At the latest when looking at the price list of Nissan The largest off-road vehicle, we Europeans are pale: Because front-wheel drive, the basic model starts just under $ 30.000 and even with all the trimmings, you can hardly drive the price above $ 45.000.
While the Murano looks like from another world on the outside and you take a step back almost reflexively, it reveals an immensely inviting being when you get in: Much calmer and cleaner drawn than the exterior, the interior is pleasantly back, airy, wide and pretty tidy. It is not for nothing that the developers have halved the number of buttons on the center console, for example. Instead, there is a large display between the instruments, a properly loaded multi-function steering wheel and, above all, a huge touchscreen including an app store and online services. In addition, comfortable air conditioning seats, a heated steering wheel, plenty of visibility and light thanks to generous glazing and decorative brackets of square meters, either in light imitation wood or in polished pseudo sheet metal.
The Japanese have also thought of the backbenchers more consistently than some competitors. This is not only due to the flat center tunnel and the literally manageable chest between the two front seats, which you can easily bend over and therefore get into conversation with the passengers more easily.
The Americans go their own way when it comes to propulsion. Because the European downsizing is suspect and the 1,2-liter four-cylinder from the base Qashqai on this side of the Atlantic is at best suitable for a lawnmower, they always rely on a befitting V6 engine. The 3,5-liter is as well known as it is tried and tested and would still be a tried and tested source of power if Nissan did not consistently combine it with a continuously variable automatic.
This is exactly the catch when it comes to the export prospects of the off-road vehicle assembled for the first time in Mississippi. The declared cross-over brand Nissan in Europe would look good on a flagship like the Murano. With a length of 4,90 meters and an estimated price of 45.000 euros, it would be far enough away from Qashqai and X-Trail so that nothing burns with the two volume models. And as far as the setup of the suspension and steering are concerned, this could be done with a few coordination rounds on European roads. But the UFO from America in Germany will have a hard time with a diesel or at least a hybrid drive.
Author: Benjamin Bessinger / SP-X