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Nissan mulls diesel Murano

Euro express: The forthcoming diesel-powered Nissan Murano for Europe might be only 2.5 litres, but it boasts 450Nm of torque.

Murano goes diesel in Europe, opening the door for Nissan to tick the box for Oz

Nissan logo17 Mar 2010

By RON HAMMERTON

NISSAN Australia is considering a diesel engine addition to its Murano all-wheel-drive crossover range now that such a variant has been slated for sale in Europe from September.

The 2.5-litre YD25 engine – the same upgraded dCi turbo four-cylinder diesel that is about to make its Australian debut in the newly facelifted Navara ute in May – would provide an alternative to the acclaimed VQ35 3.5-litre petrol V6 that has powered the Murano through two generations, albeit with revisions.

Nissan’s head of corporate communications Jeff Fisher told GoAuto today that the company had no formal plans to import the diesel version, but local product planners were assessing the vehicle’s potential for Australian sale.

“It would make an interesting supplement to the range, but we don’t have the same intense need for a diesel as some markets,” he said.

The revised four-cylinder diesel engine, developing 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, will slide into the D40 Navara range alongside a new 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine borrowed from Nissan’s partner Renault.

For Murano, however, Nissan has opted for the smaller and more efficient four-pot unit that is primarily aimed at Europe and the UK where diesel engines are paramount.

While the diesel’s power would be no match for the Murano’s sweet-spinning petrol V6 – 140kW versus 191kW – the diesel out-punches the bigger powerplant in torque, 450Nm to 336NM.

12 center imageLeft: Nissan Navara.

A fuel economy gain could also be expected. The manual Navara diesel is said to achieve 8.5L/100km, while the auto-only Murano petrol V6 is rated at 10.9L/100km.

The revised YD25 diesel, which surfaced when Nissan pulled the wraps off the facelifted Navara at the recent Geneva motor show, has 11 per cent more power and torque than the previous diesel unit.

Changes to the engine include a new direct-injection system which operates at 2000 bar, up from 1800 bar, for finer fuel atomisation and better combustion.

A new cylinder head with parallel ports increases the swirl efficiency of the combustion process, smoothing the intake and exhaust flow, while a new variable nozzle turbo (VNT) with electric control rather than the previous hydraulic system is said to give quicker response.

A diesel particle filter (DPF) helps Murano to achieve Euro 5 emission standards.

In the European Murano, the diesel engine will be offered exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Until now, Murano has only been petrol powered, but its European operation always hung out for a diesel to make the vehicle competitive. In Japan and elsewhere, diesel has not been in a priority.

Made in Japan for global consumption, the second-generation seven-seat Murano was launched in Australia in early 2009.

It shares its petrol-only status with Toyota’s Kluger, Ford Territory and Mazda CX9 in the medium SUV segment, where diesel has been taking an increasing slice of the pie. The top-selling Holden Captiva and Toyota Prado both boast diesels, and Ford has such a powerplant in the pipeline for Territory for launch next year.

Diesel vehicles make up about a quarter of SUV private sales in Australia, as well as about a third of business SUV volumes.

Last year, Murano sales jumped 161 per cent on the strength of the new model, averaging more than 200 a month, but this year, sales have eased 11 per cent against that bumper start.

Last month, 100 Muranos found homes.

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