There were rumors of a convertible Nissan Murano making the rounds on Internet forums, blogs, and other less-than-reputable sources for years. I wrote them off as being about as likely as a four-wheel-drive Ferrari wagon. It turns out both these vehicular oddities made it to production in 2011. Is the automotive apocalypse nigh?
I don't appreciate much about the exterior of the Murano CrossCabriolet. I actually don't appreciate the exterior of this generation Murano, even with a traditional top and four doors. Much like the previous-generation Nissan Quest, the design is just a bit too Star Trek for my tastes. Converting the Murano to a softtop doesn't make it any more graceful, and the long doors can make parking in a crowded lot or garage much more difficult. At least with the top down it's easy to toss a bag into the rear seat.
Thankfully the Murano's interior is very attractive and well executed. There's a lot of noise that penetrates the soft top, so much so that I thought a window was down somewhere, but I suppose that's to be expected with a soft top. The leather seats are very nice to look at and provide enough support, but the heated steering wheel leaves a little to be desired. It seemed to stop pumping out heat after a few minutes of use even though the button remained lit. Maybe that was the Murano's way of telling me driving with the top down in 39-degree weather wasn't a good idea.
I really like the way Nissan has configured the human-machine interface in all of its interiors, it's never a chore to change radio stations, input a destination, or use your iPod through the infotainment system.
I agree with Joe Lorio about the most likely buyers coming from retirement villages in sunbelt states. Oddly enough, this car seems more like a replacement for a Lexus SC430 than an extension of the Nissan Murano line.
Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor