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Future models - Nissan - Murano

New York show: Nissan’s new Murano revealed

Big boy: The third-generation Nissan Murano is lower, wider and longer than the outgoing model but retains the same powertrain.

Nissan debuts third-gen Murano SUV ahead of local debut in second half of 2015

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Nissan logo15 Apr 2014

THE covers have come off Nissan’s flagship Murano SUV on the eve of the New York motor show this week, revealing a design that maintains the left-of-centre styling of its predecessors while carrying the Japanese car-maker’s latest design language.

An Australian showroom debut is set for the second half of 2015 and the vehicle is likely to be sourced from Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi, plant in the United States, marking a shift in sourcing from Japan.

Variants confirmed for the US market include S, SV, SL and Platinum but Nissan Australia general manager of corporate communications Peter Fadeyev said it was too early to confirm local specifications.

The current Murano is offered in base ST and range-topping Ti guise in Australia from $48,990 and $60,240 (plus on-road costs) respectively.

The design of the third-generation off-roader was previewed by the striking Resonance concept from last year’s Detroit motor show, and the production version has maintained many of the styling cues from the sleek concept, including the V-Motion front end.

A large V-shape insert splitting the grille is carried over, while a toned-down version of the boomerang-shaped headlights has also made it to the production model.

Other elements evident from the concept include the large bulging wheel guards and the bold line running from the base of the windscreen to the tail-lights, while Nissan has softened the prominent indent in the rear doors for the road-going version.

Nissan has retained the “floating” glass roof that gives the appearance of a disconnected D-pillar from the concept, almost untouched, while the rear of the Murano has been toned down significantly with a less sloping roofline and more conventional tailgate.

The Japanese car-maker has included a number of measures to improve aerodynamics by 16 per cent for the lower, wider and longer Murano, such as fitting an integrated rear spoiler, rear tyre deflectors, fender lip mouldings and a grille shutter for a coefficient of drag of 0.31.

The plush cabin, which features premium materials and an advanced lighting system, has been designed to resemble an “upscale social lounge” which the company says creates an “inviting and comfortable atmosphere”.

Nissan has lowered the instrument panel height over the outgoing model and included an optional eight-inch colour display with multi-touch control, while the number of audio and navigation switches in the centre stack has been reduced from 25 to 10 for a cleaner look.

The Advanced Drive-Assist Display is on offer with a seven-inch colour display, an 11-speaker Bose sound system, navigation and access to various mobile applications and Nissan’s NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats that are also found in the Altima mid-size sedan.

Other comfort features include dual-zone climate control, push-button start, leather-appointed seats, heated steering wheel, electric folding rear seats, and position memory for the driver’s seat, external mirrors and steering wheel.

The panoramic moonroof has a 29 per cent larger opening and a 40 per cent longer sliding length which Nissan says will ensure it will be one of the largest in its segment.

A low and wide centre console creates what Nissan calls a “communication alley” to the rear passengers, with the console housing a USB port for the rear seats and a compartment for rear-seat passengers’ smartphone/s.

The cargo area is 83mm wider and 50mm longer, and, combined with the redesigned tailgate, Nissan says the luggage compartment has grown by approximately 133 litres, making it one of the largest in its class.

Four onboard cameras and three radar systems allows for safety equipment such as blind-spot warning, emergency brake assist, adaptive cruise control, a cross traffic alert and an “Around View” monitor.

Nissan’s ubiquitous 3.5-litre V6 engine is carried over, this time producing 194kW/325Nm which marks a 3kW boost in power but an 11Nm drop in torque, although Australian-spec models may end up with slightly different figures.

The company has managed to cut 59kg from the weight of the previous model which has resulted in a 20 per cent improvement in fuel economy.

Official fuel consumption and performance figures are yet to be released.

The Murano will be available with either front or all-wheel drive and will use Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Wheel choices include 18-inch or 20-inch machine finished aluminium-alloy wheels.

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