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New York show: Nissan's Murano teased

Next-generation Nissan Murano SUV teased ahead of New York debut next month

25 Mar 2014

NISSAN has given the world a shadowy look at its next-generation Murano mid-size SUV, due for a global reveal at next month’s New York motor show.

Expected to arrive in Australian showrooms either late this year or early next year, Nissan said the new Murano – the “halo” model in its burgeoning range of “bold crossovers and SUVs” – would also preview the Japanese car-maker's latest design language that is expected to eventually roll out across its model rangeIt said the Murano would feature a spacious, premium cabin, and showcase the company's latest connectivity and safety technology.

A dark teaser image and short video released by Nissan reveal few details, but they do highlight some similarities with the striking Resonance concept unveiled at last year's Detroit motor show.

The Murano appears to have adopted the concept's bulging bonnet with bold side creases, while a toned-down version of its angled, arrow-like headlights is also evident.

The production car adopts a slight kick-up at the C-pillar also featured on the concept vehicle, however, the video goes dark before revealing if the Murano picks up other concept-car styling elements such as the rear three-quarter window flowing down to the tail-lights.

No information was released about drivetrains, so it is unclear whether the third-generation Murano will stick with the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine or if it will adopt a petrol-electric hybrid unit previewed in the Resonance.

The new Murano will be the latest in a series of complete model replacements for Nissan's SUV line-up, following on from the all-new seven-seat Pathfinder that arrived late last year, the X-Trail that is about to launch in Australia in the coming months and the Dualis-replacing Qashqai that lands in August.

Just last month Nissan announced a mild overhaul of the current Murano, adding blind spot and lane departure warning systems, updated satellite navigation unit and larger 20-inch wheels to the top-spec Ti for a $1850 price increase.

Just two variants of the five-seat wagon are available in Australia – the base ST priced from $48,990 before on-road costs, and the flagship Ti priced from $60,240.

To the end of February, Nissan has sold 114 Muranos – a 59 per cent drop compared with the first two months of last year when it sold 277 units.

The Murano occupies something of a niche within the large SUV segment, offering only five seats in a market where most other mainstream brands offer seven-seat versions.

The top-selling vehicle in the segment in the first two months of this year was the Jeep Grand Cherokee with 2749 sales, with last year's most popular large SUV, Toyota’s Prado, just behind on 2299 units.

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