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2009 Nissan Murano Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Nissan Murano was new.


Performance: 8.2

Reviewers said the redesigned 2009 Murano's new platform and extra horsepower make for a comfortable and powerful SUV. Strong brakes and a capable all-wheel drive system add to the appeal.

  • "Murano's based on the redesigned Altima sedan, new for '07, and that's a nifty foundation. Delivers good handling and a confident ride, among other advantages." -- USA Today
  • "With a totally revamped, more rigid platform, advanced version of the 'Xtronic' Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and intuitive all-wheel drive, the 2009 Murano has the road savvy of the first generation model taken to the next level." -- Roadfly
  • "Step on the gas, and the Murano sticks to the road with responsive handling and a comfortable ride." -- The Family Car
  • "A re-engineered suspension with lightweight aluminum pieces and a new steering system make the 2009 Nissan Murano a willing and surprisingly communicative partner in daily driving. No doubt the combination of these chassis upgrades and a new predictive (not reactive) all-wheel-drive system (first introduced by the Nissan Rogue) contribute to the Murano's genuine agility and overall feel of predictability. And, contrary to what some might expect, the 20-inch wheels and tires standard on the LE trim don't degrade the ride either." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

Almost every reviewer praised the 2009 Nissan Murano's V6 engine. Most also liked its continuously variable transmission (CVT), which reacts smoothly and quickly. According to the EPA, all Murano models should achieve 18/23 mpg city/highway.

  • "The car steps off the line smartly enough, recording a 0-to-60-mph time of 7.2 seconds, which is above average for its class and 0.3 second quicker than the previous model." -- Car and Driver
  • "Nissan's 3.5-liter V-6 is a champ. Though tuned for smoothness in the Murano, rather than the squealing delight it provokes in some other models, it slings and zings the two-ton SUV as your right foot requests." -- USA Today
  • "Acceleration is wholly satisfactory at some speeds and quite energetic at others. Tromp the gas pedal at highway speed and the Murano reacts smoothly as well as effectively, thanks to the masterful CVT. Just a touch of engine roar is noticeable when accelerating hard from a standstill, and a hint of whine might be evident while passing or merging." -- AutoMedia.com
  • "The Murano's acceleration is more than adequate." -- The Family Car
  • "Plant your right foot, and this crossover scoots off the line. Though the motor's torque peak has only risen by a few lb-ft. to 248, the Murano seems to have much more punch down low." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The (new shift-control software) dictates when and where an infinite number of 'shifts' occur, and the shift-control software also has quickened shift speed by 30 percent. As a result, the reactions of the CVT are so good that Nissan decided that it is unnecessary to offer a manual-shift mode with this CVT -- and we totally agree." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

The 2009 Murano rides on Nissan's new "D" platform, which it shares with the Altima sedan. Though it's not the sportiest ride to be found, with a touch more body roll than some testers would have liked, it was plenty comfortable and more than adequate for most reviewers.

  • "Throttle response is noticeably quicker than in the previous crossover, and even though Nissan has successfully made the ride more comfortable, little of its handling prowess was sacrificed in the process. For those who like their crossovers sporty, this one's still a blast on a canyon road." -- Motor Trend
  • "The Murano's ride is comfortable and its handling competent, with well-weighted steering. ... I found the ride quality softer than the first generation's, and there's some body roll, but it's by no means a problem." -- Cars.com
  • "The ride is supple, handling is reasonably crisp, but the steering lacks feel. Brakes are excellent. ..." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "Expect a nearly blissful ride on really smooth pavement, but you definitely notice the Murano's suspension tautness on harsher surfaces. Even slight road imperfections can be felt some of the time-but few of them turn annoying. Typical of Nissan vehicles, the Murano behaves with a semi-sporty overall demeanor, compared to most SUVs." -- AutoMedia.com

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