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The Nissan Murano has long remained a popular family hauler. It excels in passenger comfort. Many people also love the Murano’s bold styling cues. Although some competitors may offer more driving excitement, most people will find this midsize crossover to pack just the right amount of performance. Let’s find out why the 2021 Nissan Murano is such a good pick.
What’s New for 2021?
This year, Nissan has updated the Murano with a new standard safety package. A new Special Edition package has also arrived, which adds exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels and a few premium interior features.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Nissan Murano – The Pros
1. Deceptively Powerful SUV
Nissan’s VQ-Series V6 engine has been around for quite some time. However, this award-winning engine still packs a healthy punch. It’s rated by Nissan to kick out 260 horsepower. When test driving the 2021 Nissan Murano, most people describe the SUV as being a strong performer. Testers have clocked it with a competitive 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds. Normal everyday driving tasks, like highway merging and passing, won’t be an issue in the new Murano.
2. Good Vehicle for Wintry Weather
Folks who regularly face wintry road conditions should take a serious look at the new Murano. With a ground clearance of nearly 7.0 inches, the Murano should do quite well in the snow. While front-wheel drive comes standard, Nissan’s intelligent AWD system is available on every trim level. This AWD system does a fine job of responding to slippery conditions. It also does not hamper the SUV’s fuel economy, which stands at an EPA estimated 20 mpg town/28 mpg highway.
3. Great Highway Cruiser
The 2021 Nissan Murano isn’t designed for high-performance driving. Nissan built this SUV to be a great highway cruiser. It will definitely make easy work of family trips. The suspension system is perfectly tuned for the open road. Even rough potholes don’t seem to upset the Murano’s excellent ride quality. Drivers will also appreciate the crossover’s speed-sensing steering system, which automatically adjusts to how fast you’re traveling. At highway speeds, the steering stiffens to give drivers greater road feedback.
4. Extremely Comfortable Seating
Designed to carry up to five people, the 2021 Nissan Murano ranks near the top of its class in passenger comfort. This is good news for families who tend to spend a lot of time on the go. Legroom is excellent in both rows. Nissan’s impressive Zero Gravity seats come standard. These seats are designed to keep your body in a natural position, thus helping to reduce stress on the spine. Reclining rear seats add to the Murano’s comfort.
5. Sleek Exterior Styling
Unlike some SUVs, the 2021 Nissan Murano doesn’t look like a truck. Its sleek exterior styling makes a serious statement. Another highlight is the Murano’s boisterous front fascia, which features boomerang-style LED headlamps and a prominent V-Motion grille. Standard dual exhaust finishers help give the rear fascia a sporty look. Drivers who desire a bolder look can upgrade to a larger set of 20-inch alloy wheels. A few new paint colors arrive for 2021, including Scarlet Ember Tintcoat.
6. Interior Feels Luxurious
In terms of overall luxuriousness, the 2021 Nissan Murano rivals many of today’s high-end models. This SUV’s cabin is impressively finished for a non-luxury vehicle. Its interior materials have a quality look and feel, especially the upper trim levels. Semi-aniline leather seats with diamond quilting are found inside the range-topping Platinum model. Families will also appreciate the overall quietness of the new Murano. Whether you’re stuck in city traffic or hustling down the interstate, there’s barely any outside noise entering the cabin.
7. Great For Hauling Extra Stuff
Like most SUVs in this class, the new Murano has a rather large storage area. There’s roughly 32 cubic feet of cargo space begin the backseat. Families should have no issues storing travel bags and beach gear. When making trips to the home improvement store, drivers can easily fold down to the rear seat to accommodate larger items. A motion-activated tailgate is on the Murano’s list of optional equipment. Drivers can just kick their foot under the rear bumper.
8. Safety Shield 360
The Murano already boasted some of the segment’s top crash scores. However, Nissan has transformed this SUV into an even safety family hauler. Last year’s optional Safety Shield 360 package now comes standard across the lineup. Among the newly standard driving aids is rear automatic braking. This feature will prove to be a valuable asset when backing up in crowded places. Other standard safety tech includes blind-spot warning, active lane control, and forward emergency braking.
