It's not just the V-6 engine that improves the CVT experience, but how Nissan has tuned the gearbox. Where other CVTs (like that in the Cube) jump to a set rpm and stay there for eons while you accelerate, the Murano allows revs to climb steadily. The benefit is that you never feel trapped at a buzzy rpm. Accelerating from 50 mph feels pretty good, but the Murano is an absolute slug leaving the line.
The suspension does a good job of damping impacts, but it does permit a fair amount of noise to be transmitted into the cabin. Also, I noticed moderate traces of the skittishness that Jen describes, where longitudinal imperfections like truck ruts cause the rear of the vehicle to shimmy disconcertingly.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor