1 Aug 2005
NISSAN Australia's new Murano five-seater crossover wagon was released in August ’05, and positioned slightly above the R51 Pathfinder SUV.
Based on a derivation of the 2003 Maxima FF-L platform architecture, the Murano is powered by Nissan's familiar 3.5-litre V6 - in this case producing 172kW at 6000rpm and 318Nm at 3600rpm.
The only gearbox choice is a six-speed continuously variable transmission.
The Murano is Nissan's first soft-roader and is pitted against prestige wagons like the Lexus RX330.
Equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a Bose audio system (with six-disc in-dash CD stacker and steering-mounted audio controls), climate-control air-conditioning, power-adjustable driver's seat, leather trim, cruise control, six airbags and Xenon headlights.
The Ti adds a sunroof, roof rails, heated leather seats, metallic paint and reverse parking sensors.
Drive is fed electronically through an all-wheel drive set-up based on Nissan’s All-Mode 4x4 system fitted to the X-Trail and Pathfinder.
In most conditions the system runs in front-wheel drive, switching automatically to all-wheel drive when traction wanes. For extra traction, the system can be locked into all-wheel drive via a dashboard-mounted switch.
The FF-L platform features an exceptionally long wheelbase (2824mm) for maximum cabin space.
Suspension is fully independent, comprising a multi-link arrangement at the rear and a strut-style configuration with cradle-type front subframe at the front. High-stiffness stabiliser bars are used at each end.
The steering is power-assisted, speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion.
Size-wise, the Murano’s wheelbase is 4765mm – 109mm longer than the Lexus RX. It is 1709mm high and has a front and rear track measuring 1631mm and 1626mm respectively.
The Murano was styled at Nissan’s California Design Studio, which had a brief to build a highly sculptural crossover 4WD. It is named after an island near Venice that specialises in high-quality glassware.