Nissan Murano 2005 review

People who live anywhere near a Nissan dealer will have noticed something unusual landing in the showroom this week.

If you want a vehicle with the 'wow' factor of a supercar and the space and practicality of a Land Rover Discovery or BMW X5, then the Murano is worth a look - especially when you consider that the asking price is closer to X3 territory. Yet while the Nissan represents a good value package that comes packed with kit as standard, the excessive fuel consumption from its big V6 engine means it won't be a cheap car to run. Still, it's certainly out of this world...

People who live anywhere near a Nissan dealer will have noticed something unusual landing in the showroom this week. The Murano has finally arrived, and it has certainly startled a few onlookers if the reaction to our test car is anything to go by.

It's unlike any other vehicle on the road. The rounded profile, horizontal grille and blended-in headlamps give the Murano a striking look, and only the Nissan roundels indicate that it's related to more conservative models. It might lack the prestige of rival brands, but by limiting UK sales to only 1,000 a year, Nissan hopes the Murano's exclusivity will outweigh its lack of badge kudos.

There's a combination of space-age style and high build quality inside. The head restraints have the look of movie alien ET, while the dash wouldn't be out of place on the Starship Enterprise. But the Murano's futuristic style doesn't come at the expense of practicality. Rear legroom is among the best in class, and the seats are comfortable. The driving position is good and visibility excellent, marred only by small door mirrors.

Fire up the 350Z-sourced motor, and you're greeted by a muffled roar. The V6 is well suited to the Murano, offering linear power and high-speed refinement. Handling is remarkably able, too, with light, precise steering and little body roll. The anchors are effective, if lacking some feel, but the foot-operated parking brake can be irritating to use in town.

But city streets are where the CVT transmission comes into its own. It works smoothly, albeit at the expense of performance - the Murano is quick off the mark, yet even with 232bhp under the bonnet, it requires heavy throttle inputs if you want to increase speed on the move.

And that takes its toll on fuel economy. With a 23mpg average and CO2 emissions of 295g/km, perhaps the little green men aren't so green after all?

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