When the Nissan Murano was first introduced in 2003, it showed that crossovers didn’t have to look or feel boring, and 13 years later, the 2016 Nissan Murano continues this trend. Redesigned for the 2015 model year, the third-generation Murano helped launch a bold, new design language for Nissan.
Positioned between the compact Rogue and the three-row Pathfinder, the 2016 Nissan Murano gives buyers a spacious and stylish alternative to the hordes of cookie-cutter crossovers currently out there. Although direct competition to the Murano is extremely limited (i.e., the Ford Edge), this 2016 Nissan Murano Platinum tester I spent a week with is aimed higher up the market closer to the Volkswagen Touareg.
2016 Nissan Murano Exterior:
If the 2016 Nissan Murano looks like a futuristic vehicle, that’s because the design was almost entirely carried over from the 2014 Nissan Resonance Concept. Every angle of the Murano has a look that immediately draws attention, whether you love it or hate it. Up front there’s the signature V-motion front end, rounded hood and the boomerang-style headlights (LED headlights standard on the Platinum trim level), while the side view has dynamic body creases and the “floating” roof, which consists of the blacked-out D-pillar and jagged chrome trim. The rear view adds more of the boomerang look with the LED taillights, and the rear fascia is finished off with dual, integrated exhaust outlets. Aside from badging on the liftgate, the only way to distinguish the Platinum trim is the 20-inch alloy wheels that were seemingly inspired by a Norelco electric razor.
2016 Nissan Murano Interior:
Generally speaking, when automakers try to get too creative with the exterior design of a vehicle, the interior tends to suffer in terms of space, but that definitely isn’t the case with the 2016 Nissan Murano. With an overall design that Nissan refers to as a “social lounge,” the interior of the Murano has a cabin that is modern and lets in a lot of light… especially with the optional panoramic moonroof. The V-motion look of the grille carries over to the inside on the center stack, which houses minimal buttons for a clean appearance. Speaking of clean, with the exception of the carpets and the upper edge of the dash and door panels, almost everything inside this Murano was lightly colored from the perforated leather seats, light metallic accents and the glossy wood trim.
In addition to its contemporary appearance, the interior of the 2016 Nissan Murano is also spacious and comfortable. Both front and rear occupants benefit from Nissan’s NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats giving passengers a comforting yet supportive ride, and allowing enough space for five adults to ride together without too much sacrifice. The Murano’s sizeable interior also allows for decent cargo capacity with up to 32.1 cubic feet of space available behind the rear seats and 67 cubic feet when the seats are folded flat.
All 2016 Nissan Murano models come standard with features such as Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start, backup camera and dual-zone climate control, but opting for the top-of-the-line Platinum trim level brings standard tilt and telescope heated steering wheel with memory positions, heated and cooled front seats, heated outboard rear seats, power liftgate, Around View Monitor (AVM) and the NissanConnect with Navigation with a large, eight-inch color display. This tester also added the $2,260 Technology Package – the only option package available on the Murano Platinum – that includes the aforementioned panoramic moonroof, Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) and Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW).
2016 Nissan Murano Performance:
Fitting in with almost every other Nissan on the market, the 2016 Nissan Murano is powered by the ubiquitous 3.5-liter VQ35DE V-6 mated to Nissan’s advanced Xtronic continuously variable transmission. This engine is rated at 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, and it can be paired with either front-wheel drive or Nissan’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system. This particular test vehicle was equipped with the latter, which improves the Murano’s handling capabilities without affecting fuel economy as some AWD systems do. In fact, the 2016 Nissan Murano has EPA fuel economy estimates of 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway** with both the FWD and AWD models.
On the road, the 2016 Nissan Murano feels much bigger than it is with a tall seating position, but it suffers from limited driver visibility due to the styling of the rear pillars. Steering feel and feedback are both impressive for a CUV, and despite an as-tested curb weight of 4,021 pounds, the Murano accelerates and handles smooth yet somewhat sporty. In the end, though, the 2016 Nissan Murano makes no attempt at being anything more than a comfortable people mover as off-road abilities are limited and the maximum tow rating is just 1,500 pounds.
2016 Nissan Murano Safety:
The 2016 Nissan Murano is obviously focused on style, comfort and performance, but Nissan also made sure this mid-size crossover is a safe family vehicle. When equipped with Intelligent AWD, the 2016 Nissan Murano earns a five-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and tacking on the optional safety features included in the technology package helps this crossover earn a coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
2016 Nissan Murano Overall:
A year after the launch of the third-gen Murano, the 2016 Nissan Murano carries over untouched, but this crossover really didn’t need anything. Regardless of which trim level you choose, the Murano is a stylish, comfortable and efficient CUV with an affordable base price of $29,740*, and upgrading to the 2016 Nissan Murano Platinum trim level brings a unique level of luxury for good measure. This model tips the scales at $40,700 in base form, and this particular 2016 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD was as fully loaded as a Murano can come with an as-tested price of $44,070.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Nissan dealership and test drive a 2016 Nissan Murano today!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2016 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.