Driving the 2016 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD
Text and photos by Cor Steenstra
The Nissan Murano sure has come a long way. The first iteration to me stood out for its clean, modern design, a unique interpretation of the SUV theme, clearly building on the new Nissan platform, and brilliant for that. The quality was not perfect, but the statement it made was loud and clear.
The Murano since has been modernizing, but sticking to roughly the same dimensions and as dynamic as the original. The one version that sadly didn’t pick up a lot of clients was the 2 door convertible, which I must admit is, to this day, one of my favorite cars, up there with the Renault Avantime.
This Murano is clearly not the same anymore. It seems to share the platform with much bigger SUV’s in the Nissan/Infiniti line-up, and it feels that way as well. It is spacious, more spacious than before of course, but it also seems bulky and heavy, not nimble like before. It also clearly seems to be under powered by the V6 under the hood, something the previous models never had. Dragging a whole lot of weight with you does that to a car logically.
As for the design, I see a lot of similarities in the window graphic treatment to what the Lexus RX does these days, but thankfully the rest of the Murano is far away from the Lexus, in a zone where it looks clearly organic, new, designed, but now like it has been in a very serious accident like the Lexus RX. I can’t believe anyone let that Lexus design pass through the management process, let it outside the design studio in the first place… And then I see the new Prius and that hydrogen thing Toyota have out and I realize it is true, some people have no taste and they are in decision making positions at Toyota.
To me the Murano excels is its treatment of organic surfaces and details. There may seem to be quite a few there if you count them, but they do feel the right amount within the whole of the design, homogeneously integrated, not desperately forced onto one and the same space.
Add to that the oasis of luxury when you enter the light colored interior, with nice materials abound and a fit and finish that is Infiniti-ly better than what was before, and it is clear this Murano is moving up market. I like it, but I also wish it wouldn’t since I did like where the original was. Maybe there will be something there soon again.