Early 2000 Debut
The Murano is a crossover mid-size SUV de signed in La Jolla, California. Nissan sells a little more than 50000 Murano’s in the US.
The 2021 Nissan Murano will probably be the second model year of the 4th generation of the Murano. The Murano debuted in the early 2000’s and is built on a platform that is shared with the Nissan Altima.
This model year will be part of the yet to be announced 4th generation Murano. As of today Nissan has not yet launched the 4th generation so we are writing this preview with the 3rd generation 2019 model year specs in mind. Sales figures are lagging behind the competition: the Murano barely makes the 100 most sold cars in the USL
Can this be categorized as an SUV?
There is an ongoing discussion about if or not a crossover mid-size SUV can be labeled as an SUV. Cars like the 2021 Toyota C-HR try to fall under that label but we do not consider them as SUVs. The Murano does have SUV characteristics: it has an All Wheel Drive option and the 3.0 L v6 engine gives it some SUV worthy power. But this Murano is not rugged at all, it is not made for off-road action.
There also is a Front wheel drive option for those who only want to drive this car in more urban and less demanding areas. With the 260hp 3.5-LITER DOHC 24-VALVE V6 ENGINE there is enough power for both environments.
Hybrid and electric options?
Nissan shortly offered a hybrid option for the 2016 model year but Nissan quietly dropped it from the line-up. The fourth generation might however introduce an electric or plug-in hybrid option. Nissans only current electric option is the Nissan Leaf.
Nissan Murano Trim Levels
There will probably be 4 Murano trim levels. Current model year has an S model, SV model, SL model and the Platinum model. Price difference between the lowest and highest trim level is about $14000. Each trim level can be configured with an FWD option (Forward Wheel Drive) or the AWD (All wheel drive option).
All trim levels have the 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine with a lofty 260 hp and 23 MPG fuel economy. We expect future models to continue to be based on a 3.5-liter v-6. They also come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
When looking at the safety options all trim levels include Automatic Emergency Braking. You will have to upgrade to the Murano SV trim to enjoy more safety features. The SV includes Blind Spot Warning and the Rear Cross Traffic Alert. One trim higher, the SL will also add: Intelligent Around View Monitor. And finally the Platinum trim adds pedestrian detection to the Automatic Emergency Braking. No heathing and cooling for passengers in the rear seats.
We do not really like the way Nissan is upselling the features over its trim levels. Ethics are questionable, since it is just a software update and minor hardware change: why does Nissan not default more safety features like lane departure warning. This is a thing we see with other brands where more and more we see a lot of essential features added by default. Check out the trim levels on the Nissan website.
2021 Nissan Murano Interior trim levels
Interior option also differ with the trim levels. The Murano SL adds a Leather-wrapped steering wheel, Remote Engine Start System, 10-way power driver’s seat including 2-way power lumbar support and intelligent climate control. The SL trim ups the audio option with Bose speakers and a more intelligent navigation system.
And then the Platinum offers an exterior option with 20″ dark hyper silver aluminum-alloy wheels. A panoramic moonroof, climate controlled front seats (heathing and cooling).
We find the current trim levels a bit disappointing. A Kia Telluride will give you more value for money than what the Murano offers. The Murano is no match. Other main competitors are the Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Passport and Chevrolet Blazer.
What do current users think?
Checking how current Murano users review their cars can predict the future popularity or any blatant issues for the upcoming 2021 Nissan Murano. They rate the car about 4/10. Only 70% of users seem to give the car more than a 4 star ration. A handful of users mention a few issues with the included technology. Others mention the car to be noisy on the road and poor MPG. The high hood also creates some visibility issues and blind spots.
The powertrain has a continuously variable transmission that does not seem to perform well. Some drivers struggle to feel the 260 hp.
Yet people rating the car with 5 stars and more are raving about it. So we assume you will either love or hate the 2021 Nissan Murano. The trunk space has a nice amount of cubic feet available.
2021 Nissan Murano Price & Release Date
We rate the current car model year 3/5 and this will most likely hold. Since we have not heard any rumors of drastic changes. Expect an update of this article once we have more information. The car is expected to be released in the fall of 2020 with and MRSP starting at around $31000 for the basic models.