The Nissan Murano has always been a more-than-solid seller for the Japanese firm in the notoriously cut-throat world of the SUV. It is hard to believe that this staple of Britain’s roads has been with us since 2003 and can claim to be one of the first true crossovers on what would soon become a run-away train of a market. It never aimed to be executive or exclusive; simply a fresh design with a practical purpose that came with a friendly price tag.
Since the early days, the Murano has seemingly been left in the shadows somewhat as the Nissan design team embarked on a quirk-offensive with the more headline-grabbing JUKE and Qashqai SUVs. The second generation model, introduced in 2009, is beginning to show its age, so the time has come for revamp. Out of the shadows at the 2014 New York Auto Show steps the 2015 Nissan Murano.
The third-generation of this mid-sized SUV is heavily reminiscent of the futuristic Resonance crossover concept, debuted at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Amongst the various design cues taken from the concept are the curvaceous “floating” roof and camouflaged pillars which certainly give it a much fresher look than the outgoing model. The boomerang-style headlights and taillights may also seem familiar to Nissan devotees as these were first seen on the 370Z sports coupé and roadster.
Although still very much a mid-sized SUV, the new Murano is slightly lower, wider and longer than its predecessor to enhance aerodynamics. In fact, tweaks to small details such as the grille shutter, rear tyre deflectors and integrated rear spoiler help to streamline the 2015 Murano by more than 16 percent over its 2009 counterpart.
Whilst the exterior design may have been put through its paces on the efficiency front, the interior has also received an overhaul. The instrument panel has been lowered, in keeping with the slightly squatter feel of the car, an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen display replaces the previous button-littered console and all occupants now benefit from Nissan’s NASA-inspired front and rear Zero Gravity seats.
The space theme continues with what Nissan have christened the “Moonroof” – in layman’s terms one of the largest panoramic sunroofs found on any crossover. Below, the centre console is now lower and wider and comes equipped with compartments for smartphones plus a USB port, handing the reigns of the stereo to the rear passengers.
The 2015 Murano comes as standard with a more efficient 260bhp 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, delivering 240 lb/ft of torque, although more powertrains are expected to be added to the stable at a later date. Each of the four trim levels, S, SV, SL and Platinum, come with either front or all-wheel drive.