2009 Nissan Murano

2009 Nissan Murano

I managed to put a few hundred miles on the new Nissan Murano over the weekend and came away quite impressed. I've always been lukewarm about the unorthodox exterior styling of the Murano, and I can't say that the new model has made me change my mind on that score (although one point in its favor is that no one will mistake this vehicle for anything other than a Murano). The interior, on the other hand, is really quite well put together. I spent the previous weekend driving several hundred miles in an Infiniti G37, and the interior materials and fit and finish of this Nissan compare quite well with that of the company's more upscale brand. From the comfortable seats to the placement of the controls to the convenience and user-friendliness of the iPod plug in the center console, the Murano is a very easy vehicle to spend time with.

The 265-hp V-6 engine, which is mated to a continuously variable transmission, smoothly powers the vehicle to freeway speeds. Observed mileage on our two-plus-hour highway run was in the low-20s, which is acceptable for an SUV but still a little less than we'd hoped for.

Still, with two rows of seats to comfortably carry full-size adults and a spacious rear cargo area, the Murano is a perfect vehicle for hauling a golfing foursome plus their clubs or a family of four and their luggage.

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