The Nissan Murano was one of the first stylish crossovers when it debuted back in 2002 – a time when body-on-frame SUVs still ruled the roads. Now the Murano is facing some stiffer competition thanks to revived Chevy Blazer and Honda Passport. Nissan gave the 2019 Murano a slight facelift, but is it enough to keep its rivals at bay?
The current Murano debuted as a 2015 model, so for the 2019 model year Nissan decided to update the Murano’s face with new headlights and a bolder version of the brand’s Vmotion grille. At the rear the taillights have also been tweaked. Lastly the 2019 Murano rides on new 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels and there are four new colors to choose from.
Inside the updated 2019 Murano gets new optional semi-anline leather seats and Nissan’s Rear Door Alert system has been added. The Murano also now comes with Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 safety suite, which includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear emergency automatic braking. It’s unfortunate that Nissan didn’t update more inside, since the Murano’s interior does feel a bit dated. There are features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the 8-nch touchscreen looks a few years old.
That’s basically it, which means that the Murano is still powered by the same 260-hp 3.5L V6 that’s mated to a CVT transmission. The Murano’s V6 does pack an adequate amount of power, but if you’re comparing its specs to the new Blazer and Passport, the Murano comes up a bit short. The Passport brings 280-hp to the fight and the Blazer beats them both with its 305-hp 3.6L V6.
The Murano is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway no matter if you choose front- or all-wheel drive.
On the road the Murano’s 3.5L V6 does a good job of getting the midsize SUV up to speed without too much drama. The V6’s 240 lb-ft. of torque comes on early and the CVT always manages to keep the V6 in the perfect rev range. Just like the Maxima, the Murano’s steering is a bit heavy, which is definitely noticeable when you’re in a parking lot.
The Murano’s stylish exterior may make you assume that its driving experience would be a bit sportier than some other midsize SUVs, but its ride and handling are geared more towards comfort than sport. It’s not too say that the Murano is boring to drive, but it doesn’t stand out as much as say the Ford Edge ST.
If towing is something you like to do, the Murano’s 1,500 pound tow rating may be disappointing. The Passport can town up to 3,500 pounds and the Blazer has a 4,500 pound tow rating.
While the interior may feel a bit behind the times, the Murano’s cabin is still comfortable and spacious. The interior will easily fit five and it does a good job of keeping noise from the outside from coming inside. The Murano has 32.1 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which can be expanded up to 67 cubic feet with the second row seats folded. If you need more space, the Passport and Edge offer more.
The 2019 Nissan Murano is offered in S, SV, SL and Platinum trim levels with the base S starting at $32,415.
The 2019 Nissan Murano remains one of the more stylish crossovers in the midsize segment, but it’s now overshadowed by newer arrivals, like the Blazer and Passport.