9. User-Friendly Infotainment System
Many drivers will like the Murano’s Nissan Connect infotainment system. Although this touchscreen interface may not have stunning graphics, it’s remarkably easy to operate. Even amateurs won’t be intimidated to use the system. All the menu items on the system’s touchscreen can be quickly located. Nissan also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, thus making smartphone integration a painless task. The system’s standard navigation software is yet another big plus.
10. Advanced Drive-Assist Display
Unfortunately, the 2021 Nissan Murano doesn’t offer a fully digital gauge cluster. However, Nissan’s Advanced Drive-Assist Display is the next best thing. When you’re traveling, this 7.0-inch display can show turn-by-turn driving directions. Drivers will also be able to easily obtain music track information and safety alerts.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Nissan Murano – The Cons
1. Not a Strong Off-Road Performer
Drivers seeking a rugged trail machine should look past the 2021 Nissan Murano. Although the Murano does offer an AWD system, it’s geared more towards the street. Nissan doesn’t offer the Murano with an off-road package. This means buyers won’t have access to any rugged upgrades, such as heavy-duty skid plates and a trail-rated suspension. Drivers who plan to routinely go off-road should check out the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
2. Continuously Variably Transmission Feels Different
It’ll take a while for some people to become comfortable with the Murano’s continuously variable automatic transmission. It feels completely different from a traditional automatic transmission. This transmission's gear-less design helps promote netter fuel economy. On the downside, some drivers consider a CVT to be less engaging. A droning sound is also often heard when accelerating.
3. No Optional Powertrain
Nissan’s VQ-Series V6 engine is well liked. However, some buyers may desire an optional powertrain. While a twin-turbo V6 engine would boost performance, a hybrid powertrain would save drivers more money at the pump.
4. Not Made for Serious Towing
The 2021 Nissan Murano isn’t a great choice for drivers who need to tow. It has a low tow rating of only 1,500 pounds. Many boat owners will be forced to seek another option. A good alternative to the Murano is the Nissan Pathfinder. Nissan lists the Pathfinder with an impressive 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity.
5. Could Offer More Driving Fun
Most automotive journalists describe the Nissan Murano as a comfortable, quiet highway cruiser. Don’t expect the Murano to offer a high level of driving excitement. No version of the Murano offers a sports-tuned suspension. This feature would further improve road handling.
How It Stacks Up Against the Competition
2021 Nissan Murano vs 2021 Chevrolet Blazer
The Chevrolet Blazer is one of the best-handling crossovers in the midsize class. It feels genuinely sporty. Many car shoppers also love the look of the new Blazer. However, no accident-avoidance technologies come standard on the Blazer. This means buyers are forced to move up the trim ladder. While the Blazer’s upgraded engines are strong, most test drivers consider its base four-cylinder engine to be a bit weak.
2021 Nissan Murano vs 2021 Ford Edge
Among the Murano’s chief competitors is the Ford Edge. Its high-performance ST trim is a blast to drive. The latest Edge also receives an all-new SYNC 4 infotainment system, which offers a 12.0-inch touchscreen as an option. However, the Murano offers a more comfortable ride than the Ford Edge. While the Edge provides a lot of room, passengers may find the Murano’s seats to be more comfy.
2021 Nissan Murano vs 2021 Kia Sorento
Big improvements were made to the 2021 Kia Sorento. It now looks more eye-catching than ever. It also continues to offer one of the segment’s longest powertrain warranties. A newly available hybrid powertrain also takes fuel efficiency to the next stage. However, this SUV’s base 191-horsepower engine may not pack enough muscle for some drivers. When it comes to comfort, Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats are also hard to beat.
Although the 2021 Nissan Murano may not be the newest SUV on the block, it still has a lot of endearing qualities. Superior interior comfort and a super-soft ride make the Murano a highly recommended family vehicle. Remember, all trims now come standard with a valuable safety package.
Before buying a new Murano, be aware of its potential weak points. A low tow rating limits this crossover’s ability to haul a load. Drivers also should not attempt to tackle rough off-road trails in the new Murano.
• Why buy a 2020 Nissan Murano? w/ pros vs cons