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2008 Paris Motor Show – Nissan Murano: The Business Class Crossover

With new looks, enhanced performance and refinement, a host of innovative features and, best of all, an urbane new interior, the latest Nissan Murano crossover is a significant evolution of the trend-setting original.

“The original Murano was the first sporty crossover. New Murano improves still further on that agility but by infusing sophisticated styling and a refined new ‘club lounge’ interior, we have moved Murano up to business class. With new Murano now on sale alongside QASHQAI and the new QASHQAI+2, Nissan can underline its position as leaders of the developing crossover market,”
Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Ltd

At a glance

* Restyled exterior
* Sophisticated new interior
* New all-wheel drive platform
* Revised 3.5 V6 engine
* Re-engineered CVT gearbox
* Power operated tailgate
* Remote fold and power raise rear seats
* Rear and side parking cameras

The original crossover
When the original Murano was launched five years ago in the United States, it immediately found an appreciative audience, customers who were seeking a sporting drive that also incorporated the best elements of an SUV. In Murano they found exactly what they were looking for: a vehicle that ‘crossed over’ from SUV to dynamic passenger car.

Crossover quickly became an industry buzzword, especially when the concept itself crossed over to Europe. Murano was launched in Europe in 2005 and its success was instrumental in the development of the Nissan QASHQAI, the original compact crossover.

Building on the strengths of the original, the new Murano adds sophistication, elegance and even better performance to the already formidable repertoire of the original.


Shared design DNA

From a design perspective, the second generation Murano shares clear DNA with the original. The overall silhouette and the upswept triangular rear side window line – a Nissan crossover signature – are retained, but every body panel is new.

The most obvious changes are to the nose and tail with distinctly different head and tail light treatment. In place of the vertical ‘stacking’ lights of the original come elegant horizontal lamps that blend across the car. Underlining the family connection, the tail-lights are similar in shape to those of QASHQAI.

A more dramatic profile has been created by altering the angle of the side doors and glass to give a more rounded aspect to the car’s window area, while the wheel arches have been squared off to give a more rugged and sporty image.


Luxury interior

Inside, a genuinely luxurious interior moves new Murano up to ‘Business Class’. New instruments, new seats, subtle ambient mood lighting and improved materials – including double stitched leather trim and real aluminium touches – lift the interior from sporting SUV to luxury saloon standard.

The basis of the new Murano is Nissan’s latest D-platform, as seen on the US market Altima. Some 50 per cent stiffer than the previous model, new Murano handles just as well as before, but with greater ride refinement and general comfort. The suspension layout now features a multi-link arrangement at the rear for greater handling precision, while a new speed-sensitive power steering improves manoeuvrability at lower speeds and provides more feel at higher speeds. All-wheel drive traction is provided by Nissan’s advanced ALL MODE 4×4-i technology.

Engine revisions

Although new Murano is still powered by a 3.5-litre version of Nissan’s multi-award winning VQ engines series, it has been extensively revised for its new application for more power and greater fuel efficiency. Power has risen to 256PS and torque is now up to 334Nm, 246 lb ft, while improved performance and fuel consumption is also helped by major revisions to the innovative CVT gearbox.

In keeping with its enhanced sophistication, new Murano is laden with features designed to make life on the move even more comfortable. They include not just an electrically operated powered tailgate but also rear seat backrests than can be lowered in one simple move. Even better, the backrests can be raised by remote control, too.

It also has a full-length sunroof ready to bathe the interior with sunlight. The rear section is fixed but the section above the front seats opens and slides backwards when fresh air is wanted.

Side and rear parking cameras

But perhaps the cleverest of all the new Murano’s features are the parking cameras. In addition to the now expected rear view camera, new Murano has another camera mounted within the passenger door mirror. The image transmitted to the dashboard screen will show the driver any obstacle otherwise hidden in a blind spot during parking manoeuvres.

“The original Murano was highly regarded for its performance and ability. New Murano moves the offering on in every respect. New styling, better performance and refinement and a truly luxurious interior allows new Murano to reinforce its claim to the crossover crown,” says Pierre Loing, Nissan’s Vice President for European Product Planning.

2009 Nissan Murano – Hi-res. Images

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