2018 Nissan MuranoShould you buy?
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What’s New for 2018?
This year, Nissan has gone for a bold move and updated several vehicles in its inventory, including the Nissan Murano, in the middle of the model year. The 2017.5 update, as Nissan calls it, added several new comfort and safety features to many of the Murano models, as well as introducing a new Midnight Edition appearance package. Because of this, the 2018 Nissan Murano should be practically identical to the 2017.5 model already on sale now.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Nissan Murano – The Pros
1. Attractive Exterior
Over the last decade, Nissan has emerged as one of the top automakers when it comes to making their vehicles look good, and the Nissan Murano is one of their flagship creations. With an exterior that is both athletic and refined, the third-generation Murano brings with it a style that has a wide appeal. The 2018 Murano adds a new Midnight Edition to the lineup that sports blacked-out accents and additional badging for an even more dramatic take on the design.
2. Luxurious Interior
One of the top selling points of the Nissan Murano is the near-luxury material quality of its interior. Almost everything that you might touch or brush up against is either covered in soft-touch plastic, nicely upholstered, or is hosting a smooth wood-grain accent. Even the base models feature stylish suede upholstery in place of the usual cloth, while the high-end trims get nice perforated leather. Overall, few non-luxury cars can match the Murano’s level of quality.
3. Zero Gravity Seats
Nissan’s much lauded Zero Gravity seats, built based on NASA research into human posture and optimized for reduced road fatigue, are another reason why the Murano is so comfortable to drive and ride in. They provide plenty of padding and support, and the seating position does take away a lot of the back and neck strain that comes from long road trips. If you drive a lot, these seats alone can be the deciding factor.
4. Excellent Ride Quality
The 2018 Nissan Murano is very cushioned, with few of the road’s imperfections making it into the vehicle where they can be felt by the passengers. The suspension on the Murano is very car-like, and uses front struts together with a rear multi-link system to effortlessly dampen away bumps while still keeping the car stable.
5. Quiet Ride
Sitting inside the 2018 Nissan Murano feels not only comfortable, but quiet as well, thanks to the state-of-the-art noise insulation technology. The high seating position and the aerodynamic design of the car has always kept road noise low, but the current generation of the Murano has added improved engine insulation as well, keeping the cabin free of almost all external noise.
6. Good Gas Mileage
The 2018 Murano, in spite of only offering a V-6 as the only engine choice, is above average when it comes to mileage in the mid-size SUV segment. Especially notable is the fact that the optional all-wheel drive system does not impose any mileage penalty, getting the same efficiency as the front-wheel models. This is perfect for drivers who value both safety and efficiency.
7. User-friendly Infotainment
The NissanConnect infotainment system found on the 2018 Nissan Murano holds appeal for both the technophiles and the more traditional drivers when compared to the competition. Most of the common tasks can be done using the physical knobs and buttons present, making it as easy to use as a traditional car radio, while the touchscreen in the middle provides a wide range of connectivity options, including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Siri Eyes Free functionality.
8. Good Feature Set
The 2018 Nissan Murano is well-equipped, regardless of whether you are considering a base model or the high-end trim lines. Among the features that comes standard on all Muranos are dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, a rearview camera and 18-inch alloy wheels. Going up to more expensive models can offer some truly luxurious amenities, such as a 360-degree view camera or a Bose stereo system. Regardless of which model you choose, you will find it nicely equipped for the price.
9. Well-rated Safety
Rounding out the great feature set of the 2018 Nissan Murano is its great safety track record. It offers a full set of active features, including a forward collision warning with automatic braking, that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated as ‘Superior’. The IIHS was likewise pleased with its crash test scores, giving it top marks across the board and naming it as one of its Top Safety Pick vehicles.
10. Competitive Pricing
Despite all of the great features and the high-end materials found on the 2018 Nissan Murano, it is also less expensive than many of its competitors. It’s starting price is slightly lower than most other mid-size crossovers, and it is far less expensive than an equivalent luxury SUV when fully loaded.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Nissan Murano – The Cons
1. Low Customizability
The Murano lineup is split into four trim lines, with each one featuring one or two optional packages, but otherwise has few customizability options. Drivers who are after one or two specific features might have to get expensive packages to get access to them, reducing the value the Murano brings.
2. Average Driving Dynamics
While the 2018 Nissan Murano performs fairly competently on both highways and windy roads, it’s driving dynamics lack excitement. There is little steering feedback, and the transmission is optimized for efficiency rather than acceleration. Performance enthusiasts may feel disappointed when driving this vehicle.
3. Poor Visibility
The sharp curves and jagged edges of the stylish Murano exterior end up cutting into the driver’s visibility, especially in the back of the car. While the standard rearview camera helps offset this issue somewhat, the Murano is still a hard car to see out of sometimes.
How It Stacks up to the Competition
The competition for the Nissan Murano comes from other mid-size crossovers that are focused more on performance or passenger comfort, such as the Ford Edge or the Kia Sorento. The Ford Edge is more fun to drive than the Murano, but becomes significantly more expensive when trying to match the Murano’s impressive feature set. The Kia Sorento is one of the few mid-size crossovers that is even less expensive than the Murano, but the Nissan outmatches the Kia with its impressive material and ride quality.
If comfort and luxury are the most important things to you when choosing your next mid-size SUV, then there are few better vehicles for the money than the 2018 Nissan Murano. It comes excellently equipped and has a smooth ride and stylish interior and exterior that exudes value well beyond its modest price point.
• Why buy a 2017 Nissan Murano? w/ pros vs cons