The redesigned 2015 Nissan Murano currently ranks first among affordable midsize SUVs, an improvement over the 2014 model, which finished the year in sixth place. Auto writers are impressed with the Murano’s first-rate materials and serene ride, and they appreciate the new Murano’s improved ergonomics and rear-seat comfort.
Largely unchanged mechanically, the 2015 Murano retains the outgoing model’s confident handling, sufficient power and comfortable ride, test drivers report. For 2015, Nissan added artificial shift points to the Murano’s continuously variable transmission (CVT) in order to mimic the shifts of a conventional automatic. Most reviewers appreciate the CVT’s seamless power delivery and the 3.5-liter V6 engine’s quiet operation, while one critic asserts that the new CVT is the best Nissan has ever produced.
On the inside, reviewers say the redesigned Murano improves on what was already a comfortable, upscale cabin. Previous versions of the Murano garnered praise from critics in terms of front-seat comfort and overall passenger space, but a few auto writers thought the rear seats could be more accommodating. For 2015, Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats, which are inspired by NASA and designed to reduce passenger fatigue and discomfort on long drives, come standard in the front and rear outboard seating positions, and several critics report they are very comfortable and supportive. The 2015 Murano also features a sleeker center console and more intuitive controls, test drivers say, while a few auto writers are especially impressed with the revamped 8-inch color touch screen’s responsiveness and clear graphics. These improvements positively impacted the 2015 Murano’s interior score, which is currently the highest among affordable midsize SUVs.
Fuel economy is another area where the new 2015 Murano betters its predecessor. With front-wheel drive, the 2015 model returns an EPA-estimated 21/28 mpg city/highway, a noteworthy improvement over the outgoing 2014 Murano’s 18/24 mpg rating. Among affordable midsize SUVs, only the 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is more fuel-efficient than the 2015 Murano.
Although changes for the 2015 model year have resulted in a better Murano, if you are considering buying a used SUV, older versions of the Nissan Murano should not be overlooked. The 2013 Murano, for example, currently ranks very highly among used midsize SUVs $25K and up. Along with an excellent reliability rating, critics praised its top-grade interior materials and agile handling.
If you are set on buying new, be sure to check out some of the 2015 Nissan Murano’s competitors. The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee draws praise for its upscale cabin quality and easy-to-use infotainment system. It also has ample power and impressive off-road capability, test drivers report. If you occasionally need space for more than five occupants, the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe has an available third-row seat. Critics are pleased with the Santa Fe’s attractive cabin design, straightforward controls and sure-footed handling.
U.S. News Best Cars rankings are based off the consensus opinion of America’s top automotive journalists. Our team gathers every published, credible review of a vehicle, and for each third-party review, we score the vehicle on three components: Performance, Interior and Critic’s Rating, which is the overall recommendation level a reviewer places on a vehicle. We combine these scores, along with reliability data from J.D. Power and Associates and safety data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, into a weighted average that is based on what car buyers say matters most to them. The result is an overall score for each new car on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best possible score. Our rankings are continually updated as more reviews of a vehicle become available.
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