First Drive: 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Go-go-gadget Gaga! We crank the tunes and feel like we're in a hot music video cruising down Santa Monica Boulevard. All eyes are fixed on the Murano as we pull into a tight parking spot -- or, rather, try to pull into it. The CrossCabriolet's gargantuan turning radius means we'll need a couple of passes. Then we realize that we need to abort the mission completely when the 53-inch doors prove to be far too long to open without smacking the cars next to us.

We again extend apologies, this time to the Corvette we nearly backed over. The driver, a fashionable man wearing a skintight designer muscle shirt, looked the Murano up and down and then referred to us as a bunch of "big Nancy bottoms." To avoid such abuse, we recommend driving a Murano CC in a slightly more masculine color -- you should probably skip the flaming flamingo pink mica that Nissan offers. Either way, the parking-lot near miss wasn't really our fault. The CC's rear deck is taller than a Vette's roof -- even with the top down, you can't actually see cars behind you, and the backup camera washes out in daylight.

Flustered, we finally find a spot on a side street, push the heavy doors open wide enough to get out, walk over to the meter, and see that it, too, disapproves of the Murano -- the display is flashing FAIL.

It's hard to enjoy your day out when neither the parking meters nor the other parkers are nice to you. In fairness, during the course of the day, many people did stop to take pictures of the CrossCabriolet. One fascinatingly farsighted lady thought it was the prettiest car she'd ever seen. Perhaps the distortion in her half-inch-thick eyeglass lenses performed visual orthodontistry on the CrossCabriolet's underbite front end. Or maybe, like so many other people who stopped to talk to us, she thought it was just a concept car.

As a concept car, there's something cool about the Murano CrossCabriolet -- and we admire Nissan for taking the risk in making it. But when reality hits, it isn't the no-compromise convertible that we were promised -- it's the all-compromise crossover. If you love the way it looks, good for you -- buy one. But don't expect it to be much more useful than any other convertible, and the CrossCabriolet is certainly no substitute for a conventional crossover. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, put your hands over your ears and say, "waw-WAW-waw-waw." AM

Ziad
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.
BigBlock45
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)!
chaetophile
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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