontiac Aztek and the Dodge Caliber can break out their bottles because the Nissan Morano CrossCrap has set the new standard for unsightly.
I stopped reading three-quarters through. This particular Murano CC MUST be a cobbled up testing mule that grew out of a nightmare!Someone in Nissan product design needs to go before they create another disaster Crossovers by definition of purpose have roofs, rear hatches, 4-doors, and 6-gears (auto or manual)!
Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Fabulous article, you big nancy bottoms.Nissan, put it out of our misery, quick as you can. It makes the Lexus SC look like a butch top.

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