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Nissan was one of the first auto manufacturers to realize that it was not the desire for additional performance that was driving crossover sales, but the desire for comfort, luxury styling, and premium amenities. The result was the stylish and spacious Nissan Murano, first released in 2003.
The Murano does not stand out from the rest of the mid-size crossovers in terms of its power, off-road ability, cargo capacity, or the number of seats, but it is still among the most comfortable, luxurious, and well-equipped cars that you can purchase in the mid-size crossover SUV segment. The Murano was last redesigned in 2015, with a few small updates in available technology and standard features over the last three years.
For the 2018 Nissan Murano, the trim levels were shaken up slightly and the base model has received a considerable boost in standard equipment, adding to the Murano’s overall value. In order to help you select the best Murano model for you, maximizing your comfort and luxury while minimizing cost, we’ve gone through each of the available trim levels, pointing out the key added features and the important available options that each of offers for potential buyers.
Compare the 2018 Murano S vs SV Trims. What is the difference?
The standard Nissan Murano S is the model that gets the biggest overhaul this year with the addition of active safety equipment and the NissanConnect infotainment suite. The active safety equipment adds, on top of the regular rearview camera, a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking. The NissanConnect suite is controlled through an 8-inch touchscreen and support connections through two USB ports, over Bluetooth, or using the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay applications.
On top of that, NissanConnect also includes a navigation system and support for both HD and satellite radio. 18-inch wheels, a nice cloth upholstery and an automatic dual-zone climate control system round out the standard features on this impressive base model. The Murano S can be equipped with either a front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive drivetrain, but it does not offer any other options and packages beyond those.
The SV Murano adds to the long list of standard features that the Murano S offers, focusing on added safety and convenience technology. The Murano SV includes a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic alerts in addition to the forward collision system standard on the S.
It also adds power front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, fog lights, and a remote starter that can communicate with the car’s climate control system to create a comfortable environment before you even get inside.
Like the S, the SV Murano is available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and there is one optional package available to customize the model further. The Premium Package adds heating to the front seats and external side mirrors, a panoramic moonroof, and an 11-speaker Bose audio package. It also includes some additional safety features, such as a 360-degree view camera, an adaptive cruise control system, and a driver drowsiness monitor.
The Nissan Murano S offers a very good value for its price, as it is fairly inexpensive as far as mid-size crossovers go and comes with a very generous set of features, including standard navigation and active safety equipment. It also includes the Murano’s big feature, which is the Zero Gravity seats that are especially comfortable during long drives.
By comparison, the improvements added by the SV don’t match up quite as well to its $3,500 higher price tag, though the features that it does add are very convenient, such as the blind spot monitors. The optional Premium package serves to close that gap somewhat thanks to the high-end touches that it adds.However, at that price point it is very close to the higher SL trim, which also comes with leather upholstery. For almost everyone, the S will offer a far better value than the SV. Those looking for something more premium are encouraged to check out the SL for even more features than the SV at a very close price.
Compare the 2018 Nissan Murano SV vs SL Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The Murano SL is the higher-end model for the Murano, and as appropriate for that it comes equipped with a leather interior, a hands-free liftgate, and heated rear seats and steering wheel. This comes in addition to all of the SV standard features, as well as the Premium package, all of which are included on all SL models.
Similar to the other Murano models, both all-wheel and front-wheel drive are on offer, and there are two optional packages that can further be used to add equipment to the SL. The Moonroof package includes a power panoramic moonroof, while the Midnight Edition decks out the Murano in a sporty set of blacked out accents, including special 20-inch wheels, roof rails, splash guards, and mirrors, as well as special badging.From both the customizability and value standpoint, the SL is a superior trim level to the SV. It comes with the same equipment as a fully-equipped SV, plus much more, for just around $1,500 more. The leather interior alone is close to that value, with the additional features like the smart liftgate and rear-seat heating only sweetening the deal further. In terms of money spent, the SL offers a lot more features and options than the SV does, while buyers on a budget are more likely to consider the base S over the SV.
Compare the Murano SL vs Platinum Trims. What is the difference?
Rounding out the top end of the Murano trim levels, the premium Platinum model includes pretty much all of the features that are available on the Murano. All of the standard and optional features from the SL and other models are standard on this model, barring the visual features from the Midnight Edition.
Instead, the Platinum has its own 20-inch wheels and several premium trim pieces. It also comes with upgraded headlights that use LEDs for lighting, as well as a power-adjustable steering column and climate controls for the front seats that feature both heating and ventilation.
Aside from the usual choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Platinum does not offer any optional packages. Not that it needs to, as it already includes pretty much all of the features available for the Murano.
Compared to the SL, the Platinum offers a fair value considering the features that it adds. Based on its features and its excellent interior trim, it can definitely compete with some luxury vehicles when it comes to driver and passenger comfort, while being priced well below that point.
Which Trim Level to Choose?
When it comes to getting the most features, comfort options and nice styling, almost all of the available options on the 2018 Nissan Murano offer great value. With the exception of the awkward middle SV trim level, each of the available models can make for an attractive choice for both luxury-oriented and value-conscious buyers.
The base model is inexpensive and nicely loaded up with features, while the SL offers a strong set of advanced options coupled with beautiful leather upholstery.
The Platinum is practically a luxury vehicle, while still offering a solid value when compared to the other models in the Murano lineup. Depending on your personal budget and requirements in terms of equipment, there are Murano models that can easily satisfy all of your needs.
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• Why buy a 2018 Nissan Murano? w/ pros vs cons