I had the pleasure of a weeklong test-drive of the new 2013 Nissan Murano LE AWD Platnium. It was a treat to have the opportunity to thoroughly test a vehicle in my daily routine to see how it would fit into our lifestyle.
Bottom line; I liked it.
What I liked was the great handling (we took it up the Sea to Sky Highway and it handled the curves brilliantly), peppy performance, nice interior, good looking exterior, easy to get in and out of, a very roomy cargo area with a door that opens and closes with a push of a button and my personal favorite; heated seats. We were able to have 3 kids in booster seats in the back seat with only a little bit of finagling of seatbelts. It would certainly be an option for a 2 child family who may have to occasionally cart around a ‘loaner’ child because the back seat is spacious enough to keep siblings from touching each other and the rear center arm rest includes cup holders. It also has the best option ever in the cargo area; a pop up grocery holder with divisions that holds you bags in place so they don’t slide all over when you make a tight turn or break sharply. Not that I ever do that…
A note about the fuel economy; the sticker suggests this vehicle will get 11.5L/100 KM in the city and 8.5 L/100 KM on the highway. When my husband drove the vehicle he came close. I however, was nowhere near it but I have lead-foot-itis…
There are a few nit-picky things that I didn’t like which are a matter of personal preference:
- There was kind of a big blind spot which, when changing lanes in traffic, made me uncomfortable. However the model I drove came equipped with blind spot notification; a little orange light comes on next to the side view mirror when a car is in your blind spot which is actually a cool feature.
- I had trouble adjusting to the push button start. I was very fearful that I would forget the fob in the car and there were two times I actually forgot to turn the engine off and walked away wondering why the lights didn’t go off.
- The Navigation system and I didn’t mesh. Maybe I’m old school but I don’t love having all the computerized gadgets on the dash. Even after a week I had trouble with the display, trouble figuring out how to change the radio and had never figured out how to make the nav system respond to my audio commands. Nav system is an option that I would not personally buy. Again, I think this is a case of the operator and not the machine, because I have yet to meet a nav system that I like.
Here is the one thing that I might consider a deal breaker:
- It has an Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission) which means that it provides smooth and “stepless” ratio changes, unlike traditional transmission systems that use a finite set of fixed gears. The transitions are seamless and quiet and much more fuel efficient than a traditional set up. These are all good things! However it has a tendency to roll back when you release the brake, much like a manual transmission. You need to be very aware of this and compensate for it; because I live on a hilly street, with a steep driveway, in a hilly city I would have to carefully consider this factor.
The base Murano starts at $34,498. The price of the model tested (with the Platinum packing including the Nav system) is $48,983.