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Murano no go for Oz ... for now

Yes please: Nissan Australia says the Murano is at the top of its wish-list.

Nissan's new cross-over won't be heading our way for the moment

12 Nov 2002

NISSAN has revealed details of its new Murano cross-over, but the bad news is there's no prospect of the 3.5-litre 180kW V6 wagon reaching these shores any time soon.

"It's right at the very top of our wishlist and as soon as they make it in right-hand drive we'll be one of the first markets to get it," confirmed Nissan Australia national marketing manager Philip Brook.

"But at this point in time there are no definite plans to make it in right-hand drive unfortunately. In the short to mid-term it is unlikely."Built in the USA, the Murano goes on sale there in December breaking cover at the New York motor show last April.

It will be offered in two model grades - SL and SE - and in two and four-wheel drive, with pricing starting at $US28,199 and topping out at $US30,599.

Unusually, the Murano will only be available with the engine mated to Nissan's Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The Murano is underpinned by Nissan's new FF-L (front engine, front-drive) platform, which it shares elements of with the Altima. The next generation Maxima due in Australia in '03 also gets FF-L.

Attached to the platform is an all-independent suspension system and ventilated disc brakes working with ABS, Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.

Nissan says FF-L enables the Murano to push the wheels out to the corners, allows a long wheelbase and wide stance and greater packaging and styling flexibility.

Standard Murano design details include a lightweight rear cargo door constructed from advanced composite plastics reinforced by steel, vertical stack Xenon headlights, 18-inch wheels and tyres and a rear spoiler.

Inside there is seating for five, although it is set-up for four, and includes a power driver's seat and adjustable throttle and brake pedals and a tilt steering wheel.

Every Murano comes equipped with power rack-and-pinion power steering, reclining rear seat backs, dual zone automatic temperature control, AM/FM/CD audio system, power windows with auto up/down feature on front windows and keyless remote entry system.

The Murano SE adds a sport-tuned suspension with firmer front/rear springs and struts and shock absorbers, unique six-spoke sporty alloy wheels, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with manual headlamp leveliser and dark silver lower bumpers.

* Meanwhile Nissan boss carlos Ghosn revealed a new mid-sized sedan called the Teana during a press conference in Tokyo late last month. It goes on sale in February in Japan and bears an uncanny resemblance to what we think the new Maxima will look like, which is due out next year.

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