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2016 Nissan Murano Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Nissan Murano was new.


Performance: 7.8

Reviewers say the 2016 Nissan Murano isn't very athletic. However, it's a fine choice if a smooth ride is more important to you than sharp cornering and potent acceleration.

  • "Mostly, the Murano is at home just swallowing up miles on the interstate, and we suspect most car buyers will find its laidback personality easy to like." -- Edmunds
  • "The ride is very quiet, handling is confident but not sporty and the 3.5-liter V6 is perfectly matched to the continuously variable transmission (CVT)." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "I drove a variety of trim levels through Northern California wine country last week in torrential rains and found the Murano to be a terrific all-around vehicle that has eye-grabbing looks to spare. But the previous generation's performance-focused spirit is no longer present." -- Cars.com (2015)
  • "Again, nothing about the Murano driving experience is particularly engaging, but both refinement and dynamics are appropriate and even above par for the segment." -- Autoblog (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Nissan Murano comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 260 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission, which is a type of automatic, is standard.

According to the EPA, the 2016 Murano gets 21/28 mpg city/highway with front- or all-wheel drive. That's better than the fuel economy of other V6-powered, midsize SUVs.

The Nissan Murano's engine delivers sufficient acceleration, though it never feels particularly powerful. The Murano has one of the best CVTs on the market. It works well with the engine, helping to deliver smooth acceleration.

  • "While we retain a fondness for the naturally aspirated VQ, in this era of ubiquitous turbocharging and rampant power escalation, 260 horses no longer seems like a lot. It is enough, however, to adequately motivate the Murano, at least for those drivers looking to simply get from A to B." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "It's not going to feel like a firecracker off the line, but the power is nicely metered-out by the CVT, and while I'm generally not a fan of ever-spinning continuously variable units, Nissan continues to have one of the best setups out there." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "Although the power rating is hardly impressive for a 3.5-liter engine today, it's certainly adequate for the Murano, which lost 146 power-sapping (and fuel-sucking) pounds in the redesign." -- Consumer Guide (2015)
  • "Although we're still not sold on the continuously variable transmission, the unit in the Murano is one of the best we've tested to date. The CVT also fits the Murano's relaxed nature as it provides linear acceleration." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard on the 2016 Nissan Murano and all-wheel drive is optional.

The Murano has strong brakes and composed handling, though some rival SUVs feel more responsive around corners. In particular, the Murano's steering could be sharper, although the steering improves when you upgrade from the standard 18-inch wheels to the 20-inch wheels. However, there may be a tradeoff. The Murano has a very comfortable ride with the 18-inch wheels, but the 20-inch wheels make the ride harsher on uneven pavement.

  • "The ride is luxurious in the 2016 Nissan Murano, although the large 20-inch wheels on the Platinum trim make for a choppy experience when driving on poorly maintained roads. While the Murano doesn't necessarily embarrass itself around turns, body roll is more noticeable and steering responses are slower than in other crossovers." -- Edmunds
  • "The brakes are solidly predictable, and when equipped with the standard 18-inch wheels, the Murano is one of the smoothest non-luxury SUVs I've tested. … Where the Murano faltered in my eyes was the surprisingly relaxed steering response. … In a Platinum trim with 20-inch wheels and all-wheel drive, the steering was sharper and more responsive." -- Cars.com (2015)
  • "Corners aren't really the Murano's forte, but it held its own when pushed. Brake feel was solid, with linear pedal feel. The steering was light, but there was enough feedback through the wheel to let me know what the front tires were doing." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "Although we didn't find a hint of sportiness … body motions are well controlled and the ride is composed without being too floaty. The only real dynamic letdown is the light steering, which lacks on-center feel and doesn't communicate much of anything through the oversized steering wheel." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)

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