Monday, April 18, 2016

Used Car Review - Nissan Murano (2010-2015)

This forgotten crossover receives that much deserving love through a review from Myk Belmonte.

20102-2015 Nissan Murano

Crossover SUVs are basically sport utility vehicles which are built on a car platform and combining features of the former type. Sure, they ride comfortably and handles like a car but features a high seating position, tall headroom, and all wheel drive option. These vehicles utilize the unibody construction structure which is common among passenger cars rather than the body-on-frame of the traditional SUVs. One boo-boo here: crossovers do not have the off-road skills of their traditional counterparts, no thanks to their all wheel drive capability which aren't a fit there.

The Japanese market got the taste of the crossover SUV in the form of the Toyota RAV4 (Corolla based), Honda CR-V (Civic derived platform), and Nissan Rasheen (Sunny/Sentra platform) during the mid-90s. By the time the SUV market was booming, car based ones increased one by one with the Toyota Harrier/Lexus RX being a success story in the uplevel market, Nissan joined the fray with the Murano in 2002 but was first launched for the United States and Canadian market before its Japanese debut two years later. For the second generation model, production started in November 2007 and sales started in January 2008 as a 2009 model, still sharing its platform with the Altima and Maxima. Outside North America, this vehicle can be had with a 2.5 4-cylinder engine for Japanese consumers and a 2.5 diesel for the European market.

Although the second generation Murano was made available in 2008 in its home market, the Philippine market had to wait until March 2010 for this crossover SUV to arrive here. Unlike the previous model which was introduced by Nissan Motor Philippines Inc, this one had the other distributor in the name of Universal Motors Corporation to distribute this one. This vehicle survived the merger of two Nissan distributors in 2014 but discontinued the following year.

Value and Costs
Initial pricing for this SUV is pegged at P3,100,000 when it was first made available but was dropped to around the tune of P2,300,000 later on due to a trade agreement which made Japanese assembled vehicles having 3.0 liter and above engines reduced tax rates. Since this vehicle never caught on with the buying public, if you want one expect to exert effort to find one on the classifieds block whether on the internet or on paper. On general, expect second hand Muranos of this vintage to be priced around P1,000,000 or so.

Maintaining one would be on the expensive side, especially this one carries a 3.5 V6 gasoline engine plus with its low seller status, parts are somewhat limited though Nissan Philippines offers an online parts shop and components are the same with the 2010-2014 Teana. If you really want this one, prepare to shell out more just to keep this baby than a regular diesel powered SUV from Thailand.

Exterior and Interior
Named after a group of islands in Italy and its sculptured glass that are made there, we can say the exterior had the traits and qualities of a sculptured glass that had undergone blowing through fires. Just like the previous generation model, you'd mistaken this one as something that came out of the oven. Props to Nissan for their hard work on making this car beautifully designed.

You'll be fooled here, the exterior shouts small but the cabin is spacious at best which is complemented with larger pillar arcs and an expansive dashboard. High quality materials abound, which includes touches of leather and silver accents. High tech gadgets are available which includes settings for the climate control, entertainment, and fuel gauge which is reminiscent of BMW's iDrive system, a sunroof for everyone, and a trunk open release which is done by pushing a button. Rear seat occupants are treated to a spacious space at the back.

Similar to the first generation model, it still uses a VQ35DE 3.5 V6 gasoline which displaces 260hp at 6,000rpm and 336Nm at 4,400rpm. Bring the engine to life and you'd notice that it is silent despite pushing the accelerator hardly. Paired to this powertrain is Nissan's famed XTronic CVT which makes things silent and smooth and contributing to a lesser fuel penalty. Just like other rivals, it is only available in AWD that is biased towards paved roads.

Driving Impressions
Since this vehicle is based on a car, expect car based traits such as the handling which makes maneuvering easy due to its size and soaks road imperfections. When it comes to acceleration, you'd mistaken this vehicle for something that runs with a hybrid engine which is quiet even at high speeds, even your passengers will lull themselves to sleep because of this.

When it was brought here, we had to ask "why too late"? And the next question, why is it that expensive. Sure, these things made the car not so noticeable but those who dived in and got to know this car more are rewarded by a carlike driving characteristic and a high quality interior. If you want one, then finding one requires patience but then you'll reap the rewards of this car.

The Good:
  • Drives like a car
  • Comfortable to be in
  • Technological advancement
The Bad:
  • Limited rear view
  • Expensive to own
  • No diesel
The Pick: Z51

Engine: 3,498cc VQ35DE V6 gasoline
Power: 260hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 336Nm @ 4,400rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 10-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multi link

Price (New): P3,100,000 (original price), P2,300,000 (reduced sometime in 2013)
Price (Now): P1,000,000
Rivals: Honda Pilot, Lexus RX, Mazda CX-9, Mitsubishi Endeavor
On Sale: 2010-2015

Nissan Mantrade - (02) 843-3316

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