I’ve always been a big fan of the Nissan Murano since its introduction a few years ago. Its initial styling was years ahead of the competition and Nissan has sensibly toned and refined the exterior look over the years. The current Murano loses none of its impact and remains a stylish, good looking mid-size SUV.

Although it has a flotilla of competitors the Murano has pretty much held it own and continues to be a very attractive buy. The Murano is powered by a single engine choice, namely a 3.5-litre V6 with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that includes manual shift mode and All- Wheel drive. Nissan is one of the few manufactures that are actively promoting CVT and it remains a smooth, fuel-efficient transmission system.

For 2012 the Nissan Murano has several changes in its trim line. The S now has a seven-inch information screen and includes 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, heated mirrors, black roof rails, privacy glass, splash guards, tire pressure monitoring system, vehicle information centre, electroluminescent gauges, cruise control, Intelligent Key with pushbutton ignition, power windows, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, variable intermittent wipers, intermittent rear wiper, illuminated vanity mirrors, cargo cover, folding cargo organizer, cloth seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, aluminum trim, and six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input.

The SV adds automatic headlamps, dual-pane sunroof, rearview monitor, color driver information centre, Bluetooth connectivity, garage door opener, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, eight-way driver and four-way passenger power-adjustable heated cloth seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, 2-GB Bose premium audio system, auxiliary audio/video input jacks, USB port, and anti-theft system.

The SL adds bi-xenon headlamps, power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, heated steering wheel, power-return rear seatbacks, and leather seats.

The LE adds 20-inch alloy wheels, silver-accented roof rails, driver’s side memory, power tilt and telescopic steering column, heated rear seats, and wood-tone interior trim.
The Platinum Package includes 20-inch wheels with unique finish, navigation system with voice recognition, Bluetooth streaming audio, DVD playback capability, Platinum Edition badge, accessory bumper protector and exclusive Sapphire Blue Onyx paint.

The Nissan Murano cabin has a smart, roomy, comfortable cabin with plenty of storage. High quality materials, good fit and finish are all hallmarks. Four tall adults or five medium adults have more than enough room to travel in style.

The 3.5L V6 good for 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque and is a smooth powerful engine unit. It hooked up to Nissan’s electronic drive-by-wire throttle and Intuitive AWD system. On the road acceleration is responsive and instant and the CVT offers smooth controlled shifts. The Nissan is enjoyable to drive with good visibility and ergonomics. In a recent bout of inclement wet fal weather the Murano we tested remained sure footed and offered confidence and safety in slippery conditions. Smart, stylish and comfortable the Nissan Murano is a smart buy if you need a roomy, practical, family orientated SUV.

2012 Nissan Murano base priced from $38,298 to $47,948.00 MSRP